Florence is a picturesque city; it is considered as the “cradle of the Renaissance” due to its impressive heritage of art and history which signs can be found all over the world.
I honestly have to say that it’s very hard to see Florence in one day.
Anyway, I am here to help you. That’s why I will try to let you know the top 10 things to see in Florence in one day.
It is very easy to get around its narrow and lively streets crowded with artisans, coaches with horses that make you feel step back in time.
During the day it is full of foreign people eager to see and discover the history that this gem offers.
But it is during the night when most of local people go outside in the marvelous squares of the city to enjoy a tasty appetizer.
Let’s say – anyway – that one day is enough to fall in love with the city and start to wish to come back again.
For the reason I mentioned above, we want to suggest you what to see in Florence in a day.
If you spend one day in Florence, you can’t miss walking around the magnificent duomo square.
This is one of the most emblematic places in Italy, where you can admire the breathtaking Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral (Duomo), with its shining white, pink and green marble’s façade.
You can also climb on top of the magnificent Dome, and from there you can dominate the city and enjoy a beautiful view.
In front of the Duomo you can admire the impressive Baptistery, where -according to the Christian tradition- people were baptized before entering in the Duomo (from latin Domus which means “house of God”).
SIGNORIA SQUARE AND UFFIZI GALLERY
Not far from Duomo square, there is Signoria Square a real open-air museum. It hosts the majestuous Palazzo Vecchio, that since the medieval period was the hub of the civic power and nowadays hosts the government of the city and a beautiful museum of Renaissance.
Next to the Old Palace stands the marvelous Loggia dei Lanzi with a famous group of sculptures, a blaze of elegance and refinement. This artistic heritage, from roman period to renaissance is a must see for art lovers.
Behind the Loggia Dei Lanzi there is the entrance of the Uffizi Gallery, a gem that hosts the masterpieces of many artists, such as Botticelli and Michelangelo.
In case you don’t have enough time to visit the Gallery, you don’t have to enter: you can just walk around and you can feast your eyes with the sculptures that stand under the two wings that surround the entrance. But if you have time, buy the tickets in advance on the website of Florence Museum.
Once you passed through the Uffizi’s lodge, you will get in front of Arno river with its impressive Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge of the city. The bridge, as we see it today was built in 1345. You can walk onto it and appreciate the beautiful jewelry stores.
OLTRARNO AND SANTO SPIRITO SQUARE
If you want to know the most lively and colorful part of the city you have to visit Oltrarno area. The word “Oltrarno” means the other side of the Arno river (opposite to the Duomo), and it comprehends the historical neighborhoods of the city: Santo Spirito and San Frediano, still inhabited by locals.
Santo Spirito square, starts to be very vital in the evening because it is full of bars and restaurants that remain open all night long.
in this square you can admire the beautiful augustinian church, with its plain façade, completely different from the style of the other Florentine churches. Inside the church you can see the marvelous Crucifix of Michelangelo.
You can’t stay in Oltrarno without visiting Pitti’s Palace. It was the residence of the Pitti family first, and then it became the residence of the Medici’s family (the family that was ruling Florence during the Renaissance). Nowadays it hosts several museums: royal apartments, porcelain museums, palatine gallery, modern gallery and the costume gallery. Behind Pitti palace, there are the Boboli Gardens, a real example of Italian garden.
PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO AND SAN MINIATO AL MONTE
When you get at this point, don’t let the steep walk get you down, because on top of the hill you have a wonderful reward: the stunning panoramic view from Piazzale Michelangelo. Piazzale Michelangelo is a beautiful square that dominates the entire city. Not so far from the Piazzale, just behind it, you can also see the beautiful church of San Miniato al Monte, a real example of a Romanesque basilica.
SANTA CROCE CHURCH
Santa Croce church is one of the biggest Franciscan church in Italy, and it is the burial place of many illustrious Italian people such as Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo and Machiavelli etc. In front of the church there is a beautiful square that due to its shape, it hosts the famous Calcio storico (Florentine football), originated in the 16 century and played with historical costumes.
Now that I told you what to see in Florence in 1 day, let me give you some tips about traditional Florence food.
Florence is very famous for the saltless bread, with which we produce tasty soups like, Pappa al pomodoro, Ribollita, or you can also enjoy the famous tortelli di patate or a beautiful steak with a good glass of Chianti wine.
If you want to discover which is the traditional food from Florence, you can join us to our Food tour in Florence. One of our local guides will guide you to taste the local goodies of the city while she will tour you around and she will let you discover the treasures that Florence has to offer!