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There’s so much to do in Florence that even if you stayed for a month, you wouldn’t make a dent in your sightseeing list. From art to shopping, there’s something to see in every piazza. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best things to see and do in Florence:
1. Explore the Uffizi Gallery. It’s one of the most famous museums in the world — and for good reason. Originally built to house administrative and judiciary offices of Florence, the Uffizi is filled with masterpieces by great Italian artists like Botticelli, Michelangelo and Raphael. Spend the day strolling through the halls and ogling the stunning works.
2. Visit the Duomo. Aside from the museums, the Duomo is Florence’s most well-known attraction. The Gothic domed structure towers over the city and is hard to miss. Its pink, green and white marble exterior is beautiful, but the interior is even better. Intricate centuries-old frescoes cover the cathedral walls. The frescoes are so intriguing that you won’t mind the tiring 463-step hike to see them.
3. Walk on the Ponte Vecchio. Spanning across the Arno River, the Ponte Vecchio has stood the test of time. Sure, it has a historic element — rebuilt after a flood in 1345, it’s the only bridge that the Germans didn’t destroy during World War II —but the strip is a must for shopping. Dozens of jewelry shops line the bridge; stop off to buy a gold souvenir.
4. See the David at the Accademia. You’ve seen photos and plenty of replicas, but there’s no substitute for getting a glimpse of Michelangelo’s David in person. The 14-foot-tall white marble sculpture is awe-inspiring. At the museum’s gift shop, you can buy everything from postcards of the more than 500-year-old statute to aprons sporting David’s body on it.
5. Walk around the Boboli Gardens. The Pitti Palace’s Boboli Gardens are a prime example of Tuscan Renaissance landscape architecture and have become the standard for European royal gardens. The 111-acre garden is filled with cypress trees, sculptures and grottos. It’s a great escape from the hordes of tourists who cram the Italian city.