Florence is a unique city that needs no introduction. Every corner hides a surprise, every view looks like a postcard, but if you don't have much time or don't know how to choose what to do and what to see, here is a top 10 of the truly unmissable attractions of Florence, arranged according to an ideal itinerary to be followed on foot or by bike.

10 Central Market

In the heart of Florence there is a historic covered market, an iron and glass building dating back to 1874. The designer is the architect Mengoni, who also designed the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan. In 2014 the market has been brought to life again, on the second floor of the building. Today it is very popular among tourists and locals; here is where you can taste or buy a multitude of Km 0 foods and drinks, to get to know and appreciate the rich Tuscan and Italian culinary tradition.

9 Piazza del Duomo

Not even ten minutes from the Central Market there is Piazza del Duomo. An open-air museum that contains some of the most important art treasures of the world. Santa Maria del Fiore is a beautiful church surmounted by Brunelleschi's famous dome, the most iconic element of the Florence skyline. Next to it is the equally famous Giotto's bell tower, covered with polychrome marble typical of the Tuscan Romanesque, enriched by sculptures by artists such as Donatello and Luca Della Robbia. In front of the church there is the baptistery, one of the oldest places of worship in the city, supposed to be originally a pagan temple dedicated to Mars. Today we can admire the two-colored marbles, the bronze doors designed by Ghiberti and Pisano and inside the awesome golden dome covered by the fourteenth-century mosaic that represents the Last Judgment. Many artists took part to the realization of the mosaic, including Cimabue.

8 Dante's House

In via Santa Margherita, near Torre della Castagna, in one of the oldest areas of medieval Florence, there is a charming building that houses the Casa di Dante museum. The building is a reconstruction of the twentieth century, but it stands exactly where the properties of the Alighieri family were and where Dante was born, in 1265. Inside there is a small museum of three floors that retraces the stages of life and career of the great Florentine poet and where you can also admire a copy of the Divina Commedia of the fourteenth century.

7 Santa Croce

If you keep on walking through the alleys of the ancient city you'll soon arrive at Piazza Santa Croce, where is a church of the same name, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio. It is one of the most prestigious examples of Tuscan Gothic and contains priceless artworks, such as the frescoes by Giotto, the bas-relief of the Annunciation by Donatello, sculptures by Canova and much more. This church also has another peculiarity, it is considered the arists' pantheon. Here lie Michelangelo, Ugo Foscolo, Gioacchino Rossini, Galielo Galilei and there is also the cenotaph of Dante, who is buried in Ravenna.

6 Piazza della Signoria

Returning towards the Arno river you will find Palazzo Vecchio, the main building of Piazza della Signoria. Its construction dates back to the years between the 13th and 14th centuries and thanks to its original shape it has become the model for all public buildings subsequently built in Tuscany. Its tower is 95 meters high and dominates the square, from its top you can enjoy a beautiful view over the city. In the same square there is also the Loggia della Signoria, or Loggia dei Lanzi. Originally it was used by the speakers who spoke to the crowd on official occasions, but from the 16th century onwards it was used as an outdoor gallery of statues. Even now the square hosts some beautiful sculptures by Donatello and Cellini, plus a copy of Michelangelo's David, whose original version is in the Galleria dell'Accademia.

5 Uffizi Gallery

Close to Piazza della Signoria there is another place which is an unmissable destination for those visiting Florence: the Uffizi Gallery. It's actually a huge museum complex that includes the Gallery of Statues and Paintings, the Vasari Corridor and Palazzo Pitti. It is one of the richest and most complete art collections in the world, with masterpieces by Raphael, Botticelli, Tiziano, Caravaggio and many other Italian or foreign artists. The collection of statues is equally important, with sculptures from every era, starting from ancient Roma.

4 Ponte Vecchio

A few meters from the Uffizi is the Lungarno. From the Arno's riverside you can admire a picturesque external view of Ponte Vecchio, another one of the many Florence's famous symbols. Since the Middle Ages, the famous covered bridge has housed many artisans' workshops. Once they were butchers and greengrocers, later replaced by goldsmiths. Even today, in fact, there are numerous historic jewelers. In the middle of the bridge, the shops give way to two panoramic terraces, on one of which there is a bronze monument dedicated to Benvenuto Cellini, the most important goldsmith in Florence.

3 Boboli Garden

Once you have crossed Ponte Vecchio, you will find yourself on the opposide side of the Arno and near to a wonderful green oasis. Here the Medici family created the prototype of the Italian-style garden, with straight avenues that define regular spaces. The whole area of the Boboli Garden is adorned with statues, caves and fountains to which other buildings have been added over the centuries, such as the beautiful rococo pavilion of the Kaffeehaus.

2 Piazzale Michelangelo

On the same Arno's bank there is a magnificent panoramic terrace from which you can enjoy an awesome view of Florence and its river. Piazzale Michelangelo was designed to celebrate the great artist's genius, in fact it also includes a building that should have been a museum. Actually, the square has never played its original role, but due to its privileged position it remains one of the most visited places in town. It can be reached by bus or car, alternatively there is a pleasant walk that leads to the viewpoint from Piazza Poggi, along the wide marble staircase.

1 San Miniato al Monte

Going up the hill beyond Piazzale Michelangelo, along Via delle Porte Sante, you can easily reach the church of San Miniato al Monte, on the highest point of the city. Its beautiful facade made by white and green marble, in pure Tuscan Romanesque, is visible almost from all over Florence. The night lighting makes the view from the riverside particularly charming. The monumental complex also includes the cemetery where several famous people are buried, including Carlo Collodi, the author of Pinocchio.

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