Do you want to visit Florence but don't have much time available? Don't worry, you can see Florence in one day and that's just what I did and I hope this post will help you do. We will focus on a Florence walking itinerary to help you get the most out of your 24 hours.
Florence can be defined, without a shadow of a doubt, a real open-air museum: beyond all the beauties that you can admire in this splendid city, every corner will be a surprise for you.
Just look up, while walking through the alleys of the center, to discover some splendid palace, a sculpture, a fountain or an amazing staircase worthy of a beautiful photo shoot!
Florence is truly spectacular, if you intend to go there for the first time it will amaze you, if instead you are a used to the splendid Tuscan capital you will never stop being fascinated both by what you have already seen and by everything you have yet to see .
You will be able to take advantage of the hours of the day for a visit to the Accademia Gallery, to the various historical monuments, to the splendid squares and markets, to then stroll, during the evening hours, to the Ponte Vecchio and along the banks of the Arno, taking advantage of the nightlife, excellent restaurants and the unique atmosphere of Florence.
Here are some indications for you on what to see in Florence in one day, preferring the most important places and monuments.
- Florence in one day: Morning
- Florence in one day: Afternoon
- Florence in one day: Evening
- What to see in Florence in 2 or 3 days
- Tips for visiting Florence in one day
- Where to eat in Florence
- Where to sleep in Florence
Florence in one day: Morning
Here you can find a map of the walking itinerary of Florence:
Florence is great on foot, as you can see on the map the center is small enough so that you won't have any difficulty walking. Put on comfortable shoes!
Try to leave early and have it already purchased tickets online: you will avoid wasting time and generally in the morning the various places of interest are much less crowded.FREE Florence Tour
Me too, that I have traveled enough, when I have to leave for a new destination, I let myself be taken by the fateful doubt:
“Oh my God, where do I start planning my visit? What should I absolutely not miss? "
Then I discovered the Free Tour of Civitatis: I'm free (but in the end you may be asked for a tip, without obligation, it will be up to you to decide whether to give it or not) e they help me orient myself. This is one of the reasons why I recommend it to you.
- Free cancellation
- Guide in ENGLISH
- COVID measures: all suppliers comply with local legislation and health recommendations regarding protection and safety, to avoid contagion of the Covid-19 virus
1 - Gallery of the Academy of Florence
La Gallery of the Academy of Florence is an exhibition collection of painting, sculpture and music belonging to the Academy of Fine Arts. It was born in the XNUMXth century, even if the current condition dates back to the XNUMXth century.
Inside you can visit five art collections divided into: painting between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, fifteenth century painting, a third collection dedicated to painting of the sixteenth century, a fourth dedicated to sculpture and a fifth and last to music.
The Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence is guardian of Michelangelo's David, one of the most famous and extraordinary statues in the world.
As the Accademia Gallery is quite small and was literally built to house the David, it will be quite easy to make your way quickly through the few other rooms, get a taste of Florence's art scene, and then head out to enjoy the rest of your day at Florence.
Read also: what you need to know to book tickets for the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence
Predictably, the lines at the Accademia Gallery can get extremely long, even in the off-season, so I highly recommend you buy skip-the-line tickets in advance to avoid wasting time during your day in Florence.
Given the COVID-19 situation, I advise you to purchase the scheduled admission to the David and the Accademia Gallery or even better a guided tour with a professional guide.
1 - Buy TICKET ONLINE Skip the line
2 - Buy the guided tour in ENGLISH here (recommended!)
3 - HERE YOU WILL FIND a fantastic Offer: Florence + Uffizi + Accademia with specialized guide. Perfect for visiting Florence in one day!
2 - San Lorenzo market
Il San Lorenzo market is a milestone on your trip to Florence!
By visiting it, you can not only indulge in a little shopping, you can also admire the local crafts and the many special specialties on sale in this open-air shop teeming with colors and scents!
The market is developed in two areas: the external area, “in the open air”, and the internal area called Central Market.
The outdoor area has many stalls displaying various product categories, from handicrafts to souvenirs, from splendid Florentine leather artifacts to objects, trinkets and ceramics. You will be amazed at the amount of stalls that you will find yourself facing: legs on the shoulders and sharp sight!
The Central Market, the indoor and indoor area, is entirely dedicated to food and wine.
Here you will find a first floor dedicated to many food retailers, from cheeses to cured meats, from meat to fruit, including pasta! The second floor, on the other hand, is designed to highlight the various Italian food and wine specialties, presenting stalls offering the various "strong dishes" in our country.
