13 Best Things to do in Florence in summer
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13 Best Things to do in Florence in summer

13 Best Things to Do in Summer in Florence

Summer in Florence is a magical time, with the city coming alive with vibrant colors, delightful scents, and a plethora of activities that cater to every type of traveler. Whether you're an art lover, a history buff, or just someone looking to soak up the sun in one of Europe's most beautiful cities, Florence has something for you. Here are the 13 best things to do in Florence in summer to make your visit unforgettable.

1. Explore the Uffizi Gallery

No Florence city tour is complete without a visit to the Uffizi Gallery. This world-renowned museum is home to an extensive collection of Renaissance art, including masterpieces by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Botticelli. During summer, the gallery is less crowded early in the morning or late in the afternoon, so plan your visit accordingly.

2. Stroll Through Boboli Gardens

When it comes to Florence sightseeing, the Boboli Gardens should be high on your list. These beautifully landscaped gardens behind the Pitti Palace offer a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Wander through the manicured lawns, admire the classical sculptures, and enjoy the panoramic views of Florence.

3. Climb the Duomo

One of the most iconic landmarks in Florence, the Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is a must-see. In summer, the climb to the top of the dome is a bit challenging due to the heat, but the breathtaking views of the city make it all worthwhile. Remember to book your tickets in advance to avoid long lines.

4. Enjoy a Gelato

Summer in Florence wouldn’t be complete without indulging in some authentic Italian gelato. Head to Gelateria dei Neri or La Carraia for some of the best flavors in the city. With countless gelaterias around, you can make it a fun mission to try a new flavor every day!

5. Take a Florence Walking Tour

A Florence walking tour is a fantastic way to explore the city's historic center. Many tours are available, from general city tours to specialized ones focusing on art, history, or even food. Walking through the cobblestone streets, you'll discover hidden gems and learn fascinating stories about Florence's rich past.

6. Visit the Accademia Gallery

Home to Michelangelo’s David, the Accademia Gallery is another must-visit for art lovers. While the main attraction is undoubtedly the statue of David, the museum also houses other impressive works of Renaissance art. Summer is peak tourist season, so it's wise to book tickets in advance.

7. Wander Around Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria is Florence's political hub and a great spot for people-watching. The square is lined with impressive sculptures, including a replica of Michelangelo’s David. It's also home to the Palazzo Vecchio, the city’s town hall, which you can explore to learn more about Florence's history.

8. Cross Ponte Vecchio

The oldest and most famous bridge in Florence, Ponte Vecchio, is a picturesque spot perfect for a leisurely stroll. The bridge is lined with shops selling jewelry, art, and souvenirs. In summer, the golden hour just before sunset provides a magical backdrop for photos.

9. Relax at Piazzale Michelangelo

For the best panoramic view of Florence, head to Piazzale Michelangelo. This elevated square offers stunning vistas of the city, especially at sunset. It's a bit of a hike to get there, but the view is worth it. Pack a picnic and enjoy the scenery!

10. Discover the Oltrarno District

Crossing the Arno River to the Oltrarno district provides a different perspective on Florence. This area is known for its artisan workshops, quaint cafes, and lively markets. Visit the Basilica di Santo Spirito and enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the local trattorias.

11. Visit the Bargello Museum

The Bargello Museum, housed in a former barracks and prison, is often overlooked but is a treasure trove of Renaissance sculpture. Here, you'll find works by Donatello, Michelangelo, and other notable artists. The museum is less crowded than the Uffizi and Accademia, making it a great option for a relaxed visit.

12. Experience the San Lorenzo Market

For a taste of local life, visit the San Lorenzo Market. The indoor market, known as Mercato Centrale, is perfect for sampling Tuscan specialties, while the outdoor market offers everything from leather goods to souvenirs. It's a lively spot that captures the essence of summer in Florence.

13. Take a Day Trip to Tuscany

While Florence itself is a treasure trove of attractions, consider taking a day trip to the Tuscan countryside. Vineyards, rolling hills, and charming villages are just a short drive away. Join a tour or rent a car to explore places like Chianti, Siena, or San Gimignano. A Florence city tour often includes options for these delightful excursions.

Insider Tips for Summer in Florence

Stay Hydrated: Florence can get quite hot in summer, so carry a bottle of water with you and take advantage of the city's numerous water fountains.

Dress Comfortably: Wear light, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes, especially if you plan on a lot of walking.

Beat the Heat: Plan indoor activities like museum visits during the hottest part of the day and explore the outdoor attractions in the early morning or late afternoon.

Use Public Transport: Florence is a walkable city, but the public transport system is efficient if you need a break from walking.

Book in Advance: Summer is peak tourist season, so book tickets for major attractions and tours in advance to avoid long queues.

