The Best Things To Do In Florence, Italy
Of all the countries in Europe, Italy was always at the top of my list. As a country that possesses cities known for their international influence on art, history, fashion, and food who wouldn’t want to see what makes this place so special?
Also, to be honest I couldn’t resist the urge to see every aspect of the country that has given birth to my all-time favorite food: Italian, duh.
In the past year, I’ve been to Italy multiple times and Florence twice. Addicted much? Probably. But after you spend a few days in this wonderful city you’ll totally understand where I get it from. There’s literally something beautiful hidden around every corner, between narrow side streets, and tucked into the breath-taking hills of Tuscany.
If you’re looking for the best first-time experience in Florence, then these next four days are going to blow your mind. So without further ado, my four perfect days in Florence just for you.
Day 1 – The Duomo and Ponte Vecchio
The two first day must-sees, and the biggest attractions that the city has to offer. Spend your first day wandering the streets of Florence, finding the Duomo peeking out from behind buildings and seeing the Ponte Vecchio from every possible angle.
*Insider Tip: Climb the bell tower to get the best 360° views of the city and the infamous red dome of the cathedral.
Day 2 – The David and Outdoor Shopping Market
Anyone who’s anyone will tell you that you have to see The David in person, so don’t let me be the first to break that tradition. It’s a definite must-see and selfie (I would’ve included mine in this post but I didn’t want to ruin it for you).
After you’re done at the Galleria, take a trip down the winding streets of the outdoor market to find some authentic Italian goodies. This place has everything from leather purses to hand woven cashmere sweaters and so much more. The energy is electric and the vendors love a good haggler so don’t be afraid to bargain.
*Insider Tip: Get your tickets for the Galleria dell’Accademia (museum that houses The David) ahead of time to skip the massive queue and reserve your time to view the statue.
Day 3 – A Tuscany Region Wine Tour and Santo Spirito
You don’t have to be an expert to know that Italy’s infamous Tuscany region produces some of the best red wine known to man. If you’re looking to get out of the city for the day, I suggest taking a trip to the countryside to learn the history of the region and see how its become the worlds most notable Chianti region.
Angie’s Tuscan Wine Tours is one of the best all-inclusive day-trip companies to go with and has some really informative guides. I learned all about the different classifications of wines and how to read the label to be able to differentiate them. To this day I still use that info to pick out wines, and it has never mislead me.
*Insider Tip: Grab dinner at O’munaciello (reservations recommended) and a night cap at Volume bar in the center to enjoy an authentic Italian dinner and drinks like a local.
Day 4 – The Boboli Gardens and Piazza Michelangelo
Weather permitting, I suggest starting your last morning in Florence at the Pitti Palace where the Bobli Gardens artfully display Renaissance sculptures.
Then spend the afternoon exploring the many side streets filled with local street art on your hike up to the infamous Piazza Michelangelo. The views of Florence from this Piazza are absolutely breathtaking and on a clear day you can see both the city and the rolling hills of Tuscany for miles and miles.
*Insider Tip: Enjoy your last night watching the sunset on the steps of Piazza Michelangelo, and have dinner at the charming and always delicious La Beppa Fioraia (reservations required).
Optional Foodie Extras:
- Have dinner tucked away in Florence’s best kept secret restaurant Trattoria Bordino. PS. This recommendation comes highly acclaimed as a must-try from a Florence local herself.
- Indulge in some of the best wines Italy has to offer at the cosy Le Volpi e L’uva wine bar.
- Enjoy a night with fellow travelers from around the world at Friends Bar, it’s famously known among expats as a great place to hang.
- Search for the best Aperitivo! (Basically the Italian’s version of happy hour, and spoiler alert: it’s amazing.) My personal best in the city is Cafe Cabiria, but I challenge you to venture out and find your own.
Bonus: Day-Trip Alternative
If you’re not big on learning more about the infamous Tuscan wine region but still want to experience the rolling hillsides this countryside has to offer, I would suggest taking a day trip to Sienna instead. It’s a small city with an interesting history, a breathtaking Duomo and paved streets that give way to gorgeous views of the Tuscan hills.
All you’ll need to do to get there is catch the 131R bus from the main bus station (located next to the train station). The rapid line runs regularly on a daily basis, and takes about an hour and a half to get there.
” It took me about 5 minutes to realize that Italy would always have a special place in my heart, and even less than that to fall head over heels in love with the city of Florence.”
I guarantee that even if you only follow half of this advice on your four day adventure, you’ll still find a reason to love this place just as much as I do.
There’s a vibe in this city that you have to feel for yourself to understand that there’s no where else in the world that will give you the same feeling.