Unique Things to do in Florence Italy

Things to do in Florence

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There’s never a dull moment in the Tuscan capital— from wandering the halls of the Uffizi Gallery to chowing down on a plate of Pici, there are endless things to do in Florence.

While the usual suspects are great, there are also lots of unique things to do in Florence that are well worth the time. Wouldn’t it be great to return home with a leather accessory that you crafted with your two hands? or spend a day in the hills of Florence picking grapes that will be turned into wine?

Partaking in the off-the-beaten-path activities that Florence offers will not only save you from standing in countless lines, but you’ll also be able to embrace the Florentine culture on a deeper level. Getting to know the locals and the crafts that make Florence such a magical place. All in all, giving you a more transformational and conscious travel experience.

Unique Things to Do in Florence Italy:

Leather Working Class

Florence has been a hub for leather working since the 13th century. It’s how Gucci, which is a Florentine Company, got its start making leather luggage. Today the city is still known for its leather craftsmanship. People come from all around the world to study the art of leather making in the Tuscan Capital.

While you’re in Florence you can experience the magic of slowly crafting an accessory from a piece of leather. Be it a coin purse, a keychain, or something more intricate— you’ll have a souvenir that you will cherish on a deeper level than the mass-made trinkets sold at the magazine stands.

These classes tend to be limited, so it’s best to book in advance. Find out more information here.

Tour a Leather Workshop

If you don’t have a love of handicraft labor, don’t fret you can still experience the Italian artisanal spirit by touring a leather workshop. You will discover the secrets of the trade that have been passed down and refined for centuries. From the choice of leather, how it is processed, tannin tanning, and a glimpse into the creation of timeless leather pieces that rise above all trends. By the end, you’ll understand why Made in Italy is synonymous with quality.

To book your tour learn more here.

Pick Grapes or Olives

Being the capital of Tuscany, Florence is known for world-class wines and olive oil that’s so flavorful you could eat it with a spoon. Behind the old walls of Florence in the surrounding hills, there are plenty of little vineyards and olive groves. If you’re in Florence during the right seasons, you can join in harvesting the fruits of the season’s labor. Most harvesting tours include an incredible homemade dinner, giving you the chance to sit down for a true Italian meal and indulge in delicacies that all come from within a couple of miles radius.

Grape picking season, or vendemmia in Italian, is from the end of September to the beginning of October. When they pick depends on the weather and how the summer was— so it’s a bit of luck needed to be there at the right time.

Olive harvesting is done in late October, through November, and sometimes even the first weeks of December.

Check availability here.

Take a Yoga Class with a View

If you’re a yogi this activity is a must-do. You’ll be flowing on a rooftop, under the Tuscan sun, while gazing out at the terracotta roofs of the Florentine skyline. This is one of the most unique things to do in Florence, that allows you to nourish your mind, body, and spirit without feeling like you’re missing out on the charm of the city.

This private yoga class includes the rooftop class and a homemade dinner for after. They also offer a wine tasting with snacks to add on for a discounted price, if you’d like.

You can book your class here.

Drive a Fiat 500 While Touring The Tuscan Country Side

When you’re in Florence, you’ll notice these cute little vintage cars driving around the city. These are the original Fiat 500s.

What’s better than getting a pic of one in the streets of Florence is getting behind the wheel of one.

You can book a private tour that will take you out of the hustle and bustle of the city and into the winding roads of Tuscany.

The tour includes a light lunch and wine tasting, plus a guide so you don’t get lost in the countryside, although that doesn’t sound bad when the scenery is as beautiful as places like Chianti.

Find out more here

Take a Pasta Making Class

No trip to Italy is complete without trying at least 3 different pasta dishes— but this experience takes it one step further from just eating. You’ll get to make your pasta from scratch.

During the chef-led private cooking class, you will learn to make not only one, but 3 of the most iconic kinds of pasta, Tagliatelle, Tortelli, and the crowd favorite, Ravioli. After you’re done cooking, you’ll be able to sit down and indulge yourself, pairing your dishes with a bottle of organic, local wine.

This experience books out quickly— so be sure to get your name on the books well in advance. Find out more here.

Go to the World’s Oldest Pharmacy

Exploring the World’s oldest Pharmacy is one of the best things to do in Florence, especially if you’re on a budget because it’s free entrance. The Santa Maria Novella Farmacia was founded in 1221 when the Dominican friars created the convent and planted a garden. Through their studies, they started what would become a long linage of pharmacopeia, which would later expand into cosmetics, fragrances, and other wellness products.

Today you can still shop in the pharmacy. They sell items like soaps, fragrances, skincare, and more. However, there’s more to see than shopping. The location is gorgeous with frescos, mirror walls, and dark wooden accents. It’s a site to behold while you’re in Florence.

Discover more here

explore the Odeon theater/bookstore

The Odeon Theater has been a staple in Florence since 1922, but in 2023 it reopened as a unique space that you absolutely must see while you’re in Florence. It’s now not only a movie theater but also a bookstore, while at first that might seem random, the idea is to promote story telling, which is both done through books and films. 

It plays both English films and Italian, but if you don’t want to commit one of your evenings in Florence to watching a film you can go during the day to explore the bookstore and have a coffee at the beautiful cafe that’s attached. 

Explore the Odeon here.

Create Your Own Perfume

If seeing the old pharmacy sparks curiosity about making fragrances, you can do that while you’re in Italy. It’s a thing to do in Florence that will keep on giving long after you are back home since the bespoke perfume is yours to keep.

The class is held at a beautiful 18th-century workshop, but don’t get too distracted by the atmosphere of the building because you’ll be learning the history of the art of perfume making, as well as the various tips and tricks that will come in handy when you make your own scent— who knows you might just come up with the next Chanel N5

Learn more about this unique experience here.

Visit a Vintage or Antique Market

Florence has some of the best vintage and antique markets in the world. You never know what you’ll find, from trinkets of days gone by to impeccable art pieces and of course fashion that’s to die for.

There are different markets each day of the week and a few monthly markets, plus the vintage market recently got a permanent home and is open daily.

To discover more about the flea, vintage, and antique markets in Florence, check out my guide to the Florence Markets.

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