A Quick Guide to Florence, Italy

By: Valeria Ramos

You might already know that the land of Renaissance - Florence, Italy - is home to iconic works of art by the likes of Michelangelo and Botticelli, the first dome of the modern world, great street markets, and of course, delicious food. However, once you show up to this magical place that locals call Firenze, it is easy to get lost in the touristy crowds if you don't have a clear idea of what you want to see and do. 

Having spent some time in Florence this Summer, I created a guide with all the best destinations for sightseeing, shopping, museum strolling and more that will give you plenty of options whether you plan on staying for one day or one week. 

1. Duomo di Firenze

Also known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Flore, this enormous church is a landmark of not only Florence, but of the Tuscany region of Italy. Be sure to take a walk around the Duomo and get a good look at all of its beauty.

If you're lucky, a local musician or two might be playing the violin or cello outside the church, creating an amazing atmosphere. It doesn't take an expert in Gothic architecture to appreciate the detail and time that went into building and preserving this structure, which was originally completed in 1436!

2. Ponte Vecchio
 A walk along the oldest bridge in Florence should be a must on your travel itinterary not only for the scenic view, but for the shopping opportunities as well.

Jewelry shops, souvenir stands and artists selling their works can all be found throughout the bridge.

3. The Uffizi Gallery
With the largest collection of Renaissance art within its historic walls, the Uffizi is a must-see for all art lovers.

From Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" to key works by Raffaelo, da Vinci, Remembrandt and more - this place will satisfy your art craving. And if one museum doesn't cut it for you, head over to the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo's statue of David, or discover another one of the countless museums Florence has to offer.

4. Piazza di Santa Maria Novella
This city square, surrounded by hotels, cafes and shops, is a great spot to have lunch and take a break from walking around all day. Gelato for desert is a necessity.

5. San Lorenzo Market
 This sprawling outdoor market is the perfect place to shop for Italian leather goods and souvenirs. With so many vendors, shopping here can be a little overwhelming, but it also means more options and price differences.

If you're not interested in shopping for clothing or leather goods, Florence has several other markets that offer everything from fresh fruits to flowers and antiques.

Walking around is the best way to explore any city, and Florence is no exception. Being in a city full of art, culture, picturesque views and bright leather goods is an experience anyone traveling to Italy should see for themselves.