The season of summer is pretty synonymous to an Europe trip, perfect for long summer breaks. And no one does summer breaks as they do in Italy! If Italy is in your agenda of to-dos then you must visit Florence.
Florence also known as Firenze, the birthplace of Renaissance is in many people’s must visit list, especially for first time visitors to Italy. Simply put, Florence should be at the top of your Italy bucket list, and knowing the best spots to capture the city’s spirit should be a top priority.
Although it’s safe to say that as one of the prettiest cities in Italy, you can pretty much point a camera in any direction in Florence and hit something photogenic, knowing the very best Instagrammable places in Florence means that you can be assured of an awesome feed whilst having the time to enjoy the city to its fullest. You can capture the highlights, then put the camera in your bag and truly soak in the history and culture of this amazing city. Florence is too good to miss: having a photography guide to the best spots means that you won’t get tied up in a quest for shots which has you missing all the details. Here I give you a comprehensive list of all the best spots you should hit when in Florence!
Best time to visit Florence
Summer is when the whole of Italy prepares for tourists and it is most popular to be roaming around in Italy. But if you ask the Europeans including Italians, when is the best time to visit Europe? We say anytime other than summer is a good time in Florence, to beat the scorching Tuscan sun 🙂 .
The best months for traveling in much of Italy are basically from April to June and mid-September to October. The temperatures are comfy and the rural side areas are simply wonderful to watch.
The top Instagrammable spots in Florence
1. Piazalle Michaelangelo
The Piazzale Michelangelo has the best panoramic views overlooking the city of Florence. Located on the southern side of the Arno river, it is a bit far from all of the major tourist attractions, but it is definitely worth the trek to the top (or the pricey taxi ride!) There is also a café at the top of the hill, so you can grab a Spritz and enjoy the best sunset view in the city or have a lunch while bask in the views.
Best time to visit: Early in the morning to get a tourist free panoramic view without the heat or if you are going for the sunset view , then suggest you to reach early and get a nice spot in the cafe before it gets covered and taken over by hoard of tourists.
2. Piaza del Duomo
Also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo is one of the best places to visit in Florence in summer. Famous for standing tall with its terracotta-tiled cupola, is it the biggest masonry dome in the whole world. What’s best is that you can visit this cathedral for free. However, a single ticket for €18 is needed to explore the dome, the baptistry, the crypt, and the campanile.
Location: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Best time to Visit: Definitely early in the morning before sunrise, 5am local time, as the square get really crowded with tourists and there is no way you can escape that. This is a busy square with locals working, a normal traffic going through steadily as well as Tourists crowding in. So there is no other way out of waking up early if you want that shot with the square all to yourself.
3. Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval bridge that spans the Arno River. This bridge is unique because it is houses many shops over the river itself. These were historically home to butchers, but are now occupied by jewellery and souvenir shops.
It is definitely worth walking across the Ponte Vecchio and take in the unique and only bridge that has shops, but also be sure to check out one of the surrounding bridges to get an epic shot with the Ponte Vecchio in the background.
Best time to go: Anytime to go is fine for taking in the culture and since not many tourists go to the other bridges to take a pic like the below, the other bridges are basically free of crowd.
4. The Student Hostel
This is a unique hotel with a rooftop pool with a view over the breathtaking historical city! The Student Hotel offers both hotel rooms and hostel suites, so you can enjoy the pool here at any budget. It is a unique place and let the name not deceive you as it has ample of co-working space, meeting rooms etc.
And to access the pool bar on the rooftop you don’t have to live here. Just book the rooftop bar for a drink the previous day in the reception and let them know the time you will come in. However, if using the pool is only reserved for residents/hotel live-in guests.
Best time to go: I would definitely say go during sunset to enjoy some cocktail while watching the stunning sunset over the stunning skyline.
5. Vintage Fotoautomatica Booths
When I travelled to Florence, I didnt see these Fotoautomatica booths at all. But now, I’ve been seeing them all over Instagram because of their super-cool vintage vibes. There are many of these booths across the city and i cant believe i missed them, but my favorite one is at Via Santa Monaca.
Make sure to pop in-side the booth and take some silly photos with the vintage B&W film! It’s such a cool souvenir you wont regret.
Short trips from Florence
The best short trips from Florence in just an hour are going to Pizza and Crete Senesi, this beautiful spot where Gladiator movie scene was shot.