The capital of Tuscany needs no introduction. Nor does it need many adjectives, because it is simply beautiful. Its old town is full of palaces, fountains, religious temples, bridges over the river Arno, squares and sculptures that will keep you with your eyes open and your camera shutter smoking. Here I tell you what to see in Florence in 2 days and I also give you ideas if you are going to stay more than 3 or 4 days in the city. Ready to explore Firenze?
Views of the domes of Florence by Shutterstock
🌟 WHAT TO SEE IN FLORENCE IN 2 DAYS
It is clear that to visit a city that is like an open-air museum takes many days and 48 hours you will be short. Nevertheless, I will tell you here which are the essential visits to be able to taste the best of Florence in the time you have.
Below I will tell you what you can do in the city if you stay 3 days or more, so that you can take advantage of every second in the city considered the cradle of the Italian Renaissance. The first time I went 5 days and the second time I went only for one weekend to accompany a friend… so I hope these tips will help you!
To tour Florence, the best thing to do is to walk. Almost all of its main attractions are within walking distance. In addition, it will be during your walks from one monument to another where you will be able to appreciate the magnificence of the city and its incomparable beauty.
This is me in Florence the first time I went. And yes, it’s an analog photo.
🔷 Piazza del Duomo in Florence
The heart of Florence’s historic centre has its own name: Piazza del Duomo. It is the focal point of tourism, because in this beautiful square are concentrated 3 impressive monuments: the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Battisterio di San Giovanni and the Bell of Giotto. Starting here is a good idea and I’ll tell you how to view each of these buildings.
✔️ Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (13th and 14th centuries) will steal your heart at first sight. The building in white and green marble has a precious dome, made by Brunelleschi, and is the great icon of the city.
The cathedral will also impress you with its size, it is the third largest church in the world (after St Peter’s in Rome and St Paul’s in London). After admiring the facade and imposing dome 45m in diameter on the outside, I recommend you to visit the interior.
The cathedral is beautiful, but the best thing is the interior of the dome (duomo) where you can see the frescoes with scenes of the Last Judgement painted by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccarie in the sixteenth century. To see them up close you must climb the 462 steps to reach the viewpoint (there is no elevator. Not recommended for people with heart problems, vertigo or claustrophobia).
In addition, you can enter the Crypt of Santa Reparta which shows part of the ancient Primitia Christian basilica with arches, marble columns, frescoes, mosaics on the floor and some tombstones, among them Filippo Brunelleschi’s tombstone.
⏲ Cathedral visiting hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-4.30pm and Sundays 1.30pm-4.30pm.⏲ Dome climbing hours: Sunday-Friday 8.30am-7pm, Saturdays 8.30am-5pm.⏲ Crypt entry hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-4.30pm and closed on Sundays.👛 Price to enter the cathedral: gratis👛 Price to enter the duomo and/or visit the crypt: €18 (this ticket is “combined” so you can access within 72 hours of the baptistery, the bell tower, the Santa Reparta crypt and the opera museum).
✏️ Visit in Spanish: If you want to know more about the history of the cathedral and everything inside, sign up for a guided tour in Spanish. Plus, with a guided tour, you’ll skip the eternal queues at the entrance! Here you have all the information about the guided tour.
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What is the campanile? It’s the bell tower of the cathedral, dating from the fourteenth century and was made by Giotto and Pisano and is another must see in Florence.
It rises to 84.7 meters and is one of the most beautiful vantage points in the city as it will allow you to get absolutely idle views of Florence. To get to the top of it all you have to climb 414 steps – not suitable for phobics or people with vertigo.
⏲ Visiting hours: daily from 8.15am to 7.20pm👛 Price: €18 (this ticket is “combined” so it allows you access within 72 hours to the dome of the cathedral, the baptistery, the crypt of Santa Reparta and the museum of the opera).–
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Also in the Piazza del Duomo you will find the oldest chapel in the city – and I must confess that it is my favourite building in Florence. It is an octagonal temple entirely covered in white and green marble. Although it is not very clear what period it is from, it is known that it is the result of a reconstruction of an original baptistery from the 4th or 5th century BC.
