Four Days in Florence - Complete Itinerary

Today I want to tell you about a city that has a special place in my heart and Fabio’s: the wonderful Florence. A city that looks like an open-air museum, where every corner tells a story of love, art and culture. Since Fabio and I met, this city has become a kind of romantic haven for us. We return there often, and very often we choose to celebrate our special occasions here: birthdays, anniversaries, and even those weekends when we simply need to get away and find some magic.

After years of walking its historic cobblestone streets, getting lost among the artistic masterpieces, and enjoying the breathtaking sunsets over the Arno River, I decided it was time to share with you my personal perfect itinerary. If you plan to spend 3 nights and 4 days in this enchanting city, read on-I promise it will be an unforgettable trip. 🌟

Recommended Hotels

First of all, it is essential to find the right shelter where to stay. I share with you below a list of hotels that Fabio and I have tried and approved over the years.

Florence:

Hotel Martelli: an elegant historic building that was owned by some Florentine nobles, 200 meters from the Duomo. – Booking Link Here

Pontevecchio Relais: located along the banks of the Arno River, in the center of Florence, just 40 meters from Ponte Vecchio – Booking link here

Hotel Bodoni: just 500 meters from Florence Cathedral – Link Booking Here

Sognando Firenze: B&B just steps from the banks of the Arno River, near Piazzale Michelangelo- Booking link here

If looking for a place to stay further away from the hustle and bustle of the city, consider Fiesole:

Poggio Al Sole: located in the heart of Tuscany just 20 minutes drive from Florence, is an Agriturismo with panoramic balcony nestled in the beautiful scenery of the hills surrounding Florence Link Site Here

Poggio Al Sole

Day 1

We begin our adventure from a place that is a veritable treasure chest of history and art: the Basilica of Santa Croce. Not only is it one of the largest churches in the world built in the Gothic style, but inside you will find the tombs of some of Italy’s greatest names, such as Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. A place that makes you feel small and immense at the same time.

We then continue to Piazza della Signoria, a veritable open-air museum. Here you are greeted by Michelangelo’s majestic statue of David (a copy, the original is in the Accademia) and the imposing Palazzo Vecchio with its tower that seems to touch the sky.

At this point, it is time to dive into the art. The nearby Uffizi Museum is a must-see. Dedicate at least 3-4 hours to admire masterpieces by artists such as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio. As a reminder, children under the age of 18 get in for free! You can purchase tickets on the official website: here or on Get Your Guide: here.

I remind you that if you want to visit as many attractions as possible there is the FirenzeCard.

For lunch, head to the Antico Vinaio, always full but most famous for its super-stuffed schiacciate. If you still have some space, a short walk away is Gelateria dei Neri, perfect for homemade ice cream.

Just a 3-minute walk from the square, you will meet the Piglet statue. Actually, it is a wild boar, but everyone calls it that. Legend has it that touching the statue’s snout brings good luck. And don’t forget to throw a coin inside its mouth: if it falls inside the grates good luck is assured! 🙂

Now, cross the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, dating back to 1345. A fascinating detail is that the bridge was once occupied by butchers, but today it is a haven for jewelry and craft lovers. Do you know why the butchers were removed? Because Grand Duke Ferdinand I could not stand the smell as he crossed the bridge on his way to the Pitti Palace!

Speaking of the Pitti Palace, this imposing structure was the residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and now houses several museums and galleries.

Then continue to Villa Bardini, a true hidden gem. Open until 9 p.m., it offers a panoramic view of Florence. The garden is also home to various art exhibitions and temporary installations, so there is always something new to discover.

End your day with a breathtaking view from Piazzale Michelangelo. This is the perfect place to watch the sun set over Florence and illuminate the city in a golden glow. But have you ever noticed the copy of the David here? It is one of the few scenic spots in Europe where a replica of such a work of art is displayed outdoors.

Day 2

We start the day from the beating heart of Florence: the Duomo. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is an architectural masterpiece, famous for its Brunelleschi-designed dome. Did you know that the dome is made of over 4 million bricks and no scaffolding was used during its construction? After admiring the interior, climb the 463 steps to enjoy a panoramic view of Florence that will leave you breathless. Don’t forget the Baptistery of St. John, known for its golden doors, which Michelangelo called “the gates of Paradise.”

How to visit the whole thing? On official website: here, find the Brunelleschi Pass that includes access to all monuments in the Piazza: the Baptistery of San Giovanni, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Brunelleschi’s Dome, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, and the ancient basilica of Santa Reparata with a single ticket, valid 3 days from the selected visit date.

Or on Get Your Guide, link here, you can choose to visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence by participating in an in-depth guided tour and you can access the entire complex, including Brunelleschi’s Dome.

