There is so much to see in Florence. We recommend the following highights:
Basilica of Santa Croce: This is a must-see church where you can see many paintings including frescoes and stained glass by Giotto, Donatello’s Annunciation and the tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Dante Alighieri, Gioacchino Rossini and Machiavelli.
Galleria degli Uffizi: This is the famous museum which has many wonderful paintings by Raphael, Michelangelo and Botticelli that are worth seeing. I have mixed feelings about the museum. I have been there three different times. The art is great, but the experience can be horrible. I bought my ticket online. I had to take my confirmation and line-up to get the ticket, then I had to line-up to get in and go through security. The galleries were hot and crowded. The large groups of tourists with guides seemed to take over so it was hard to get close to see the paintings. By the way, the cost to enter is between $25 to $30 and there are no free maps or guides of the museum, since they want you to buy the guidebook.
Palazzo Medici Riccardi: I missed this palace with it beautiful Chapel paintings on my last trip. This time I wanted to make sure I saw it again and was so glad I did.
Museo/Covent of San Marco: This is one of my favorite museums where you can see the amazing works by Fra Angelico. Make sure you go upstairs to see his famous Annunciation and his amazing frescoes in each of the small monk’s rooms.
I always try to see the Duomo, the Baptistery across the street with the beautiful doors known as the Gates of Paradise (the originals are now being restored and protected at the Mueo dell-Opera del Duomo), the Academia to see Michelangelo’s David and the Plaza della Signoria with the cafes, statues and Palazzo Vecchio. The Palazzo Pitti is a great museum also. Behind it are the Boboli gardens where you can walk and see great views of the city.
If you have time, the Masaccio murals in the Brancacci Chapel at Santa maria del Carmine from the 1420’s are outstanding.
Gucci has a museum at Palazzo Mercanzia, on the Piazza della Signoria, about the history of the brand while the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, at the Piazza Santa Trinita 5, has exhibitions that you might enjoy.