An Action-Packed 2 Days in Florence Itinerary

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I’ve just returned from 48 hours in Florence and I wish I had extended my stay! The last time I visited the city was in 2006 as a young backpacker and have very little recollections about the city. And what a city it is. Florence is truly magical.

Cathedral of Santa Maria di Fiore

Walking around the city is like being in a fairytale. The river Arno splits Florence in two, and as you walk along its banks you’ll see the rolling Tuscan hills in the background, dotted with majestic Cypress trees and villas. It’s almost too perfect?

If you’re short on time and only have 2 days in Florence you can take it as easy as you want, or try and fit in as much as possible. For such a small city, Florence has 75 museums in its historic center, so choosing the right ones is also important to note. Florence is also incredibly walkable and everything that you’ll want to see is close by to one another. You will not need to take any modes of transportation when exploring Florence except for your own two feet.

For those with limited mobility, Sage Traveling has tried and tested expert details on navigating Europe either by wheelchair or for anyone with impaired mobility.

Two Days in Florence

Mix and match as required. The following are suggestions of what to see and do in your two days in Florence, and as you explore you’ll bump into a lot of the places throughout the city.

Day 1

  • Cathedral of Santa Maria di Fiore
  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze

On the first day of your two days in Florence, you’re going to spend time admiring the landmark or Florence, the Cathedral of Santa Maria di Fiore (also referred to as the Duomo), before visiting the Uffizi Gallery & strolling along the Ponte Vecchio. If you feel like you have enough time, visit the Basilica of Santa Croce. Or skip if you’ve had enough culture or churches for one day.

Piazza del Duomo

Start your morning off in the incredible Piazza del Duomo, home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria di Fiore. The breathtaking Duomo is a spectacle from every single angle you approach it. Taking over 600 years to complete (and still undergoing renovation), the Duomo has some of the most intricate marble facade you’ll see in all of the Italian Cathedrals. I fell head over heels in love with it.

Cathedral of Santa Maria di Fiore

The Cathedral of Santa Maria is open daily from 10.30 am, however, the inside is nowhere near as impressive as its exterior is. Consider skipping the lengthy lines and visiting either the Basilica Santa Croce or Basicilia San Lorenzo instead.

For those brave enough you can climb over 463 steps to reach the top of the dome of the Cathedral. The steps up to the top are small, and if you are claustrophobic (not the best time to find out), suffer from vertigo or have any health issues, you should not consider climbing the steps. I climbed a much smaller church in Noto, Sicily and that was enough for my lifetime of small spiral staircases for me.

See if you can spot the itty bitty people on top of the Dome!

You’ll notice a smaller octagonal-shaped building known as the Baptistery di San Giovanni which was the original church building before the incredible Duomo was commissioned. The remarkable doors of the Baptistery, Gates of Paradise, took the artist Ghiberti 27 years to create and illustrate in 3D scenes from the Bible. The doors seen on the Baptistery are copies, with the originals in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.

The Uffizi Gallery

One of the most famous art museums in Italy, the Uffizi Gallery is home to all your favorite Renaissance artists, Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Botticelli, and the other teenage mutant ninja turtles.

I cannot recommend enough purchasing your tickets in advance of your visit. And the earlier you can get a booking, the better. If you’re planning on visiting a couple of museums in Florence like Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens & Galleria Accademia (home of the David by Michelangelo) then you’re better off purchasing the Florence Pass. You’ll skip the queues and can

The Uffizi Gallery opens at 8.15 am and this is the perfect time slot to visit without the crowds. You can spend as much time as you want exploring the wealth of artwork that the Uffizi holds. There is something incredibly special about walking around these hallowed halls and seeing some of the world’s greatest artists’ work beautifully lit. I was expecting Bottichelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ to be the highlight, but I think seeing Leonardo da Vinci’s unfinished piece ‘Adoration of the Magi‘ was magical.

Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Adoration of the Magi’.

On Tuesdays, the Uffizi has a special late opening until 10 pm, which is something to consider after an early dinner.

I think even those who have a limited interest in art will find something that they will enjoy in the Uffizi.

Ponte Vecchio

A 3-minute walk from the Uffizi Gallery you’ll find the most famous bridge in Florence, the Ponte Vecchio. If you’ve been looking to purchase some gold, diamonds or expensive jewelry from your trip to Florence, you’ll find it here.

