Tips and tricks for exploring the Tuscan capital on foot, even if you have limited time.
10 Aug 2020
Florence is one of Italy’s most magical cities, full of views to discover, perfect for a visit on foot. Nooks and crannies in and around the city’s central streets are packed with charm, acting as a magnet for tourists’ and inhabitants’ curiosity. Let’s head out and explore the town on foot, walking routes that take us through beautiful alleyways, lanes and squares. We start from the old town centre, the beating heart of the city, touching on all of its best-known and most famous sites via charming, evocative streets.
The Old Town.
The best way to start our walking tour is from the streets of old Florence. Our starting landmark is the Duomo and everything around it. From here, we continue towards the Campanile di Giotto belltower where, on the north-east side of the square, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo rises majestically. Inside, it contains artworks and artefacts of great historical and artistic value, including the Baptistery’s original gold doors.
The museum becomes the starting point for another beautiful walk: along Via del Proconsolo, Via del Presto di San Martino and Via Santa Margherita, to the Dante House Museum, an almost sacred place where the famous poet lived for a number of years during his troubled times in Florence. At the next intersection, take Via Dante Alighieri on the left, and then continue along Via del Proconsolo.
Here, on the left, we come to the delightful Via Ghibellina, which opens out at the famous Bargello museum. From here, we proceed towards Via dei Gondi to Piazza Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi – all marvels worth admiring inside and out! The picture-perfect walk takes us towards Via Calzaiuoli and the beautiful Church of Orsanmichele, famous for the masterful sculptures that adorn its walls, including Andrea del Verrocchio’s Incredulity of St. Thomas from the late fifteenth century.
Next, head straight on to Via Sant’Elisabetta, a side street off Via del Corso. This very narrow, typically Florentine alley, poorly-lit and not asphalted, is packed with small independent shops full of inspiring things to browse. Once the shopping’s done, we head towards Via del Oche, continuing along Via del Studio to Piazza del Duomo, and that is where we finish our first Florentine foray!
Staying in the centre of Florence.
To enjoy the magic of Florence for a few days, Leone Blu Suites | UNA Esperienze welcomes you with an exclusive collection of nine unique suites. Moreover, Gruppo UNA suggests a comfortable stay in its charming, modern UNAHOTELS Vittoria Firenze, a beautiful structure whose interiors were designed by famous architect Fabio Novembre.
On the far bank of the Arno.
Our tour of Florence’s hidden corners continues on the far bank of the Arno river. Starting from Ponte Vecchio, take Via dei Guicciardini to Palazzo Pitti. Along the way, stop in at the Gothic Church of San Felicita, which has a crucifix attributed to Giotto, frescoes by Pontormo, and other stunning works.
Further on, we reach Piazza di San Felice with its small tower. Take Via Mazzetta towards the beautiful Piazza di Santo Spirito, a large green space enlivened by clubs, bars and restaurants - a great place for R&R, relaxation and refreshments.
Via de Michelozzi, which comes into the square from the right, is another area packed with pubs and restaurants, with local delicacies at every corner! From here, turn left into Via di Maggio and head back to the Arno river at Santa Trinita bridge.
Our journey may be nearly at an end, but we still have time for a final piece of the puzzle: the beautiful Palazzo di Bianca Cappella, a splendid 16th-century building that makes people’s hearts soar.
Staying in Tuscany.
Florence is as beautiful as can be, but it is also a perfect starting point for a longer journey to discover Tuscany. We highly recommended the elegant Relais Villa Grazianella | UNA Esperienze di Montepulciano residence, in the enchanting Siena hills, where guests star in their own unique and restorative experience. The complex has its own wine-tasting room, and a wine shop to explore the fine wines made around these parts. We’d also like to suggest another fine residence nestled in the Tuscan hills: UNAHOTELS Poggio dei Medici Toscana, a magical place for an unforgettable stay. Amenities include a large golf course, a wellness and fitness centre, and spacious rooms and suites equipped with all mod cons.