3 Days in Florence: The Perfect Florence Itinerary

Immerse yourself in Renaissance art, savor Tuscan cuisine, and wander cobblestone streets in the cradle of the Renaissance. Follow this 3-day Florence itinerary for best results!

West Parker
West Parker
July 18, 2024

Imagine stepping out of Santa Maria Novella train station, the warm Tuscan sun on your face, the smell of fresh espresso in the air, and the dome of the iconic Duomo peeking over the terracotta rooftops. That's Florence in a nutshell - a city where every corner tells a story, every piazza holds a masterpiece, and every meal is a celebration of flavors.

Florence, or Firenze as the locals call it, is the birthplace of the Renaissance. It's where giants like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Botticelli left their mark. But don't let all that history intimidate you - Florence is also a living, breathing city with a vibrant contemporary scene. From world-class museums to hidden artisan workshops, from Michelin-starred restaurants to hole-in-the-wall trattorias, Florence has something for everyone.

So, whether you're an art buff, a foodie, a history nerd, or just someone looking to soak in the Italian dolce vita, this 3-day Florence itinerary has got you covered. We've packed in all the must-sees, sprinkled in some off-the-beaten-path gems, and of course, left plenty of room for spontaneous gelato stops (trust me, you'll need them).

Ready to fall in love with Florence? Let's go!

Pre-Trip Planning: Setting the Stage for Your Florence Adventure

Before we jump into the day-by-day itinerary, let's talk about some essential pre-trip planning. After all, a little preparation goes a long way in making your 3 days in Florence smooth and enjoyable.

When to Visit Florence

First things first - when should you plan your Florence getaway? Well, here's the inside scoop: Florence is gorgeous year-round, but some seasons are definitely more tourist-friendly than others.

Sarah and I visited in late April, and let me tell you, it was perfect. The weather was mild, the crowds weren't too crazy, and the city was alive with spring energy. Generally speaking, the best times to visit Florence are during the shoulder seasons - that's April to mid-June, and September to October. You'll get pleasant weather and fewer tourists compared to the peak summer months.

Summer (June to August) in Florence can be hot and crowded. I'm talking 90°F (32°C) temperatures and long lines at every attraction. Plus, August is when many locals go on vacation, so some smaller shops and restaurants might be closed.

Winter (November to March) can be chilly and rainy, but it's also the quietest time in terms of tourists. If you don't mind bundling up, you might enjoy having the city's treasures almost to yourself. Just keep in mind that some attractions might have reduced hours during the off-season.

Getting There and Around

Florence is well-connected to the rest of Italy and Europe. If you're flying in, you'll likely arrive at Florence Airport (FLR), which is just 4 km from the city center. From there, you can take a taxi or the convenient Volainbus shuttle service to the city center.

If you're coming from another Italian city, consider taking the train. We arrived via a high-speed train from Rome, and it was a breeze. The main train station, Santa Maria Novella, is right in the heart of the city.

Once you're in Florence, forget about renting a car. The historic center is compact and mostly pedestrianized. Plus, navigating the narrow streets and limited parking would be a nightmare. Trust me, Florence is a walking city. Most of the main attractions are within a 20-30 minute walk of each other.

For longer distances, Florence has a good bus network. You can buy tickets at tobacco shops (look for stores with a 'T' sign) or newsstands. Just remember to validate your ticket when you board the bus.

Where to Stay

Choosing the right neighborhood to stay in can make or break your Florence experience. After much research (and a bit of debate), Sarah and I decided to stay in the Santa Croce neighborhood, and we couldn't have been happier.

Here's a quick rundown of the best areas to stay in Florence:

  1. Duomo & Piazza della Signoria: This is the heart of historic Florence. You'll be steps away from the main attractions, but it can be noisy and crowded.
  2. Santa Croce: This is where we stayed. It's close to the main sights but feels more local. Plenty of great restaurants and bars too.
  3. San Lorenzo & San Marco: Great for foodies (hello, Mercato Centrale!) and those interested in Medici history.
  4. Santa Maria Novella: Convenient if you're arriving by train, with easy access to the main sights.
  5. Oltrarno: This is the "other side of the Arno". It's more residential and artsy, with a great local vibe.

