As part of a 1-week trip through Italy 🇮🇹 in 2022 (2 days) and had the chance to do a 1-day trip in 2023. I had the chance to spend 2 days in Florence with my wife and sister.
I got a Hotel 3-star hotel with an amazing location, right in front of the main basilica. The hotel is called Hotel Bigallo.
The place is good enough for what we wanted. The breakfast was good, and the location is amazing. The room is smaller than we expected, and the bathroom door was not locking, but these were very small details for us.
I didn’t really use the airport in Florence as I came here by train from Venice.
We arrived by train on Firenze Maria Novella from Venezia Santa Lucia. Our hotel was just 10-15 mins walking from the train station.
Walking is the preferred way of doing things in Firenze. You can reach most attractions in a walking distance, ~20 minutes max.
To move to Rome, we went to Fizenze Santa Maria Novella walking. We got a huge delay this time. Our train got late by ~50 minutes.
- Walking tour: We did the tour with Gabriel and it was very good. The guy is brazilian, so it was even better for us as we had some conversations after the tour. Even if you’re not brazilian, I totally recommend it: https://www.florencefreetourtale.com/ren-tips-tourtale-gabri-2022
- Basilica Santa Maria del Fiori: You can get in for free, but there’s a giant line to get in. We went there at the end of the afternoon and the line was less bad. The second time I went to Florence, I was able to get the ticket to got to the top of the Duomo. I really enjoy climbing up those places, so this was not an exception. It was raining, so I couldn’t enjoy the view as I wanted, but it was worth it anyway.
- Bobolli gardens: It was very disappointing. Seeing fontanas (fountains) without water was very lame. The gardens didn’t feel very well maintained.
- Palazzo Pitti: Right after before the Bobolli gardens, I bought the two tickets together. It was a previous residency of the Medicis, and it’s worth visiting.
- Palazzo Vechio: Just saw the outside and it’s gorgeous. It is located in the main square, so you’re going to see it for sure.
- Uffizi galeries: Huge art museum, totally recommended if you like art in general.
- La academia: The place that holds David, by Michelangelo. There’s a replica in the main square, close to Palazzo Vechio, but it’s nothing like it. The original is astonishing, so many details to see. It’s worth going even if it’s just to see that. The rest of the museum is not that good for my taste.
- Ponte Vechio: The famous bridge that connected the Palazzo Pitti to the Uffizi/Palazzo Vechio. In the past, it contained a food market, but was not very successful in the eyes (actually nose, as it was very smelly) of the Medici, so it was transformed in a place to sell jewels and it’s like that to this day. There are many jeweleries in that bridge, all f^&%ing expensive. Walking around and taking pictures is free, though. 😉
- Bucca Mario: We decided to pick a fancy restaurant in Florence. This one was amazing, you just have to be ready to spend some money there. You need a reservation and the place is usually full, but it’s totally worth visiting.
- Osteria Dell’oca: The guide recommended this one and we loved it! I recommend to have a Pappa al Pomodoro, with bread and tomato or the Panzanella, which is also amazing.
- Za Za ristorante: Amazing place. It’s quite hard to get in without a reservation, especially during the summer, so if you want to go there try to reserve in advance!
- Gellateria Santa Trinita: I had a Slush there and it was great. Tipical gelato for tourists place, but it was good enough for me.
Try to have gelatos everywhere.they are usually very good. A local was telling us a few tips to get non-touristic gelatos:
- Pistaccio must be brown, if it’s green is because the place wants to get more tourists, so they make it green somehow
- Good gelatos are usually flat. If you go to a place where the gelato looks very beautiful, it’s because they are adding stuff for it to be that way, also for tourists.
With that said, both are great (in my experience), it’s just a bit more information for you to choose yours.
Get some gelattos
This is not really a place, but a recommendation to have as many gelattos as you can. These ice creams re amazing.