48 Hours In Florence
"Florence and art is something that is part of my life and is part of myself."- Roberto Cavalli
48 Hours in Florence, A True Italian Adventure
Known as the cradle of the Renaissance, the city of Florence combines more than it’s fair share of historical sights with modern and vibrant Italian culture. With many of the main attractions within walking distance, you can spend the entire day exploring the winding city streets and breath-taking architecture and still end up wanting more. Sounds like the ideal destination for a True Italian Adventure, doesn’t it?
The capital city of the Tuscany region, Florence is known worldwide as being home to Renaissance art and architecture. It also has a reputation hundreds of years old for producing both top quality leather and gelato.
With a potentially overwhelming number of historic landmarks and restaurants to wade through during your visit, we’ve taken the stress out of itinerary planning. So stay tuned to find out where to go and what to eat during 48 hours in the lovely city of Florence to allow you to make the most of your Italian getaway. So let's dive in!
DAY 1- 48 Hours In Florence
Start your first morning by taking in one of the best views of the city, found at the top of Giotto’s Campanile - the bell tower allows you a vista of Florence including the Arno River and the rolling hills beyond the city. Once you’ve got your bearings we recommend a visit to the Duomo, found alongside the Campanile on Piazza San Giovanni. With its dominating size and extravagant marble exterior, the Duomo is a must-see during a visit to Florence. Inside is Brunelleschi’s Dome which was added in the 15th century. Once you’ve tackled the 460 step climb you can see the huge frescoes covering the inside of the dome up close and look down on the Cathedral’s mosaic floors.
Also located close by in the city’s historic centre are the Palazzo Pitti and it's art collections, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, and the Brancacci Chapel.
Enjoy your well-earned lunch at Via de’ Neri. They serve a variety of mouthwatering panino options. Via de’ Neri is located in the main street of the historical centre so an ideal location to meander to after working up an appetite soaking in all that history and culture.
Skip dessert and go for gelato at Mercato Centrale - housed in a beautiful 19th-century building made from iron and glass. The ground floor is full of stalls selling traditional products, while the first floor is home to a vast food hall with offerings from all over Italy.
For another shot of culture head to the Cappella dei Magi, just around the corner in Palazzo Medici-Riccardi. The walls of this 15th century Chapel are covered in stunning frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli painted for the Medici family who ruled Florence at the time.
To round off your day with a different perspective of the city book yourself onto a boat tour along the Arno River. Relax and take in your surroundings on a traditional wooden ‘Barchetto’ - Florence’s answer to the gondola, while enjoying an aperitivo and listening to your guide.
If you’re feeling extravagant head to Michelin-starred La Bottega Del Buon Caffè located on Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini. They offer modern twists on Italian classics expertly paired with a huge range of wines in a rustic yet elegant setting.
DAY 2- 48 Hours In Florence
On your second day in Florence, wake up early to beat the crowds and enjoy a scenic walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo. Here you can see a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and take in sweeping panoramic views of the city.
Next, head to the Accademia Gallery and check out the real ‘David’ along with countless other works of art by some of Italy’s most celebrated artists. Allow yourself plenty of time to look round, as there’s a vast amount to see.
A trip to Florence wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Ponte Vecchio or Old Bridge. The only bridge across the Arno until 1218, the current structure was rebuilt after a flood in 1345 and was the only bridge in Florence not destroyed by the Germans during the Second World War. There have always been shops along the Ponte Vecchio - initially, these were butchers and fishmongers, however, present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers making this an ideal location to pick up a memento of your trip.
For a quick bite to eat to refuel for more sightseeing, go to Pannini Toscani, located on Piazza del Duomo. The staff here offer you samples of the various meats and cheeses on offer while you wait for your lunch.
Something to bear in mind when planning your trip to Florence is that Italy’s state museums are free on the first Sunday of each month. In Florence, this includes the Accademia, Uffizi, Bargello, Palazzo Pitti and the Medici Chapels. Bear in mind that it’s not possible to book tickets in advance so to take advantage of this you’ll need to queue on the day.
As The Sun Sets
In the evening enjoy drinks and music in one of the bars on Piazza Santo Spirito. This picturesque square is a perfect location for people watching while enjoying an aperitivo.
Where To Stay
Make Florence your home from home with the following hotel options.
If you are looking for luxury, Hotel Lungarno is a five-star hotel on the banks of the Arno. It boasts light, airy decor, two bars and a gourmet restaurant to enjoy.
If you want to stay near the Accademia Gallery the Grand Amore Hotel is a boutique hotel which combines luxury with Italian hospitality. Guests are sent a questionnaire to complete before check-in which allows staff to customise the room based on their preferences.
1865 Residenza d’Epoca is a small guesthouse located in a residential area of the city. With just five rooms, each named after a writer who lived in Florence when it was the capital of Italy and a small library for guests to use, this literary-inspired hotel makes an ideal base to explore from.
Antica Dimora Johlea is a budget-friendly guesthouse located nearby the Duomo. The affordable rate includes rooms with four-poster beds and thoughtful décor. The roof terrace makes an ideal location to relax after a long day of sight-seeing and free coffee and cakes are also served throughout the day.
Two days may not be quite enough time to enjoy all the attractions the city of Florence has to offer, but you can certainly make a dent in them. This historic Tuscan city is full of art, culture and food and once visited you’ll find yourself planning to go back!