Okay, so you've made up your mind. It's time to enjoy the charms of Florence, all its heritage, food, and history. You'll stroll through the cobblestone streets, indulge in freshly rolled pasta, cool off with some authentic Gelato, and gaze at Michelangelo's David in awe. The trip of a lifetime awaits, but how many days exactly would you need to experience the best this city has to offer? You don't want to rush your trip and overload your itinerary with too much activity, so let's look at the best ways to savor your time in the Tuscan region.
Whether you have a day before you jet off to your next destination, a weekend away, or a week to spare, there's more than enough to keep your senses engaged. You're in the right place if you're looking for souvenir shopping, culinary adventures, museum trips, or a lazy day at a winery - no matter how much time you have. Feeling overwhelmed? There's no need to be. With a little planning from our experienced guides and your personalized GoWithGuide tour, you can taste as much of Florence as time will allow.
Covering 102 km2 with a population of over 700,000 people, Florence is the capital of Italy's Tuscany region. A major tourist attraction, Florence is the birthplace of Leonardo DaVinci, Gucci, and the piano. So you can imagine the historic encounters you'll have. Italy is a bucket list destination for most people, so why not split your vacation time to include a day in Florence? Once you arrive, you might find the sights and sounds quite engulfing, so it's best to plan ahead. Your best bet is to stay within the Florence city center if you've only got a day to spare, but that certainly doesn't limit your potential for adventure.
Kick off your one-day exploration of Florence with a guided journey through the Piazza Della Signoria, also known as the main square. At the heart of the city, the Piazza Della Signoria is the perfect viewing point for all things architecture, art, and politics. Guarded by the Palazzo Vecchio, a 91-meter tall castle that houses the local government, this square is chock-full of rarities. From this central location, you can branch off towards other landmarks such as the Neptune Fountain, the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, and the Uffizi Gallery, where you can take a two-hour tour of one of the world's most exclusive and extensive art collections. If one gallery isn't enough to satisfy your renaissance cravings, head for the Accademia Gallery to check out Michelangelo’s magnificent sculpture of King David.
Cap off your quest with a walk through Oltrarno, a picturesque town with a variety of restaurants, bars, and rich local culture. If you want to get the authentic Florence experience, Oltrarno is perfect. Explore this and many other locations with our local guides who will walk and talk you through your trip. To discover all of the things you could do in a day with GoWithGuide, click here.
2 Day (Weekend) Trip
There's something so magical about experiencing a new location on the weekend. You get to see people in their most relaxed state, mixing and mingling with locals as you take in unfamiliar surroundings. For your first day, you can do all of the activities listed above, and wake up refreshed and ready for a full day of additional fun. That's why it's a great idea to start off with a slow ride along the Arno River. Hop aboard a traditional Barchetto boat and get Venice vibes as you glide under the Ponte Vecchio. It's enchanting to get an up-close look at the only bridge in the area that wasn't destroyed during the Second World War.
After taking in the slow waves of the river, head up to the Piazza Del Duomo where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city center from atop Brunelleschi's Dome. Constructed in 1420, this terracotta masterpiece is the most iconic architectural monument in the city. You'll have to conquer 463 stairs to reach the top, so carry your camera and some water. Along the way, you'll enjoy Giorgio Vasari's magnificent fresco of the "Last Judgment", circa 1572-79. The hike up these stairs is definitely worth it, as the landscape and buildings are beyond explanation, and you'll feel like you're flying as you overlook the city.
After that hike, you'll be ravenous, so why not indulge in rich Italian cuisine with an interactive cooking class. You'll learn to make traditional Italian classics like gelato, pasta, and pizza. The great thing about this experience is that you'll have a piece of Florence to take home with you.
5-Day (Week-Long) Trip
Five days in Florence sounds like the title of a romantic comedy, so it’s the perfect amount of time to fall so in love with the city that you won’t want to go home. You’ve got your first two days covered with the activities above, and you could stretch the activities out to really take advantage of your time. With a few days to play with, let’s get into the nooks and crannies of this exciting city.
Zip through Florence's sights with a bike tour featuring landmarks such as the Pitti Palace, home to three major dynasties, namely the Medici, the Hapsburg-Lorraine, and the Savoy. This truly was a home fit for a king, but today it holds cultural significance as the point from where the entire country was run back when Florence was the capital of Italy. Inside you'll find the Palatine Gallery as well as the Museum of Costume and Fashion, and the Gallery of Modern Art. Outside, just behind the Pitti Palace lies the Boboli Gardens, a green escape that makes you feel like you're at the Red Queen's home from Alice in Wonderland. A product of the powerful Medici family, these gardens feature ancient renaissance sculptures, grottoes, and fountains such as the Fountain of the Ocean.
A full day of biking can wear you out, so spend some time in the outskirts of Florence with a train trip to the Chianti hills. You'll get to relax through the 1 ½ hour journey from Florence and enjoy the scenic 41 km route. Once you touch down in Castellina, take a leisurely drive toward the Chianti hills, a stretch of cascading land that, you guessed it, features the famous Chianti wine. With such an iconic name, there's no way you could leave this trip without some extensive wine tasting. Even if the rich, red drink isn't your style, Chianti offers olive groves, oak, and chestnut woods to explore. It's the perfect conclusion to a dreamlike tour.
We always want more time to enjoy new adventures, locations, and experiences, but you can make time work for you by implementing any of these plans. Florence has a lot to be explored, so if you're feeling fresco, go ahead and book the experience of a lifetime with a private guided tour of the "City of Lilies". You don't have to worry about cramming the local language, customs, and traditions, because the GoWithGuide team of seasoned guides has got you covered. Your trip is just a click away.