Florence is an incredible city, one of our favorites in the world. We should start by clarifying that 24 hours is not nearly enough time to even slightly take in everything that this city has to offer. But if we had a layover that blessed us with a full day and night in Florence, here's what we'd do!
LE VESPE CAFE
Most Europeans tend to do breakfast very lightly. Fruit, coffee, pastries, maybe some eggs, but always fairly simple. So, when you find a place that offers a daily 'brunch', as Americans, you should feel obliged to check it out. LE VESPE CAFE(VIA GHIBELLINA, 76 RED, 50122 FIRENZE, IT) does just that! Pancakes, bagels, french toast, breakfast sandwiches, they've got it all.
If you're into touristy stuff, feel free to climb the duomo, head into the Uffizi to see the David, see the Gucci museum, there's TONS to do. However, if our time is limited, we would spend the day wandering the city. A huge advantage in Florence is that mostly everything is within walking distance. It allows you to cover lots of ground in one day, if you plan appropriately.
MERCATO DI SAN LORENZO
Walk towards the LA PIAZZA DEL DUOMO, where the SAN LORENZO markets are nearby. You'll find tons of leather goods, and also an indoor two-story food market. When you get back to the Duomo, head down Via de Roma, towards the Gucci store on the corner. You will run into if not the most prominent shopping area in Florence, and it will take you all the way down to the water, specifically, the Ponte Vecchio.
On your way towards the water you'll also pass the MERCATO DEL PORCELLINO, known for selling all kinds of goods, and recognizable from the famed fountain and statue of a boar. Across the way, towards the Uffizi, you'll also run into LA PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA, a beautiful piazza known for the tower of Palazzo Vecchio and also... even more shopping.
At this point, we'd stop for some gelato.. because.. when in Italy, you get gelato. We can honestly say we've never had bad gelato in Florence, but we definitely have our favorite stops.
You'll be pretty close to PERCHÉ NO!(VIA DEI TAVOLINI, 19R, 50122 FIRENZE, IT) , but our other favorites include : CARAPINA (PIAZZA GUGLIELMO OBERDAN, 2R, 50136 FIRENZE, IT) and MORDILATTE (VIA GABRIELE D'ANNUNZIO, 105, 50135 FIRENZE, IT).
MERCATO DEL PORCELLINO
LA PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA
Ready for lunch? (You're in Italy, you should always be ready to eat.)Let's make it a long one. Head over to one of our favorite and most Instagram-worthy piazzas, LA PIAZZA DELLA REPUBLICA. You'll know you've come to the right place when you spot the carousel in the center, and most likely at least one local live musician performing right in the middle. There will be at least four or more different restaurants within the piazza that have outdoor seating available. Pick whichever one you want, have yourself some prosecco, and just enjoy your environment. Oh, and we guess you can order some lunch as well, but the prosecco is key.
LA PIAZZA DELLA REPUBLICA
Now, we'll head back to the Ponte Vecchio, and cross it this time. Get your jewelry shopping done along the way! You'll make a left off the bridge, and just head UP! You're in for a nice walk to LA PIAZZA DE MICHAELANGELO, which provides the BEST view of Florence, in our opinion.
VIEW FROM PIAZZA DE MICHAELANGELO
On your way, feel free to pick up a bottle of wine and some cups to enjoy once you arrive. It's much cheaper to get beforehand, but they sell them nearby as well. Also on your way if you stay close to the water is TERZO GIARDINO(LUNGARNO SERRISTORI, 19, 50125 FIRENZE, IT), beautiful waterfront gardens. If you're feeling lazy, there are cars that will take you up and down to the Piazza, but it's much more fulfilling to manage the walk on your own if you're capable! The piazza provides amazing views during both the day and at night, but if you can plan to be there during the sunset, you're in for a real treat. Sit on the steps, sip some wine, listen to the music, take tons of photos, and ALSO check out one of the very few 'David' replicas that can be found in the city.
Although we could go on and on about all the wonderful options for dinner in Florence (and likely, we will at a later date), we recommend TRATTORIA 4 LEONI(VIA DE' VELLUTINI, 1R, 50125 FIRENZE, IT). They nail the classics and everything is phenomenal, but the infamous Fiochetti di Pera is our absolute favorite.
FIOCCHETTI DI PERA
PROSCIUTTO E MELONE
There's tons of nightlife in Florence. If you're into a club vibe, SPACE(VIA PALAZZUOLO, 37, 50123 FIRENZE, IT), FULL UP(VIA DELLA VIGNA VECCHIA, 23R, 50122 FIRENZE, IT), or YAB(VIA DEI SASSETTI, 5R, 50123 FIRENZE, IT), would certainly live up to that expectation. For some nice cocktails and a great apretivo, MOYO(VIA DEI BENCI, 23R, 50129 FIRENZE, IT) is located in the Santa Croce area. Florence also offers lots of pubs and dive-like bars, a few favorites are LION'S FOUNTAIN(BORGO DEGLI ALBIZI, 34, 50122 FIRENZE, IT) and FRIENDS PUB(BORGO S. JACOPO, 51, 50125 FIRENZE, IT). For a nice mix of a pub, with some dancing, RED GARTER(VIA DE' BENCI, 33R, 50122 FIRENZE, IT) is also quite a popular place to be.
One thing we definitely insist on before heading off to bed, is to go back toward the Duomo. There's a very tiny Irish Pub called JJ CATHEDRAL, where you can get some cheap drinks and sit next to the Duomo to enjoy them. There's even a tiny balcony on the second floor, with the best seats in the house. It's the perfect way to say goodnight to Firenze.
WHERE TO STAY IN FLORENCE?
LUNGARNO DEGLI ACCIAIUOLI 4, 50123 FIRENZE, ITALY
FOUR SEASONS FIRENZE
BORGO PINTI, 99, 50121 FIRENZE, ITALY
CASA HOWARD GUEST HOUSE FLORENCE
VIA DELLA SCALA, 18, 50123 FIRENZE, ITALY
VICOLO DELL'ORO, 6R, 50123 FIRENZE, ITALY
VILLA LA VEDETTA HOTEL
VIALE MICHAELANGIOLO, 78, 50125 FIRENZE, ITALY
ST. REGIS FLORENCE
PIAZZA OGNISSANTI, 1, 50123 FIRENZE, ITALY
JK PLACE FIRENZE
PIAZZA DI SANTA MARIA NOVELLA, 7, 50123 FIRENZE, ITALY
ANY SUGGESTIONS WE MISSED? LET US KNOW!
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