For lunch, you are spoiled for choice. “Trattoria dall’Oste” is a short walk from the Cathedral and offers authentic Tuscan dishes. If you prefer something quick, “Panini Toscani” is a great option. And for dessert lovers, you can’t miss an ice cream from “La Strega Nocciola Artisan Ice Cream Shop.”

In the afternoon, you can opt for a visit to Dante’s House (tickets are purchased directly at the museum entrance for €8) or the Leonardo da Vinci Museum (you can purchase tickets by clicking here). Both are must-see cultural stops.

I’d say it’s time for some shopping! Head to Via dei Calzaiuoli in Piazza della Repubblica is your paradise. Continue to Via de’ Tornabuoni, where you can admire the windows of the luxury stores and feast your eyes! 🙂

For dinner, cross the Ponte Vecchio again and you will have several options: Osteria Il Cantinone for a romantic atmosphere, Trattoria La Casalinga for homemade dishes or Trattoria Giovanni for a true Tuscan experience.

Day 3

This morning we start with the not-to-be-missed Accademia Gallery: tickets here! Set aside at least a couple of hours to admire Michelangelo’s David and other Renaissance artworks. Did you know that the original David was intended to be placed on the dome of the Cathedral?

Not far away, find the Ospedale degli Innocenti, a building designed by Brunelleschi in 1419. This is considered the first Renaissance building in history and was originally an orphanage. Today it is a museum that explores the history of childhood.

For lunch,“La Menagère” is popular for its chic ambiance, but if you prefer something more authentic, Trattoria Zà Zà is a good choice. Another option is the Florence Central Market, a must-see place for food lovers. The building was opened in 1874 and today is a food lover’s paradise, with stalls selling everything from fruits and vegetables to meat and fish.

After lunch, head to the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, located near the train station of the same name. This church is a masterpiece of the Gothic and Renaissance periods and houses works of art by Giotto, Masaccio and Ghirlandaio. You cannot miss a visit to theOfficina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, founded in 1221. Here you will find a wide range of handmade perfumes, cosmetics and elixirs.

To end the day on a fun note, I recommend a tuk tuk ride to see Florence by night. Fabio and I had a great time! The audio guide in Italian will accompany you, telling you the history and interesting facts of all the monuments and museums you pass. Final stop before taking you back to the starting point? The Piazzale Michelangelo of course! Here is the link of the booked activity: click here.

We start the day with a visit to the Rose Garden, a piece of paradise that offers a panoramic view of Florence. It is less crowded than Piazzale Michelangelo and is a riot of color in spring. Then, go up to San Miniato al Monte, one of the oldest churches in Florence. From here, the view of the city is simply breathtaking.

For lunch, nearby I recommend La Cova – Spanish tapas bar if you are in the mood for something different. Don’t miss the Ice Cream Parlor of the Pussy!

In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the beauty of the Boboli Gardens, located behind the Pitti Palace. This historic garden is one of the largest in Florence and offers a variety of landscapes, from Italianate gardens to wilder groves. Don’t miss Buontalenti’s Grotto, a masterpiece of sculpture and architecture.

How about having a drink with a view? Book online at the Hotel Plaza Lucchesi bar for drinks at their Rooftop “Empireo,” direct link here. You will spend about 15€ per person for a glass of wine or a cocktail but it is worth it! End the day with a walk along the Arno River, enjoying the sunset and the romantic atmosphere. For dinner, the Santo Spirito neighborhood offers many options. It is a lively area full of restaurants and bars, perfect for savoring the authentic atmosphere of Florence.

Other things to see

  1. Medici Chapels: These chapels house the tombs of members of the Medici family and are a splendid example of Renaissance architecture.

  2. Museo Galileo: A must for science enthusiasts, with a large collection of ancient scientific instruments.

  3. Ponte Santa Trinita: One of the oldest and most beautiful bridges in Florence, known for its statues and view of Ponte Vecchio.

  4. Orsanmichele Church: It was once a grain market, but today it is a church with some of the most important sculptures of the Renaissance.

  5. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo: Many of the original works of art that once adorned the Cathedral and Baptistery are preserved here.

  6. Forte Belvedere: For a slightly different panoramic view of Florence, climb this historic fort.

  7. San Niccolo Quarter: A bohemian area filled with art stores, cafes and a breathtaking view of the city from the San Niccolo Tower.

  8. Horne Museum: A private collection of art and furniture, ideal for those who love Renaissance art.

  9. Iris Garden: Another lovely garden, especially beautiful when the irises are in bloom.

I hope this itinerary helps you discover the magic of Florence, a city that Fabio and I love deeply. If you want more insights or details, be sure to check out my featured Stories on my Instagram profile dedicated to Florence!

I wish you an unforgettable trip to beautiful Florence. Have a good trip!

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