The San Lorenzo Market is a real fun, to refresh yourself with food and shopping between a cultural visit and another.
The artistic and architectural heritage of the churches of Florence is immense. These religious monuments have become real cultural and artistic emblems not only of Italy but of the whole world.
Florence in one day: Afternoon
3 - Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore (or Florence Cathedral)
Santa Maria del Fiore it is the most famous and famous church of Florence, as well as the cathedral of the city and is recognized worldwide for its magnificence and for being one of the most important symbols of our Italy.
This Christian-Catholic building dates back to the XNUMXth century and some of the most important sculptors and architects of the time, such as Giotto and Brunelleschi, who designed and built the famous Dome, followed one after the other.
About three thousand six hundred square meters of internal walls are decorated with frescoes by Vasari and Zuccari while the facade, made of polychrome marble, dates back to the nineteenth century.
The immensity of the basilica will leave you speechless, think that inside it can hold up to thirty thousand people!
-> You can buy the ticket for the Florence Cathedral HERE
4 - Brunelleschi's Dome and Giotto's Bell Tower
By visiting Santa Maria del Fiore you will have the opportunity to appreciate both the Brunelleschi's Dome is the Giotto's Campanile, two of the most famous Italian architectural works.
La Dome it is an extraordinary architectural work, of incalculable magnificence: the skill with which Brunelleschi was able, with the means of the time (XNUMXth century), to build a roof of such grandeur is astounding. On its internal walls you can admire a fresco by Vasari and Zuccari representing the Last Judgment.
Also part of the architectural complex of the Florentine cathedral is the Giotto's Bell Tower, a building almost 85 meters high which stands out imposingly on the side of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Also covered in polychrome marble as is the cathedral, it dates back to the fourteenth century and is the work of the famous Giotto, finished by Andrea Pisano and embellished by Alberto Arnoldi.
While scheduling is a hassle at times, it is inevitable if you only have one day to visit Florence: although you don't need to book in advance to climb the bell tower, the queues get long and you may not have time to wait and still do whatever it takes. hope to see in town.
Keep in mind that the climb requires a lot of stairs - 463 to the dome, so be prepared to sweat a little!
Don't miss the chance to climb the dome!
-> Buy HERE the GUIDED tour in Italian of the Brunelleschi's Dome
-> Here you will find only the entrance ticket. Skip the line
5 - The Baptistery of San Giovanni
To complete the architectural complex of the cathedral of Florence we find the famous Baptistery of San Giovanni, which has the right to be one of the oldest churches in the whole city, in fact the first construction dates back to the IV-V century.
The interior decoration is stunning and boasts pictorial interventions by Cimabue, without forgetting the mosaic decoration of the dome.
The external part of the Baptistery is famous for its three bronze doors, whose engravings and small sculptures represent: the life of the Baptist and the Christian virtues (south door); the New Testament, the Evangelists and the Fathers of the Church (north gate); the gate of Paradise (east gate).
La Piazza del Duomo it's a place where careful planning will make all the difference: to climb to the top of the dome, you'll need to book your ticket at least several days in advance.
6 - Fountain of the Porcellino
La Porcellino fountain it represents a… wild boar, very famous and very attractive for tourists visiting Florence! Made of bronze, the Porcellino is located at Loggia of the New Market, very close to the Ponte Vecchio, you will surely pass it!
Looking at this statue, you will notice a detail: its shiny nose! According to legend, in fact, you have to rub the pig's nose to get a good dose of luck!
The complete superstitious procedure also requires a coin to be inserted into the mouth of the Pig after rubbing: if it falls into the grate below until it reaches the water, then luck will be guaranteed!
Imagine how many nose rubs and how many coins given on offer to the most famous wild boar in Florence! A very positive note is that the various donations collected are donated to charity.
7 - Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia de 'Lanzi
Piazza della Signoria it is the most famous square in all of Florence, seat of the Loggia de 'Lanzi and of Palazzo Vecchio, the political seat of the city.
Piazza della Signoria is rich in architecture and sculpture, in fact there are numerous statues positioned in the area that belongs to the square, including a copy of Michelangelo's David.
La Loggia de' Lanzi it is a cloister that houses numerous sculptures, a sort of open-air art gallery.
Il Palazzo Vecchio it houses the museum of the same name and the Arnolfo Tower, as well as the famous Salone dei Cinquecento, with its splendid works of art and its mysterious raised walkways.
-> Skip the Line Ticket for Palazzo Vecchio
-> Visit of Palazzo Vecchio with audio guide (recommended!)
