8 free things to do in Florence

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Organ Santa Maria de’ Ricci Florence
Free nightly concerts at the Santa Maria de' Ricci church in Florence. Photo: Albertus82

You splurged on a scarf you couldn’t afford? Waiting for an urgent bank transfer from mom and dad? Whatever, you’re broke, you’re in Florence and you don’t know what to do. Well, rejoice my friend, here are some free activities to explore.


1. Every night, the organ goes wild at the Santa Maria de’ Ricci church on via del Corso. Chillax on a bench and be blown away by the pipes of the God’s favorite keyboard.

Free concerts in Florence

Free concerts on the Ponte Vecchio. Photo: Hubert Gajewski

2. Or, you can take a stroll to Ponte Vecchio to take in a concert by the sunset. The local buskers will woo you with Italian ballads until you feel the urge to kiss a stranger on your path.

Outdoor Tourism

3. Seeing the inside of a museum is not free. But seeing the outside is! Grab a map from the tourist office and create your own day of outdoor tourism. The very masters who created much of the ornate interiors of Florentine have also contributed to the city’s exterior beauty. Walk and be wowed.

4. Also consider the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signora (next to the Uffizi). This impressive collection of sculptures is definitely worth a look. Behold the immensity, the drama, and the beauty of these creations. But don’t have a sandwich in your hand while you’re doing it or Mister Security Guard will kick you back into the Piazza.

5. For those with that certain architectural fortitude, go check out Florence’s recently completed courthouse. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this postmodern behemoth located near the airport.

6. And finally, there’s Piazza Michelangelo which offers that city view supremo – a perfect place to spend some idle time.

Un Bel Farniente

7. Speaking of idle time, the national pastime of “un bel farniente” translates into “a pleasant do nothing.” The art of complete relaxation. Hanging out by the riverbank, frolicking in a meadow, reflecting while seated on a park bench – you get the picture. Florence has several places to do this. Take your pick, this is a wander-friendly city.

8. And then there’s always people-watching. The best spot for this – at the far right on the steps of the Duomo. Not only will you have your very own tourist parade, but there’s also a small corner of shade. Free shade.

Also in our guide: Planning a trip to Florence? Our editors have hunted down the best cheap hotels in Florence, all located in central neighborhoods. Read their reviews and see photographs in our Florence guide.

About the author

Marc Justin Cinanni

About the author: Marc Justin Cinanni has recently begun experimenting with polenta without much success. You can follow him on Twitter here: http://www.twitter.com/marcstories

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