🇬🇧 2 days in Florence 🇬🇧

What to do in two days in Florence.

5/6/202312 min read

🇫🇷 Retrouve cet article en Français ici ! 🇫🇷

During our 15 days road trip in Italy, we stopped in Florence.

In this article I will talk about our stay, what we did, what we visited and where we stayed.

Florence is the capital of Tuscany, an east-central region of Italy. It counts around 382 258 residents. It is the 8th biggest city in Italy.

For how long ?

Florence was the 4th stop of our road trip. We arrived on Sunday 24th and left on Tuesday July 26th. We stayed 1 day and a half and 2 nights.

For me, it was enough time to visit the most famous places of Florence. Florence isn’t very big and the places not to be missed are almost located next to each other. But get ready to walk a lot to have time to see everything !

Where to sleep ?

We found the perfect situated accommodation. We stayed in this Booking.

We payed 110,50€ for 2 nights, so it was really cheap. The owner also asked us for a tourist tax, it happen a lot in the cities of Italy. It is a tourist tax charged to all travelers. So we gave 20€ in cash.

Don’t be fooled by the pictures of the ad because unfortunately they are not true to what we got. I believe the owner has a few apartments in Florence, so there are pictures about all of his apartments on this ad. Moreover the furnitures we had in this apartment changed a lot… But it was still pretty great ! A little bit small, but perfect for 2 people. Being in the middle of the buildings, it was very dark but it was also very quiet at night. The cleanliness was on point, but I’ve had worse !

Anyway, it wasn’t the best accommodation, but it’s location just 10 minutes walk from the Duomo is awesome. All you have to do is drop off your car and go for a walk.

By the way about the car, you have to be careful, the neighbourhood where the booking is located is inside a ZTL area (Limited Traffic Zone). You are not allowed to get in. Only the residents and public transport are allowed. Signs indicate the entrance of these areas. Do not get in at all, otherwise you risk being fined a few days later… So unfortunately we left our car at the beginning of the street, in a metered parking, 10 minutes walk from the apartment. After going around the neighbourhood for long minutes, we had no choice. You have to pay everywhere around the city. We paid 30€ for 1 day and a half (nights are free).

Day 1 :

The first day, we arrived in Florence around 3pm. After moving into our Booking, we went on a little walk in the city.

Basilica di Santa Croce

The Basilica di Santa Croce is the biggest Franciscan church in the world built in 1294. It is home of around 300 tombs dating between the 14th and 19th century. Some famous people are resting inside like Michelangelo and Galileo.

We didn’t get inside, but it looks like it’s worth it ! The entry cost around 8€.

The Santa Croce square, right in front of the basilica, is very frequented. Many events are organised throughout the year.

Bargello National Museum

It is a museum installed since 1865 inside the Bargello palace. Its collection of renaissance statues is considered one of the most remarkable in the world. It gathers sculptures dating between the 14th and 16th century, including Michelangelo’s, Donatello’s, Ghiberti’s…

It also gathers weapons, armors, Medici’s medals and other works of art in bronze and marble.

We didn’t visit this museum because it was going to close when we arrived.

Florence Central Market

The central market is a covered market located via Panicale and Piazza del Mercato Centrale. It was build around 1874 as the Loggia del Porcellino market replacement, that wasn’t big enough for the city anymore because of the population growth.

The architect was inspired by the Paris Halls for its structure.

It is possible to go inside for free. It is actually a huge food market, where you can stop to eat a few bites sitting on the chairs and tables located around the market. Inside, the light comes through the big windows on which the roof rests. It almost feels like you are outside !

Outside, you can find the San Lorenzo market. I do not recommend you to buy anything there if you don’t want to get trap, because there mostly are clothes, leather goods and souvenirs for tourists, of counterfeit and sold more expensive than normally.

Day 2 :

After sleeping for a little bit, we went to visit the city around 11am.

The Duomo (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower)

The Florence Duomo is the 5th christian church in Europe by its size. It is mostly known for its dome, which is the biggest concrete dome in the world with a diameter of 45,5 meters. Its construction lasted 100 years (from 1296 to 1436).

Its style is also very particular and makes it beautiful. Indeed its exterior is covered with different colours marbles, producing bands on its facade. And I can tell you it is really impressive to see. It’s probably the most beautiful Duomo I saw during this trip. You feel tiny next to it !

We really wanted to visit it, but unfortunately that day, there was so much people, and more than 2 hours wait. It is totally our fault because we didn’t make reservation beforehand ! I really recommend you to book tickets in advance, on the Tiqets app for example, who works perfectly. I regret a lot not being able to enter, but waiting 2 hours under a 40 degree Celsius (104 degree Fahrenheit) sun wasn’t conceivable. Moreover, it would have made us lost to much time on the visit of the city. But if you can do it : DO IT ! Its dome looks incredible inside and it is also possible to climb on top of it and have a beautiful view over the city.

Be careful ! If you go there during summer, shorts and skirts are out. But it is mandatory to cover your shoulders and legs inside the cathedral. Don’t forget to bring a little jacket or a scarf with you !

Basilica di San Lorenzo

It is one of the oldest church of the city. It is one of the main catholic places of worship of Florence. It is right next to the Medici chapels, which contain the sarcophagi of this family.

Its exterior isn’t awesome yes, but I think the inside is worth it, but we didn’t get in. Apparently inside you can find work of arts of Michelangelo, Donatello or Brunelleschi.

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

This basilica is the main Dominicains temple (a catholic order). Its facade is partly covered with green and white marble. It is really beautiful.

