Ask a local or any Florence fanatic and they’ll tell you Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are so many things to do and it’s easy to find yourself wondering – where do I even start?! We have put together suggestions for those seeking a little assistance on where to go and what to do in Florence in 48 Hours.
Day 1: visit the main Florence sights
Eating a large breakfast is not a part of Italian culture. Usually people will stop off at a Bar for a pastry and coffee before rushing off to work. If you are in the mood to sit down to eat, try The Diner on Via dell’Acqua, 2 near The Basilica of Santa Croce church. They serve a full American breakfast with American coffee for those of you who want a taste from home or just a place to sit down and relax while eating breakfast.
After breakfast, head over to The Uffizi Gallery. Originally the Florentine magistrate court offices, the Uffizi holds one of the largest collections of Art in the world. It is one of the main sites that’s a sure must-see. You can pick and choose ahead of time which sections/floors you want to see to easily cut down your time to an hour-and-a- half tops. That way you still have time to do more things the rest of the day without being too fatigued. You can book your tickets in advance at the Uffizi’s ticket office or online to avoid long lines.
There are many places to eat lunch right next to The Uffizi Gallery in Piazza della Signoria. However, if you’d like a little taste of Florentine street food, you can go to I Due Fratellini on Via dei Cimatori 38/r. They are literally a hole-in-the-wall that makes some of the best sandwiches, panini, in town. They have an English menu so order your panino of choice with a glass of red wine, find a seat on the sidewalk and chow down for a true Florentine street food experience.
You’ll understand a bit more about the history of The Uffizi Gallery after seeing The Medici Dynasty Show, a theater production that recounts 300 years of Florentine history. Starting at 7pm and lasting just one hour, the play focuses on the last two heirs of the Medici family, Anna Maria Louisa and Gian Gastone, and the contributions they have made to Florence. One of these contributions being, The Family Pact, a document written by Anna Maria Louisa stating that all the artworks of Florence can never be removed from the city. It is thanks to this document that we are able to enjoy all the original Florentine Renaissance artworks to this day.
Dinner on Via Faenza, the same street as the theater, is a great way to end the evening with a romantic stroll around the city center. Head over to the Duomo to take some beautiful nighttime photos.
Day 2: go off-the-beaten path like a local in Florence
After eating breakfast, you can head over to the Accademia Gallery. When talking about the Accademia, the first thing everyone thinks of is Michelangelo’s David. He is a marvel to look at. Michelangelo was only 26 years old when he started working on The David in 1501 and finished after only two years. It’s quite an accomplishment to have under your belt before the age of 30. My advice is, when you do get to The David make sure you walk around the statue to see the front of his face. His eyes are directed toward Rome with a scowl on his face. The statue was meant to symbolize liberty and freedom from Republican morality.
For lunch, if you’d like to go off the beaten path, you can head over to the Giardino delle Rose, The Rose Garden. It’s a great place to have a picnic on the grass and relax with a wonderful view of the Duomo. Take photos of the flowers in bloom, the cityscape, read a book and just hang out for a while. Afterwards, you can head on up the steps (you’ll get in some good exercise!) to Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence’s most famous look-out point. It’s the best place to get the most beautiful panoramic views of the entire city of Florence. It is a must-do!
Coming back down from Piazzale Michelangelo, you can head over to the Ponte Vecchio. It is the oldest bridge in Florence and the only one that did not get blown up during the German occupation (1943-1944). Way back when, the Ponte Vecchio was a food market and the owners lived on top of their stores. Now the bridge is packed full of jewelry stores, so if you’re a lover of bling, then you won’t want to miss it. You can also get in some really great photos and selfies with the beautiful Arno River in the background.
The famous Florentine Steak, bistecca fiorentina, is a great way to end a wonderful stay in Florence. In Oltrarno, meaning beyond the Arno, is I’ Brindellone, a charming restaurant near Piazza Carmine where you can find top notch Florentine steak. Cooked five minutes on one side and five minutes on the other, I’ Brindellone’s steak is to die to for. Its quality meat is so delicious that even the well-done steak lover will enjoy it. I recommend calling to make a reservation especially during the weekend. After you’ve finished stuffing yourself full of True Tuscan Goodness, a stroll along the Arno River is the perfect way to end your evening.
If you guys have any questions or found this post helpful, please comment!
Post by Tessa Cole