Inside you will see decorated mosaics dating from the thirteenth century and the most impressive are those of the dome, with scenes of the Last Judgement. But before you make your way after your visit to the Baptistery, stop in front of the Paradise Gate, a masterpiece by Ghiberti.
Baptistery with the Cathedral in the background by Shutterstock
⏲ Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 8.15am to 10.15am and from 11.15am to 7.30pm, Sundays from 8.15am to 1.30pm.👛 Ticket price: 18€ (this ticket is “combined” so you can access within 72 hours the dome of the cathedral, the bell tower, the crypt of Santa Reparta and the museum of the opera).
🔷 Basilica of St. Lawrence and Chapel of the Medici
The Basilica of San Lorenzo was for many years the Cathedral of Florence and the Medici used to go there a lot, and it was the Medici who commissioned Brunelleschi (although others completed it) a great enlargement and improvement.
Although it doesn’t say much outside, inside you can visit the old sacristy designed by Brunelleschi, the new sacristy designed by Michelangelo and the Chapel of the Princes which is beautiful, all now under the name “Capillas de los Médici” and is a state museum since 1869. For example, the remains of many members of the Medici family rest in the Chapel of the Princes. The entrance to this area is not included in the basilica, but you must enter from another side and pay another ticket.
⏲ Visiting hours: every day from 8.15am to 1.50pm. From April to July they close at 5pm.👛 Price of access to the Chapel of the Medici: 9€. Free admission on the first Sunday of each month from October to March.
💡 The best way to get a first glimpse of Florence’s historic centre, a true Renaissance open-air museum, is with a FREE, SPANISH guided tour. Yes, it’s free, but you must reserve your place. More information here.
🔷 Ponte Vecchio of Florence
Behind the Piazza del Duomo and its imposing Christian monuments, the most famous site in Florence is undoubtedly the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge).
This medieval stone bridge over the Arno River, the only one in the city that survived the Second World War, has hanging houses that today house very expensive shops.
The bridge, which has been standing since 1345, concealed a passageway used by the Medicis to go from Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti without having to set foot in the city (for fear of being killed). That passageway is known as the Vasarian Corridor.
Ponte Vecchio – Photo: Wikipedia
🔷 Piazza della Signoria
Another of the most famous squares in the city is the “Piazza della Signoria”. Why is she so famous? Because there are many monuments in it, is the incredible Palazzo Vecchio, the fountain of Neptune, created by artist B. Ammannati and there is always a lot of life, especially with street artists.
The square dates from the time of the Roman Empire, where there were thermal baths that during the Middle Ages were transformed into the area where artisans were concentrated. The square as we see it today began to be forged in the twelfth century and in the fourteenth was already paved. Today you will also see the equestrian statue of Cosimo I, the Logia dei Lanzi, the Palazzo Uguccioni and the Court of Merchandise.
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This palace built between 1299 and 1314 was, for more than 7 centuries, the seat of government and today houses a museum and also the seat of the Municipality of Florence.
You can enter to visit the Palazzo Vecchio and as soon as you set foot you will see the statues of Michelangelo’s David (a copy, since the original is in the Academy Gallery) and the statue of Hercules and Caco.
On the tour you can admire the remains of the Roman theatre (in the underground area), the rooms decorated by artists from the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries and you will see paintings by Bronzino in the Chapel of Eleonora and the Genius of Michelangelo’s Victory. Perhaps the most impressive room is the “Sala del Cinquecento” which is almost 55 meters long by 22 meters wide and hosts audiences or special events.
You also have the option to climb the tower, which is 94 meters high, from where you will have beautiful views of Ponte Vecchio, the river and the rest of the city.
Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio via Shutterstock
⏲ Visiting hours of the museum: October to March, every day except Thursdays from 9am to 7pm and Thursdays from 9am to 2pm. From April to September, every day – except Thursday – from 9am to 11pm and Thursdays from 9am to 2pm.⏲ Tower visiting hours: October to March, every day – except Thursday – from 10am to 5pm and Thursdays from 10am to 2pm. From April to September, every day – except Thursdays – from 9am to 9pm and Thursdays from 9am to 2pm. Closed in case of rain.👛 Price of museum entrance: 12.50€👛 Price of access to the tower and battlements: 12.50€👛 Price of access to the museum and tower: 17.50€👛 Price of access to the museum and the archaeological site: 16€👛 Combined price Museum + Tower + Deposit: 19.50€.
🔷 Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery, originally a 16th century palace belonging to the Medicis, is today one of the most important museums in Italy, one of the must-see in Florence.
In addition, it is the museum that houses one of the oldest and most famous art collections in the world with sculptures and paintings ranging from the Middle Ages to the modern period.
Here you can admire the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael, Giotto, Simone Martini, Beato Angelico and Filippo Lippi. Two of the museum’s “star” paintings are Leonardo da Vinci’s “Adoration of the Magi” and Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”.
✏️ The best way to enjoy the Uffizi Gallery is to skip the long queue of the entrance by hiring in advance a guided tour with an expert who speaks Spanish and tells you the details of the main works of art. More information here.
⏲ Visiting hours: every day from 8:15am to 6:50pm (closed Monday).👛 Admission fee: March to October €20 and November to February €12. You also have the option to buy a “combined ticket” for 38€ (March to October) or 18€ (November to February) and includes access to: Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.
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As a general rule, the queues to buy tickets for the Uffizi Gallery or the Academy Gallery are ETERNAL (and I promise you I won’t exaggerate anything). To skip them, it is best to hire a guided tour in Spanish and that way, in addition to not wasting time to enter, you can find out what you’re seeing and admire the main masterpieces. Have a look here at the guided tour of Florence + Uffizi and Academia Galleries. It is the ideal tour if you are only in the city for 2 days and want to take advantage of your hours.
Uffizi Gallery by PicturePerfekt / Shutterstock
🔷 Piazza Santa Croce
Another must see in Florence is the beautiful Piazza Santa Croce, located in the historic center of the city and takes its name from the basilica that dominates the square.
It is surrounded by beautiful palaces, the great statue of Dante Alighieri and the protagonist: the church of Santa Croce which, for me, is one of the most beautiful in the city.
✔️ Santa Croce Church
This is the largest Franciscan church in the world and in it are the tombs of Galileo Galilei, Machiavelli or Michelangelo among others.
The Santa Croce church, which dates back to the end of the 13th century, is beautiful on the outside: it is made of marble and brick and its dome rises to more than 114 metres. Inside, in addition to contenter the tombs of famous Florentine artists you can see some paintings of Brunelleschi or Donatello, the cenotaph of Dante or the monument to Vittorio Alfieri.
⏲ Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5.30pm and Sundays from 2pm to 5.30pm. In both cases the ticket office closes half an hour before.👛 Ticket price: 8€.
🔷 Church of Santa María Novella
Even if you’re not a fan of church tours, in Italy it’s almost impossible and in Florence it’s practically a sin.
One of the main churches to see in Florence is Santa Maria Novella, a real museum in the form of a Christian temple that is the seat of the Florentine Dominicans.
On the outside it is beautiful with its white and green marble, like the Duomo, and inside you can visit the entire complex that includes: the chapels with frescoes, the sacristy, the Avelli cemetery, the Clasutro de los Muertos, the Green Cloister, the Spanish Chapel, the Ubriachi Chapel and the refectory.
Some of the most outstanding works are “The Trinity” by Masaccio, “The Crucifix” by Giotto or “The Crucifix” by Brunelleschi.
Santa María Novella by Shutterstock
⏲ Visiting hours: October to March Monday to Thursday and Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm, Friday from 11am to 5.30pm and Sunday from 1pm to 5.30pm. April to June Monday to Thursday from 9am to 7pm, Friday from 11am to 7pm, Saturday from 9am to 5pm.July, August and September from Monday to Thursday from 9am to 7pm, Fridays from 11am to 7pm, Saturdays from 9am to 6.30pm (in September it closes 5.30pm) and Sundays from 12pm to 6.30pm (in September it closes 5.30pm).👛 Ticket price: 7.50€.
