As the capital of beautiful Tuscany and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is an excellent place to visit for anyone interested in culture, art, or architecture. Though you could easily spend weeks or months in the area, this short guide below will give you an excellent itinerary for creating a perfect day in Florence.
Start the Day with Views of the City
Perched high up on the hills above Oltrarno is Piazzale Michelangelo, the best place in the city for postcard-perfect views. This is where you can fantasize about the city and snap beautiful pictures to share with friends and family. Depending on your energy for the day, you can either hike to the top, which will take you through less-touristy neighborhoods, or you can take a bus.
Next, spend some time indoors and check out some of the best art museums in the city. Start with Accademia Gallery — their guided skip-the-line tour that starts at 11:30 a.m. The tour is just over an hour and will teach you a lot about Michelangelo and his sculptures as well as the characteristics of Renaissance art. This museum also houses the famous statue of David, which is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
Now it’s Lunch Time!
By now, you’ll probably be feeling pretty hungry so head on over to the Piazza della Signoria, which is a great place to eat lunch and people-watch at the same time. The artwork around the square is stunning and you’ll also find the palace where the Medici family once lived. Lunch here can be expensive but you can always grab something to go (from somewhere else) and eat it here if you’re on a budget. If you have extra time, there is a nice sculpture gallery nearby as well.
After lunch, make your way over to the Uffizi Gallery for the 4:30 p.m. skip-the-line tour and learn about the famous Renaissance artists of Italy. The building itself is worthy of a visit as it was originally the judiciary offices of Florence. This is the place where you’ll find Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation and Michelangelo’s “Doni Tondo”. The guide will give you an in-depth explanation of the treasured art pieces inside as well as early Renaissance treasures by Giotto, Caravaggio, and Raphael. If you’re craving a little more by the time the tour ends, you’ll still have an hour to explore at your own pace.
Finish it off with a Romantic Sunset
End the day with a beautiful view of the sunset under the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Don’t expect complete serenity as the place is often full of tourists and love-crazed teenagers but it’s still a great place to overlook the river as the sun makes its decent. Try to forget about the crowds and imagine what it was like 600 years ago when the many famous artists, philosophers, and rulers stood just where you are.
As you can see, Florence is the place people dream of when they think about Italy. It’s one of the best places to find art, culture, architecture, and Italy’s best gelato all in one place. Once you book yourself a beautiful hotel in Florence, use this guide to create the ultimate day in the city.