5 Best Ways to Experience Florence in a Day
Exploring all of Florence in a day may seem daunting, so we’ve picked some of the best things to do in Florence to help you on your way. Whether you want to see the cultural wonders at the Uffizi Gallery or the marvelous architecture of Il Duomo, there’s a guided tour that skips the lines. There are even some great options for day trips from Florence, including a winetasting of Tuscan vintages and a train ride to the clifftop towns of Cinque Terre. Use this list to plan the perfect itinerary for your 24 hours in Florence.
1) Best of Florence Walking Tour with Accademia Gallery, Il Duomo, and David
See 3 Florence’s top sights in just 3 hours with this walking tour that includes the Accademia Gallery, Il Duomo, and Michelangelo’s David statue. With morning and afternoon options, this guided tour can fit into any Florence itinerary.
Accademia and David
Start your journey in San Marco Square and head to the Accademia, where you can skip the lines and behold one of the greatest sculptures of the Renaissance, David. Even the best-read art history buff can learn something about Michelangelo’s masterful technique thanks to insightful commentary from an expert guide.
Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and More
Next, head over to Florence Cathedral (Il Duomo), home to Brunelleschi’s Dome. As you stand outside this mammoth edifice, your guide shares stories about the 124 years it took to conceive, design, and build the dome. Amazingly, by the time this undisputed architectural wonder was finished, it was no longer the height of cathedral fashion. While the other, supposedly more fashionable domes have either crumbled or been forgotten, you have a chance to see a timeless masterpiece. Finally, close out your stroll through the city with views of the multicolored Ponte Vecchio bridge and the sculptures in the Uffizi Courtyard.
2) Uffizi Gallery Skip-the-Line Small-Group Tour
As you enter the Uffizi Courtyard, you’re surrounded by sculptures of the most prominent figures in Florence’s history, including Lorenzo De Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, and Galileo. These intricately carved sentinels welcome you to the Uffizi Gallery and its vast collection of masterpieces. If reading placards in Italian isn’t enough for you, join a tour guide on an exploration of the Uffizi Gallery and learn all about the meaning hidden within these artistic wonders.
Top Works of Art at the Uffizi
Instead of ranking the masterpieces of the Uffizi—and possibly causing an international incident—here’s a list of some of the best of what you can see during your day in Florence:
- Birth of Venus by Botticelli
- Medusa by Caravaggio
- Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea del Verrocchio
- Laocoön and his Sons by Bandinelli
- Venus of Urbino by Titian
3) Florence in a Day: Combo Tour with David, Uffizi, and Duomo
Breeze through the best sights in Florence with a skip-the-line combo tour that allows you to visit Accademia Gallery, David, Florence Cathedral (Il Duomo), the Uffizi Gallery, and more—all in one tour. Perfect for travelers who have 1 full day to explore Florence, this tour is led by a knowledgeable guide who can help you discover Florentine secrets that only a local could know. After seeing all the sights, be sure to ask your guide for recommendations for the perfect pizza or the best place to get gelato in Florence.
4) Wine Tasting & Dinner at a Private Florence Vineyard
Be sure to sample the delicious local cuisine and wine during your 1 day in Florence. Venture just outside the city center, passing the olive groves and vine trellises that cover the hilly Tuscan countryside on your way to an elegant villa in a vineyard.
After having your driver handle the winding roads, join a Florence wine tasting tour that includes a 4-course dinner of crostini, prosciutto, Parmesan cheese, regional pasta, and much more. Meet winemakers and discover how the iconic wines of Tuscany are created from vine to bottle. You also get to sample 2 reds, a white, and a dessert wine during your Florence vineyard tour.
Wines to Try in Florence
During your tour—and after—be sure to try some of the best wine in the world, including:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Bianco
5) Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence
Five storybook villages cling to cliffs above the crashing waters of the Mediterranean, and you have a chance to explore them on a Cinque Terre day trip from Florence. Start your journey through this UNESCO World Heritage site in the town of Monterosso, which dates to the 11th century. Venture into the countryside above the city and check out the terraced vineyards that provide perfect photo opportunities for your Italian vacation.
Or stick around town and wander the narrow streets, stopping at cute shops and quaint eateries. Finally, end your Cinque Terre tour with a stop in Manarola, where you can take in views of a tiny harbor that’s home to colorful boats and vibrant natural formations.
Bonus: Florence Night Tour and More Italian Vacation Ideas
Make the most of your 24 hours in Florence by taking a night walking tour of Florence. See all the best locales without the daytime crowds. Night is also when the locals come out to reclaim their city and fill the air with laughter and the sweet sound of the Italian language. Immerse yourself in the world of everyday people as they lounge on the steps of Renaissance wonders like it’s the stoop in front of their house—which it basically is.
Italian Vacation Ideas
Now that you know how you’ll spend your day in Florence, be sure to check out more of what Italy has to offer:
- Rome – Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Colosseum to see what it was really like to be a gladiator.
- Venice – See the best of Venice on this walking tour that includes St. Mark’s and a gondola ride.
- Milan – Set off on a sightseeing adventure through The Fashion Capital of the World on a comprehensive tour of Milan that includes The Last Supper and Milan Cathedral.