🔷 Piazzale Michelangelo
If you are wondering what is the best place to enjoy a magical sunset in Florence, the answer is easy: the Piazzale Michelangelo.
This is the most famous “viewpoint” of the city and from where you can get a beautiful view of the Florentine domes. The sunset from here is beautiful, but to take pictures the best thing is the morning or noon to not have the sun in front.
In addition to enjoying the views, there is a copy of Michelangelo’s David in the square. You can go up to the “piazzale” on foot (from Ponte Vecchio it will be about 25 minutes at a slow pace) or by bus, which takes you to lines 12 and 13.
💡Si want to know more about the history of one of the most influential families of all time, the Medici, sign up for this FREE SPANISH tour. In the tour you will learn the secrets of these patrons and their importance in the artistic legacy of Florence. More information here.
🔷 Academy Gallery
The Gallery of the Academy is known to house the largest and best known work of Michelangelo: “the David”. This sculpture of more than 5 meters made in the sixteenth century entirely in white marble shows us this character before his fight with Goliath.
In addition, the museum houses a large collection of ancient sculptures, paintings and musical instruments. Some interesting pieces are “Madonna del Mare” which is believed to have been made by Botticelli, “Venus and Cupid” by Pontromo, “Cassone Adimari” painted by Scheggia or “Rapto de las Sabinas” by Giovani Da Bologna. For all this, the Academy Gallery is a basic in this top 10 of things to see in Florence.
Keep in mind that the queues to enter the Academy Gallery are eternally long, so my recommendation is that you avoid the queue (and save a couple of hours standing in the sun) and book a guided tour in Spanish or that you buy your ticket online paying extra to jump the queue. Book as far in advance as possible, as online tickets are usually sold out quickly.
Academy Gallery by Alessandro Colle / Shutterstock
⏲ Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15am to 6.50pm. Closes on Mondays.👛 Price: entrance ticket costs 12€ and if you book online on the official website costs 16€. If you go without a guide, I recommend that you rent the audioguide to find out what you are seeing. There are several languages, including Spanish. The price is 6€ for one person or 10€ for 2 persons.
🔷 Boboli Gardens
To complete 48 perfect hours in Florence, the touch of “nature” is missing. You have already passed by churches, museums, bridges, viewpoints and have walked through a beautiful old town.
Now I invite you to visit the Renaissance garden of Boboli, one of the largest gardens in Florence where nature, art and science merge. It is a beautiful site, designed by the Medici, divided into different areas such as the “Garden of the Gentlemen” or the “avenue of statues”, the “Botanical Garden” and is ideal for a walk and discover its fountains, sculptures, caves (such as the grotto of “Adam and Eve”), buildings such as the Kaffeehaus and even has an amphitheater!
⏲ Visiting hours: November to February 8.15am to 4.30pm, March to October 8.15am to 5.30pm, June to August 8.15am to 7.30pm and September 8.15am to 6.30pm.👛 Ticket price: €10 (March to October) or €6 (November to February). You also have the option to buy a “combined ticket” for 38€ (March to October) or 18€ (November to February) and includes access to: Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.
Boboli Gardens by Shutterstock
🌟 WHAT TO SEE IN FLORENCE IN 3 DAYS OR MORE
Florence is a city to discover at a slow pace, taking the time to enjoy its museums, squares, parks… So if you are going to stay 3 days or more, I recommend that you do everything I mentioned above calmly and even leave something for your third day.
Here I will tell you what other interesting things you can do and see in Florence during these days.
🔷 The Duomo Opera Museum
If you have more than two days to visit the city, then you can add to the visits in the Piazza del Duomo a stop at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (which is also included in the combined ticket). This building formerly served as a workshop for artists (such as Michelangelo or Donatello) and it is said that this is where Michelangelo sculpted the David. Today it houses a very interesting museum.
