Gay Guide • FLORENCE | What to See, Where to Stay, Best Gay Bars and Restaurants | LGBT Guide
Discover this City with our Quick and Practical Guide to Visit the Best Attractions, Savor Typical Dishes and Have Fun in the Best Gay Bars. All this through the Rainbow Eyes of the World Mappers
What to See, Best Places to Sleep, Where to Eat and to Have Fun in FLORENCE ?
Find it out with the World Mappers !
WHAT TO SEE in FLORENCE?
10 THINGS TO SEE in FLORENCE
Piazza del Duomo (Basilica, Giotto's Bell Tower and Baptistery)
Three of the symbols of Florence are found in this square: the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery of San Giovanni and Giotto's bell tower. The Cathedral is famous for its polychrome marbles and for the imposing Dome by Brunelleschi which dominates the city. Head to the center of the basilica, stop and look up to admire the Last Judgment. Next to the church is Giotto's bell tower, one of the most beautiful bell towers in Italy. Finally, the Baptistery of San Giovanni in front of the facade of the Cathedral with its bronze doors and internal mosaics.
Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
Over the Arno River stands one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, Ponte Vecchio. Famous for its shops overhanging the river and for being the crossing point of the Vasari Corridor, a "secret" connection from Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti across the Arno (closed to the public until 2021). Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge in Florence not to be bombed during the Second World War.
Piazza della Signoria & Palazzo Vecchio
Welcome to Piazza della Signoria, the most famous square in Florence. The buildings and monuments located here make it an open-air museum: Palazzo Vecchio with its imposing tower, the Loggia dei Langi which houses the sculptures of the Medici collection, Michelangelo's David (the original is in the Galleria dell'Accademia ) and the Fountain of Neptune. Inside Palazzo Vecchio, don't miss the Salone del Cinquecento. No words do justice to the beauty of this hall.
The Gallery together with the Vasari Corridor, the Pitti Palace Collection and the Boboli Gardens make up the museum complex of the Uffizi Galleries, one of the most important art collections in the world. Caravaggio, Botticelli and Giotto are just some of the illustrious names that can be encountered. The Museum is closed on Mondays. We advise you to book your ticket in advance with the date and time of entry to avoid long queues.
The most famous panoramic terrace in Florence from which to admire the city in all its beauty. Getting there at sunset (on foot from the center or by bus) is a must. If you want to climb even higher, head towards the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, the panorama will not disappoint you.
Galleries of the Academy
Known above all for guarding one of the most famous sculptures in the world, Michelangelo's David. But the Accademia Galleries are not only this. In fact, there are many works that can be admired.
Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens
At the foot of the Boboli hill, Palazzo Pitti is part of the museum complex of the Uffizi Galleries and is home to several museums. The Boboli Gardens, located behind Palazzo Pitti, is the perfect place to stroll, relax and disconnect from the city. In this Renaissance garden you will find a magnificent amphitheater, caves, fountains, sculptures and many other places of interest. To save time and money, we recommend booking a combined ticket which includes the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens.
Basilica of Santa Croce
In the square of the same name, there is a beautiful Franciscan church and emblem of the Gothic in Italy. It houses the funerary monuments of famous people such as Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Machiavelli and Lorenzo Ghiberti, as well as Dante Alighieri's cenotaph. Paid entrance.
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Near the train station is the Dominican Church of Santa Maria Novella. With a beautiful white and green marble facade, it houses great works of art such as Brunelleschi's Crucifix.
Dante Alighieri House Museum
In the city center is the house that belonged to the Alighieri family, which has now become a three-story museum that traces the life and works of the poet and the Florence of his time.
Visiting this city at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 1 - Renaissance Florence - Google Maps
Day 2 - Panoramic Florence - Google Maps
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)
10 BEST EXCURSIONS from FLORENCE
We advise you to book the best excursions here: Viator - Musement - Get Your Guide
Siena, San Gimignano & Monteriggioni
Pisa & Lucca
Chianti (Greve, Castellina, Radda, Gaiole, Castello di Brolio)
Montalcino, Pienza & Montepulciano
Val d'Orcia, Montalcino, Montepulciano & Pienza
Carrara & Colonnata
Prato, Pistoia, Montecatini Terme & Collodi
Volterra, Castellina Marittima & Montescudaio
Pitigliano, Sorano & Sovana
San Miniato & Vinci
Click'n'Go - Click on Hotels, Restaurants, Bars & Clubs
to find them on the Map or visit their Website
WHERE TO SLEEP in FLORENCE?
