This year I spent my birthday in Florence, which has been on my bucket list for a long time. This gorgeous Tuscan city is like an open air museum. There is history at every corner, a stunning building everywhere you look and it has that charming, romantic vibe. Two days is not enough to scratch the surface of what the city has to offer so we chose to see the highlights during our time here. Our itinerary also left some time to wander around the magical city and that was my favourite thing to do!
We arrived from Rome on the fast train which takes about 1.5 hours and stayed at this cute airbnb. Our host was lovely and helped us with coffee and breakfast in the mornings.
Day 1: David, Piazzale Michaelangelo, Ponte Veccchio
After checking in and having lunch near San Lorenzo church we went to see Michaelangelo’s masterpiece. Make sure you buy skip the line tickets for Accademia Gallery which houses the most famous statue in the world i.e. Michaelangelo’s David. We used Rick Steves audio guide which I found to be very useful! The statue itself is super impressive and the details are just mind-blowing.
We then took a bus to Piazzale Michaelangelo to watch the sun go down over Florence. The views are beautiful– the entire city with its bridges and river Arno!
We walked back from there till Ponte Vecchio–the iconic Bridge that was once full of butcher shops and now houses expensive jewellery stores. The vibe on the bridge was so good– live music, the romantic river views and the slight nip in the evening air!
Day 2: Uffizi Gallery, Piazza Della Signoria and Duomo
It’s my birthday today!! Our first stop of the day was Uffizi gallery. Again, Rick Steves was our guide and made the tour enjoyable. The collection of art is fantastic.
We then had a wonderful lunch at Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura. It was an absolutely amazing experience and the food and service was top notch. Right in front of the restaurant is Piazza della Signoria, with its impressive sculptures especially the Neptune fountain.
We had saved the best for the last–we spent rest of day at the magnificent Duomo. Nothing had prepared me for how grand the church is. One second you are walking a narrow cobblestoned street and suddenly this massive beauty is right in front of you. The church interiors are surprisingly austere compared to the facade. Do check out the baptistry which has some mesmerizing frescoes. Also, for glorious views climb either Giotto’s bell tower or Brunelleschi’s dome. I climbed the bell tower to watch the sunset. It gives you views with the dome in the frame and also it is a relatively easy climb! Buy your tickets to Duomo in advance and you need to reserve a time slot if you are planning to climb the dome. The bell tower on the other hand doesn’t require booking a specific time slot.
How to get around Florence: We used a combination of tram, bus and walking.
Where to eat:
1. Lorenzo De Medici for simple and soulful food
2. Cucina Casalinga for romantic and delicious dinner
3. Edoardo for hand-made gelato
4. Massimo Bottura if you feel like splurging or celebrating
5. Biblioteca Dell’oblate for having a drink with a view of Duomo without the crowds or burning a hole in your pocket. This is a cafe in the library.
Have more time in Florence? Check out my post on things to do around Florence.