It is possible to visit it, but the entry is chargeable (around 7€). Apparently it is one of the most beautiful church of Florence and its inside is very colourful. It is also known for its frescoes of Middle Ages daily life scenes.

Strozzi Palace

The Strozzi Palace is one of the most beautiful palace of Florence. It is named after the Strozzi family, who, like the Medici family, had a big influence on Florence development. Today, it is an artistic and cultural center and regularly welcome big exhibitions, concerts, seminars and other events.

It is possible to go inside its big courtyard for free, where you will maybe be able to admire ephemeral works of art, if you are lucky like us. It is obviously possible to visit its many rooms and exhibitions by purchasing entrance tickets for around 12€.

Piazza della Signoria

It is the most animated square of the city but also the most important. It represents the political heart of Florence, while the Duomo’s square represents the religious heart. On this square you can find many beautiful sculptures from different artists, created over the centuries. For exemple, you can find the beautiful Ammannati’s Fountain of Neptune.

I really liked this square. All the sculptures on display transform it into a majestic and atypical place.

Palazzo Vecchio

The Palazzo Vecchio is the city hall of Florence. It is located on the Piazza della Signoria I just talked about. This palace-fortress is in a parallelepiped-shaped, which attracts the tourists attention. With its 94 meters high tower, they are the emblems of Florence.

Right at the palace entry you can find the reproduction of Michelangelo’s statue David and the Bandinelli’s Hercules and Cacus.

It is possible to get inside its courtyard for free. You can find beautiful wall decorations and other sculptures there. It is also possible to visit its rooms for around 12€, but we didn’t do it.

Vinaino Fiorenza Sandwichs

Then it was time to eat a little bit, and right next to the Piazza della Signoria we found the perfect place. The sandwichs were delicious and very hearty. I recommend it !

I put the exact address here !

Ponte Vecchio

Then, a few meters from the Palazzo Vecchio, you can find the Ponte Vecchio. The iconic bridge of Florence, that you probably already saw on pictures. It is a built bridge, made up of shops. It is the high place of jewellery in Florence because all of its shops are actually jewellery stores. And it is very surprising when you arrive, you can find nothing else than jewellery !

It is also the oldest bridge of Europe. At the time, the hanging shops were occupied by butchers, but because of the bad smell, the Grand Duke of Tuscany decided to transform them into jewellery stores.

The best way to see the bridge is to walk away from it and admire the view from far, alongside the Arno river, it is really atypical and give a romantic side to Florence.

Pitti Palace

Not far from the Ponte Vecchio you can find the Pitti Palace. It is a huge renaissance style palace, who used to be the house of Luca Pitti, a Florentine banker. Then it was bought by the Medici Family and became their main residence. Successive generations amass paintings, goldsmiths, jewellery there… and it become a real treasure chest. Then the palace and what’s inside are handed to the Italian people by the king in 1919 and it become a museum open to everyone.

It is possible to visit it for around 15€. Its many rooms and arts pieces make it one of the biggest art gallery of Florence. We didn’t go inside.

Piazzale Michelangelo

To reach this square, you will have to get ready to walk a little bit. Indeed, it is situated on a belvedere on top of the city. Once on top, you will be able to admire a beautiful view over the city. You can see all of the most beautiful buildings of the city and this is when you realise how big the duomo is. It is really a place to go !

It is also possible to go there by car or by bus.

You can find restaurants and food and souvenir stalls.

It has this name because it was dedicated to the great artist Michelangelo, by the way you can find a few replicas of his famous works of art.

The Sistema delle Rampe del Poggi fountains

Coming down from the Piazzale Michelangelo from the north side path, you will find yourself in front of very particular and surprising fountains. In English they are called The Poggi’s ramps. It is a site made of artificial caves, basins, fountains, arches, bridges and stairs. In the form of ruins, decorated with rock formations and ornamental stones it catches the eyes.

Its ramps were build in 1876 to strengthen and beautify the unstable hill of the Piazzale Michelangelo. Because they had no money, they were abandoned for more than a 100 years.

It is only in 2018 that the ramps were restored and fully used with an hydraulic water management system who pump the deep water of the well and recycle it.

San Niccolò door

And continuing downhill, you will find the San Niccolò door. It is an old access door to the fortifications of Florence, used to defend and watch the passages on the old San Niccolò bridge. There were many door of this style around the city, but only a few are still up.

It is possible to climb on top of it and admire the view for a few euros.

Day 3 :

The day before, we had time to see everything we wanted to see. We even came back pretty early, around 5pm. Which allow us to take a rest and mostly order a good pizza !

So on day 3, we only had to prepare our suitcases and get back on the road towards the 4th stop of our road trip : Rome. I invite you to come check our stay in Rome on this article.

Florence wasn’t my favorite city of our trip. Maybe because we were tired ? Maybe the heat ? Maybe because we didn’t visit the best monuments ? But I didn’t find this city exceptional.

Yes, there are some beautiful buildings and a very rich history. The duomo is very impressive, and the city has its own charm.

But I found the streets dirty, and there were a lot of poor places. It may be the city where I felt the least safe.

But it is my point of view. I know a lot of people love this city. I’m curious to go back there during an other time of the year, and maybe favour more museums and buildings visits.

But do not hesitate to stop there if you are around, it is a city you need to see !

You can also check our stay in Florence in my Youtube Video down below (Sorry it is in French though…)

I hope you enjoy the reading of this article and that it was helpful to you. Do not hesitate to send me a message via the « contact » tab, on the top right of the screen, or to subscribe to my Newsletter.

I will see you soon in a new article !

Laura :)