What will you find inside the museum? There are many original sculptures that once belonged to the buildings around the Piazza and were sheltered here so that they would not be damaged by inclement weather. You will also see models of the Cathedral of Florence, works of art such as Maria Magdalena by Donatello or La Piedad Badini by M. Angel.
Opera Museum by Mitzo / Shutterstock
⏲ Timetable: daily from 9am to 7pm👛 Price: €18 (this ticket is “combined” so you can access within 72 hours of the baptistery, bell tower, the crypt of Santa Reparta and the museum of the opera).
🔷 Piazza della Repubblica
The Piazza della Repubblica is the heart of the capital of Tuscany, is one of the largest of the city and is another of the important sites to see in Florence.
It dates from the time of the Roman Empire, where there was a Capitoline Temple and aporticada area around. During the Middle Ages it became a market that was later called “Mercato Vecchio”. In the middle of the 19th century the market stalls were thrown down and at the end of that same century the square took on more or less the physiognomy that we see today. It has beautiful buildings, a large arch and porticoed areas.
🔷 Leonardo da Vinci Museum
As its name suggests, it is a private museum dedicated to the works created by this genius.
The best thing about this museum is that instead of having the typical “no touch” signs, you can interact with most of the 40 Da Vinci inventions on display here. Obviously they are not the originals, but copies made in natural size that were built following Leonardo’s drawings. You’ll see war machines, civil engineering machines or even flying machines. More information on its official website.
⏲ Visiting hours: November-March 10am-6pm, April-October 10am-7pm. Last entry one hour before closing time.👛 Ticket price: €7
🔷 Strozzi Palace
If you want to see a typical Florentine Renaissance palace, this is where you should go. The 15th century building is enormous (it is said that 15 buildings were pulled down to get the surface to erect it) and for many years it was owned by the Strozzi family.
In 1999 the Strozzi Palace building was ceded to the Italian State and today houses the headquarters of the Vieusseux Cabinet, a library, the National Institute for Renaissance Studies and on the first floor there are exhibition halls.
Strozzi Palace by John_Silver / Shutterstock
⏲ Visiting hours: every day from 10am to 8pm. Thursdays closed at 11pm.👛 Price of access to the palace and temporary exhibitions: 13€.
🔷 Pitti Palace
This Renaissance palace owes its name to its first owner, the Florentine banker Luca Pitti who had it built in the mid-15th century at the foot of the Boboli hill.
In the 16th century it was bought by the Medici family and became the official residence of the Grand Duchy (Cosimo I de Medici and his wife Eleanor of Toledo) and years later it was also the royal house of the dynasty of the House of Lorena-Habsburg and the kings of Italy of the House of Savoy.
Today the Palace houses four museums: the “Treasure of the Grand Dukes” on the ground floor, the “Palatine Gallery and the Imperial and Royal Apartments” on the first floor, the “Gallery of Modern Art” and the “Museum of Costume and Fashion” on the second floor. More information about the Pitti Palace on their website.
⏲ Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15am to 6.50pm. Closed on Mondays.👛 Price: €16 (March to October) and €10 (November to February). You also have the option to buy a “combined ticket” for 38€ (March to October) or 18€ (November to February) and includes access to: Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.
🔷 House of Galileo Galilei
Although Galileo did not live in this house for long periods of time, it was owned by him (he bought it in 1634) and those next door were his family.
It is located in Costa San Giorgio (the street is a little steep) and the facade is beautiful, with the coat of arms of the Galileo family and a portrait of the scientist.
At the moment you can not visit the House of Galileo Galilei, but only come to see the facade is worth it.
If you are interested in the life of the scientist, you can always come to the Galileo Museum which is located in Piazza dei Giudici 1 and is open every day from 9.30am to 6pm. Entrance to the museum costs 10€.
