Things to do in Florence

Itineraries for Your Trip to Florence

Florence locals share their perfect days.
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1 Day in Florence for First Timers

Curated by Rebecca WinkeRebecca’s first visit to Italy was a coup de foudre and her affection for Il Bel Paese has only grown over almost 30 years of living here, during which time she has mastered the art of navigating the sampietrini cobblestones in heels but has yet to come away from a plate of bucatini all’amatriciana with an unsullied blouse. She covers Italy travel, culture, and cuisine for a number of print and online publications.

Capital of Tuscany and known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence and its UNESCO-listed historic center are home to some of the world's greatest artistic and architectural masterpieces. If you only have one day to explore this iconic destination, here's how to see the main highlights.


Florence is home to three of the most important cultural institutions in Italy: the Uffizi Galleries, the Accademia Gallery, and the Florence Duomo. To enjoy works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo along with the soaring architecture of Brunelleschi and Giotto, time is of the essence. Join a guided tour that focuses on these landmarks and includes skip-the-line access so you don't waste precious hours waiting to enter. If visits to all three sounds overwhelming for a single morning, opt for an in-depth tour of just one and combine it with a more general Florence walking, Segway, or hop-on hop-off bus tour to see other sights such as the Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria.


Florence masterpieces aren't confined to the city's museums and churches—you can find veritable works of art in its kitchens, as well. Dedicate the afternoon to discovering the excellent local cuisine with a food and wine tour, stopping at the city's bustling outdoor markets, landmark street food stands, and historic eateries and wine bars. If you'd like to learn how to re-create some of Florence's most famous dishes at home, join a cooking class where you can prepare local specialties like fresh pasta, pizza, and gelato before sitting down to enjoy your handiwork during a relaxing meal.


Italian cities are delightfully romantic, and Florence is no exception. The setting sun casts a golden light over the center, and the picturesque lanterns lining Arno river and city streets make for a postcard-perfect end to the day. Piazzale Michelangelo and the waters of the Arno river are two of the best spots to watch sunset. Reach the panoramic square on a walking, biking, or hop-on hop-off bus tour from the city center or opt for a sunset Arno river cruise for an unforgettable end to your day of Florentine culture and cuisine.

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