The church of *San Lorenzo (map) contains the Medici Chapel, the mausoleum of the *Medici family — the most powerful family in Florence from the 15th to the 18th century. Nearby is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the finest art museums in the world – founded on a large bequest from the last member of the Medici family.
Uffizi Gallery (map). The artworks are on the first and second floors, they keep the lifts well hidden. Highlights include Birth of Venus by Boticelli, Dukes of Urbino by della Francesca, Medusa by Caravaggio, Venus of Urbino by Titian, Annunciation by da Vinci, Pope Leo X and family by Raphael, Velasquez’ self-portrait, Rembrandt’s final self-portrait, and many other big names.
*Bargello (map). Museum houses some of the best Renaissance and Mannerist sculpture. Big names here include Michelangelo, Donatello, Ammannati, Bandinelli, Andrea and Jacopo Sansovino, Desiderio da Settignano, Giambologna, and Antonio Rossellino.
Galleria dell’Accademia (map). Highlights are Michelangelo’s original David (the one in Piazza della Signoria is a copy) and his unfinished Slaves. It also includes Florentine painting, a museum of musical instruments, and Russian icons.
Palazzo Pitti (map). It’s now divided into four museums (same ticket): ground floor is the Treasury of the Grand Dukes; first floor houses the Palatine Gallery and the Royal and Imperial Apartments, second floor is the Modern Art Gallery and the Museum of Costume and Fashion. The Boboli gardens are just behind the palazzo.
Stroll the Boboli Gardens (map). These extensive gardens behind the Pitti palace provide excellent views of the city of Florence and numerous sculptures in a relaxed environment. Stop in the hilltop café, grab a drink and a seat outside and enjoy the view.
Museo Novecento (map). Gallery of 20th & 21st-century art, on three floors of palazzo.
Old town centre
Palazzo Vecchio (map). Old city palace/city hall, adorned with fine art. The replica of Michelangelo’s “David” is placed outside the main door in the original location of the statue, which is a symbol of the Comune of Florence.
Santa Croce (map). Contains the monumental tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Dante, Rossini, and many other notables in addition to artistic decorations.
Santa Maria Novella (map). A beautiful church with great artwork, including a restored Trinity by Masaccio. Also, the Chiostro Verde, to your left when facing the front entrance of the church, contains frescoes by Paolo Uccello which are quite unusual in style and well worth seeing, if the separate entrance is open.