1. La Porta del Paradiso (Ghiberti’s Doors of Paradise) – at the time of my visit (September 2014), the museum was closed. However, they have one set of doors displayed outside. If you want to get anywhere near that door, go in the early evening to avoid the hoards of tourists. It’s not AS crowded…..keyword, “As”.
2. Piazza Santa Croce – can’t really say too much about this church since I didn’t get the chance to go inside. But my main goal was really to see it from the outside (I think it costs 5 Euros to go in, and since I’m not a religious person, I didn’t mind if I skipped it). So if you’re not planning on going inside either, my tip for you would to be just to go on the way to or from the Santa Maria Novella train station (assuming that you are going to be taking the train at some point). It is a 2 minute walk from there and it happened to be on the way from where we were staying at, so we passed by the church twice each day we were in Florence.
3. Fontana del Porcellino (Fountain of the Piglet) – the legend is that you are supposed to “put a coin into the boar’s gaping jaws, with the intent to let it fall through the underlying grating for good luck, and rub the boar’s snout to ensure a return to Florence”. And yes, I stole this from Wikipedia. Well I did exactly as I read, but my coin did not fall into the grate. So I guess that means I’m not returning to Florence? Either way, it was still a cool statue to see. It was a nice change of pace from all the other naked statues I had seen on my trip thus far.