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Florence Neighborhood Guide

Florence Neighborhood Guide

Florence has a conveniently compact historic center, with its most famous museums and monuments clustered around the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria. Even in this small area, however, there are a number of distinct neighborhoods, each with a unique history and character. Here are our picks of the most interesting to explore.

San Giovanni

The heart of historic Florence is San Giovanni, home to Florence’s soaring Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (known simply as the Duomo), topped with Brunelleschi’s iconic dome and sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with its matching baptistery and Giotto’s bell tower. After visiting the complex—including the excellent Opera del Duomo museum—stroll south down the luxury boutique-lined Via dei Calzaiuoli to Piazza della Signoria, or north along Via Ricasoli to see Michelangelo’sDavid at the Accademia. 

Piazza della Signoria

In terms of art per square foot, this neighborhood is a winner. The center of Florence’s civic life for centuries, Piazza della Signoria is home to the magnificently decorated Palazzo Signoria city hall, as well as the adjacent treasure troves of the Uffizi Gallery and Bargello Museum. The Arno River runs along the southern border of the neighborhood, and you can walk across the medieval Ponte Vecchio to the trendy Oltrarno on the opposite side.

Oltrarno

Comprising the districts of Santo Spirito, San Niccolò, and San Frediano, Oltrarno is beloved by locals and visitors alike for its pleasing mix of trendy restaurants, historic artisan workshops, and authentic neighborhood atmosphere. The headliner in this cluster of quarters across the Arno River from the city center is Pitti Palace, the Medici’s massive former residence that is now home to a number of excellent museums and Boboli Gardens.

San Marco

North of the central San Giovanni quarter, the San Marco neighborhood is a less bohemian version of Oltrarno, with up-and-coming eateries tucked between artisan shops and corner groceries that have been there for decades. The biggest attraction here is the Accademia, home to Michelangelo’sDavid. Walk just a bit further north to Santa Annunziata to take in the eponymous basilica and Ospedale degli Innocenti, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture.

Santa Maria Novella

Home to Florence’s main train station, this busy quarter is named for the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, a striking Gothic-Renaissance masterpiece that is one of city's most important churches. Take in its beautiful interior chapels and Dominican cloisters, visit the 13th-century Officina Profumo Farmaceutica—one of the oldest pharmacies in the world—and relax with a gelato on one of the benches in the elegant Piazza di Santa Maria Novella. 

San Lorenzo

Bordering both San Giovanni and Santa Maria Novella, the bustling neighborhood of San Lorenzo is Florence’s market district, home to the San Lorenzo street market and the covered Mercato Centrale. Stop in the Renaissance Basilica di San Lorenzo and adjacent Medici chapels to take in some of the city’s finest art and then browse for leather goods, souvenirs, and gourmet treats.

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12 Tours and Activities | All Florence Tours

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Best of Florence Walking Tour with Skip-the-Line at Michelangelo’s ‘David’

Best of Florence Walking Tour with Skip-the-Line at Michelangelo’s ‘David’

star-4.5
Led by an expert guide, experience world-famous artwork and the Renaissance city’s top attractions, including the Ponte Vecchio and the Florence Duomo (from its exterior). As you go, gain insight about Florentine art and architecture from your guide, with audio headsets provided so that you hear everything clearly. Followed by a Skip the Line Access and a pre-reserved entry time at the Accademia Gallery for you so you won’t waste precious time better spent inside, at your own pace. Numbers are limited to 25 during this tour to ensure a small-group experience.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$47.94
Price varies by group size
From
$47.94
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia and Uffizi Gallery Small Group Tour

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia and Uffizi Gallery Small Group Tour

star-4
Skip the line to see two of Florence’s top museums, the Accademia Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery. Led by an expert guide, first pay homage to Michelangelo’s 'David' at the Accademia, heading straight inside with your priority access ticket. Roam the impressive collection of art and opt for an included lunch, if you wish, before heading to the Uffizi Gallery. There, avoid the crowds again with your skip-the-line ticket and enjoy a guided walking tour, pausing at Botticelli’s 'Birth of Venus' and other Renaissance masterpieces.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$116.79
From
$116.79
Taking safety measures

Skip-the-Line Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi's Dome Climb

Skip-the-Line Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi's Dome Climb

star-5
Travel to the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome, Florence’s most iconic attraction, with this skip-the-line entrance ticket and tour. Follow your guide through the cathedral and up to the terraces for an exclusive close-up view of the dome. Explore passages closed to the public and get a magnificent look at the city skyline.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$92.20
From
$92.20
Taking safety measures

