Florence for free

Free things to see and do in Florence

Sights in Florence

★★★
The medieval shop-lined Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) over the Arno River in Florence (Photo by Gary Campbell-Hall)
Free
Ponte Vecchio
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's "Old Bridge" is a medieval span lined by tiny goldsmith shops

 
★★★
 (Photo by Marc Buehler)
Free
Piazza della Signoria
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's main square is a public living room filled with ancient and Renaissance statues and fountains

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Mac9)
Free
San Miniato al Monte
Florence: Oltrarno

A gem of a Romanesque church perched atop a hill overlooking Florence

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Tim Adams)
Free
Piazzale Michelangiolo
Florence: Oltrarno

The greatest viewpoint over Florence

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Rutger Blom)
Free
Mercato Nuovo
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's covered "New Market," a.k.a. the "Straw Market", a.k.a. the "Market of the Little Pig"

 
★★☆
 (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Loggia de' Lanzi
Florence: Centro Storico

An airy medieval porch filled with Renaissance and ancient Roman statues

 
★★☆
The view of Florence from the Parco della Rimembranza of Fiesole (Photo by Rufus46)
Free
Panoramic gardens
Florence: Fiesole

Spectacular postcard views over Florence in the valley below

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Arnaud 25)
Free
Arringheria
Florence: Centro Storico

The statue-lined terrace in front of the Palazzo Vecchio tells Florence's story in sculpture

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Mia Battaglia)
Free
Orsanmichele
Florence: Centro Storico

A Gothic granary-turned-church decorated by early Renaissance sculptures

 
★☆☆
This Filippo Brunelleschi–designed church was called the most beautiful church in the world by Bernini (Photo by Randy Connolly)
Free
Santo Spirito
Florence: Oltrarno

The church of Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno: Brunelleschi at his best

 
★☆☆
"Confirmation of the Franciscan Rule" (1483–85) by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Sassetti Chapel (Photo Public Domain)
Free
Santa Trìnita
Florence: Centro Storico

A church by the river with amazing, courtly Renaissance frescoes by Ghirlandaio

 
★☆☆
'Last Supper' (c. 1450) by Andrea Del Castagno (Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres)
Free
Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

A gorgeous, hidden Last Supper fresco in Florence

 
★☆☆
The facade (Photo by Max_Ryazanov)
Free
SS. Annunziata
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

A treasure trove of Renaissance architecture and Mannerist art, and final resting place of several late Renaissance masters

 
★☆☆
'Last Supper' (1480) by Domenico Ghirlandaio (Photo Public Domain)
Free
Ognissanti
Florence: Santa Maria Novella

Ghirlandaio frescoes, a long-lost Giotto masterpiece, and the final resting places of Botticelli, his Birth of Venus muse, and the namesake of America itself

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Giuseppe Moscato)
Free
Piazza Santa Croce
Florence: Santa Croce

Santa Croce square in Florence

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Pufui PcPifpef)
Free
Bellosguardo Hill
Florence: Oltrarno

Bellosguardo is the forgotten hill of Florence, rising above the Oltrarno and offering more intimate views across the city than the famous ones from Fiesole

 
☆☆☆
Fontana del Nettuno (Photo by Morio)
Free
Neptune Fountain
Florence: Centro Storico

The statue-studded fountain Florentines love to hate

 
☆☆☆
The sitting room (Photo courtesy of the Landmark Trust)
Free
Casa Guidi
Florence: Oltrarno

The Brownings' home in Florence for a few short, happy years

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Anton Nistratov)
Free
Santa Margherita de' Cerchi
Florence: Centro Storico

A tiny medieval church with several Dante associations

 
☆☆☆
'The Fiesole Altarpiece: Madonna and Child with Saints' (1424–30) by Fra Angelico and Lorenzo di Cfredi (Photo Public Domain)
Free
San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence: Fiesole

This country church on the road to Fiesole was where the future master Fra' Angelic first put on monk's robes and picked up paintbrushes

 
☆☆☆
The Chapter House, with central 'Crucifixion' fresco (1387) by Niccolò di Pietro Gerini (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Santa Felícita
Florence: Oltrarno

One of the oldest churches in Florence is decorated with Mannerist masterpieces

 
☆☆☆
The nave (Photo by Sailko)
Free
San Felice
Florence: Oltrarno

Beautiful Gothic paintings and a reference in English literature

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Samuli Lintula)
Free
Cimitero degli Inglesi
Florence: Outskirts