10 BEST GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS in FLORENCE
25hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino **** ® Tested by World Mappers
Discover more ...
Map'Hotel • 25HOURS HOTEL FIRENZE PIAZZA SAN PAOLINO
Hotel Regency *****
The Portrait Firenze Lungarno Collection *****
Grand Hotel Cavour **** ® Tested by World Mappers
Hotel Lungarno – Lungarno Collection *****
The Westin Excelsior *****
Rivoli Boutique Hotel ****
UNAHOTELS Vittoria Firenze ****
Baglioni Relais Santa Croce, Florence *****
B&B Dei Mori
WHERE TO EAT in FLORENCE?
10 BEST RESTAURANTS in FLORENCE Quality / Priceo
€€€ - La Loggia del Piazzale Michelangelo
€€€ - Trattoria Gargani
€€ - Le Carceri ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Osteria Antica Mescita San Niccolò ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Ristorante Pizzeria Casa del Vin Santo
€€ - Ristorante La Posta
€€ - Antico Noè
€€ - Hosteria del Bricco ® Tested by World Mappers
€ - I Fratellini (Ottimi panini da asporto!) ® Tested by World Mappers
€ - Trattoria Le Mossacce ® Tested by World Mappers
The BEST PANORAMIC BARS in FLORENCE
Divina Terrazza del Grand Hotel Cavour ® Tested by World Mappers
La Terrazza ® Tested by World Mappers
SE·STO on Arno Rooftop Bar ® Tested by World Mappers
GAY NIGHTLIFE in FLORENCE
4 BEST GAY PLACES, BARS & CLUBS in FLORENCE
Piccolo Cafè (Gay Bar) ® Tested by World Mappers
Queer (Gay Bar) ® Tested by World Mappers
Crisco Club (Gay Bar/Club)
Fabrik (Gay Club) - Just outside Florence, in Calenzano
TRAVEL TIPS about FLORENCE by World Mappers
If you love museums and don't want to miss a single one, we recommend purchasing the Firenze Card: a card that includes priority access to 80 museums and monumental places in the city with a validity of 72 hours. If necessary, it is possible to add the Firenze Card Plus to freely travel on all public transport lines in the city. For info and costs click here.
Those who know us know that we cannot fail to go in search of the best Street Art Works, one of our passions. If you are in Florence, look up and take a look at the road signs! Some of these, in fact, have been "retouched" by the French artist Clet Abraham with the application of stickers and are now part of the city's art scene. In our opinion they are very nice and often gave us a smile. Along the streets of Florence, especially in the San Niccolò district and via Toscanella, there are many open-air works of art that can be encountered: the underwater scenes of Blub in which famous people wear a diving mask, the giant Nelson Mandela in Piazza Leopoldo, the Eight Superwomen and other characters marked by the S of Superman. These are temporary works, so some of them you may never find again. Then go in search of the stylized men of Exit Enter, the Shaman of Carla Bruttini or the white-red figures of Hopnn Yuri. If you want a map of Florentine street art, you can find it by clicking on this link, created by the Youth Portal of the Municipality of Florence. Leaving the city of Florence, some examples can also be found in nearby municipalities. The best known is that of the murals that decorate the Gucci factory in Scandicci, about fifteen kilometers from Florence.
A few kilometers from Florence, in the municipality of Vaglia, the enormous Medici Park of Pratolino is a true oasis of peace and tranquillity, perfect for a relaxing trip. The Park is open from April to October only on weekends with free admission and can be reached both by car and by public transport.
If you have time for a trip out of town, then we recommend the Castello di Sammezzano in Leccio, about 40 minutes by car from Florence. Curiosity of this extraordinary Moorish-Oriental style castle is that to date it still has no owner. The lack of a "king" for this real Oriental Pearl in the heart of Tuscany has led to the deterioration of the structure. Unfortunately today it is seized and inaccessible, a real shame you can no longer see the splendid internal rooms.
The Most BEAUTIFUL PANORAMIC POINTS of FLORENCE
Enjoy the city from above from the best viewpoints in Florence that we recommend:
Punto Panoramico Piazzale Michelangelo
Sicuramente il punto panoramico più famoso di Firenze e quello più affollato. Per allontanarvi un pochino dalla folla potete proseguire a piedi verso la chiesa di San Miniato al Monte. Il panorama da qui non vi deluderà.
