From world-leading art galleries such as the Uffizi to some of Italy’s finest food, Florence is an unbeatable destination.
Birthplace of the Renaissance, one-time home to Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael, and an Aladdin’s cave of artistic masterpieces, Florence is a cultural powerhouse. From world-leading art galleries such as the Uffizi to timeless masterpieces including Michelangelo’s David, via some of Italy’s finest food, Florence is an unbeatable destination.
Arriving at Florence Airport
Florence Airport sits around 2.5 miles (4km) north-west of the centre of Florence, and there are a few options for getting into the city centre. The only public transport is the VolaInBus shuttle bus directly between the airport and Via Santa Caterina in the centre of Florence, taking around 20 minutes. It runs daily 0530—0030, with a one-way ticket €6 or a return €10.
A slightly quicker but significantly more expensive option is to get a taxi. These are available throughout the day and night in front of the terminal on arrival. Fixed rates to the centre of Florence are €22 in the daytime, €25.30 at night and €24 on public holidays. There is also a €1 luggage supplement.
If you want your own wheels to explore Florence’s surroundings, it’s best to pre-book car-hire.
For as long as the Mona Lisa remains in the hallowed halls of the Louvre in Paris, the most famous Florentine work of art not to have flown the nest will be Michelangelo’s masterpiece and perhaps the world’s most famous sculpture, David, in the Galleria dell’Accademia.
Florence’s famous cathedral is as recognisable as any of the artworks to have come out of the city, with its towering cupola and red-tiled roof. The fourth-largest cathedral in the world, it’s just as impressive inside as out, with frescoes that are masterpieces in their own right, including Vasari’s The Last Judgement.
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella
Perhaps Florence’s second most famous church after the Duomo, this is only ‘novella’ or ‘new’ by Florence’s standards – it was consecrated in 1420. Nevertheless, it’s beautifully preserved, and home to countless priceless artworks by the likes of Botticelli, Brunelleschi and Vasari.
One of the pre-eminent art galleries in the world can be found in Piazza della Signoria. Each year, millions of visitors shuffle through its colonnaded entrance hall to see countless masterpieces from the Renaissance, Dutch masters and more. Artists represented include Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Leonardo.
The most famous of Florence’s palazzos dates back to the early 14th century and has been the seat of Florence’s political power ever since, including through the reign of the notorious Medici dynasty. The Roman ruins of Florentia can also be seen in the underground level.