One of my favorite things about my almost month in Florence was the neighborhood my Airbnb ended up being in, Santo Spirito.

It’s a charming little neighborhood in the Oltrarno area of the city with vibrant nightlife, tons of restaurants and cafes, and lots of shopping. 

My favorite thing is that parts of it didn’t feel as touristy as some of the other areas in central Florence.

In fact, I spent a few evenings meeting up with new friends I made during a food tour of the area for aperitivo in Piazza Santo Spirito.

We had a ton of fun, and the best part was that there were tons of locals hanging out there, which is when you know you’ve found a delightful spot.

Trust me when I say you need to plan to spend at least one day of your trip exploring some of these gems in Santo Spirito Firenze.

Best Things to Do in Santo Spirito Firenze


1. Wander Around Boboli Gardens

There’s nothing better than wandering around Boboli Gardens when the weather is warm and the birds are chirping.

I know some people are probably rolling their eyes about paying to wander around a park, but trust me, it’s worth it if the weather is nice.

They’re right behind Pitti Palace, and a genuine delight to experience, since they’re considered one of the first and most important examples of a classic Italian garden. 

In fact, a lot of European courts eventually designed their gardens off of this very park. 

Local’s Tip: Bring drinks in plastic bottles, and a few snacks so you don’t get as hangry as I got when I found out the only concession area was closed for construction.

Book your entry early to guarantee quick entry!

2. Check Out Palazzo Pitti

Pitti Palace was once home to the famous Cosimo I de’ Medici, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, so you know it’s going to be impressive!

These days it’s home to five museums, the Treasury of the Grand Dukes and the Museum of Russian Icons, including the Palatine Chapel, the Palatine Gallery and the Imperial and Royal Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Costume and Fashion.

Just check their website for the latest updates, as when I was there, two museums were closed for renovations, including the Museum of Costume and Fashion, which was the one I most wanted to see.

Don’t wait, lock down your tickets to Pitti Palace today!

3. Check Out the Basilica di Santo Spirito

One of the local friends I made in Florence once pointed out that this is the most overlooked gem of Santo Spirito, unless you count the dozens of people a week who are there taking photos for Instagram. 

Architecture lovers will go nuts over this mainly Brunelleschi designed church. It’s considered one of the foremost examples of Renaissance design.

History buffs will also go nuts because this is where Michelangelo sought refuge at 17  after the death of his patron.

Later, the church even allowed him and other young artists to study and dissect corpses.

So as a thank you, he carved a masterpiece of Jesus hanging on the cross, which hangs over the main altar.

4. Go on a Food Tour

One of my favorite things I did during my time in Florence was joining Devour Tours’ Dine Around Florence: An Authentic Evening Food and Wine Tour

I went solo and ended up making a ton of new friends, all while eating and drinking wine at some of the best spots in town, while Laura, our incredible local guide, taught us all there is to know about food, wine, and the Santo Spirito neighborhood.

A group of us even ended up out for drinks after the tour because we weren’t ready for the fun to end.

I can’t recommend this tour enough. Trust me, you’re going to have a blast!

Devour Tours

I was shocked by how many hidden gems I was introduced to while on Devour Tour's food tour. I can't recommend this enough for tourists and even locals!

Discover More
If you click this link and make a purchase, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

5. Enjoy Piazza Santo Spirito

This one of the most beautiful squares in all of Firenze, and is the perfect spot to relax with a good book, or people-watch from one of the many cafes with a coffee in hand. 

You can even time your visit to hit up the Mercato di Santo Spirito, a local market with antiques, leather goods, and some great vintage finds. 

Whatever you do, don’t miss hanging out in the square at night.

It’s my favorite time to be there, because the neighborhood really comes alive, especially as the cafes and terraces fill with locals.

It truly almost felt like being at a block party, especially because I was with my local friend who was giving me the rundown on the entire neighborhood.

6. Wander Through Ponte Vecchio

This medieval bridge in Florence is a place everyone has on their must-see list thanks to the amount of postcards it’s been on over the years.

The best part is that this is that Ponte Vecchio has lots of shopping on it, making it a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

I really enjoy strolling across it at night on my way home from dinner. There’s always one or two musicians playing and a crowd of people dancing and hanging out. 

If you go to Firenze and miss walking across this iconic bridge, then you should be ashamed of yourself (just kidding, kind of).

Fun Fact: Did you know it was the only bridge to cross the Arno river until 1218, and the only bridge the Germans didn’t destroy in WWII?

7. Enjoy Aperitivo

One of my favorite things about traveling in Italy is aperitivo.

Basically, it’s the ritual of a pre-meal drink (or two) alongside some small bites (normally free with a drink).

If you’re traveling on a budget, it’s possible to just make a small meal out of aperitivo if you pick a spot that’s generous with their snacks.

These are some of the best spots for aperitivo in Santo Spirito:

8. Explore Piazza della Passera

Even though Piazza della Passera is one of Florence’s smallest squares, there’s still plenty of shopping, history, and food to fill your time with.

Spend the afternoon vintage shopping and enjoying gelato and then aperitivo at Restaurant 4 Leoni.

It’s an especially brilliant spot for people watching or to sit and chill with a good book for a bit.

Fun Fact: Every year Mona Lisa Day is celebrated in the square for Da Vinci’s local muse, Lisa Gherardini’s birthday, June 15th. She’s rumored to have been his inspiration for the famous artwork.

9. Swing by a Wine Window

Have you heard about Florence’s famous wine windows?

They were created during the plague as a way for people to safely get their wine, and re-opened again recently during COVID.

Head to the one at Babae for a fun and unique glass of wine on the sidewalk.

10. Go Shopping

We know Italians for their sense of style, so it’s basically a crime to visit and not buy at least one new outfit or accessory.

I always end up with at least one new leather bag every time I come to town. It’s so much cheaper than buying them in the states.

Santo Spirito has a ton of cute stores and boutiques to browse. These are some of my favorites:

11. Stroll the Vasari Corridor

I bet you’re wondering what the Vasari Corridor is. 

Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it either until I did a bit of research.

Basically, it’s a walkway commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici to celebrate the wedding of his son in 1565. 

It connects Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace, and for the first 200 years was used only by the Medici family and their guests.

Thankfully, these days you don’t need an invitation from a Medici, you just need a ticket.

Learn all about the Medici family’s influence on Firenze by joining this popular tour!

12. Indulge in a Delicious Meal

I don’t think there’s such a thing as eating too many carbs in Italy. After all, they have some of the best food around.

While you’re exploring Santo Spirito, hit up one or two of these popular spots for a bite to eat:

Final Thoughts

sainto spirito florence 2

I hope this list has inspired you to add visiting Santo Spirito to your Florence bucket list.

Writing it has certainly made me excited to plan another trip to Firenze soon.

Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to checking out in Santo Spirito!

Don’t miss seeing these iconic places while you’re in Florence!


Leave a Comment