Oblate Library Panoramic Point
A point of Florence perhaps little known to the "tourist masses". It is a public library inside a convent a few steps from the Duomo. Admission is free and on the second floor there is a small café with a view of the Duomo.
Rose Garden Panoramic Point
In the Oltrarno area, below Piazzale Michelangelo, there is this park with a beautiful terrace overlooking the city. Admission is free all year round from 9am to sunset.
Forte Belvedere Panoramic Point
On the Boboli hill. The view from here has nothing to envy to that from Piazzale Michelangelo. Open from June to October only for temporary exhibitions.
Viewpoint Brunelleschi's Dome
Climb the 463 steps to reach the top of one of the most famous domes in the world and enjoy the view of Florence directly from the heart of the city. Seeing the fantastic frescoes of the dome up close makes this experience even more magical. Keep in mind that some sections of the staircase are very steep, the passages are narrow and it is mandatory to book visiting hours. For those who want an "exclusive" tour, the Grande Museo del Duomo organizes, upon request only, guided tours of the Terraces of the Duomo where you can walk above Florence at a height of about thirty meters.
Viewpoint Giotto's Bell Tower
Climbing to the top of Giotto's bell tower is slightly less tiring (414 steps) but the view of the city and Brunelleschi's dome is just as beautiful. Dome or Bell Tower? If we had to choose between the two "views" we would opt for the one visible from the Dome.. seeing the frescoes up close is deeply emotional.
Viewpoint Church of Orsanmichele
This church in the center of Florence now houses a museum with free admission (open only on Mondays and Saturdays, for timetables and info click here). Climb up to the enclosed rooftop terrace for great views over the city.
Palazzo Vecchio Panoramic Point
Climb the two hundred steps of the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio, known as the Arnolfo Tower, to see Florence from the top of one of its symbols. It is possible to access the tower until 21:00, except on Thursdays, and therefore enjoy the sunset from up here. There are many entrance tickets to the Palace and for those who want to access the Tower but not the museum, they can do so with a dedicated ticket.
Viewpoint Orti del Parnassus
For those who want an unusual glimpse of Florence "far" from the classic tourist routes. The Gardens of Parnassus, known for the dragon-shaped stairway, are the highest part of the Horticultural Garden.
Bellosguardo Panoramic Point
A hill to the south-west of the city, in the Oltrarno area, from which one can enjoy a perspective of "less known" Florence. This is an area not frequented by tourist coaches where you can enjoy some peace and quiet (a friend of ours recommended the view from via Roti Michelozzi and believe us, it's really worth it!).
Viewpoint Terrace of Fiesole
The hill of Fiesole, a municipality about seven kilometers from Florence, offers one of the most beautiful views of Florence and the surrounding hills. Head to the terrace of the public gardens below Villa San Michele, or go up to the convent of San Francesco. Fiesole is easily reachable from Florence in about twenty minutes by bus.
Unusual and Particular Places to See in Florence
Outside the classic places to visit of the city, there is a "Secret Florence" that has simply bewitched us. Here are the 8 Things and Places to See in Secret Florence
Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella - In Via della Scala, near the church of Santa Maria Novella, this perfumery and herbalist's shop is hidden that only a few tourists know about. Considered among the oldest commercial activities in the world, inside you are enchanted by the environment and the scent in which you are welcomed.
Santo Spirito District - Elected in 2017 by Lonely Planet as the "coolest" district in the world, full of craft shops, markets and a lively nightlife. In the basilica of Santo Spirito, in the homonymous square, you can admire the crucifix that Michelangelo Buonarroti sculpted at a young age.
Giardino Torrigiani - Not far from the Boboli Gardens, but much less known, this privately owned garden can only be visited by reservation.
Corridoio Vasariano - The private path that allowed the Medici family to move unnoticed from Palazzo Vecchio, seat of political power in the city, to Palazzo Pitti, residence of the dukes. Today unfortunately the Corridor is closed for renovation and will be until 2021. For info on reopening, tickets, etc. consult the Uffizi website.
