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5 Free Things to do in Florence

Florence is Tuscany’s romantic and enchanting capital city. To discover Florence is to experience world class art, culture, history and of course, food and wine. While its magnificence can be enjoyed simply by walking through its streets and across the bridges, America Domani has put together a shortlist of our favorite free things to do in the Renaissance city, so they can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of budget.

The Duomo di Firenze

The most iconic stop in Tuscany’s jewel is the Duomo di Firenze or its official name, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Entrance to the cathedral is free! This church is one of the only free church entries in the entire city. Construction of the cathedral began in 1296 and was completed in 1436. The project was sponsored by the famous Medici family and the church is probably most famous for its dome was engineered by Brunelleschi. Once you’re inside there are some paid activities available: climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome, visit Giotto’s Bell Tower, explore the museum & baptistry, and enjoy the Duomo’s terraces.

Catch the Views from Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo is the place to go if you want to see the magical skyline of Florence. Just outside of the city center, this panoramic viewpoint will surely take your breath away. Today, the piazza is filled with tourists, vendors, and a bronze replica statue of Michelangelo's David. If you find yourself in the city center of Florence, you can walk up to the Piazzale Michelangelo or you have the option to take the bus. We recommend taking advantage of this gorgeous spot for a picnic!

Wander Through the Markets

Get lost in the daily and weekly markets of Florence and soak in local life. Not only are the markets the perfect place for finding treasures, but they’re also filled with local Tuscan produce, wine, and leather goods, making any market the ideal stop for unique gifts to bring home. If you happen to be staying in the city for a while, we recommend shopping at the food markets for better deals and fresher ingredients.

See Ponte Vecchio

It’s impossible to visit Florence without making a stop to see its famous medieval landmark, one of the most well-known bridges in Europe. Ponte Vecchio offers majestic views of the Arno river and what makes it unique, even today, are the shops you can visit on the bridge. If jewelry is your thing, you will most certainly want to buy yourself something special on top of Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

Visit the Ville Medicee

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, you can visit 3 of the Medici Villas for free: Villa Medicea di Castello, Villa Medicea di Petraia and its gardens as well as Villa Medicea di Cerreto Guidi and its gardens. These villas and gardens are some of the most ancient “suburban” residences that were occupied by the Medici family. They used these spaces as their countryside homes or hunting lodges. If you enjoy Renaissance architecture, you will not want to miss these sites. You can visit them for free on Mondays and Saturdays.

Arianna DiCicco

Arianna DiCicco is an educator and writer from California, born into an Italian American restaurant family with strong ties to her grandparents’ home in Abruzzo, Italy. She has lived in San Francisco, Rome and New York City where she’s made deep connections within the Italian communities and gained new perspectives about her own culture. With a Masters in International Education, Arianna has a love and passion for learning and educating others about Italian history & culture.