No matter whether you are in Florence for business or pleasure, having no cost entertainment is priceless. You can find tons of free places to go on your own, but we have listed some here for you to check out. If you started the day shopping and are now ready to sightsee, leave your stuff at a luggage storage locker in Florence before continuing your day.
- Ponte Vecchio
The oldest and most famous bridge in Italy, the Ponte Vecchio was built before 996 although it has been destroyed and rebuilt a few times. It is one of the only bridges in the world lined with shops, some dating back to the 1500s.
- Villa di Castello
With a stunning Italian garden full of vibrant blooms, the Villa Castello has been standing at the bottom of Florence hills since 1427. Stroll through the gardens and see the stables, kitchens, loggia, and courtyard as well. Don’t miss the Medici dynasty busts in the garden.
- Pratolino Park
The Park of Pratolino is full of monuments that date back to the Renaissance, with a statue of Colossus of the Apennines by Giambologna, built in 1580. You can also get some cool selfies with Cupid’s Grotto and the Fountain of Mugnone.
- Florence Cathedral and Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore)
In the Piazza del Duomo, Florence Cathedral is the most famous religious structure in the city. With its huge dome, you cannot miss it no matter where you are. The inside is full of amazing artwork and history and the top is crowned with a cross and a lantern.
- Santa Maria Novella Cathedral
Filled with art and other artifacts, the church boasts some beautiful pieces. See Gothic and Renaissance frescoes by Florentine artists. Other works you can see include wood carvings by Baccio D’Agnolo, the tombstone of Leonardo Dati by Lorenzo Ghiberti, and the bust of St. Antonius by Tino di Camaino.
- Strozzi Palace
To rival the Medici family, the Strozzi family built its own palace in 1538. The main features are the mullioned windows, arches of rusticated stone, and lanterns of wrought iron. The courtyard is host to many concerts and festivals every year and the inside of the gallery is full of innovation, culture, and art.
Markets to Shop
- San Lorenzo Market
The largest of the markets and open daily, the San Lorenzo Market starts at the Piazza San Lorenzo and runs to Ariento Street. This festive event boasts food, souvenirs, leather products, clothing, and more. This is the one you do not want to miss.
- La Fierucolina Market
This organic market promotes and supports organic agriculture in Florence. They feature wine, all kinds of food, and hand-made items. You can find it in Santo Spirito Square every third Sunday of the month.
- Mercato Nuovo
Also known as the Piggy Market, the Mercata Nuovo is held in Piazza del Mercato Nuovo where the famous Porcellino statue awaits. Legend has it that if you put a coin in his mouth and let it roll into the fountain, you will have good luck. Open every day except Sunday, you can find flowers, leather items, woodworking, and much more.
- Mercato Delle Pulci
The famous flea market in Piazza dei Ciompi is open every day and has jewelry, coins, collectibles, paintings, furniture, and just about anything else you want. Many items are incredibly old, and you may find hidden treasures.
- Piazza della Signoria
A main square that is not actually a square (but an L), it was named after the Palazzo Vecchio, which stands in front of it. Other notable structures here include the Loggia dei Lanzi, Palazzo Uguccioni, and several statues such as a reproduction of Michelangelo’s David.
- Piazzale Michelangelo
Another place to see Michelangelo’s David (a bronze reproduction), the Piazzale Michelangelo is famous for having the best view of the countryside. Built on a hill just south of the Arno River, you can see from Santa Croce to Forte Belvedere and the hills of Fiesole and Settignano.
- Piazza Santa Croce
Another main plaza in central Florence, the Piazza Santa Croce is home to many sculptures and structures. The Basilica of Santa Croce is the main attraction, although you can also visit the Palazzo Cocchi-Serristori and the Palazzo dell’Antella. Don’t miss the marble sculpture of Dante by Enrico Pazzi in front of the Basilica.
Parks and Gardens
- Bardini Garden
Second only to the nearby Boboli Gardens, the 10-acre Bardini Garden is just across from the Museum Bardini. Planned by the Mozzi Family in the 13th century, the beauty of the flowers along the Arno River is magnificent. Full of hills, statues, and songbirds, you will need your camera here.
- Parco delle Cascine
The 395-acre Cascine Park is the largest park in the city and boasts a variety of things to enjoy. Also along the Arno River, the vegetation provides homes to many wild critters you can see while strolling along the paths. They host fairs, sporting events, and festivals as well.
- Spiaggia sull’Arno
A free beach on the Arno River is the perfect place to spend a nice warm day in Florence. The view from Easy Living Beach is great for photos and selfies and you can even go swimming if you like. Refreshment stands are typically set up nearby and they also have pétanque, stand-up paddleboarding, and yoga classes.
Museums and Libraries
- The Oblate Library
With a complex of 108 square feet of history, this is the kind of library you could stay in for days and never get bored. The first floor has 3 reading rooms with computers, TVs, and DVD player as well as the Museum of Prehistory. The second floor is a newspaper area, a children’s section, and a café.
- Rodolfo Siviero Museum
The Rodolfo Siviero Museum is an interesting place off the beaten path, mostly free of tourists. Rodolfo Siviero was known as the James Bond of the Art World because he recovered a lot of stolen art. Siviero made it his personal mission to return all the priceless items that he could find.
According to the officials, all state and government museums and other sites are free on the first Sunday of each month. Some of these include the Boboli Garden, Pitti Palace, Accademia, and Uffizi. If you happen to be there on the first Sunday of the month, be sure to take advantage of free entry.