We stayed at a charming boutique hotel called Hotel Palazzo Guadagni in Santa Croce. It was in a 16th-century palazzo with a rooftop terrace offering stunning views of the city. The staff were incredibly helpful, and the location was perfect for exploring the city on foot.

What to Pack

Packing for Florence requires a bit of strategy. You want to be comfortable for all that walking, but also stylish enough to blend in with the fashionable Florentines. Here's what I'd recommend:

  • Comfortable walking shoes: You'll be doing a lot of walking on cobblestone streets. Leave the heels at home, ladies!
  • Light, breathable clothing: Florence can get hot, especially in summer.
  • A light jacket or sweater: Evenings can be cool, even in summer.
  • Modest clothing for visiting churches: Many churches require covered shoulders and knees.
  • A reusable water bottle: Florence has many public fountains where you can refill.
  • A good camera: Trust me, you'll want to capture every moment.
  • A portable charger: All that photo-taking will drain your phone battery quickly.
  • A small daypack: For carrying water, guidebooks, and souvenirs.

One last tip: leave some space in your suitcase. Florence is known for its leather goods and artisanal crafts. You'll want to bring some treasures home!

Alright, now that we've got the basics covered, are you ready to dive into our 3-day Florence itinerary? Let's go explore the birthplace of the Renaissance!

Day 1: Heart of the Renaissance

Morning: Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio

Visitors admiring Botticelli's Birth of Venus painting in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Finally saw Botticelli's Birth of Venus in person at the Uffizi! The colors are so much more vibrant than in photos.

Rise and shine, Florence awaits! On your first day in this Renaissance wonderland, we're diving straight into the artistic heart of the city. Trust me, you'll want to start early to beat the crowds (and trust me, there will be crowds).

First stop: the Uffizi Gallery. This isn't just any museum; it's THE museum for Renaissance art. We're talking Botticelli's "Birth of Venus", Leonardo da Vinci's "Annunciation", Michelangelo's "Doni Tondo" - the hits just keep coming. Sarah and I got there right when it opened at 8:15 AM, and I highly recommend you do the same.

As you walk through the Uffizi's corridors, you're literally walking through art history. The building itself is a work of art, with frescoed ceilings and views of the Arno River that'll make your jaw drop. Pro tip: don't try to see everything. Focus on the highlights and take your time. Art appreciation isn't a race!

View of historic jewelry shops lining the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, Italy
Strolling across Ponte Vecchio feels like stepping back in time. The bridge has housed goldsmiths and jewelers since the 16th century!

After a few hours of Renaissance masterpieces, your brain (and feet) might need a break. Head out and take a short walk to the iconic Ponte Vecchio. This medieval bridge has been the heart of Florence's gold and jewelry trade for centuries. Even if you're not in the market for bling, it's worth a stroll. The views of the Arno River are spectacular, especially in the morning light.

Why Visit: The Uffizi is home to the world's greatest collection of Renaissance art, while Ponte Vecchio offers a glimpse into Florence's medieval past and stunning river views.

Insider Tip: Book your Uffizi tickets online in advance to skip the long lines. And for the best photos of Ponte Vecchio, head to the nearby Ponte Santa Trinita bridge.

Key Information:

  • Location: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8:15 AM - 6:50 PM (closed Mondays)
  • Admission: €20 (March-October), €12 (November-February)

Afternoon: Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio

View of Palazzo Vecchio and sculptures in Piazza della Signoria, Florence's main square
Piazza della Signoria is like an open-air museum. The replica of David here is impressive, but wait till you see the real one!

After lunch (may I suggest a panino from All'Antico Vinaio?), it's time to dive into the political heart of Renaissance Florence. Make your way to Piazza della Signoria, the city's main square and outdoor sculpture gallery. This is where the Florentines have gathered for centuries to chat, debate, and occasionally start a revolution or two.

