As in most Italian cities, it is a good idea to take Florence‘s famous squares as a starting point for exploring the city. It is on the squares that the most famous churches and historic buildings are usually located. The piazze of Florence are no exception to this rule.
Piazza della Signoria
The Piazza della Signoria, together with Piazza del Duomo, is the most famous square in the city. It is full of statues, the most famous of which is the replica of Michelangelo’s David. The most striking building on the square is the Palazzo Vecchio, which houses a museum.
Piazza del Duomo
The most striking building in Piazza del Duomo is the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, with the Giotto’s Bell Tower and the famous Baptistery. The western part of the square is actually called Piazza San Giovanni.
Piazzale Michelangelo is located on a hill on the edge of the city centre. It can be walked on, although it is much easier to take a bus. The fabulous view is only disturbed by the many sellers of souvenirs and other trinkets.
Piazza Santa Croce
Piazza Santa Croce is one of the largest squares of the city. It is here that some of the most important annual events take place. One of the most famous of these is the annual “Calcio Storico“, a kind of violent football match. Dante watches it from his pedestal. The most famous building is the Santa Croce Basilica.
Piazza Santa Maria Novella
Piazza San Lorenzo
Piazza San Lorenzo is named after the San Lorenzo Basilica, which is characterized by its huge dome. On this square a famous market for craftsmen is held every day. The famous Palazzo Medici Ricciardi is on the corner.
Piazza della Repubblica
The Piazza della Repubblica is a bit what the Via Veneto used to be for Rome. The square is full of stately hotels and cafes built in the 19th century as well as a luxurious shopping mall. It is only accessible to pedestrians.
Piazza della Stazione
From Florence‘s Piazza della Stazione, you can immediately visit beautiful buildings. Apart from the station itself, it is flanked by the back of the Santa Maria Novella Church and the front of the Palazzo Reale.
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata is also framed by a number of beautiful buildings. Most striking are the Spedale degli Innocenti designed by Brunelleschi, the National Archaeological Museum and the Santissima Annunziata Basilica.
Piazza Pitti is one of the most visited squares in Florence. This is mainly because of the Palazzo Pitti, a historic building with a number of museums. It is one of the few squares in the city without a church.