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FREE Florence ATTRACTIONS

FREE THINGS TO DO IN Florence

Top Florence Attractions Free

Best Free Things To Do in Florence - 2018

1. Basilica di San Miniato del Monte (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

This stunning Romanesque structure is located on a hill just outside the city centre. Be prepared for a good bit of walking to get there, but it’s well worth it for the fantastic views over Florence as well as the church itself.

It was built between the 11th and 13th centuries in honour of St Miniato, a Christian martyr who was said to have been thrown to a panther in the Amphitheatre, but the panther refused to attack him. He was then beheaded by the Roman Emperor and apparently picked up his head and walked up the hill to the spot where the Basilica now stands. It is rumoured that his bones are contained in the crypt.

The church is decorated with wonderful frescoes, mosaics, and a painted pavement depicting the signs of the Zodiac. There is a shop selling liqueurs and honeys made by the Olivetan monks who have occupied the Basilica since 1373.


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2. Cathedral of Florence (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Entitled the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, this cathedral with its massive brick dome is a world famous symbol of Florence. It was constructed over a 140-year period, although the dome (Duomo) was not added until almost the end of this time. The facade of magnificent red, green and white marble was added in the 19th century.

The complex, situated in the Piazza del Duomo (link), also includes the Campanile bell tower (link) and the Baptistry (link). It’s free to go in the Cathedral, but for a combined ticket you can climb up inside the Duomo, as well as visit the bell tower and Baptistry. It’s well worth it for the stunning views over the city and a closer look at the fresco on the walls of the Dome depicting the Last Judgement.

There is an array of priceless artwork in the main Cathedral, including 44 stained glass windows by Donatello among others, and the painting Dante Before the City of Florence.

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3. Squares of Florence (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

There is a wealth of beautiful squares in Florence, all with different features and points of interest. Let’s start with the famous Piazza del Duomo. Here you will find the Cathedral (link), Campanile (link) and Baptistry (link), as well as Dante’s Stone where according to legend the great poet lay and commented on the building of the Cathedral.

The Piazza della Repubblica features the Column of Abundance with a statue of the goddess Dovizia. Piazza della Signoria was a place of execution and features an engraving of a condemned man, apparently by Michelangelo. Piazza del San Lorenzo features a market (link) and a statue of Giovanni delle Bande Nere.

Piazza del Carmine has many bars and clubs. Piazza Santa Maria Novella, where the Walking Tour starts (link), has a sculpture of the meeting between the Dominicans, who built the Church of Santa Maria Novella (link) and the Franciscans, who built a homeless shelter on the other side. This ended years of hostility.

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4. Green Florence (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

There is an abundance of beautiful green spaces in Florence: over 200 parks and gardens where you can wander and take in the scenery and gorgeous views. Let’s look at a few of those available for free.

First of all, there is the Cascine Park, the largest in Florence. It has sporting facilities including running, swimming and tennis, and also hosts a popular market (link) every Tuesday.

The Piazza Tasso, located in the Oltrarno area, is a popular space which only gets busier towards nightfall, as there are no closing hours. It has a “calcetto” (5 on 5 football pitch), benches and picnic tables, as well as a bar enclosed in the medieval city wall on one side.

The Piazza d’Azeglio is a 19th century park near to the Sant’Ambrogio market. It’s great for kids, with an original carousel and more recent playground equipment.

The Carraia on Via dell’Erta Canina is an expansive space with football pitches, playgrounds and an impressive 19th century stairwell.

Please see Cascine Market (link) for directions to Cascine Park; the notes below refer to Piazza Tasso.

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5. Florence Walking Tour (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

This highly popular tour provides an ideal introduction to this beautiful city. Two tours operate every day: the Renaissance Tour at 11am and the Medici Tour at 2pm, both meeting at Santa Maria Novella church (link).

These tours feature knowledgeable and friendly guides who can offer a wealth of information on the sights being seen. They operate on a tips-only basis, so you only pay what you think the tour is worth.

The Renaissance Tour takes in many of the major landmarks of the Renaissance era, including the Duomo of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (link) and Piazza della Signoria, and ends at the Church of Santa Croce (link), with many more along the way.

The Medici Tour looks at buildings associated with the great Medici family such as the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, and Palazzo Pitti (link).

Each tour lasts between 1.5 to 2 hours, so sensible walking shoes are advised.


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6. San Lorenzo Market (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

This popular market specialises in leather goods and is a great place to pick up a present for yourself and others. It occupies the streets around San Lorenzo church, with a multitude of stalls where haggling is encouraged. You can pick up a leather jacket for 100-150€ as well as tourist t-shirts, belts, wallets, tapestries, jewellery, shoes, handbags and more, often at lower prices than in the shops. If you buy several items from one vendor, there is more chance of them lowering the price.

It’s a colourful and lively place to wander about. As with any crowded area, make sure to be on your guard for pickpockets; and don’t buy from walking vendors or people selling goods on the pavement. If you keep this in mind, you can spend a pleasant hour or so here and there’s a definite satisfaction in acquiring a quality item at a knockdown price.


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7. Mercato delle Cascine (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Situated in the expansive Cascine Park next to the Arno River, this market takes place every Tuesday. There is a huge number of stalls selling everything from clothing, shoes, fruit and veg and homeware to antiques and souvenirs. It’s known as the cheapest market in town, and opens only on Tuesdays from 7am-2pm. Get there early to grab the best bargains. On a summer’s day, it’s great to wander through the stalls and take in the sights and sounds, followed by a stroll through the park.

