Guide: Best Places to Visit in Florence in a day
by Julieta P. Carrizo
Florence. The city of Medicis. The city of Michelangelo´s David. The city of La Nascita di Verene (Boticcelli, Birth of Venus). The city of the Duomo. The city of Ponte Vecchio. There is too much to see in Florence, too much art, history and culture, that you cannot imagine how to meet all that in a day. I´m gonna be honest, if you can spend a minimum of two days in this fantastic city, you must to do it. But if you are in a mad race to get know Tuscany in a few days (like us), here are the guide to meet all you must to meet. Because Florence have everything, and you breathe art and history in every corner.
It can be done, you can meet Florence and enjoy it in one day, just put on the more comfortable shoes you have, and ready to walk through the incredible streets of this fantastic city!
Florence is one of the most populous and biggest cities of Tuscany. Is the capital of Tuscany so you have a lot to things to do. If you are interested in shopping, you have The Mall, one of the only shops in the world of more famous designers outlet (yes, a big shopping with Outlet of Versace, Armani, Valentino and more). But if you are a geek like me, a fanatic of art and history, Florence have that in every street.
We arrive early in the morning, but we had some delays on the check-in in the hotel (it was weekend so there was a lot of tourists). So we took the opportunity and we went to lunch a delicious pasta dish (the BEST pasta I´ve eaten in Italy!). And then, with renewed energy, we trace in the map the places we wanted to know and we start to walk.
Piazza Della S.S. Anunziatta
You have a lot of beautiful squares in Florence, so just walk through the city and enjoy. Piazza Della Santissima Annunziata was named after the church of the Annunziata that is at the head of the square. In the centre of the piazza is the bronze Equestrian statue of Ferdinando I of Medici and two Mannerist fountains with fantastical figures, all works completed by the late-Renaissance sculptor Pietro Tacca. There you can see the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata, which was build in 15 century and gave the name to the plaza, and have in one of its chapels the picture of the Annunciation. Surrounding the square you can see the Palazzo Budini Gattai, the National Archaeological Museum of Florence located in the Palazzo Della Crocetta (a palace built in 1620 for princess Maria Maddalena of Medici, daughter of Ferdinand I of Medici, by Giulio Parigi), and the Ospedale Degli Innocenti, the oldest orphanage of the continent.
The Accademia Gallery
This is one of the most important places in Florence because is the house of Michelangelo´s David. In fact, this gallery has an important collection of Michelangelo´s sculptures.
The Price may rise between 8 and 12.50 euros, and is open Tue-Sun 8:15-18:30.
Piazza del Duomo
Right down the Via Ricasoli Street, you get to the most important part of the city: the Piazza del Duomo. Here is the heart of Florence. If you see the Medici series you gonna feel very excited when you arrive at this place. Take a breath and enjoy every corner, you gonna pass a few hours here, special if you want to enter every build. And if you not, even being there surrounded by that constructions, is magnificent. In this Piazza you gonna find:
Cathedral of S. Maria del Fiore
This cathedral is one of the masterpieces of the gothic art and the first Italian Renaciment. It was a sign of power and richness in XII and XIII centuries and is consisting of the Brunelleschi´s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Baptistry of St. Giovanni and the Medici Chapel.
The entrance to the main build of the Cathedral is free, open Mon/Tue/Wed/Fr: 10:00 -17:00. Thur: 10:00 – 16:30. Sat: 10:00 – 16:45. Sun: 13:30 – 16;45.
Dome, Giotto´s Bell Tower and the Baptistry of St. Giovanni.
The Dome is really impressive, and if you have seen the series Medici with Richard Madden, you gonna know the incredible history behind his construction. You have to pay to go up, a single ticket of 15 euros who include the Dome, Giotto´s Bell Tower and the Baptistry of St. Giovanni.
Museo Della Opera Del Duomo
It is in a build behind the apse of the Cathedral and has a number of Rome sculptures, statues and rests of the old cathedral.
Piazza Della Signoria
Down the Via Dei Calzaiuoli, you can get to another unforgettable place in Florence, and one of my favourites: Piazza Della Signoria. Is one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, and really let me without breath. All the square is surrounded by antique palaces. In the Piazza you can find:
Is the old residence of Medici´s, if you see Medici series, you gonna recognized immediately because in the interior they have filmed numerous scenes. To visit you have to pay 14 euros. Open Friday – Wednesday 10:00 – 17:00; Thursdays 10:00 – 14:00.
Gantry of Loggia Dei Lanzi
To the right of the old palace, you can find this beautiful gothic build constructed between 1376 to 1382, who have an important series of magnificent sculptures. At night this place is a dream.
Is a huge fountain who represents the Roman god Neptune built between 1563 to 1575. Next to is the statue of Cosme I of Giambologna.
In front of the Piazza Della Signoria is the Uffizi Palace, who was entrusted by Cosme I of Medici. The Gallery now contains incredible pieces of art, like the famous Boticcelli´s Birth of Venus. The price may rise between 8 and 12.50 euros.
And here is the final of our Florence tour. Nothing better of finish the day in this wonderful medieval arch bridge over the Arno River. Here you have a lot of stores, places to eat and artists who can delight you with his music with a fantastic view of the illuminated city around the Arno River. Here just relax and enjoy, you did it, you have met one of the most beautiful and fantastic cities of Italy in one day, and you know what? I´m sure that you want to come back again.