Eternal resting place of Elizabeth Barret Browning

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Nikko Max)
Free
Parco della Cascine
Florence: Santa Maria Novella

A beautiful public park stretched along the Arno just outside the center of Florence

 
☆☆☆
'Madonna and Child with Saints' triptych by Bicci di Lorenzo, on the High Altar (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
Free
Cattedrale di Fiesole
Florence: Fiesole

Fiesole's 11th-century Cathedral contains some delicate Mino da Fiesole carvings

 

Experiences in Florence

★★★
A street in the outdoor market (Photo by Sergio S.C.)
Free
San Lorenzo leather market
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

Florence's outdoor San Lorenzo leather market is a great place to bargain for a classic Florentine souvenir

 
★☆☆
The central market is a great place to get fresh food (Photo by Renato Torii)
Free
Mercato Centrale
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

Florence's central covered food market

 
★☆☆
Via Vecchia Fiesolana (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
Free
Hiking from Fiesole
Florence: Fiesole

Hiking a narrow path past lovely villas from Fiesole back down into Florence

 

Planning a trip to Florence

 (Photo courtesy of FirenzeCard)

Enjoy free admission to various Florence sights and monuments (along with skip-the-line privileges), plus discounts at other attractions

 

Sights in Italy

★★★
The medieval shop-lined Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) over the Arno River in Florence (Photo by Gary Campbell-Hall)
Free
Ponte Vecchio
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's "Old Bridge" is a medieval span lined by tiny goldsmith shops

 
★★★
 (Photo by Marc Buehler)
Free
Piazza della Signoria
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's main square is a public living room filled with ancient and Renaissance statues and fountains

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Mac9)
Free
San Miniato al Monte
Florence: Oltrarno

A gem of a Romanesque church perched atop a hill overlooking Florence

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Tim Adams)
Free
Piazzale Michelangiolo
Florence: Oltrarno

The greatest viewpoint over Florence

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Rutger Blom)
Free
Mercato Nuovo
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's covered "New Market," a.k.a. the "Straw Market", a.k.a. the "Market of the Little Pig"

 
★★☆
 (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Loggia de' Lanzi
Florence: Centro Storico

An airy medieval porch filled with Renaissance and ancient Roman statues

 
★★☆
The view of Florence from the Parco della Rimembranza of Fiesole (Photo by Rufus46)
Free
Panoramic gardens
Florence: Fiesole

Spectacular postcard views over Florence in the valley below

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Arnaud 25)
Free
Arringheria
Florence: Centro Storico

The statue-lined terrace in front of the Palazzo Vecchio tells Florence's story in sculpture

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Mia Battaglia)
Free
Orsanmichele
Florence: Centro Storico

A Gothic granary-turned-church decorated by early Renaissance sculptures

 
★☆☆
This Filippo Brunelleschi–designed church was called the most beautiful church in the world by Bernini (Photo by Randy Connolly)
Free
Santo Spirito
Florence: Oltrarno

The church of Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno: Brunelleschi at his best

 
★☆☆
"Confirmation of the Franciscan Rule" (1483–85) by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Sassetti Chapel (Photo Public Domain)
Free
Santa Trìnita
Florence: Centro Storico

A church by the river with amazing, courtly Renaissance frescoes by Ghirlandaio

 
★☆☆
'Last Supper' (c. 1450) by Andrea Del Castagno (Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres)
Free
Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

A gorgeous, hidden Last Supper fresco in Florence

 
★☆☆
The facade (Photo by Max_Ryazanov)
Free
SS. Annunziata
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

A treasure trove of Renaissance architecture and Mannerist art, and final resting place of several late Renaissance masters

 
★☆☆
'Last Supper' (1480) by Domenico Ghirlandaio (Photo Public Domain)
Free
Ognissanti
Florence: Santa Maria Novella

Ghirlandaio frescoes, a long-lost Giotto masterpiece, and the final resting places of Botticelli, his Birth of Venus muse, and the namesake of America itself

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Giuseppe Moscato)
Free
Piazza Santa Croce
Florence: Santa Croce

Santa Croce square in Florence

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Pufui PcPifpef)
Free
Bellosguardo Hill
Florence: Oltrarno

Bellosguardo is the forgotten hill of Florence, rising above the Oltrarno and offering more intimate views across the city than the famous ones from Fiesole