The star of the show here is the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's town hall since the 14th century. Don't let its fortress-like exterior fool you - inside, it's a treasure trove of Renaissance art and architecture. Sarah and I took a guided tour, and it was fascinating to learn about the Medici family's secret passages and hidden rooms.

In front of the palazzo, you'll find a copy of Michelangelo's David (don't worry, we'll see the real one tomorrow). Take some time to admire the other sculptures in the square, including Cellini's Perseus and the Fountain of Neptune.

As the afternoon wanes, grab a gelato (I recommend Gelateria dei Neri) and people-watch in the square. You might even catch a street performer or two.

Why Visit: Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio offer a perfect blend of art, history, and lively Florentine atmosphere.

Insider Tip: Climb the Torre d'Arnolfo in Palazzo Vecchio for panoramic views of Florence. Just be prepared for a lot of stairs!

Key Information:

  • Location: Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Hours: Palazzo Vecchio is open daily, 9 AM - 7 PM (Thursday until 2 PM)
  • Admission: Palazzo Vecchio - €12.50 for adults

Evening: Sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo and Dinner in Oltrarno

Tourists and locals enjoying sunset views over Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo viewpoint
Pro tip: Bring a bottle of wine to Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset. It's a local tradition and the views are unbeatable!

As the day winds down, it's time for one of Florence's most magical experiences. Head across the Arno River to the Oltrarno district and make your way up to Piazzale Michelangelo. Yes, it's a bit of a climb, but trust me, the view is worth every step.

Piazzale Michelangelo offers a postcard-perfect panorama of Florence. As the sun sets, watch the city turn golden, with the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio standing proud against the skyline. It's the kind of view that makes you fall in love with Florence all over again.

After soaking in the sunset, head back down into the Oltrarno neighborhood for dinner. This area is known for its artisan workshops and authentic Florentine restaurants. We had an amazing meal at Osteria Santo Spirito - their truffle gnocchi is to die for!

Charming narrow street with artisan workshops and cafes in Florence's Oltrarno district
Exploring the Oltrarno feels like discovering the 'real' Florence. So many hidden gems and far fewer tourists!

Why Visit: Piazzale Michelangelo offers the best views of Florence, especially at sunset. The Oltrarno district gives you a taste of local Florentine life away from the tourist crowds.

Insider Tip: Bring a bottle of wine to enjoy at Piazzale Michelangelo. Many locals do this, and it's a great way to make the most of the sunset view.

Key Information:

  • Location: Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Hours: The piazzale is always open
  • Admission: Free

Phew! That was quite a first day, wasn't it? But don't worry, we're just getting started. Tomorrow, we'll tackle Florence's most iconic landmark and get up close with Michelangelo's David. Rest up, because Day 2 is going to be just as exciting!

Day 2: Duomo and Beyond

Morning: Florence Cathedral Complex

Impressive view of Florence Cathedral (Duomo) with its iconic dome and Giotto's Bell Tower
The Duomo complex is mind-blowing. The amount of detail in the marble facade is incredible - I could stare at it for hours!

Good morning, Florence explorers! I hope you're well-rested because today we're conquering Florence's most iconic landmark: the Duomo complex. This isn't just one building; it's a whole ensemble of architectural marvels that'll leave you slack-jawed.

Start your day early (sensing a theme here?) at the Florence Cathedral, or Santa Maria del Fiore as it's officially known. This massive church, with its distinctive red dome, has been the symbol of Florence for centuries. The exterior is a stunning mix of pink, white, and green marble, but wait till you see the inside!

Panoramic view of Florence from the top of Brunelleschi's Dome, showing red-tiled roofs and surrounding hills
463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi's Dome, but oh boy, was it worth it! The view of Florence is absolutely stunning.

Next up is Brunelleschi's Dome. If you're up for a climb (and I highly recommend you are), ascend the 463 steps to the top of the dome. The view of Florence from up there is unbeatable, and you'll get an up-close look at the incredible frescoes inside the dome. Just a heads up: the climb can be a bit claustrophobic, but it's so worth it.

Don't miss Giotto's Bell Tower next door. It's another climb (414 steps this time), but it offers fantastic views of the Duomo itself.

