After traveling to Italy I quickly realize why so many people fall in love with it. Between the narrow cobblestone streets in Florence to the shopping in Milan and the sight seeing in Rome it’s full of history and beauty. Can’t forget about the tasty gelato and perfectly executed pasta (I’m drooling). With all the beauty Italy has to offer it was so hard to pick where to visit since I was only in Italy for a few days. This guide I hope will help you narrow down where to visit and add Florence to your list of definite’s.
Using google maps and TripAdvisor and multiple travel blogs I discovered how my friends and I would get the most out of our time in Florence! Below is a map of our day. Note: we walked to every spot! Wish I was wearing a Fitbit that day to see how many steps I took.
In order to spend a day in Florence and get the most out of it you need to go there with a plan. The best part about Florence was everything you will want to see is in doable walking distance from one another. A day in Florence is a go, go, go, go vacation because you have limited time.
How to Get to Florence
If you are traveling from another part of Italy like I was train is your best option. Booking your train tickets in advance is a great way to save money. The train is fast and the views are amazing from valleys in the countryside to wineries you’ll see it all on the train. I was coming from Rome so I used GoEuro to get the best price for my train ticket. Throughout my traveling I have used GoEuro and have always been pleased with it, they give the most train times available and best prices.
How to Spend the Day
Since there is so much to see in Florence I recommend staying longer than a day but if you are like me and only had a day to spare here is what to hit in a matter of hours.
- Galleria dell’Accademia – As shown above the walk from the train station to here is not bad at all and you get to enjoy the beautiful architecture along the way. Also you will pass through the Mercato di San Lorenzo.
This was an unexpected stop on our journey and it was a nice surprise. There was so many leather goods and trinkets I could’ve stayed there for hours shopping but we were crunched for time. This is a great place to get some souvenirs if you have time.
- Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore – After taking some inappropriate pictures with the Statue of David we headed to the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.
My friends and I decided not to go inside because we already had so much to see this day and we had already seen so many churches in our travels. The special thing about this church that makes it stand out is its dome. If you book tickets early enough you can climb to the top of the dome and see all of Florence I hear its best at sunset. Or if you are like me and my friends and looked into tickets to late and missed out on the dome experience head to the Piazzale Michelanglo and you will still get an amazing and gratifying view of Florence. When we were athe Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore there was a Magnum ice cream bar pop-up shop next to it! I hope whoever is reading this right now that it is still there for you because it was delicious and I hope you create a great tasting ice cream bar.
- Piazza del Vino – After all this walking and gauking at the beauty of the city you will be starving and craving some wine and pasta. If you don’t have time to check out the wineries outside of Florence in other parts of the Tuscany region then this restaurant is for you! You step inside and immediately feel like you are in a wine cellar but you are actually in a restaurant in the city if Florence. Their wine is amazing and so is the food to go with it. I recommend the Olianas Rosato, it was a mildly bitter but sweet Rose wine and it was so smooth it tasted like you were drinking grape juice. This place is the hidden gem of Florence.
- Piazzale Michelanglo – Once your stomach is full and you’re feeling tipsy you’ll be able to make the 36 minute walk from the restaurant to the piazza. This was our final stop of the day. Although it may feel like its taking forever because of your drunkness (is that even a real word) I promise you will eventually get there, and it will be worth it! Once you get there take a million pictures of the amazing view and do some souvenir shopping for some trinkets. I could’ve stayed there looking at the views forever it looked like I was standing in a postcard.
If you have more time take a train to Pisa for a day or few hours!
No matter what in Florence you cannot go wrong with its beauty and food and wine there is so much to enjoy. I prefer to walk around the city when I’m being a typical tourist. This is because I feel like you see so much more and its more of an adventure because it never is a smooth walk in the park in walking in a different country. So next time don’t call an uber to your next tour plan out time to walk.