The bridge teems with visitors throughout the day and night offering gorgeous views across the Arno. Look above the street and you’ll see the Vasari Corridor that stretches above the stores.

Ponte Vecchio early morning

Day 2 Florence Itinerary

  • Vasari Corridor (if reopened)
  • Pitti Palace
  • Boboli Gardens / Bardini Gardens
  • Wine Windows

On the 2nd day of your Florence Itinerary, you’re going to visit Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens. If Vasari Corridor has been reopened (it’s due for reopening after almost a 10 year closure), then make your way to Pitti Palace via this cool walkway. Spend your afternoon shopping, or drinking from the wine windows around Florence.

Florence Wine Windows

The wine windows in Florence, or ‘Buchetta del Vino’ originated from the Medieval period when wine merchants used them to sell wine from the region, and really came into their own during the Bubonic Plague. They served as a way of selling wine, whilst remaining at a distance from potential infection. Sound familiar? The majority of the wine windows in Florence closed down or were boarded up until a global pandemic saw a few of them reopen.

It’s hard to track down exactly how many wine windows there are across Florence, but you’ll find them dotted across the city. You’ll typically see a sign to ‘ring a bell’ and a menu of what is available to order. here are a few mentioned that you’ll be able to purchase a glass of wine from, drink on the street and wonder, how exactly did life get so bloody good?

I visited the wine window at Babae, drinking a gorgeous chilled orange wine, watching the excitement of people as they spotted the wine window, and taking copious photos and videos. The wine window at Babae is cashless, and you can purchase the wine glass as a keepsake.

Wine windows in Florence

  • Babae | Via Santo Spirito, 21R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Osteria San Fiorenzo | Borgo dei Greci, 1r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Ristorante Pietrabianca | Piazza dei Peruzzi, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Osteria Belle Donne | Via delle Belle Donne, 16R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Il Latini | Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens

Pitti Palace was purchased by Cosimo de’ Medici for his wife who wished for a magnificent garden like the one she was accustomed to in her native Naples. Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens is a resplendent palace that showcases a spectacular volume of artworks, ornate rooms filled with chandeliers and gorgeous views across the rooftops of Florence.

A new permanent addition to Pitti Palace is a costume and fashion section which was pretty disappointing. You’ll see examples of the clothing worn by members of the Medici’s which are preserved in a dark room. The problem in showcasing these wonderful artefacts is that you can barely see them in the gloom. The remainder of the fashion through the decades is very average and not worth visiting. Stick to the rest of the Pitti Palace for more noteworthy pieces.

Boboli Gardens spread out behind Pitti Palace and are nice to stroll around. You will need to use some leg muscles to power up the steep incline towards the top of the viewpoint. Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of the gardens and Pitti Palace below.

Bardini Gardens

I loved Bardini Gardens when I visited during the month of April. A huge part of it had to play with the beautiful flowering wisteria that blooms during the month of April and May. Bardini Gardens is home to one of the most impressive wisteria tunnels in the region, and the backdrop of the wisteria and the Duomo make it one of the most beautiful views in Florence.

Bardini Gardens feels much more secluded and hidden away than it’s neighbour Boboli Gardens. If the weather is nice, there is nothing better than enjoying a coffee or glass of wine outside on the terrace of La Loggetta. You’ll be rewarded with spectacular views across Florence.

During the summer months you can also watch movies on a gigantic outdoor screen, however with the city of Florence as the backdrop, you might have a tough time concentrating. Bardini Gardens are open daily form 10.30 am until 7.30 pm.

Top Tip: If you’re visiting Boboli Gardens and want to head next door to Bardini Gardens, follow the signs of the Kaffehaus, and exit at the gate. Follow the signs for Bardini Gardens by following the yellow line on the ground and signage. Half way down the street you’ll find a side-entrance to Boboli Gardens. Pay admission fee and once you have passed the gift store, turn right and continue to climb a small hill towards the lemon rooms. Now you’ll experience the entirety of Bardini Gardens on a downward slope, and smirk at the people huffing and puffing their way up steep steps and hills. You’re welcome.

