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Tiny Escapes

Your virtual sightseeing tour of Florence

Apr 03, 2020 by Jamie Gallerani

We created Tiny Escapes to help bring joy to your day in these unprecedented times. Follow us here or on Instagram and Facebook for more little distractions.

While you look forward to seeing the world, we’ve got just the thing to pass the time: a virtual sightseeing tour of Florence, Italy! Click through the Google street view links below to see the iconic sights we visit on Florence: The City Experience—it’ll be like you’re there. (Our tip? Hold your cursor down on each Google screen and drag it left and right for 360° views.)

First stop: the Accademia Gallery. Step inside to see Michelangelo’s iconic statue, the David. “Everything inside the museum is beautiful, but I’ll never forget walking around a corner and seeing the David standing at the end of a long hallway,” says Go Ahead staffer Jamie. “It stopped me in my tracks! Bucket list moment, for sure.”

Continue on to the Duomo, Florence’s most iconic landmark. Trust us: This Renaissance-era cathedral is so stunning, it will even wow you on your computer screen. You can also virtually check out the inside. Fun fact: The interior is lovely, but the marble exterior and brick dome are truly the cathedral’s shining stars—the inside is more understated than you’d expect compared to the ornate facade.


Look up at Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. This bell tower stands almost 278 feet high, and is over 400 steps to the top. You can use your free time to climb the stairs on tour, but we’ll save you the effort here (you’re welcome).

Need a sweet treat? Stop for gelato at Vivoli. If you ask Tour Director Sabra, it’s one of the best places to get gelato in Florence. (And if you ask us, now’s as good a time as any to grab some ice cream from your freezer and dig in—you’re on tour in Italy, after all.)

Walk though the UNESCO-listed Historic Center to Piazza della Signoria. Here in the center of Florentine life, you can admire the open-air sculpture gallery called the Loggia dei Lanzi, snap photos of Palazzo Vecchio (city hall), and do what Go Ahead traveler Shayna does: “My favorite thing is people-watching in Piazza della Signoria,” she says. “The best experiences in Florence are when you slow down and really live in the moment!”

Stop to snap a photo of the Ponte Vecchio. This medieval bridge is the oldest in Florence, and is the place to go to buy gold souvenirs while stepping into history—only goldsmiths and jewelers have been allowed to set up shop here since the 1500s, when Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici kicked the fishmongers, butchers, and tanners out.


Use free time to explore the Oltrarno neighborhood. It’s just across the Arno River, and is the place to go to see true local life. While there, you can (virtually) skip the lines at the famed Uffizi Gallery, explore Pitti Palace, and take in the views from the Boboli Gardens. Hungry? Grab a made-to-order pie from Gusta Pizza, a Go Ahead staff favorite.

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City Stays
About the author | Jamie Gallerani
It was Jamie’s homestay in Germany that made her fall in love with travel (and her studies in Florence that really sealed the deal). When she’s not writing and sharing the magic of seeing the world with others, she’s usually on the lookout for her new favorite memoir, testing out recipes at home, or visiting her family on Cape Cod.

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