Finally, take a breather in the Baptistery. Those bronze doors? They're so beautiful that Michelangelo called them the "Gates of Paradise". The mosaic ceiling inside is equally stunning.

Why Visit: The Duomo complex is the heart of Florence, both geographically and spiritually. It's a masterpiece of Renaissance engineering and art.

Insider Tip: Buy the combined ticket that gives you access to all parts of the complex. It's valid for 72 hours, so you can spread out your visits if you're feeling overwhelmed.

Key Information:

  • Location: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Hours: Vary for different parts of the complex, generally open 10 AM - 5 PM
  • Admission: €18 for a combined ticket to all sites

Afternoon: Accademia Gallery and San Lorenzo Market

Tourists admiring Michelangelo's David statue in the Accademia Gallery, Florence
No photo can do David justice - he's absolutely massive in person! Michelangelo's attention to detail is mind-blowing.

After lunch (perhaps a quick bite at Mercato Centrale?), it's time to meet the most famous guy in Florence: Michelangelo's David at the Accademia Gallery.

Now, you've probably seen a million pictures of David, but let me tell you, nothing prepares you for seeing him in person. He's 17 feet of perfectly carved marble, and he's absolutely mesmerizing. Sarah and I spent a good 20 minutes just circling him, admiring the details from every angle. The veins in his hands, the determined look in his eyes - it's all just incredible.

While David is the star, don't overlook the other treasures in the Accademia. Michelangelo's unfinished "Prisoners" sculptures are fascinating, showing the artist's process of "liberating" figures from marble.

Why Visit: The Accademia is home to Michelangelo's David, arguably the world's most famous sculpture.

Insider Tip: Book your tickets in advance to avoid the long lines. Also, take some time to admire David from different angles - the view from the back is particularly impressive!

Key Information:

  • Location: Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8:15 AM - 6:50 PM (closed Mondays)
  • Admission: €12
Colorful food stalls displaying fresh produce and local specialties in San Lorenzo Market, Florence
San Lorenzo Market is a food lover's paradise! Picked up some amazing truffle pasta and local cheese for a picnic.

After your dose of high art, it's time for some local flavor. Head to the San Lorenzo Market area. This neighborhood is home to two markets: the indoor Mercato Centrale and the outdoor leather market.

Bustling food court on the upper floor of Mercato Centrale, Florence's central market
Mercato Centrale's upper floor is foodie heaven! So many delicious options - I wanted to try everything!

Mercato Centrale is a food lover's paradise. The ground floor is full of vendors selling fresh produce, meats, and cheeses. But the real gem is upstairs, where you'll find a gourmet food court. It's the perfect place to sample some Tuscan specialties or pick up picnic supplies for tomorrow.

Outside, the streets around the market are lined with stalls selling leather goods, souvenirs, and clothing. This is a great place to pick up gifts or test your bargaining skills. Just remember, if you're buying leather, make sure it's real Italian leather - ask the vendor about the quality and origin.

Why Visit: San Lorenzo Market offers a taste of local life and great shopping opportunities.

Insider Tip: For the best deals at the leather market, be prepared to haggle. And if you're buying leather goods, do a touch and smell test - real leather should be soft and have a distinct scent.

Key Information:

  • Location: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Hours: Mercato Centrale is open daily, 8 AM - 12 AM; outdoor market is typically open 9 AM - 7 PM
  • Admission: Free

Evening: Aperitivo in Santa Croce

Locals and tourists enjoying aperitivo (pre-dinner drinks and snacks) at a cafe in Florence's Santa Croce neighborhood
Aperitivo in Santa Croce is the perfect way to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Great drinks, delicious snacks, and awesome people-watching!

As the day winds down, it's time for a beloved Italian tradition: aperitivo. This is the Italian version of happy hour, where you buy a drink and get access to a buffet of snacks. It's a great way to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing.

Make your way to the Santa Croce neighborhood. This area is less touristy than the city center but still has plenty of charm. Plus, it's home to the beautiful Basilica of Santa Croce, the final resting place of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.