-> Guided tour of Palazzo Vecchio
8 - Ponte Vecchio and the Vasari Corridor
Il Old Bridge, a suggestive place and one of the many symbols of Florence! If you want to go shopping in the splendid jewelers that populate it, choose the hours of the day, but for a suggestive walk I recommend the evening hours.
The Ponte Vecchio is a magical and special place dating back, in its current version, to the fourteenth century.
At the top runs a section of the famous Vasarian Corridor, which originally allowed the Medici family to move from Palazzo Pitti to Palazzo Vecchio without going through the main streets.
9 - Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the panoramic points of the city of Florence, the most suggestive and famous, photographic set of international weddings and aperitifs with a view of the city!
Its spectacular panorama of the city at sunset is the subject of a fixed stop for tourists from all over the world.
You can go here on foot or by comfortable bus, but if you have no problems walking, seeing the immensity of Piazzale Michelangelo suddenly stand out after a long walk is a unique emotion!
Alternatively for the sunset go to Miniato al Monte, instead of Piazzale Michelangelo.
Florence in one day: Evening
While Florence may not seem like a place full of rooftop bars, it has some fantastic ones that offer a different experience, away from the crowds.
Here are some of my favorite choices for an aperitif or after dinner:
Grand Hotel Cavour, Via del Proconsolo 3.
Grand Hotel Minerva, Piazza Santa Maria Novella 16.
I am on the roof of the Arno at the Westin Excelsior, Borgo Ognissanti 3.
A nice and different alternative is to take part in this tour of the mysteries and legends of Florence.
What to see in Florence in 2 or 3 days
1 - Uffizi Gallery
La Uffizi Gallery does not need too many presentations: it is one of the most famous museums in the world that has, inside, a large amount of famous works of the most illustrious artists of all time.
From Botticelli to Raphael, from Leonardo to Giotto, to name a few, there are many works that you can admire in the exhibition halls of this splendid museum complex.
The Uffizi Gallery, which is now called the Gallery of statues and paintings, was born in the XNUMXth century from an idea by Giorgio Vasari and extends over two exhibition floors and has five collections: one dedicated to painting, one to architecture, one to sculpture, the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints plus a collection dedicated to books and archives.
-> See here the Ticket with scheduled entrance to the Uffizi Gallery (the best seller)
-> See here the GUIDED TOUR in Italian of the Uffizi Gallery (small groups)
2 - Boboli Gardens
Il Boboli Gardens it is part of the museum complex of the Uffizi Galleries and is a splendid work of art, a green lung in the center of Florence that combines art, design and nature.
It is located just behind Palazzo Pitti and extends over a boundless surface, made up of immense stairways, terraces, pedestrian paths and fountains.
It is a fascinating and relaxing place where you can admire the architecture inside, the numerous statues, the splendid fountains and the many botanical views with attention to every detail.
-> Find here the TICKET for the Boboli Gardens
3 - Santa Maria Novella
Church dating back to the XNUMXth century, Santa Maria Novella it is one of the most important in the Tuscan capital.
Inside you can admire many works by the most famous artists of all time, such as the Trinity by Masaccio, the Santa Lucia and donor of Ghirlandaio as well as the pulpit designed by Brunelleschi, without forgetting the Resurrection and four saints by Vasari, to name just a few. of the immense artistic heritage of the Gothic - Renaissance church.
4 - The Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapels
Located in the historic center of the city, the basilica of San Lorenzo it will fascinate you at first glance, both for its magnificence and because it is one of the main Florentine places of worship.
Dating back to the XNUMXth century and with a past as a city cathedral, inside it houses numerous artistic masterpieces of inestimable value. Not to be missed is its cloister, with a garden in the center, developed on two floors with arcaded architecture.
In the basement you can visit the treasure of San Lorenzo, the tomb of Donatello and that of Cosimo de 'Medici. The Laurentian Medici library will leave you speechless: created by Michelangelo, it houses rare manuscripts and texts.
You will be fascinated by the Basilica of San Lorenzo and you will also have the opportunity to visit the Medici chapels, which is the place where the members of the Medici family rest.
-> TICKET for the Medici Chapels
5 - Pitti Palace
Palazzo Pitti, one of the most famous palaces in all of Florence, was the noble residence of the Medici, the Habsburg-Lorraine and also the Savoy family.
Its construction dates back to the mid-fifteenth century and today houses four museums: the one dedicated to the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Palatine Gallery, the sumptuous and rich Imperial and Royal Apartments, a Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of Fashion and Costume .
