Visiting Florence in one day is IMPOSSIBLE! This amazing city is full of wonders and 24 hours are simply not enough to get around. But I’m here to give you some advice about how to use your time in Florence wisely. This is an itinerary for all of those who have just a day in Florence.
If you are planning an amazing road trip in Tuscany (in this case I wrote the perfect article for you) Florence is a mandatory stop.
Here there is the biggest airport in Tuscany, the easiest way to reach this amazing italian region.
At this point you are probably wondering: “Is Florence worth a day of my holidays?”
The answer is: “It depends”!
Let me explain!
Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world; one of the top 4 in Italy (including Rome, Venice and Naples), so it is definitely worth your day.
On the other hand, one day is not enough to explore such an incredible city… unless you have a good plan.
And I’m here precisely for this reason, trying to help you out in your quest: visiting Florence in one day.
If you have only 24 hours, forget about museums!
I know, visiting Florence without the famous Uffizi or the incredible Galleria dell’Accademia it’s a shame.
But you have to understand that these places require at least half a day.
Without further ado let’s start with this itinerary.
Our starting point is the train station of Santa Maria Novella.
Florence in one day: the morning itinerary
Your walking tour in Florence can start just after the train station.
Few meters from the train platform you can find one of the most important cathedrals in Florence and in Italy as well: Santa Maria Novella.
This Dominican church is the first great basilica of the city, historically speaking.
Its interior contains a multiplicity of art treasures and funerary monuments that you cannot miss out in any way.
This is the best way to start your itinerary in Florence.
After this incredible place it’s time to explore the old town’s heart.
Make your way through the alleys full of small shops and boutiques, trying to resist the food scent coming from the various restaurants and trattorie.
Maybe you can take your first espresso of the day in one of the many bars on your way or, if you have a sweet tooth, you can enjoy homemade ice cream.
There are endless possibilities in Florence speaking about food!
Between a coffee and an ice cream, let’s proceed toward the most iconic square of Florence: Piazza di San Giovanni with the majestic Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.
The cathedral complex includes the Baptistery facing the Cathedral and Giotto’s Campanile.
These three buildings are the symbols of Florence, one of the most interesting examples of Gothic style in Italy.
Characteristic features are the basilica’s faced polychrome marble panels and the immense Brunelleschi’s Dome, the biggest masonry dome ever built.
Now you have to make a hard choice: visit or not this amazing holy place.
Usually there is a huge queue to get in, an endless line that could dry up your limited time in Florence.
Considering the cathedral complex as a must-see in Florence, my advice is to get your tickets on-line and skip the queue.
In doing so you will visit one of the most amazing places in Italy, without consequences on your daily schedule.
Next stop is Piazza della Repubblica, one of the most important squares in the city.
This place is perfect for luxury shopping or just for a ride on the carousel situated in the square’s heart.
Time to eat is approaching!
Where to eat street food in Florence
You spent your morning strolling between churchers, Renaissance masterpieces and shops, I guess you start to be hungry.
Don’t worry, Florence is the perfect city where to eat.
Firstly I recommend you to reach the “Mercato del Porcellino” , another main landmark here in Florence.
Here you can admire one of the best preserved Logge in Florence: the loggia of the Mercato Nuovo, built between 1547 and 1551 where leather goods and souvenirs are sold.
This place is so called because of the nearby “Porcellino Fountain”, a bronze fountain depicting a boar.
Here you can also try one of the most iconic foods of Florence: a lampredotto sandwich.
Lampredotto is a classical Florentine sandwich and traditional regional street food made from the final stomach of the cow.
We are speaking about tripe.
If you want to immerse yourself totally in the culinary culture of Florence you have to try it.
It has a particular consistency and not everyone loves it, though.
Anyway if you are brave enough to give it a try, the best place to do it is at “Trippaio del Porcellino”, Slow Food Presidium and one of the oldest and most famous kiosks in Florence.
You can find it just a few meters from the “Mercato del Porcellino” and with only 5€ you can get an idea about this traditional street food.
Another interesting option can be the “schiacciata fiorentina” and there is no better place where to try it than at “Il Vinaino Fiorenza”, in front of Piazza della Signoria.
Here you can find one of the most tasteful street foods in all the city.
A sandwich made with focaccia and cold cuts, salada, truffle sauce and many other high quality products that you can find only in Tuscany.
Icing on the cake is the incredible view over one of the most beautiful squares in the world: Piazza della Signoria.
This place is your next stop: her you can admire Palazzo Vecchio, the Fountain of Neptune and the Loggia della Signoria, with few of the most famous sculptures of the world such as the “Abduction of the Sabines”, the “Perseus with the Head of Medusa” or “Hercules and the Centaur Nesso”.
If you are still hungry and in need of rest, a possible option is “Antichi Sapori”, a sandwich shop where you can sit and take your time enjoying unlimited regional specialties.
I ate one of the most tasteful and delicious sandwiches of my life in this place.
Florence in one day: the afternoon itinerary
After a tasty espresso you can head towards the third basilica of Florence: Santa Croce.
This is the place that you cannot miss out, you must add Santa Croce to your itinerary in Florence.
The Basilica is the burial place of some of the most illustrious italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Macchiavelli, Foscolo and Rossini, just to mention a few.
Entrance costs 8€, a fee that is really worth your time and money.
Visiting that place gave me goosebumps.
Once inside you are surrounded by wonders and you can touch the history of this country with your hands.
Speaking of wonders, now it’s the turn of Ponte Vecchio, another symbol of this city.
This well known medieval bridge links the two shores of Florence and is the perfect vantage point over the Arno river, the soul of Florence.
Crossing the bridge is a fundamental step of your itinerary in Florence.
In addition all along the bridge you will find various jewelry shops, passed down from generations to generations, where you can get an unforgettable (and not cheap) souvenir of this charming city
At this point your time is almost up!
In the second part of the afternoon you can explore the quarter called “Oltrarno”, with its fascinating boutiques, bars and alleys, ending your day in Florence in front of Palazzo Pitti, another landmark.
If you still have time to visit Boboli Gardens it would be worth it.
This historical park, opened to the public in 1766, represents one of the most important examples of Italian gardens in the world.
Several gardens and parks, all across Europe, have been inspired by this place, including the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.
Unfortunately this is going to be your last stop of your 24 hours itinerary in Florence.
From here the train station is quite far, you will need time to come back and don’t miss your train.
Visiting Florence in one day is impossible, I told you.
Despite this, with this itinerary I tried to give you an insight over this incredible and charming city.
I hope you can find it useful!