Galileo Museum by SkandaRamana / Shutterstock
🔷 Palazzo Davanzati
When the Davizzi family became rich in the 14th century with their shops and banks, they sent to build this pompous palace in Florence. It then passed into the hands of several families, among them the Davanzati, who bought it at the end of the 16th century and from whom it takes its present name.
In the middle of the 20th century, the state bought it to install in its interior the “Museum of the Ancient Florentine House”. Today you can admire part of the old furniture, a large collection of sculptures, paintings, ceramics, lace and other historical objects from the daily life of Florentines of other centuries. The best thing is that it is possible to see through the different estancias how the comforts of the noble families that lived there were.
⏲ Visiting hours: Monday to Friday from 8.15am to 2pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1.15pm to 7pm.👛 Price: 6€. Free admission on the first Sunday of each month from October to March.
🔷 Loggia del Mercato Nuovo
Also known as the Loggia del Porcellino, dates from the sixteenth century and since its inception was created as a large market, in order to replace the market that was being used and improvised in the Piazza della Repubblica.
It is located at the crossroads via Calimala and via Porta Rossa, very close to Ponte Vecchio. Today it still functions as a market and there you can buy mainly handicrafts. Don’t miss the sculpture of the “porcellino” (iron boar).
🔷 Synagogue of Florence
Very close to the Duomo of Florence you will find the Synagogue which houses the Hebrew Museum. The synagogue was inaugurated in 1882 with Moorish style and Arab and binzantine elements and its main characteristic is its green dome.
In the museum located in its interior you will see some objects related to Jewish rites, a tour through the history of Florentine Jews from the time they settled in this area until the post-war.
Florence Synagogue at Shutterstock
⏲ Visiting hours: from 16 April to 14 October Sunday to Friday from 9.30am to 6.30pm. From October 15 to April 15 from Sunday to Thursday from 10am to 5.30pm and Fridays from 10am to 3pm. Closed on Saturdays.👛 Price: €6.50
🔷 Basilica of San Miniato al Monte
The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte is located in the highest part of Florence. Construction began in the 11th century on top of an old chapel from the 4th century and it was in the 14th century that the bell tower was added.
As it is in the upper area (you can go up on foot, although it is very steep, or by public transport) you will be able to have a privileged view of Florence.
The curious thing is that on Sundays and holidays the monks sing Gregorian chants from 10am to 5.30pm in the crypt area.
⏲ Visiting hours: Winter, Monday-Saturday 9.30am-1pm and 3pm-7pm, Sundays and holidays 3pm-7pm. In summer from Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 1pm and from 3pm to 7.30pm, Sundays and destivos from 3pm to 7.30pm.👛 Price: free admission.
🔴 How many days are recommended to see Florence
The ideal would be to have between 3 and 4 full days, to dedicate enough time to each monument, church, park, museum, viewpoint, etc. to enjoy it.
This means that a bridge (Thursday night to Sunday night) would be ideal. If you only have a weekend, I recommend that you find out about the sites to visit and choose, according to your tastes, what you want to see and plan consciously, so you do not miss anything. For example, most museums are closed on Mondays and there are some viewpoints that are ideal for visiting at dusk.
So I hope this guide will help you organize your itinerary through Florence.
Florence Street by Shutterstock
▶️ Tips for visiting Florence
Florence is one of the most touristic cities in Italy and receives millions of visitors a year. Here are my best tips for you to make the most of your stay.
My tips for you to enjoy your visit are:
1. Find out what there is to see and do in Florence (with this guide I hope it is clear to you) and choose what you want to see you. Trace a logical itinerary taking into account distance and opening hours.
2. Book tickets online for sites that usually fill up early, or better yet, book the Spanish guided tours in advance that will not only make you jump the eternal queues, but is also ideal for understanding what you’re seeing.
3. Choose accommodation that is in the centre, so you don’t waste time on transfers and it’s good for you to go out at night and not have to take a taxi or public transport at dawn to get back to your accommodation.