Costa San Giorgio - Treat yourself to a walk (uphill) along this road which from Piazza Santa Felicita, a few steps from Ponte Vecchio, winds through the Oltrarno area passing by the Bardini Garden, the house of Galileo Galilei (at number 19) up to Porta San Giorgio.
Circo-lo Teatro del Sale - We heard about this special place from a friend. It is a cultural association (the first time you have to get a membership card) in the Sant'Ambrogio district where you eat in front of a theater stage, a truly unique experience. Open for both lunch and dinner (all buffet style) but in the evening, once the tables have been cleared, you can attend a theatrical show.
L'importuno di Michelangelo - Right next to the entrance to Palazzo Vecchio is a man's face engraved in stone. It is said that the author of this "act of vandalism" is the famous Michelangelo Buonarroti even if the reasons are shrouded in mystery. Head to the Palace entrance and look to the right of the doorway towards the corner of the wall. A completely free work of the Artist.
Villoresi Museum - Accessible only with a guided tour and located in the famous Via de' Bardi, this museum is a must for perfume lovers. Through a multi-sensory journey you can live a truly unique experience. Smells from all over the world and aromatic fragrances will make you travel through your senses.
GAY FRIENDLY TOURS
Do you want to discover the city more deeply through Florence's Best Gay Tours? We recommend the following local operators:
Gaily Tour - Tour Operator offering tours and excursions dedicated to the LGBT + community throughout Europe. Special Tours and Gay & Lesbian Friendly Guides ready to make you discover the beauties of this destination. Info & Booking: info@GailyTour.com
Florence • Reinassance Tour
Start your walking tour with our Gay/Lesbian Guide discovering the amazing city center of the birthplace and cradle of Italian Renaissance and the center of the world's finest art and architecture. Admire the magnificent Santa Maria del Fiore, celebrated for its spectacular dome designed by Brunelleschi, and take a look to the Baptistery's renowned "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti. Afterwards continue to Uffizi Gallery, with a tour that provides insight into the history of the structure and its collections, where you can see the famous works of Giotto, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci (skip-the-line ticket included). Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for City Tour (3 hours) * Entrance Fee Skip-The-Line – Uffizi Gallery (Closed on Mondays and National Holidays)
Florence • Gay Tour & David’s Secrets
Explore Florence with our Gay/Lesbian Guide and enjoy our special Gay Tour discovering the stories of the Medici Family and the gay life during the Renaissance, when Florence was an active center for gay relationships. Visit the Accademia Gallery (entrance fee included), to see some of history's greatest masterpieces. Admire the magnificent giant marble sculptures created by Michelangelo, and above all, the glorious David. Rediscover the life of Michelangelo focused on his personal and sentimental side. Learn more about David’s homosexual life and about his true relationship with the popes in Rome of the 1500s, full of dark intrigues and corruptions. In addition, you will also take a look of the rest of the Accademia Gallery. The visit continue to the open-air museum at Signoria Square, ending at the splendid Ponte Vecchio, known as the "Old Bridge" and an everlasting Symbol of Florence. Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for City Tour (3 hours) * Entrance Fee Skip-The-Line – Accademia Gallery (Closed on Mondays and National Holidays)
Florence • Fashion Tour
Florence is not only the city of Renaissance art and culture, but also the cradle of Italian fashion, especially leather. Discover with our Gay/Lesbian Tour Guide two legends of international design: Gucci and Ferragamo. Explore Gucci Museum, opened in 2011 in the old Palace of the Merchants, in occasion of the 90th anniversary of Gucci’s birth, the museum houses historic and iconic models of the Florentine Maison. Then continue to Ferragamo Museum, divided in two rooms dedicated to the life and work of Ferragamo and other rooms left for temporary exhibits of extreme interest related to the “Shoemaker of dreams”. After the visit walk with our Fashion experts through the famous fashion streets of Florence where you can enjoy and experience the real Italian shopping ! Our fashion experts will assist you during your shopping and give you special tips about Italian way of life. Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for Shopping Tour (3 hours) * Entrance Fee - Gucci Museum * Entrance Fee - Ferragamo Museum
Florence by Night • Gay Tour
Enjoy an enlightened Florence and an amazing walking tour through Florence’s gay & lesbian bars and clubs to live on your skin the magic atmosphere and LGBT scene of the city. Enjoy your included drink (also alcohol free drink available) and own the night ! Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for Night Tour (2 hours) * Aperitif in Gay Bar (1 Drink)
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