In a country with as much to see and do as Italy, knowing your plans ahead of time is important. It may feel as if one day in any city is not enough time, but a day trip from Rome or Venice is an excellent way to see the best of Florence. The itinerary below helps you make the most of your time, or, if you rather have us handle the details, check out the Florence in a Day Tour.
Florence in a Day Itinerary
We obviously recommending spending more than just the day in Florence, but if your travel time is limited it is better to see it than miss Florence altogether. Also, this is a great first-day itinerary for persons who are spending a couple of days in want to see it all! Here are 9 stops that you can fit into a day if you are focused!
Stop 1: Getting to Florence
Centrally located between Milan, Venice, and Rome, Florence is easily accessible by train. This makes seeing the city in a day easier than it sounds. We suggest booking your ticket to Santa Maria Novella Train Station in Florence in advance to get the best price. Catching an early train is the best way to ensure you have plenty of time to see all the sites. Visit the Trenitalia website to check train times and prices.
Location: Santa Maria Novella Train Station
Stop 2: Accademia Gallery
From the Santa Maria Novella Train Station, the Accademia Gallery is about a fifteen-minute walk. This is a popular site, as it is home to Michelangelo’s David, so we recommend arriving before 9:30 AM. During the high season it gets extremely crowded, so reserving tickets ahead online ensures entry and the cheapest price. If you want an informed guide to help you navigate the gallery, check out a Florence tour that includes Michelangelo’s David.
Address: Via Ricasoli, 58/60
Hours: Tues-Sat 8:15a.m.-6:50p.m.
Stop 3: Mercato Centrale
After working up an appetite, you can satisfy your hunger at the Mercato Centrale, just a seven-minute walk from Accademia. Fuel up for a day full of Florence sightseeing with coffee, fresh fruit, or a snack. Wander the two-floor market containing a variety of fresh Italian foods and pack a picnic lunch to take with you or eat like a local on the second floor, where the market is set up similar to a food court.
Address: Via dell’Ariento
Hours: Mon – Sun 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Stop 4: Florence Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Il Duomo)
Another short walk away is “Duomo”, a massive cathedral in the center of Florence. Construction began in 1436 and lasted over 100 years during the height of the Florentine Renaissance. From the outside, you can see the dazzling colors, towering bronze doors, and distinguishable “cupola”, or dome. You can choose to enter the cathedral for free, or purchase a € 18 ticket that includes access to Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry of San Giovanni, the Crypt of Santa Reparata and the Opera Museum. Make sure to check the hours online as they may vary based on seasons and religious holidays.
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Stop 5: Gelateria Edoardo
Did you know that Florence is the birthplace of gelato? Family-owned and stocked with authentic flavors, Gelateria Edoardo is only a three minute walk from Duomo. This shop offers organic gelato with recipes that are over 100 years old. For a sensational experience, try one of their hand-made cones loaded up with several scoops!
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 45/R
Stop 6: Ponte Vecchio
After dining on what foodies consider the best food in Florence, walk six minutes to the Ponte Vecchio, one of Florence’s oldest landmarks. This is the only bridge to cross the Arno river that the German’s didn’t destroy during WWII – instead demolishing buildings on either side of the bridge to block access. A unique feature of the Ponte Vecchio is the shops built into the structure, most of which sell jewelry and gold.
Location: Ponte Vecchio
Uffizi Gallery Tours
Stop 7: Piazza della Signoria & The Uffizi Gallery
Right around the corner from the Ponte Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria, a Florentine outdoor art gallery. This jaw-dropping square is surrounded by statues, monuments, and fountains that enhance the area surrounding the Uffizi Gallery. This is also where the Palazzo Vecchio is – which now serves as the town hall of Florence.
A great idea is to schedule a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery. We have a few top-rated tours that bring the gallery to life. You can also check out our online guide to the Uffizi for more information.
Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6
Stop 8: Basilica of Santa Croce
After getting gelato to enjoy on the seven-minute walk, heading over to Basilica di Santa Croce. This stunning church is the final resting place of Michelangelo and Galileo. Tickets are €8 for adults and €6 for children 11-17 years old. Pre-book tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line. Hours may vary based on season and religious holidays.
Soak up the culture and history in the piazza where the church is located. This is a great place to take photos and people-watch while sitting and relaxing.
Address: Piazza di Santa Croce, 16
Hours: Mon – Sat 9:30am – 5:30 pm | Sun 2pm – 5:30 pm
Stop 9: All’Antico Vinaio
Unfortunately, this Florence day trip is coming to an end. If you are getting hungry and think you want a snack for the train, stop at All’Antico Vinaio for a Florentine “panino” sandwich. The choices are endless and the servers are more than helpful with suggestions at this popular street food stop. A favorite is the ‘porchetta’, or pork sandwich paired with a glass of Tuscan wine. Buon Appetito!
Address: Via dei Neri, 74/R
Stop 10: Fontana del Porcellino
On your way back to the train station, stop at Il Porcellino, a bronze pig fountain with folklore stating that rubbing the pig’s nose before leaving Florence ensures you’ll return safely. Another story says your wish will come true if you put a coin inside the Porcellino’s mouth and it gets washed down into the grate below it. The coins are used to support a local orphanage, so partaking in this tradition ends your Florence day trip with a good deed.
Address: Piazza del Mercato Nuovo
From there it is back to your hotel or the train station! Arrivederci!