We enjoyed aperitivo at La Masnovia, a cozy wine bar with a great selection of local wines and a generous buffet. But really, you can't go wrong with most places in this neighborhood.

As you sip your Aperol Spritz (when in Italy, right?), take a moment to reflect on all you've seen today. From the grandeur of the Duomo to the perfection of David, from the bustle of the market to the relaxed vibe of aperitivo hour - this is what Florence is all about.

Why Visit: Aperitivo is a quintessential Italian experience, and Santa Croce offers a more local vibe than the touristy city center.

Insider Tip: Aperitivo typically runs from about 7 PM to 9 PM. Get there early to snag a good spot and enjoy the full spread of food.

Key Information:

  • Location: Santa Croce neighborhood, around Piazza Santa Croce
  • Hours: Most bars offer aperitivo from around 7 PM to 9 PM
  • Price: Expect to pay €8-12 for a drink, which includes access to the food buffet

Day 3: Art, Gardens, and Tuscan Flavors

Morning: Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace

View of ornate fountains and Renaissance sculptures in the lush Boboli Gardens, Florence
Boboli Gardens feel like a green oasis in the middle of Florence. The hidden grottos and surprise views of the city are magical!

Good morning, Florence adventurers! Can you believe it's already our last day? Don't worry, we've saved some of the best for last.

Let's start the day by crossing the Arno River to the Oltrarno district. Our first stop is the magnificent Boboli Gardens, a sprawling green oasis behind the Pitti Palace. These gardens are like an open-air museum, filled with sculptures, fountains, and hidden grottos.

Sarah and I spent a lovely morning wandering the tree-lined avenues, admiring the views of Florence from the higher points, and pretending we were 16th-century aristocrats (hey, when in Florence, right?). Don't miss the Grotta del Buontalenti, a fantastical mannerist grotto that looks like it belongs in a fairy tale.

Opulent interior of a room in Pitti Palace, showcasing Renaissance art and luxurious furnishings
The Pitti Palace is insanely opulent. It's fascinating to see how the Medici family lived - talk about living large!

After you've had your fill of greenery, head into the Pitti Palace itself. This massive Renaissance palace was once home to the Medici family and later to the Kings of Italy. Today, it houses several museums, including the Palatine Gallery with its stunning collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings.

Why Visit: Boboli Gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the city and stunning views, while Pitti Palace showcases the opulence of Florence's ruling families.

Insider Tip: Bring water and comfortable shoes for the Boboli Gardens - there's a lot of walking and it can get hot. In the Pitti Palace, don't miss the Royal Apartments for a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the Medici.

Key Information:

  • Location: Piazza de' Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Hours: Boboli Gardens open at 8:15 AM, closing time varies by season. Pitti Palace opens at 8:15 AM, last entry at 5:30 PM.
  • Admission: €10 for Boboli Gardens, €16 for Pitti Palace (includes Boboli Gardens)

Afternoon: Santa Maria Novella and Artisan Workshops

Intricate marble facade of Santa Maria Novella church in Florence, showcasing Renaissance architecture
Santa Maria Novella's facade is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. The geometric patterns are mesmerizing!

After lunch (I recommend trying lampredotto, a traditional Florentine sandwich made from cow's stomach, at Da Nerbone in the Mercato Centrale - it's better than it sounds, I promise!), let's explore another of Florence's beautiful churches: Santa Maria Novella.

This church might not be as famous as the Duomo, but it's a true gem. The facade is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, and inside you'll find incredible frescoes by masters like Masaccio and Ghirlandaio. Don't miss the Tornabuoni Chapel - the frescoes here tell the stories of the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist in vivid detail.

Next to the church, you'll find the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. Founded by Dominican friars in 1221, it still produces perfumes and herbal remedies using traditional methods. Even if you don't buy anything, it's worth a visit for the beautiful interior and heavenly scents.

Now, let's dive into Florence's artisan tradition. The Oltrarno district is full of workshops where skilled craftspeople continue centuries-old traditions. Take a stroll down Via Maggio and the surrounding streets to peek into workshops specializing in everything from leather working to book binding to mosaic making.

