Home to the most famous art galleries in the world and truly mesmerizing architecture, there is no doubt Florence should be on your travel bucket list.
But, while many travelers swarm to the birthplace of the Renaissance to see the iconic Duomo, there is so much more to discover and enjoy in the Italian city.
From tasting exceptional gelato to going truffle hunting — here are the best things to do in Florence (that aren’t the Duomo).
Have a Sandwich at All’Antico Vinaio
It is no secret that Italy is the ultimate foodie destination. To take your taste buds on a real adventure, have a sandwich at All’Antico Vinaio.
With over 7000 TripAdvisor reviews, it is the perfect place to grab a bite after hours of exploring the beautiful Florence. Try their iconic salami sandwich with truffle oil, or create a masterpiece of your own.
Some will argue that this is the best street food in Florence. But beware — the queues can be pretty long!
Check out other delicious spots in my Italy travel guide!
If you really want to dig into how the locals eat and what the food culture is like — here’s my guide to eating in Italy!
Go on a Food Tour
To learn more about the Tuscan cuisine, consider joining an authentic Florence food tour. The tour is led by a local foodie, who will guide you through the city’s best cafes, bars, restaurants, and enotecas.
Mouthwatering cheeses, the finest meats, focaccia, and various olive oils are just a few examples of what you will enjoy.
Since Italians love their wine, you will also have the opportunity to sample the delicious drink. Another great thing to do in Florence is to join a cooking class. Learn secrets of pasta making from Italians themselves!
Looking for more fun things to do around Italy? This Italy itinerary is full of fun ideas of what to do throughout the country.
Want to see Florence, and then some? Here are 10 places to visit in Italy you might not have considered!
Walk Across Ponte Vecchio
The breath of history can be felt on Florence’s every corner. A must-see place in the city is the impressive Ponte Vecchio.
The bridge is an outstanding engineering achievement of Europe’s Middle Ages. In fact, it was the first segmental arch bridge in the West.
The most interesting part about it is the fascinating ‘secret’ passages.
Vasari Corridor is the passageway that goes from Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, over the Ponte Vecchio and into the Boboli gardens. Nowadays, it is not really a secret anymore. Still, it is an exciting place to see.
Visit the Mercato Centrale
Not sure what to do in Florence, Italy?
Head to the iconic Mercato Centrale! The historic food and produce market is an excellent destination to get your hands on the best fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and other yummy treats that come from the Tuscany region.
Also, make sure to visit the top floor, which is filled with street food vendors and offers gourmet cuisine.
Before you head to the market, make sure to brush up on these tips for your trip to Italy!
Go Wine Tasting in Tuscany
To explore the city in style, one of the coolest experiences you can have is joining this Fiat 500 tour around Florence.
The unusual excursion will take you into the beautiful Tuscan hills, where you will find a stunning 15th-century wine estate and villa.
Since driving in a gorgeous 1960s Fiat and wine-tasting don’t go together, the experience is most suited for groups of friends or families. Explore the grounds and impressive cellars, and have a taste of the locally produced wines!
Prefer to use a train? Have a look at my Italy train travel tips.
Do a Truffle Hunting Day Trip
Thanks to the unique microclimate and soil conditions, truffles can be found all around Tuscany. While vacationing in Florence, don’t miss out on the opportunity to go on a memorable truffle hunting trip.
You will join a truffle hunter and a trained dog as they show you the ropes!
After the adventure, travelers will be rewarded with a gourmet lunch that features incredible truffle flavors.
Take in the View at Piazzale Michelangelo
Looking for the perfect photo backdrop? Then visit the famous Piazzale Michelangelo! Admire the winding river Arno, the iconic Uffizi Gallery, the Santa Croce basilica, Tuscan hills, and so much more.
The spectacular Piazzale Michelangelo has some of the best panoramic views of the whole city. To have an even more special experience, plan your visit during sunset hours.
As far as the best places to visit in Italy go, this is one that should be on your travel list.
Wander Around the Boboli Gardens
Nestled on the other side of Florence’s most popular tourist attractions, the Boboli Gardens is one of the coolest places to see in the city. Although a small entrance fee is required, the views are well worth it.
In fact, the Boboli Gardens are a great place to see while exploring Italy on a budget.
The huge open-air museum has unexpectedly charming gardens in many corners, but, in my opinion, Bardini is the best. Since they are much smaller than Boboli Gardens, the atmosphere is more intimate, yet the diversity of garden styles is still outstanding.
Get Inspired by the Art
Deciding what to see in Florence, Italy, can sometimes be challenging because there are so many options. The birthplace of the Renaissance has art galleries and museums on every corner, but one you shouldn’t miss is the Uffizi Gallery.
Housing numerous masterpieces, one of the oldest museums in the world exhibits works that are mostly made in the Renaissance era. Wish to have a more unique experience? You can take an art class there too!
The many churches of Florence will also be a treat for the eyes. Make sure to see the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, and the Basilica of Santa Croce.
Of course, visiting Florence and not seeing the original statue of David in the Accademia Gallery of Florence would be a crime.
Sample All the Gelato
You will do a lot of eating in Italy. When there is so much deliciousness everywhere, it is hard to resist!
Regardless of whether you have a sweet tooth, sampling all the gelato while in Florence is a must! Vivoli is the oldest ice cream parlor in the city, which is still considered one of the best.
Great gelato can also be found at La Strega Nocciola (lavender and hazelnut are two of the signature flavors) and Il Procopio (extra creamy!).
Instead of tasting the traditional flavors, opt for something more original, like lemon with basil, bread pudding, or Viennese chocolate cake.
Whether you are visiting Florence for the first or 7th time, you will always find something fun and exciting to do. While the tourist attractions really are worth the hype, don’t miss out on the opportunity of getting off the beaten path.
Only then can you discover the real magic of the city! To get more tips, check out my Florence travel guide.