Florence is Italy’s most visited city after Venice and one of the culturally richest places in Italy, and there are lots of things to do. Luckily for both locals and tourists, there are a lot of places you can visit for free, such as parks and museums, as well as some of the most stunning cathedrals you can observe the skyline from. Here are some of the best place to visit in Florence for free.
Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Repubblica & Piazza della Signoria
Since Florence is an open-air museum, going for a walk in the city centre is a unique experience in itself… and it’s free! You can start from Piazza del Duomo, admire Florence’s main symbol, Brunelleschi’s Dome, and Giotto’s Bell tower. You can then walk along Via Roma and reach Piazza della Repubblica, where the Roman arch stands, and reach Piazza della Signoria, where you can see a copy of Michelangelo’s David, and, in the Loggia dei Lanzi, Giambologna’s and Cellini’s masterpieces, as well as Neptune’s fountain. Of course, these are Florence’s main squares, but you can also visit San Lorenzo, Santa Croce and all Florence’s neighborhoods to become as knowledgeable as a local.
San Miniato al Monte
San Miniato al Monte is one of Florence’s most important churches; located on the top of the city, it overlooks Florence’s city centre and the surrounding hills. You can visit the romanic abbey and listen to an impressive mass accompanied by the monks’ chants and music. You can also visit the cemetery (timetable) where some of the main characters of Florence’s history are buried, such as painter Ottone Rosai, designer Enrico Coveri, writer Carlo Collodi and more, and get a souvenir hand-made by the monks from the shop next to the church.
Don't you wish you knew more about things to Do in Florence in December?
Last Supper in Monasteries
The Cenacle or Last Supper is a scene that many artists, even before Leonardo Da Vinci, painted in both paintings and monastery frescoes. Even though not all Florence’s cenacles can be seen with a free entry ticket, you can visit quite a few of them, including the ones in Sant’Apollonia, San Salvi, the Convitto della Calza and the Ognissanti Monastery.
First Sunday of the month (October / March)
Between October and March, Florence’s main museums open their doors on the first Sunday of the month. The initiative ‘Domenica al museo’ aims at encouraging people to learn more about the arts and the masterpieces Florence has to offer. The museums sticking to the initiative are the Uffizi, Cappelle Medicee, Accademia, Bargello and Palazzo Pitti.
Piazzale Michelangelo and Giardino delle Rose
Piazzale Michelangelo is Florence’s main vantage point and observatory. Of course, since it’s a public square, you can visit it for free, take pictures of the landscape and have aperitif with a view. It’s worth visiting the Piazzale to watch the sunset and enjoy the summer breeze. Since you’re at Piazzale Michelangelo, why not stop at Giardino delle Rose as well? Florence’s rose garden was constructed during Giuseppe Poggi’s renovation and Europeanization of the city in the 1800s. It hosts a terrace you can see Florence’s bridges from, a Japanese garden and some bronze and chalk statues by French artist Jean-Michel Folon.
Last but not least The Cascine Park, or in other words Florence’s biggest park. This is the perfect spot to go for a family picnic, a romantic walk or to play sports. A lot of locals like to come here to go jogging, cycle or simply work out. You can even rent rollerblades at Le Pavoniere and skate along the park’s tracks
©Photo Credits: Photo by Faruk Kaymak; Photo by Simon Rae; Photo by Meejin Choi