Florence City Tour
Book Florence city tour, Florence has always been one of our favorite Italian cities of art. It has elegant tradition, rich in history and culture, lively. This city was the cradle of the Renaissance. It gave birth to great artists, from Dante to Boccaccio, from Michelangelo to Brunelleschi to Leonardo DA Vinci. A city that step by step makes you dreams of returning to the glories of the Medici era. However, this city is on a human scale, where you can stroll without haste and get lost in the less crowded alleys. Moreover, there are many tourist information center and travel agency which provides guides and audio guides as well. For booking a city tour please contact Tours27, the best tour operator Italy.
In addition, the historic center of Florence is a real wedding favor and can be easily visited even with little time available. It is among the most popular like Rome, Venice, Milan, Naples, Turin, Bologna, Bari, Sicily, Sardinia and Umbria. In short, the various attractions are quite close to each other and easily reachable on foot. In conclusion, today we therefore recommend a one-day itinerary that touches all the main points of the city.
Day 1 - Florence City Tour
1 Church of Santa Maria Novella
The first stop on our itinerary to discover Florence in one day can only be the Church of Santa Maria Novella, just a few steps from the railway station of the same name. The facade in my opinion is one of the most beautiful in the city, with a Romanesque style and decorated with white and green marble that draw geometric shapes. And the interior is no exception, between the Giotto cross on display and the very green cloister. Just think that Michelangelo, speaking of this church, used the name “my bride” to emphasize its beauty.
2 Discover the San Lorenzo district
San Lorenzo is one of my favorite neighborhoods. Here you can breathe the Florence of the Medici, the merchants and the people. Take your time to browse the Central Market and to shop among the stalls of leather goods and leather jackets. And walk with your nose up so as not to miss a single detail of the elegant Renaissance palaces, from Palazzo Medici Ricciardi to the Medici Chapels to the Basilica of San Lorenzo, which in the past was the city’s cathedral and which today is highly recognizable due to its unfinished façade.
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3 The Renaissance complex of Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo is an open-air museum. A triumph of Renaissance majesty and beauty. From the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with Brunelleschi’s Dome and the Opera Museum to the Baptistery of San Giovanni and Giotto’s Bell Tower. All collected in a few steps. There is no element that predominates over the others and the buildings are in perfect harmony. The facade of the Cathedral is richly decorated in every part, from the rose windows to the entrance portal, while the interior in my opinion is a bit disappointing, it lacks that warmth and those muted colors that I would expect from a sacred place.
The Baptistery, on the other hand, is simply beautiful both inside and out, and it is no coincidence that one of the entrance portals is known as the “gateway to Paradise”. The interior is a triumph of mosaics and frescoes in golden shades, which almost seem to shine with their own light. And finally, Giotto’s Bell Tower, considered the most beautiful in Italy. Almost 85 meters high and 15 meters wide, white, red and green marble for a geometrically perfect construction.
If you want to see Florence from above, you can choose between the Brunelleschi Dome of the Duomo, the largest dome in the world, and Giotto’s Bell Tower. I opted for the first option and, despite the effort and the almost crawling climb in the last meters to go along with the slope of the dome, I must admit that the view is crazy. Obviously, do it only if you are not afraid of the over 450 steps and if you are not claustrophobic.
4 Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchi
Piazza della Signoria is the heart of historic Florence. There are hundreds of tourists flock to every hour of the day and evening. An L-shaped square overlooked by one of the city’s symbolic buildings: Old Palace. Built in the fourteenth century, today it is the seat of the administrative power of Florence. In front of Old Palazzo you can also admire the Neptune Fountain and the perfect copy of Michelangelo’s David. On the side you can see the Loggia which houses other splendid statues.
5 Uffizzi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important art museums in Italy and in the world. However, it is unthinkable to go to Florence without visiting it. It is founded by Francesco I de ‘Medici in 1581. Today it houses a collection of works by painters from the twelfth to the eighteenth century. This is the visit that can leave even the most insensitive ones speechless. Those dedicated to Botticelli, in which there are “The Birth of Venus” and “The Spring”, the absolute favourite masterpieces. You will explore the room with geographical maps and the mathematics room. There are various scientific instruments of the time are exhibited.
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6 Old Bridge
From the Uffizi we continue our one-day itinerary in Florence with another must see. Here the very famous Old Bridge, which connects the two banks of the Arno and which is a symbol of the city. This is the first bridge built with a structure with lowered arches. Because of a solution that made it possible to have only three spans but much wider than usual. Old Bridge is undoubtedly one of the most romantic places in Florence. Here you can stroll gently hand in hand, to admire the shop windows and observe the flowing river. It owes much of its charm to the fact that it is a sort of natural continuation of the road. On its two sides there are dozens of very characteristic artisan shops. It is closed from front by massive wooden doors and with a back it develops towards the river.
7 Pitti Palace and Boboli Graden
Crossing old bridge you arrive on the left bank of the Arno, perhaps one of the most authentic and authentic in Florence. With a few steps you are immediately in front of Palazzo Pitti which, despite its name, is a huge museum complex. In fact, it includes the Palatine Gallery, the Modern Art Gallery and the Costume Gallery. However there are the Silver Museum, the Carriage Museum and the Porcelain Museum. Finally you can also explore the rooms of the Royal Apartments.
However, it is possible to take a nice walk in the Boboli Gardens, the green heart of Florence, a wonderful example of an Italian garden. Medici built it and then Lorraine and Savoy families completed over the centuries. There are elegant and refined, embellished with statues, fountains and caves. The garden rises along the Boboli hill to offer un-miss-able view of the city from above. Since 2013 it has also been registered as a World Heritage Site.
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8 Neighborhood of Santa Croce
The Santa Croce district was the most pleasant discovery in Florence and therefore we include it in this itinerary. The central point is the square overlooked of the Basilica of Santa Croce which, I recommend you visit. Inside, in fact, there are frescoes of Giotto and the tombs of the likes of Michelangelo and Machiavelli. In fact, the church belongs to the complex of the Museum of Santa Croce, which also includes the Chapel design of Brunelleschi. Therefore, consider at least a couple of hours for a complete visit.
Then stroll through the streets, full of excellent shops and artisan shops that recall the trades of the past (framers, antique dealers). Here time really seems to have stopped. You will see that it will be very pleasant to browse here and there without being surrounded with too many tourists.
Here we are at the end of this itinerary to visit Florence in one day. With more time available, you can also visit the other districts without hesitation. Explore all the attractions we mentioned and discover for example little known gems. But also a just one day is enough to fall madly in love with the city. We leave you now some practical information
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Practical advise to better organise visit
Arriving by train – the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence is a couple of minutes walk from the historic center. The train is therefore the optimal solution to get to the city, without having to go crazy to find parking. Also consider that, with only one day available, you can expect to arrive early in the morning and leave after dinner. Book admission tickets – in advance for the most famous attractions, one above all the Uffizi Gallery, make sure to buy the ticket in advance. The official websites for buying ticket is Musement.com. It offers also guided tours and convenient skip-the-line options, but bit expensive. So avoid the queue because nobody wants to spend hours standing in line do you?
Where to eat – you know, all over Tuscany eats divinely and Florence is no exception. But be careful to avoid the classic tourist-catchers, which offer menus at very low prices. Lose yourself in the alleys and stop in the real taverns of the past, where you can taste the typical cuisine. Here the rooms with dark wood furnishings, perhaps with cured meats and garlic crests hanging from the ceiling. It offers amazing Florence rare cuisine and that will make you day.