A few days ago, the prestigious Travel + Leisure magazine has just released the list of top 15 European cities voted by readers. Not out of my expectation, Italy will definitely have a few cities in the top and this time, there are up to three cities which are Siena (the seventh), Rome (the second) and Florence (the first). Therefore, today this article is dedicated for Florence with the guide of one day trip Florence. So, can you see Florence in a day, is one day in Florence enough, what to do, where to go and how to spend a day in Florence (1 day in Florence, one day in Florence) perfectly? Let’s check out our suggested Florence itinerary 1 day (Florence Italy 1 day itinerary) with a very detailed Florence 1 day trip to help you planning a wonderful upcoming trip to the cradle city of Renaissance and the European capital of culture.
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In this editorial, I will not mention details such as transportation or accommodation. You can go to Omio to searching for how to get to Florence, depending on where you will depart, but you can rest assured because Florence is a super famous tourist city, so there is no fear of no vehicle to come or few trips.
As for place to stay, me and my friends took a day trip, so we definitely don’t have any advice on where to stay. However, if you are planning to visit Florence, I think you should stay at Airbnb and choose a house built a bit old-fashioned, not a modern-style apartment. Traveling to the central Italy, you should definitely once to experience to stay in a true Italian brick house!
Florence itinerary 1 day: Morning
Visiting Florence Duomo (Florence Cathedral) and square
Located in: Piazza del Duomo
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Whatever you do, the first thing you must-do as soon as stepping out of the Firenze station is to find the way to the Florence Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) to wait in line to visit. During peak season (right now), be prepared to wait in line for several hours if you don’t come early. Not to mention if you come late, just going from the front of the line to the end of the line is exhausting.
The best way for you to get rid of this fatigue and save time to do other things (like eating delicious pizza, drinking fragrant wine, looking at handsome men or women, etc.) is to buy a skip-the-line ticket in advance (from €25), so you can… skip the waiting line confidently without fear of being cursed!
If you want to save money, you can buy a regular ticket for €18, and this ticket allows you to climb the Giotto’s Bell Tower (see more right below).
My advice: You don’t regret €25 to buy time + knowledge (because there is a guided tour), but don’t like me in the past, due to lack of prepare, so I went to the monumental church without having any idea of religion in my mind, only with the image of Jesus and nothing more than that, it was really a waste of effort, very regretful.
Climb the Giotto’s Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This is the bell tower, not the famous Cupola dome built by the great architect Brunelleschi. From the top of this Campanile (after climbing of 463 steps), you’ll see a panoramic view of Florence’s old town below, as well as the Florence Duomo and its giant Cupola dome.
1 day in florence: Noon
Lunch at Gustapizza
This thing will depend on the time when you leave the Florence Duomo. If it’s already around noon, it’s best to go out to eat pizza to regain strength and continue to exploring. If it’s still early to have a lunch, you can trolling around the Duomo square and taking pictures outside, tasting and taking virtual photos with a specialty gelato to cooling down!
Well, let’s get back to pizza!
In the past, I had a friend studying in Florence who introduced Gustapizza (Address: Via Maggio, 46r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy/Hours: Tuesday: 12–3PM, 7–11PM; Monday: Closed) which a 3-min walk from the Palazzo Pitti and she said that the pizza here is delicious – nutritious – cheap, in accordance with the eating criteria of Asian students. After trying, it was delicious, nutritious and also… a bit cheap, but there was one thing that our group didn’t know, that this Gustapizza shop was very famous!
The shop is small, crowded, so if you come right at the lunch rush hour, it will be determined to wait for a long time, or sit down to eat will also a bit uncomfortable because diners waiting in a long line, so if you dine long, it will be quite inconvenient.
My advice: You should buy and takeaway pizza and go to the square to eat comfortably. In the summer, if you are a female, single and funny, remember to buy a pair of black glasses to wear. Enjoy looking at handsome men without fear of being exposed, haha!