 
☆☆☆
Fontana del Nettuno (Photo by Morio)
Free
Neptune Fountain
Florence: Centro Storico

The statue-studded fountain Florentines love to hate

 
☆☆☆
The sitting room (Photo courtesy of the Landmark Trust)
Free
Casa Guidi
Florence: Oltrarno

The Brownings' home in Florence for a few short, happy years

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Anton Nistratov)
Free
Santa Margherita de' Cerchi
Florence: Centro Storico

A tiny medieval church with several Dante associations

 
☆☆☆
'The Fiesole Altarpiece: Madonna and Child with Saints' (1424–30) by Fra Angelico and Lorenzo di Cfredi (Photo Public Domain)
Free
San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence: Fiesole

This country church on the road to Fiesole was where the future master Fra' Angelic first put on monk's robes and picked up paintbrushes

 
☆☆☆
The Chapter House, with central 'Crucifixion' fresco (1387) by Niccolò di Pietro Gerini (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Santa Felícita
Florence: Oltrarno

One of the oldest churches in Florence is decorated with Mannerist masterpieces

 
☆☆☆
The nave (Photo by Sailko)
Free
San Felice
Florence: Oltrarno

Beautiful Gothic paintings and a reference in English literature

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Samuli Lintula)
Free
Cimitero degli Inglesi
Florence: Outskirts

Eternal resting place of Elizabeth Barret Browning

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Nikko Max)
Free
Parco della Cascine
Florence: Santa Maria Novella

A beautiful public park stretched along the Arno just outside the center of Florence

 
☆☆☆
'Madonna and Child with Saints' triptych by Bicci di Lorenzo, on the High Altar (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
Free
Cattedrale di Fiesole
Florence: Fiesole

Fiesole's 11th-century Cathedral contains some delicate Mino da Fiesole carvings

 

Experiences in Italy

 (Photo courtesy of Paris Greeters)

Free greeter programs around the world encourage locals to welcome you to their hometown

 

Lodgings in Italy

★★☆
The Palagetto Guest House in Florence will give you a room in exchange for: Installing mosquito screens, professional photographs of the rooms, printing brochures for them, gently used bikes, installation of a shower by a professional plumber, or origami (Photo courtesy of the property)

Free lodgings in Italy: Hospitality networks (couchsurfing), home swaps, and house sitting services

 
I Fratellini is a classic Florentine fischetteria, a hole in the wall selling excellent panini along with glasses of wine

Ways to sleep for free in Italy

 
 (Photo courtesy of Europosters)

Couchsurfing and other hospitality networks allow you to sleep for free in other member's homes

 
Getting to know some locals is a bit part of staying with a fellow hospitality club member (Photo courtesy of The Affordable Travel Club)

Hospitality networks gather folks who are willing to put up fellow members in their homes for free or for a small fee

 
This luxurious Tuscan apartment is in Pietrasanta, by the Forte dei Marmi seaside resort, halfway between Pisa and the Cinque Terre (Photo courtesy of Homeexchange)

Trading spaces isn't just a show on basic cable anymore. It's a way to live life like a local on your travels absolutely for free—so long as you let the local borrow your life (and home) in return.

 
This house in the Tuscan hills needs someone to house-sit and watch their dog for three weeks this spring... (Photo courtesy of mindmyhouse.com)

Sleep for free on vacation in Italy by watching someone's house (and, often, watering their plants and feeding their cat)

 
The Palagetto Guest House in Florence will give you a room in exchange for: Installing mosquito screens, professional photographs of the rooms, printing brochures for them, gently used bikes, installation of a shower by a professional plumber, or origami lessons by a Japanese artist. (Photo courtesy of the property)

Programs like WWOOF and Helpx let you barter your services for a free place to stay

 
Sailboats (Photo by plb06)

If you love sailing, or just have an unquenchable taste for adventure and new experiences, you can sign on to help crew a boat just about anywhere in the world, including Italy

 

Dining in Italy

Many Italian bars lay our free snacks in the evenings (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Free

Yes, there are a couple of ways to enjoy excellent Italian food absolutely free

 

Planning for a trip to Italy

Skype is the cheapest way to make international calls (Photo by Skype)

Use Skype (and an internet connection) to make and receive free voice and video calls—or have your friends and family Skype your cell in Italy for 10¢ per minute or $3 per month.