Elegant interior of the historic Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, showcasing traditional perfumes and remedies
This 13th-century pharmacy still makes perfumes using traditional methods. The scents are amazing and the interior is like a museum!

We stumbled upon a lovely little shop called Officina Creativa where we watched artisans at work and picked up some unique, handmade souvenirs. It's a great way to bring a piece of Florence's living history home with you.

Skilled artisan crafting leather goods in a traditional workshop in Florence's Oltrarno district
Watching the artisans work in Oltrarno is fascinating. Their skills have been passed down for generations - true living history!

Why Visit: Santa Maria Novella is a masterpiece of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, and the artisan workshops offer a glimpse into Florence's living traditions.

Insider Tip: Many workshops offer short classes where you can try your hand at traditional crafts. If you're interested, book in advance.

Key Information:

  • Location: Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 18, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Hours: Santa Maria Novella is open Monday-Saturday 9 AM - 5:30 PM, Sunday 1 PM - 5:30 PM
  • Admission: €7.50 for Santa Maria Novella

Evening: Cooking Class or Food Tour

Tourists learning to make fresh pasta during a cooking class in Florence
Learned to make pasta from scratch in Florence! Can't wait to impress my friends back home with my new Italian cooking skills.

For our last evening in Florence, let's celebrate with some amazing food. You have two great options here:

  1. Cooking Class: Learn to make traditional Tuscan dishes yourself! We took a pasta-making class at Mama Florence, and it was a highlight of our trip. We learned to make fresh pasta from scratch, whipped up some amazing sauces, and then got to enjoy our creations with some local wine. It's a fun, hands-on way to take a taste of Tuscany home with you.
  2. Food Tour: If you prefer to let the experts do the cooking, a food tour is a great option. We didn't have time for this, but friends highly recommended the tours by Taste Florence. You'll visit local markets, food shops, and restaurants, sampling everything from olive oil and cheese to wine and gelato.
Group of tourists tasting olive oil during a food tour in Florence, Italy
Did a food tour in Florence and now I'm an olive oil snob. The variety of flavors is amazing - who knew there was so much to learn about EVOO?

Whichever option you choose, it's a delicious way to cap off your Florence adventure.

Why Visit: Tuscan cuisine is world-renowned, and there's no better way to experience it than by learning from locals.

Insider Tip: If you opt for a cooking class, come hungry! You'll be eating your creations at the end.

Key Information:

  • Location: Varies by provider
  • Hours: Usually evening classes/tours, around 5 PM - 9 PM
  • Price: Expect to pay €70-100 per person for a cooking class or food tour

Off the Beaten Path Suggestions

If you have extra time, or if you're looking to escape the crowds, here are a few lesser-known gems in Florence:

  1. Museo Galileo: A fascinating museum dedicated to the history of science, housing Galileo's original instruments.
Display of historic scientific instruments in Museo Galileo, Florence
Museo Galileo is a hidden gem for science nerds. Seeing Galileo's actual instruments gave me goosebumps!
  1. San Miniato al Monte: This beautiful church sits even higher than Piazzale Michelangelo and offers stunning views with fewer crowds.
Stunning marble facade of San Miniato al Monte church overlooking Florence
San Miniato al Monte offers the best views of Florence with way fewer crowds than Piazzale Michelangelo. Plus, the church is a stunner!
  1. Bardini Gardens: Less crowded than Boboli, these gardens offer beautiful views and a peaceful retreat.
Beautiful wisteria-covered pergola walkway in Bardini Gardens, Florence
Bardini Gardens are like a secret paradise. The wisteria pergola in spring is straight out of a fairy tale!
  1. Palazzo Davanzati: This well-preserved 14th-century palazzo offers a glimpse into the domestic life of a wealthy Florentine family during the Renaissance.
Well-preserved medieval interior of Palazzo Davanzati, showcasing 14th-century Florentine domestic life
Palazzo Davanzati offers a fascinating glimpse into 14th-century Florentine life. The frescoes and furniture are incredibly well-preserved!
  1. Museo Novecento: If you need a break from Renaissance art, this museum showcases Italian works from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Contemporary art installation in Museo Novecento, Florence's museum of 20th and 21st-century Italian art
If you need a break from Renaissance art, Museo Novecento is the place to go. The contrast with Florence's historic art is refreshing!