The Michelangelo’s masterpiece of David
After being satisfied with delicious pizza, the next destination of our group is Galleria dell’Accademia (Accademia Gallery) to admire the Michelangelo’s masterpiece nude statue of David.
This marble statue was sculpted in the 16th century and is modeled after the David’s fight againts the giant Goliath. The statue depict the moment David holds a stone slingshot in his right hand, his body rotates slightly to gain momentum, tension shows in his face, in his eyes and in the veins of his body.
If it weren’t for the large size (over 5m) of the statue, I would have imagined that this is a real person, touched by some ghostly magical hand and petrified forever for a hundred years.
Address: Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
Hours: 9AM–6:15PM/Monday: Closed
My advice: As usual, at popular attractions like this, it’s best to buy a skip-the-line ticket with a guide for €40. Visitors hold this ticket will get the priority access entrance, no queues, and of course a professional guide explaining everything.
Italian specialty Gelato and go to the river to take pictures
Everyone knows that gelato (ice-cream) in Italy is super delicious. It’s so delicious that other gelato shops outside of Italy only sell a-temporary-called-gelato, not an authentic gelato made in Italy. So, having come Italy, you should definitely must-try gelato once.
There are many gelato shops in Florence, you only need less than a minute to Google to find countless shops. However, to save time, you should go to Gelateria la Carraia (Address: Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25/r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy/Hours: 11AM–12AM), located right on the banks of the Arno River. From here, you buy gelato and then you can go out to eat, walk along the river to the legendary Ponto Vecchio (Old Bridge) to take pictures.
Above the bridge is Corridoio Vasariano, which is a corridor that connects between Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti. I didn’t go along it, so I don’t know how it feels, but today because I wrote this article, I went online to look at the pictures again, and it seemed a bit… boring. But if I have a chance to return to Florence, I will definitely give it a try.
Buying leather goods
Florence is famous for its leather products such as purses and bags, which are very beautiful, and because they are handmade, the price is quite expensive, not no-name goods are cheap. However, the quality of the bag is very good. Eight years ago, I bought a brown and blue work bag in Perugia. At first, I brought the bag to work every day, but then because I had to go on business trips and bring my laptop often, I didn’t bring the bag anymore.
Later, I moved to a new company, and then went to study abroad, so the Perugia bag was lying in the corner of the room. However, when taking it out, the leather is still soft, the color is still good (about 80% compared to when it was new). Especially without the smell of leather.
So, if you are a fan of leather goods and want a lovely European-style bag, you can’t miss shopping at Mercato Nuovo (New Market) – the famous leather market here.
My advice: Be aware. Don’t be greedy and addicted to buy everything! Also don’t bargain too much, unless you want to buy more than two items. This is New Market, not Central Market.
A day in Florence: Afternoon
Watching sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo
This is the most famous sunset spot in Florence. From here, you will see a panoramic view of the city of Florence immersed in amber color at the end of the day, beautiful without dead corners!
Actually on this earth, I think there are only three sunsets that always make my heart flutter: Autumn sunset in Budapest, on the Danube. Late summer sunset in Central Italy. And sunset at Ben Nghe canal in front of my house in Saigon, right at the foot of Calmette bridge. The rest, it’s just sunny afternoons.
On that trip, our group did not have dinner in Florence but returned to Perugia, so there is no ideal place to eat to recommend for you. However, the most popular dish that everyone knows (besides pizza and gelato) is bistecca alla Fiorentina – Florence-style beefsteak.
Hope the sharing of my Florence travel experience in a day (florence 1 day trip) will be useful for your upcoming trip. Have a great a day in Florence!
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Florence you can refer to
- Duomo Monumental Complex Direct Access Ticket in Florence with Guided Visit
- Florence Duomo, Baptistery, and Museum Tour
- Small Guided Tour with Fast Track Entry to Duomo and the Secret Terraces
- Val d’Orcia Tour from Florence
- Pisa Half Day Tour from Florence
- Chianti Afternoon Tour from Florence