Florence in a Day
My first advice is to reach the city quickly, the ideal option is by train (they are often and frequent, to nearly all the towns of Tuscany), travelling by car is also good, however, you may lose yourself some valuable time parking, as I assure you it is not easy to park in Florence.
Arriving in the morning to the train or bus station you will be practically in the city centre and for the first step you can stop at the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.
A 10-15 minute visit should be enough for a general view, from there you can make your way directly to the Cathedral (or Duomo as we call them in Italy), known as Santa Maria in Fiore which is only a 5 minute walk away.
The visit to the cathedral obviously requires more time because of its magnitude and sheer beauty. The braver ones of you can also climb to the dome of Brunelleschi where after a few minutes of climbing a narrow staircase you can admire one of the most beautiful and spectacular views of Florence (Hint: those who suffer from claustrophobia I advise you not to climb).
Finishing the visit to the Duomo you have two options: visit the Galleria degli Uffizi or if you prefer the Accademia Gallery. Browsing the two in a day could be stressful; therefore, I advise that you choose between one or the other. For non-experts, in the Galleria Accademia is the famous David by Michelangelo and other works, while the Uffizi Museum preserves the best works of art from the Renaissance period that exist in the world.
Once either of the two visits is over I would advise eating at a very good and very cheap restaurant which I never tire of talking about in this blog, the restaurant is called Mario (for more information click on the link). Whether you have visited the Uffizi or the Accademia the restaurant is at most a 15 minute walk.
After eating and drinking some good Tuscan wine, it’s worth a spending some time on the market of San Lorenzo (which is right next to the restaurant), the market is open every day and is very characteristic of the city.
To continue your journey through the city I recommend you return through the centre, passing through Via Tornabuoni (the way to pass the most famous shops) until you reach the river Arno. Coming from Via Tornabuoni you will find on your left the beautiful Ponte Vecchio where Jewelers of Jewish origin were exposed for centuries their precious pieces.
Passing along the Ponte Vecchio and 200 metres ahead you will find yourself facing the famous Palazzo Pitti (sometimes called the Pitti Palace in English)with its Boboli Gardens. A visit to the gardens requires time and depends on your own fatigue. As many of you will have very few hours to get back to the train or the bus I would advise to retrace your steps to the beautiful Piazza Signoria and follow just behind it to the beautiful church of Santa Croce that from my point of view is worth a calming visit. This is because in this church there are the tombs of many major figures in the history of Florence and the world such as Galilelo Galilei, Michelangelo, Machiavelli as well as the unique works of art by Giotto, Donatello and Cimabue.
After this visit, you will have just enough time to return to the bus or train…just so you know…running to Santa Maria Novella (20 minutes walk).
Good friends, as always I hope this information has been useful in preparing you for your journey.
Another article in this blog about Florence:
Kindest regards to all,