Copy of Michelangelo’s David by Shutterstock
🗺 Excursions to do in the surroundings of Florence
If you are in Florence for several days and would like to visit one of the nearby towns or cities, here are some ideas:
This city is 85km from Florence and if there is one thing it is known for it is its leaning tower. Take the opportunity to get to know its icon on a day trip. You can easily get there by train (about 60 minutes and the price is about 17€ return) or bus (less than 2 hours for about 20€ return).
You can also go on a tour that picks you up in Florence and takes you to Pisa and includes entrance to the leaning tower without queues.
Another alternative to visit Pisa is a guided tour in Spanish which, in addition to knowing the city of “the leaning tower” takes you to know the medieval towers of San Gimignano and also to know the beautiful city of Siena, or you can opt for the routes and in each destination choose “afternoon free” to travel to your ball. More information for this one day tour to Siena, San Gimignano and Siena here.
Pisa Tower by Shutterstock
I have to confess that Assisi surprised me very much. It is a beautiful medieval city and worth a visit. It was in this city that St. Francis, founder of the Franciscans at the beginning of the 13th century, was born. You can see the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi or the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels.
Assisi is about 180km from Florence and can be reached by train or bus. By train it is about 2.5 hours and prices start at 16€. By bus it is about 2.5 hours and prices start at 20€ (round trip).
Another option is to hire a guided tour in Spanish that picks you up at your accommodation in Florence, takes you there, gives you a guided tour of the basilica, gives you free time and then combines the route with the city founded by the Etruscans: Cortona, which was where the film “Under the Tuscan sun” was filmed. More information about this tour to Assisi and Cortona here.
Asis for Shutterstock
🔺 Cinque Terre
Do you know what “Cinque Terre” means? So “five lands” and the name is because this area is dominated by five charming villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiori.
This is one of the most sought after destinations on the coast as the villages are so magical and are surrounded by hills, vineyards and sea.
If you are free you must choose a first destination village (La Spezia, Sestri Levante or Monterosso) and then move from village to village by ferry, train or on foot.
In order to move between villages you must buy the card that gives you access either to trains or roads. The daily pass that gives you access to the roads costs €7.50 and the one that gives you access to the trains costs €13 in the low season and €16 in the high season. More information on the official Cinque Terre website.
My recommendation, to save you the hassle of public transport to get there and the queues for the cards, is that you hire a tour with Spanish speaking guide that takes you to the different towns and gives you enough free time to explore your own air.
Cinqueterre by Shutterstock
The city of canals is a must in Italy, especially if you are in Florence. If you’re planning to visit, don’t miss this super guide to “what to see in Venice” that I wrote a few weeks ago.
You can go on your own or on a high-speed train excursion. For more information on the guided tour in Spanish click here.
✏️ If you want to see all the excursions you can do in and from Florence, click here and choose what you like best!
🏨 Hotels in Florence
Florence, like any other super tourist city offers you a range of possibilities to stay, from accommodation for 18€ a night to 5-star hotels.
My recommendation is that you stay in the center and a hotel that meets the 3 B’s (good, nice and cheap) is: Nashira Rooms which is in the heart of Florence, has private double rooms, comfortable and spacious. Breakfast is not included in the price, but you can book it for 3€ and it’s good.
But if you want to choose another hotel, whether it’s one that offers beds in shared dormitories or more luxurious rooms, check out Booking which compares prices of over 5,000 accommodations in the city.
✈️ Getting from Florence airport to the city centre
There are different ways to get from Florence airport to the center:
You can take the direct bus “Vola in Bus” which takes you to the central train station Santa Maria Novella (SMN) without intermediate stops in about 20 minutes (depends on traffic). The price of the ticket is 6€. Serves every day between 5.30am and 8.30pm (one every 30 minutes) and from 8.30pm to 12.30pm (one every hour).
2. You can hire a private transfer service. When you arrive there will be a driver waiting for you with a sign with your name on it and will take you directly to the hotel for a fixed fee of 52€. For more information or to book click here.
✏️ I wrote a more detailed article with all the information on “how to get from Florence airport to downtown”. Don’t miss it!
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