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia Gallery Tickets

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia Gallery Tickets

star-4
Enjoy direct access to Florence’s Accademia Gallery with this skip-the-line admission ticket. Explore the home of Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece, the ‘David,’ and see the renowned sculpture up close. Get the chance to admire some of Michelangelo’s unfinished works, including ‘Prigioni,’ along with paintings by Sandro Botticelli and more.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.50
From
$29.50
Taking safety measures

The Duomo Complex and Its Hidden Terraces

The Duomo Complex and Its Hidden Terraces

star-4.5
Unlock the secrets of Florence’s famous Duomo—an architectural marvel designed in the 15th century and the icon of the Renaissance city. Learn about the history of Brunelleschi’s red-roofed dome as you climb to its very top, stopping along the way to explore hidden terraces and chambers not open to the general public. Be rewarded by panoramic views of Florence. Skip-the-line admission includes a guided tour of the cathedral and crypt.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$76.22
From
$76.22
Taking safety measures

Florence City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Florence City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

star-4
Discover Italian art, history and culture on a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Florence. Select a 1-, 2- or 3-day pass and travel around the city’s top attractions, hopping on and off as you like. See the panoramic views from Piazzale Michelangelo, the burial spot of Galileo and Machiavelli at Santa Croce church and more. Your pass includes unlimited rides for the duration selected and 360-degree views from the open air of the upper deck.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.74
From
$22.74
Taking safety measures

Medici Chapels and San Lorenzo Basilica Private Tour

Medici Chapels and San Lorenzo Basilica Private Tour

Learn about the powerful Medici family on a private tour of the Medici Chapels at the Basilica of San Lorenzo. Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, the ornate chapels feature some of Michelangelo's sculptures and first architectural works, along with the marble-lined Chapel of the Princes (Cappella dei Principi) and more.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$221.28
Price varies by group size
From
$221.28
Price varies by group size

Skip the Line: Bargello Museum Ticket

Skip the Line: Bargello Museum Ticket

star-3
Take advantage of skip-the-line entry privileges to the Bargello Museum with this fast-track entrance ticket. Breeze past the crowds to explore the museum and palace, built in the 13th century by the people of Florence as a populist symbol of their victory over the nobility. See the former fortress and arsenal, now home to a large and important collection of Italian sculpture.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.01
From
$22.01
Taking safety measures

Skip the Line: Small group Uffizi Masterclass by an Art Expert

Skip the Line: Small group Uffizi Masterclass by an Art Expert

star-4
Immerse yourself in famous Florentine art with a skip-the-line tour of the Uffizi Gallery and an external tour of the Vasari Corridor, a once-secret passageway used by the Medici family. See masterpieces from Giotto, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Botticelli, and more as you follow your art expert guide through one of the world's most renowned museums.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$84.82
From
$84.82
Taking safety measures

Private Piazza della Signoria and Skip-the-Line Palazzo Vecchio Tour

Private Piazza della Signoria and Skip-the-Line Palazzo Vecchio Tour

star-4
Florence’s Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio are two of the city’s highlights, yet can sometimes take a back seat to the Uffizi and Accademia galleries. This tour gives both the attention they deserve, with a private guide to show you around. Admire the sculptures and architecture of the Piazza della Signoria, including the Loggia dei Lanzi, and enjoy priority access to the Palazzo Vecchio to see its main, art-filled chambers.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$108.18
Price varies by group size
From
$108.18
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Pitti Palace: The Royal Palace of Florence

Pitti Palace: The Royal Palace of Florence

star-4.5
Make the most of a visit to the former home of Florentine rulers and Italian royalty with a private tour of the Pitti Palace. The enormous estate could take days to explore, so avoid aimless wandering and ensure you see the most impressive highlights with a private guide at your disposal. Admire the Medici’s private art collection featuring works by Renaissance masters like Botticelli and Raphael, and get a glimpse of blue-blooded life inside the royal apartments.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$245.87
per group
From
$245.87
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Tour - San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapels

Private Tour - San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapels

Explore San Lorenzo Church and the Medici Chapels on this private guided tour. See the great Renaissance church built by pioneering architect and engineer, Filippo Brunelleschi, and featuring bronze pulpits by Donatello and a library designed by Michelangelo. See more of the legendary sculptor and architect’s work at the church’s Medici Chapels and learn about the Medici family’s important role in Renaissance-era Florence.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$222.28
per group
From
$222.28
per group