The park was created by the Medici family as a farming estate. The name originates from “cascio” meaning cows, as these animals were kept here. In the 18th century, fountains, pavilions and an amphitheatre were built, and the park was opened to the public in the early 19th century. In August 2013, a new visitor centre was opened. The park also has many sporting facilities including tennis, football, cycling and swimming.


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8. Etruscan Tomb of La Montagnola (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

This fascinating burial site dating from the 7th century BC is located about 15km from Florence city centre, in Sesto Fiorentino.

Discovered in 1959, the complex consists of a covered passageway or “dromos” with a “tholos” chamber, featuring a false dome constructed with a central pillar and a series of concentric stone circles, joined at the top.

It is one of the best preserved examples of the numerous Etruscan tombs found along the River Arno, alongside the nearby Mula tomb. It is likely that La Montagnola was the resting place of Etruscan nobles, and the design shows that they were an advanced race, on a par with the Ancient Egyptians. It’s well worth a day trip out of Florence.


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9. Little Piggy Market (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

This market in Loggia del Mercato Nuovo is so named for the bronze statue of a boar, known as Il Porcellino, that sits in a fountain here. A popular symbol of Florence, it is traditional to put a coin into the boar’s mouth, which then falls through to the grating below, and rub its snout to guarantee a return to Florence. This has kept his nose and shiny while the rest of him has faded. It’s a very popular activity, often with a queue of people.

The market itself is smaller in size than San Lorenzo (link), but is still a great place to pick up souvenirs including straw items, handstitched embroidery, leather wares, t-shirts, wooden pieces and flowers. Haggling is encouraged in order to secure a great bargain. Across the street from the market is a lovely bookshop featuring a large selection of English language titles on a central table.


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10. Oblate Library and Cafeteria (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

This is a popular meeting spot for Florentines and visitors alike and has fantastic views of the Duomo (link). Located in a former convent, the building represents an intriguing marriage of old and new architecture. Its original cloisters with Gothic capitals are still visible as part of the complex which was opened in 2007, inspired by Paris’ Pompidou Centre.

As well as a huge range of books, there are several interesting features in the library. The Section of Conservation and Local History on the ground floor holds a collection of documents from Florence’s past. There is a Museum of Prehistory on the first floor, which also contains three large reading rooms with free internet access.

The cafeteria on the second floor has inexpensively priced refreshments, a brunch service and also hosts concerts. Also on this floor is the original washing terrace from the convent and the children’s section which holds regular workshops for kids.


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Day Trip to Siena, San Gimignano and Greve in Chianti

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Duration: 11 Hours

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3.5 (580 Reviews)

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Cinque Terre: Full Day Train and Boat Tour from Florence

Bestseller

Duration: 12/13 Hours

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5 (3,042 Reviews)

Cinque Terre: Full Day Train and Boat Tour from Florence Tickets

Florence Walking Tour and Skip the Line Uffizi Museum

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Duration: 3.5 Hours

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4.5 (681 Reviews)

Florence Walking Tour and Skip the Line Uffizi Museum Tickets

Chianti Half Day Afternoon Tour

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Duration: 6 Hours

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4.5 (1,585 Reviews)

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Florence Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour Ticket

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Duration: 24, 48, or 72 Hours

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4.5 (1,535 Reviews)

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Uffizi Gallery Ticket and Tour - Skip the Line

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Duration: 1.5/2 Hours

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4.5 (27, 312 Reviews)

Uffizi Gallery Ticket and Tour - Skip the Line Tickets

Florence: Duomo Guided Tour and Reserves Cupola Entrance

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Duration: 2.5 Hours

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5 (34 Reviews)

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Florence: Timed/Skip the Line Entrance Ticket to the Uffizi Gallery

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Duration: 1/2 Hours

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4.5 (669 Reviews)

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Michelangelo's David Guided Tour (Skip the Line Florence Accademia Gallery Tour)

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Duration: 1 Hour

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4.5 (170 Reviews)

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Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse

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Duration: 6/7 Hours

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5 (12,790 Reviews)

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Florence Cheese and Wine Tasting

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Duration: 1 Hour

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4.5 (220 Reviews)

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Self-Drive Vintage Fiat 500 Tour from Florence

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Duration: 4 Hours

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5 (559 Reviews)

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Florence Vespa Tour

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Duration: 4 Hours

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5 (694 Reviews)

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Personalized Uffizi Gallery Skip the Line Tour

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Duration: 3 Hours

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5 (128 Reviews)

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Tuscany Sightseeing Tour in One Day

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Duration: 12 Hours

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4.5 (319 Reviews)

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Pisa Half-Day Trip with Leaning Tower Skip-the-Line Entry

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Duration: 5 Hours

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4.5 (18,126 Reviews)

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Small Group Tuscany Wine-Tasting Tour

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Duration: 6 Hours

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5 (956 Reviews)

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Small Group Cooking Class with Florence Market Tour

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Duration: 5.5 Hours

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5 (570 Reviews)

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Florence Bike Tour

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Duration: 2.5 Hours

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4.5 (279 Reviews)

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Best of Florence Walking Tour Including Visits to Accademia and Duomo

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Duration: 3 Hours

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4.5 (685 Revieews)

Best of Florence Walking Tour Including Visits to Accademia and Duomo Tickets

Palazzo Vecchio Tower Ticket

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Duration: 2 Hours

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4.5 (7,542 Reviews)

Palazzo Vecchio Tower Ticket Tickets

Skip the Line Uffizi and Accademia Gallery Tour Florence

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Duration: 2.5-3 Hours

2018 - Compare Prices from Tiqets, Ticketbar, Viator, GetYourGuide...

4.5 (2,001 Reviews)

Skip the Line Uffizi and Accademia Gallery Tour Florence Tickets

 


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