If You Only Have Three Days in Florence
Collected by Nicky Swallow , AFAR Local Expert
Three days in Florence might sound like a long time, but there is so much to see in this Renaissance gem, that you need to plan your time well. In three days, you can fit in an intoxicating mix of art and culture, fabulous food and wine, great nightlife and lots and lots of aimless wandering. The centro storico, or historic centre, of Florence is very compact, so there may even be time to nip back to your hotel for a rest in between sights!
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ideally you'd have a whole day to appreciate the world’s foremost collection of Renaissance paintings, housed in the 16th-century headquarters of the Medici court. But for those with less time, highlights include the three great...
Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Franciscan Basilica di Santa Croce, with its striped green-and-white marble facade, dates from about 1294. Inside are the tombs of many celebrated early Florentines, including Dante, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Among the many art treasures...
Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It's in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt...
Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence’s most lively square is dominated by the blank, unfinished facade of Brunelleschi’s last church. Lined with trees and centered around a pretty fountain, the piazza plays host to a small daily market (where local ladies do their shopping)...
Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Cramped it may be, but rustic Da Mario, located at the back of the mercato centrale, serves up a menu of consistently reliable Florentine classics to a mix of stall workers, business folk and tourists, and it’s always packed. The choice changes...
Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The rooftop restaurant of the Westin Excelsior hotel wins top prize for being the most panoramic spot for a meal in Florence; floor-to-ceiling, wraparound windows permit 360-degree views over the entire city and the hills beyond....
Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Despite the fact that it was the last week of October, the line to climb to the top of the Duomo dome was wrapped around the building. The line to climb Giotto's bell tower, right next door, was nonexistent. Lucky for us, we had our walking shoes...
Borgo degli Albizi, 11r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If you love gelato and chocolate, no place will romance you quite like Vestri. Before you know what's inside, you'll be drawn in by the antique and elegant exterior and by the shiny packages peeking out. Inside, the small shop's allure consists of...
Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
Via della Scala, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Elevate the normally mundane experience of shopping for medicine-cabinet basics like soap and toothpaste with a visit to one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. In this 13th-century chapel with early Renaissance frescoes, Gothic carved wooden...
Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
Piazza Vittorio Gui, 1, 50144 Firenze FI, Italy
If you get a chance to book seats for a night at the opera in Florence, grab it! The city has a new opera house, the Opera di Firenze, a 150 million theatre complex near the Cascine Park. Opera was born in this city when Jacopo Peri’s ‘Dafne’, was...
Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the more unusual ways to see Florence is by taking a river cruise on a traditional wooden barchetto. These small boats (originally used to transport building materials) hold up to 12 passengers and ply up and down the stretch of the Arno...
Via Camillo Cavour, 3, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
Located behind the church of San Lorenzo, this is where many members of the ruling Medici family are buried. The octagonal building with an opulent marble interior dates from 1519. The Cappella dei Principi houses sarcophagi belonging to the...
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