Practical Tips and Tricks

  1. Buy tickets in advance: For popular attractions like the Uffizi and Accademia, booking ahead can save you hours of waiting in line.
  2. Get the Firenze Card: If you plan to visit many museums, this pass can save you money and time.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes: Florence is best explored on foot, but those charming cobblestone streets can be tough on your feet.
  4. Learn a few Italian phrases: A simple "grazie" (thank you) or "per favore" (please) goes a long way.
  5. Stay hydrated: Florence has many public fountains with safe drinking water. Bring a refillable bottle and stay hydrated for free.
  6. Enjoy a picnic: Pick up supplies at a local market and have a picnic in one of Florence's beautiful gardens or piazzas.
  7. Validate your bus ticket: If you use the bus, remember to validate your ticket in the machine when you board.

Safety Guidelines

Florence is generally a safe city, but as with any tourist destination, it's good to be aware and take precautions:

  1. Watch out for pickpockets: They often operate in crowded tourist areas. Keep your belongings close and be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Be cautious at night: While violent crime is rare, it's best to stick to well-lit, populated areas after dark.
  3. Beware of scams: Common scams include people trying to "give" you bracelets or flowers, then demanding payment.
  4. Use official taxis: Only use licensed taxis or reputable ride-sharing services.
  5. Keep copies of important documents: Store copies of your passport and other important documents separately from the originals.

Customizing Your Itinerary

This itinerary tries to balance the must-see sights with some off-the-beaten-path experiences, but feel free to adjust it to your interests:

  • Art Lovers: Spend more time in the Uffizi and consider adding the Bargello Museum for sculpture.
  • History Buffs: Add the Palazzo Vecchio Museum and the Medici Chapels.
  • Foodies: Take a day trip to the Chianti region for wine tasting.
  • Families: Kids might enjoy the Leonardo da Vinci Museum or a gelato-making class.

Remember, it's your trip - don't be afraid to slow down, skip something that doesn't interest you, or spend more time in a place you love.

Day Trip Options

If you have an extra day, consider one of these popular day trips from Florence:

  1. Siena: A beautiful medieval city known for its unique shell-shaped piazza and the Palio horse race.
  2. Pisa: Home to the famous Leaning Tower and a charming historic center.
  3. Chianti Region: For wine lovers, a day in the Tuscan countryside is a must.
  4. Lucca: A well-preserved Renaissance town surrounded by impressive walls.
  5. San Gimignano: Known as the "Medieval Manhattan" for its striking towers.

Making The Most Out of Your 3 Days in Florence

As our 3 days in Florence come to an end, I hope you're as enchanted with this magical city as Sarah and I were. From the awe-inspiring art and architecture to the mouthwatering food, from the rich history to the vibrant contemporary culture, Florence is a city that captures your heart and doesn't let go.

Remember, this itinerary is just a starting point. The real joy of Florence is in the unexpected - the hidden courtyard you stumble upon, the tiny trattoria where you have the best meal of your life, the sunset that takes your breath away. So while you're ticking off the must-see sights, don't forget to leave some time for wandering and wondering.

Florence is a city that rewards curiosity and savoring. So take your time, soak it all in, and don't worry if you don't see everything - it just gives you a reason to come back!

Arrivederci, Firenze! Until we meet again!

West Parker
West Parker
Article updated:
July 18, 2024 9:07 AM

West Parker, a Cornell University School of Hotel Administration graduate, has spent two decades as the secret weapon of the jet-set elite, crafting bespoke adventures that redefine luxury travel. Now a resident writer for Town & Tourist, this 45-year-old "Architect of Extraordinary Journeys" combines razor-sharp insights with unparalleled industry connections to deliver experiences that even the most discerning globetrotters can't help but rave about. West's expertise spans from exclusive real estate to fine dining, making him the go-to strategist for those who demand nothing but the extraordinary in their travels.

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