Useful Tips and Hidden Gems for Summer in Florence

Where to Stay

Choosing the right accommodation can significantly enhance your summer in Florence. Here are a few recommendations for different preferences:

Luxury: If you want to splurge, consider staying at the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze. This stunning hotel is housed in a historic building and offers a lush private garden, perfect for relaxing after a day of Florence sightseeing.

Mid-Range: Hotel Spadai is centrally located and offers modern amenities with a touch of Florentine charm. It's a great base for exploring the city on foot.

Budget: For budget-conscious travelers, Plus Florence offers affordable dormitory and private rooms with excellent facilities, including a rooftop pool to cool off during the hot summer days.

Getting Around

Florence is a compact city, and most of its attractions are within walking distance. However, here are some tips to make getting around even easier:

Walking: The best way to explore Florence is on foot. The city’s narrow streets and charming alleys are best experienced at a leisurely pace.

Public Transport: Florence has an efficient bus system operated by ATAF. Tickets can be purchased at newsstands, tabacchi shops, or via mobile apps.

Bike Rentals: For a fun and eco-friendly way to get around, consider renting a bike. Companies like Florence by Bike offer rentals and guided bike tours.

Electric Scooters: Electric scooters are becoming increasingly popular in Florence. You can find them scattered around the city and unlock them using a mobile app.

Dining Like a Local

Florence's culinary scene is rich and varied, offering everything from street food to fine dining. Here are some must-try experiences:

Trattorias and Osterias: For an authentic Florentine meal, dine at a local trattoria or osteria. Places like Trattoria Mario and Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori serve traditional Tuscan dishes that will delight your taste buds.

Street Food: Don’t miss trying a panino con lampredotto, a traditional Florentine sandwich made with tripe. Visit Nerbone in the Mercato Centrale for one of the best.

Gelato: Florence is known for its gelato, and some of the best places include Gelateria La Carraia, Gelateria dei Neri, and Vivoli.

Festivals and Events

Summer in Florence is packed with festivals and events that add to the city's vibrant atmosphere:

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino: This annual music festival, held from April to July, features opera, classical music, and ballet performances. It's a fantastic way to experience Florence's rich cultural heritage.

Festa di San Giovanni: Celebrated on June 24th, this festival honors Florence’s patron saint, St. John the Baptist. The day includes a historical parade, a rowing race on the Arno River, and a spectacular fireworks display.

Calcio Storico: For a unique and intense experience, watch the Calcio Storico, a historical football match played in Piazza Santa Croce in June. This ancient game is a mix of soccer, rugby, and wrestling and is a must-see for sports enthusiasts.

Off the Beaten Path

While the major attractions are a must-see, don’t miss these lesser-known spots for a more unique experience:

Brancacci Chapel: Located in the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, this chapel features stunning frescoes by Masaccio and Masolino. It’s a hidden gem that offers a quieter alternative to the more crowded sites.

Bardini Garden: Just a short walk from the Boboli Gardens, Bardini Garden offers beautiful terraced gardens and stunning views of Florence. It’s a peaceful retreat away from the bustling city center.

Le Murate: This former convent and prison has been transformed into a cultural hub with art exhibitions, live music, and a variety of restaurants and bars. It’s a great place to experience Florence’s contemporary cultural scene.

Day Trips

If you have more time, consider taking day trips to explore the beautiful Tuscan countryside and nearby cities:

Siena: Known for its medieval architecture and the famous Palio horse race, Siena is just an hour away by train or bus. Wander through the historic center and visit the stunning Siena Cathedral.

Chianti: This renowned wine region is perfect for a day of wine tasting and exploring charming villages. Many tours offer visits to vineyards where you can sample some of the best wines Tuscany has to offer.

Pisa: Home to the iconic Leaning Tower, Pisa is easily accessible by train. Spend a few hours exploring the Piazza dei Miracoli and its impressive monuments before heading back to Florence.

Souvenirs to Take Home

No trip to Florence is complete without bringing back some unique souvenirs:

Leather Goods: Florence is famous for its high-quality leather products. Visit the leather markets or shops like Scuola del Cuoio to find beautiful bags, wallets, and belts.

Pottery: Traditional Tuscan pottery makes for a lovely and practical souvenir. Look for hand-painted ceramics in shops around the city.

Food and Wine: Take home a taste of Tuscany with bottles of local wine, olive oil, or jars of truffle sauce. These make great gifts for friends and family.


Summer in Florence is an experience like no other. From the awe-inspiring art and architecture to the delightful gardens and bustling markets, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're taking a Florence walking tour or exploring the city on your own, these 13 activities will ensure you have a memorable and enjoyable visit. So pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to discover the best of Florence in summer!

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