It is not a Q of what to do in Florence, it is a Question of how much and when.
With its selection of museums, galleries, boutiques, and storied sites, this Tuscan city has something for everyone, from contemporary art fans and food lovers to sports fans and shoppers.
To experience the Italian city to its fullest, one only need to step into the street.
Here, is a list of a few of my must-sees if and when you travel there, as follows;
Giardino Bardini (pictured above)
Grand in design, intimate in scale; the Giardino Bardini has a pergola-covered stairwell leading up to the Belvedere panoramic terrace. Know that ascending requires a slight effort, the stairs are shallow and long. Plus, the garden does not present anything urgent to do but, stop and smell the flowers.
The Uffizi, an illustrious collection of priceless Renaissance art, is a Florence must-see. And thanks to a curatorial investment by director Eike Schmidt, the Uffizi is slowly modernizing its approach. The newly arranged Rm 41, dubbed the Raphael and Michelangelo Room, now focuses on the artistic exchanges between the two masters; the re-opened Rm 35 is dedicated to Leonardo and displays 3 paintings originally created for churches.
The yesteryear atelier is 1 of those beautiful finds that make you feel like you’re actively involved in creating not just a scent, but Florentine history, as you sniff through the unparalleled collection of raw materials, essential oils, and scents. With the help of Nicola Bianchi, the nose of Aquaflor, you are led through olfactory discovery to create a perfume that is personalized for you.
One of Florence’s best kept secrets, Palazzo Strozzi is a beautiful, freestanding Renaissance palazzo with an ambitious contemporary art program. Whether its Carsten Holler’s latest experimental piece or an Marina Abramovic retrospective, Palazzo Strozzi constantly amazes through innovative, often interactive, exhibitions. Although the historic structure remains intact, the gallery space inside is thoroughly modern and aptly renovated for art shows.
Tuscan Strongholds of Contemporary Art Tour
Tuscan Strongholds of Contemporary Art is a personal tour designed specifically for those interested in modern art in and around Florence. Expert guides plan bespoke itineraries based on travelers’ preferences, leading intimate groups to futuristic buildings and offering their take on the collections within. Most notable: the architecture itself as well as the survey of Arte Povera, Italy’s art movement of the 1960’s.
Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele is always pushing the limits, and this time he blurs the lines between monument and merchant at Gucci Garden, an interactive complex where fashion, food, history, and art commingle. Located in the 14th-Century Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence’s Piazza Signoria, Gucci Garden is Michele’s colorful journey through the Florentine fashion house’s past, present, and future. The multi-level boutique-slash-museum includes a store selling exclusive Gucci Garden designs, a gallery space with contemporary exhibitions, and a ground-floor restaurant by chef Massimo Bottura.
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is a gorgeous and large new museum dedicated to the Dome and Basilica, as well as restoration projects. Home to the largest collection of sculptures from Medieval and Renaissance Florence in the world, this museum has an active restoration lab and school on site. Other highlights include Ghiberti’s doors, Michelangelo’s The Deposition, a model of the original, never-completed façade of Santa Maria del Fiore, and a room dedicated to Brunelleschi’s architectural masterpiece: the Dome of Florence Cathedral.
Enjoy your travels
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