3 DAY TRAVEL GUIDE OF FLORENCE

Day 1

Breakfast at Caffé Giacosa, a café just off Via dei Tornabuoni. This café was bought over by Roberto Cavalli. I suggest you drink the coffee at the bar because sitting outside costs a fortune, but this iconic café is worth the visit. 

Walk down via del Sole from Caffé Giacosa until you reach Piazza Santa Maria Novella. You take a right to go towards the station of Santa Maria Novella. As you walk upwards towards the station you will see on your left hand side the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. Once you visit this beautiful basilica you take Via Panzani, which is an alternative road to the one you walked up – and it takes you directly to Piazza del Duomo. You can purchase your tickets in a small shopon your left in the square or if you walk through the square you reach the Museo Dell’opera del Duomo where you can also purchase your ticket. With 15 euros you have access to the Museum Dell’opera del duomo, the Basilica, the Cupola, the Battistero di San Giovanni and finally the Campanile del Giotto. It might not be possible to see everything in one day; especially the Cupola and Campanile because they are the most popular, but you can book a time slot when you purchase your tickets.

So I would start by seeing the museum and the Battistero di San Giovanni. Then you can make your way through to San Lorenzo where you will find the “Mercato Centrale”. Here not only it is very recommended to buy some food because the market is quite economical but also you can eat in and taste the various delicacies such as meat, fish, pasta, sandwiches, pizza, truffles ecc. It’s a food heaven you must go and see. 

In the Afternoon I would recommend walking back towards the Duomo to then take Via dei Calzaiuoli; a long shopping street that lead to the famous Piazza della Signoria. Before reaching this square make sure you make a quick visit to the Church of Orsanmichele, a religious building famous for its incredible Tabernacle. Walk back to Via dei Calzaiuoli in order to reach Piazza della Signoria, famous for being the home of Palazzo Vecchio, former government of Florence. It is possible to tour this building, you can check out the ticket on www.musefirenze.it. Also in this square is the Gucci museum. I visited this museum as I love fashion and I found it very interesting from a cultural point of view however if you are here for only a short period of time you might find other things more important.

Next to this Square there is the famous Galleria deli Uffizi, where I advise you to go and buy your ticket for the following day so you can skip the enormous queue. As you exit the Galleria degli Uffizi from the back you are then close to Ponte Vecchio, the famous bridge filled with jewellery stores from start to finish.  

If you return to Piazzale della Signoria, you can make your way down another route to visit the church of Santa Croce, an attraction containing incredible masterpieces from the famous Giotto and other medieval artists, it is also home to the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and others. 

Following from here you can walk up Via de Macci, walking through the church of Sant’Ambrogio leading to the magnificent Israeli Temple which contains a little museum (closed Friday afternoon and Saturday). 

Around here there are a few little restaurants for example acquacotta, a very modest yet delicious little trattoria located on Via De' Pilaster 51r. 

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Day 2

Breakfast at Paszkowski, a traditional yet well priced café with a beautiful display of cakes and croissants. This Café is based in Piazza della Republica, a lovely big square surrounded by Cafés, bars and shops. 

I would start off going very early to the Basilica because it is an extremely popular (and spectacular) attraction. (You must cover your shoulders and legs or they will not let you in). Following this, if you managed to book any of your tours then it is a very good place to start, whether it is the Cupola and the Campanile di Giotto or the Galleria Degli Uffizzi. This should take until lunchtime, where you can eat a quick Sandwich in the Antico Vinaio. 

In the afternoon just off the Antico Vinaio is Galleria degli Uffizi which needs to be seen. Take your time to walk through this spectacular art gallery. It contains some of the most refined artworks and masterpieces within its walls. The majority of the artworks were left by the Medici family to the state so it could "be of utility to the public". (The Medici family reigned Florence from 1413 to 1743). 

If you still have time in the afternoon, i advise you go and see Galleria dell'Accademia, an art museum home of Michelangelo's famous sculpture of David.

As for dinner you can either find a little restaurant in the area or you can venture out to Santo Spirito area where you can find a very traditional restaurant called L'Brindellone (Book this one as it is always fully booked). It's adress is: Piazza Piattellina 10/11/r, and it's a perfect place to try the authentic Florentine steak. 

Day 3

From Santa maria novella, walk down Via dei Fossi until you reach piazza c. Goldoni and cross over the bridge (Ponte alla Carraia). You will be able to view Santa Maria del carmine, a church containing marvellous Affreschi. You cross the road reaching an amazing building called Palazzo Pitti, built in 1458. Depending on how much time you have I would recommend going to see this place as it has two art galleries: Galleria Palatina that contains some spectacular paintings and the Museo degli Argenti, containing precious antiques. It is also possible to see the Giardino di Boboli, famous gardens opened to the public in 1766. This tour should take a few hours and it will be worth every minute. The cultural and artistic aspect of the museum and the romantic walk will make your day a day to remember.

However it doesn’t end here; after eating something in the area, you should make your way up Via de’ Bardi, via di san piccolo, via del monte alle croci and up to San Minato al Monte. Here you have the most romantic panoramic spot over Florence. You are able to visit this ex chapel, once dedicated to St. Minato (Martyred in 250 AD). 

From here I suggest you going down a different route, through Piazzale Michelangelo, where again there is a beautiful panorama over Florence. 

Finished your tour, there is an amazing Osteria very near to the Palazzo Pitti called “Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco” where you can go and eat (Maybe book a table beforehand). The exact address is Borgo San Iacopo, 43R. 

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