The site of a Roman forum and heart of medieval Florence, this busy civic space was created in the 1880s as part of a controversial plan of 'civic improvements' involving the demolition of the old market, Jewish ghetto and slums, and the relocation of nearly 6000 residents. Vasari's lovely Loggia del Pesce (Fish Market) was saved and re-erected on Via Pietrapiana.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Chiesa e Museo di Orsanmichele

0.08 MILES

This unusual and inspirational church, with a Gothic tabernacle by Andrea Orcagna, was created when the arcades of an old grain market (1290) were walled…

2. Museo di Palazzo Davanzati

0.11 MILES

Home to the wealthy Davanzati merchant family from 1578, this 14th-century palazzo (mansion) with a wonderful central loggia gives you a view into…

3. Battistero di San Giovanni

0.12 MILES

This 11th-century baptistry – the oldest religious building on the vast cathedral square – is a Romanesque, octagonal-striped structure of white-and-green…

4. Il Porcellino

0.12 MILES

Tucked beneath the stone arches, on the southern side of the loggia sheltering the city's 16th-century Mercato Nuovo (literally 'New Market'), today a…

5. Palazzo Strozzi

0.13 MILES

This 15th-century Renaissance mansion was built for wealthy merchant Filippo Strozzi, one of the Medici's major political and commercial rivals. Today it…

6. Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano

0.13 MILES

This baroque church, with a beautiful sculpted facade on Florence's smartest shopping strip, was built between 1604 and 1648 on the site of an old…

7. Campanile

0.13 MILES

The 414-step climb up the cathedral's 85m-tall campanile, begun by Giotto in 1334, rewards with staggering city views. The first tier of bas-reliefs…

8. Via de' Tornabuoni

0.14 MILES

Renaissance palaces and Italian fashion houses border Via de' Tornabuoni, the city's most expensive shopping strip. Named after a Florentine noble family …