Vasari Corridor

One of the things in Florence that I didn’t get an opportunity to do was visit the Vasari Corridor. It has been closed for 8 years for renovation and is due to reopen at the end of May 2024. The Vasari Corridor was created for the Medici family who didn’t want to walk from their Palace (beside the Uffizi Gallery) to their gardens across the river Arno in Pitti Palace. The series of connecting corridors crosses over the Ponte Vecchio, above the stores and across churches and covers almost a 1 kilometer in length!

If you get the opportunity to get tickets for Vasari Corridor, add it onto your Florence itinerary. I can’t wait to add it to my next visit.

The start of the Vaseri Corridor connects the Ufizzi Gallery across the river to Pitti Palace.

Early Birds

If you want to experience the true magic of Florence during the months of April – October, take my advice and set your alarm clock. Trust me. If you want to see Florence without the crowds and elbowing your way through endless tourists taking pictures, set your alarm clock.

This varies throughout the year, but I’ll do this typically for one day of my trip to take photos and just experience a city waking up and coming to life. Wake up as the sun starts to rise and you’re going to experience one of the most incredible cities in Italy with barely another soul. Check your weather app and see what time sunrise is, and set your alarm clock for whatever that is. If the weather looks like its going to be miserable and wet, skip it and turn off your alarm.

When to visit Florence

Florence is one of those destinations that is busy no matter what time of the year. Of course during the summer months, the city swelters from the heat and influx of tourists who crowd the streets. But that’s also pretty much everywhere in Italy during June – August.


The city heaves with tourists and is at its busiest. Florentines will head to the coast for the month of August when the temperatures reach their highest. When booking accommodation make sure it has AC. Otherwise, you’ll be quite miserable. If planning on visiting museums like the Uffizi, make sure you book well in advance. Spend your afternoons out of the sun, or book a vineyard tour of the nearby wine regions of Chianti etc.


Gorgeous weather, the foliage is spectacular and the light seems to be even more ethereal. You can be lucky with the weather and experience warm Fall days, and as the months lead into November, the temperatures dip and it becomes a little colder and wetter. Wrap up, head to an enoteca and spend your evening sampling the wines from around the region. Bliss.


The quietest time to visit Florence. The tourists numbers have dwindled as other parts of Europe beckon to them. Days are short, but you’ll find yourself not having to fight for tables at restaurants, and the lines for churches and galleries are much more manageable. You’ll just have to deal with the occasional rainy, cold and wet weather. Maybe even snow? A pretty rare thing, but you never know!


I recently visited at the end of April, where Europe was experiencing a cold snap and the temperatures were cold during the day and evenings. The temperatures sat around 12 degrees during the day and dropped during the evening to 8. This was unseasonally cold, and as soon as I left, the temperature soared to 26 degrees. So just keep an eye on whatever weather app you use before your visit.

Getting to Florence

Whether you’re traveling to Florence from within Italy, or from abroad, it’s a very easy city to get to.

Florence has a small airport, Firenze, which serves a handful of destinations across Europe. The closest airport is Pisa Airport which is also a hub for low-cost airlines like Ryanair & EasyJet. If you’re coming from the US or Canada, you’ll more than likely fly into larger Italian airports like Rome, Naples & Milan.

Italy has a superb train system that connects larger cities with fast trains and regional services. I use Trainline to book my tickets and check timetables when traveling in Italy.

If coming from Pisa Airport, hop on the PisaMover which takes 10 minutes from the airport and brings you straight into Pisa Centrale Station to connect to Florence. The main train station is Florence Santa Maria Novella (Firenze S.M.N).

Where to stay in Florence

There’s no real wrong place to stay in Florence. Everything is relatively central, and even if you’re a bit further outside of the main hub of the Duomo, you’re only a short walk away. The city has affordable accommodation for all budget types (unlike that of Positano), that book up pretty quickly during the summer months. Planning in advance is your friend when visiting Florence from May to October.

Perfectly located in the most central area of Florence, Hotel Calimala offers a 4 star experience with a tiny plunge pool to cool off when Florence gets a bit too hot. If you’re looking for 5 star luxury experience only 2km from the city center, then you’re going to be obsessed with Villa Cora.

I stayed in Dante’s Rooms which as a solo traveler was perfectly central, and more importantly affordable. It’s an old building, so sound-proofing is not really a thing, so prepare your stay here with a decent pair of ear plugs.

Inside Dante’s Rooms

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