Today Palazzo Pitti is also home to numerous international events.
-> Entrance TICKET for Palazzo Pitti
6 - Take a tour around the area
In a few hours from Florence you will find some of the most beautiful destinations in Italy. Just get on a train and in no time you can be on a gondola in Venice, sipping wine in Chianti, taking fun selfies with the Leaning Tower of Pisa or doing trekking on the Cinque Terre.
There are many organized tours that you can join if you don't want to organize yourself and the choice of destinations is truly infinite so it would be impossible for me to list them all here. If you have your own car or you prefer to go alone, of course you can do it without problems!
Among destinations that I would like to recommend are definitely there:
- Pisa and Lucca: with its leaning tower, Pisa is certainly one of the most beautiful excursions from Florence. Dam since it is small but it is not worth staying there a whole day, this is the reason why in the tours they "put together" it in Lucca which is truly a gem with its walls!
- Siena and San Gimignano: Siena and San Gimignano are two of the best and easiest cities to visit from Florence. They are close to Florence and close to each other, so it's easy to maximize your time and visit both in one day.
- Trip to the Cinque TerreAlthough it is possible, keep in mind that the Cinque Terre are an ambitious day trip - ideally, I would recommend visiting them for two days or even three. But we don't always have unlimited time, so if you only have one day off, a group tour is pretty much the best way to experience Cinque Terre efficiently.
- Chianti and wine tasting: Chianti is not just a type of wine: the wine takes its name from a region of Tuscany. The Chianti region stretches from just south of Florence to just north of Siena. To experience this region to the fullest, a tour is the best choice (drive a little, remember you have to drink!)
Tips for visiting Florence in one day
- Join the Free Walking tour of Florence: this will allow you to discover Florence with an English guide, become familiar with the city and begin to orient yourself.
- Buy Skip The Line Tickets: in addition to avoiding the queues, given the COVID you will be 100% sure to enter. I highly recommend you to buy the tickets for both the Accademia Gallery that for the Uffizi Gallery before arriving in Florence: the whole day will be much quieter!
- Start the day early since you only have 24 hours at your disposal and time is running out Try not to leave after 8:30. By now many of the interesting places are already open.
- Florence is quite small and assuming you have no physical limitations, you probably won't need anything other than your own feet to move. Put on a nice pair of comfortable shoes!
- If you go by train, if you book much earlier you will find really great offers. You can book them on the Trenitalia online site.
Where to eat in Florence
If you visit Florence in one day and you are thinking where to eat, I have some proposals for you, assuming that you certainly won't be able to venture too far from the center and that you will want to eat quickly so as not to waste too much time.
For a quick lunch, enjoy a sandwich atAncient Vinaio, one of Massi's favorite things when we travel. For € 5 you will eat a very special sandwich! I highly recommend the Dante or the Inferno.
Al Central market you will find a lot of counters where you can order a quick dish of Tuscan cuisine or a sandwich.
The Latini: this was once a tavern where I ate one of the best ribollite of my life. They told me that now, given its great success, it has become more high-end. I think it's a great choice.
Where to sleep in Florence
During our days in Florence we stayed at Palazzo Riblet, but there are loads of other hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, guesthouses and great places to stay sleeping in Florence!
Palazzo Riblet is a family-run hotel located in a historic building with frescoed ceilings, beautifully decorated and centrally located in Florence. One of the perfect places to sleep.
If you are looking for more I suggest you also take a look at the following 3 (for ease I have put one for you for each category, Economic, medium and luxury)
B&B Le Stanze del Duomo - Although Florence hotels can be a little expensive, B&B Le Stanze's beautiful rooms and impeccable location will make you swoon!
Bargello Guest House - Located in the heart of Florence, this property is within walking distance (read: less than 5 minutes) of some of Florence's attractions such as Palazzo Vecchio. By staying here, you will be within walking distance of the best of what Florence has to offer.
Hotel Lungarno - Nestled right on the bank of the Arno and winner of one of the best views of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, the Hotel Lungarno is our personal secret dream (who knows if I'll be able to sleep in it sooner or later). You can't go wrong if you decide to stay here as a base for a day in Florence!
FREE WALKING TOUR OF FLORENCE (highly recommended)
A good idea, if you are visiting Florence for the first time, is to join a FREE tour of Florence.
-> FIND the tour here so you can see how it works and what is included!
If instead you want to learn more I advise you this guided tour of Florence which includes earphones
Since you don't have much time, another good idea might be to take the tickets for the HOP-ON HOP-OFF tourist bus