One Day in Florence: Itinerary to Maximize Your Day Trip

One day in Florence can be fun, delicious, and beautiful! This guide will help you build the perfect Florence itinerary.

I know, I have a lot of information here for just a day trip to Florence! But I want to help you decide to be there on market day if that’s something you love. I’ve included information on the trains, and some history (and great stories!) about the main sites so you know what you are seeing. And it all adds up!

Is Florence Worth Visiting for one Day?

Ok, first, Florence is always worth visiting. I love, love Florence, so my ideal is to live there for at least 6 months. However, I understand that sometimes you can only be in Florence for one day because of whatever else you are doing. The first time I visited, I was in Florence for two days, and I absolutely loved it – thus my returns. These short visits can be wonderful.

If you love art, architecture, leather goods, and gelato, you are going to love spending a day in Florence. I bet it will make you want to come back. The Florence train station has direct trains to a number of major and smaller Italy cities, so it is very easy to get in and out in the time you have. So let’s plan your Florence itinerary to see the best of the city.

Bikes against ochre wall in Florence

What is Florence Known For

It’s surprisingly hard to narrow down this list, but here’s my best try!

Renaissance Art & Architecture

Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Art and beautiful architecture are abundant, and much of it is free to see, right on the street and in the piazzas of Florence. The greats of the Renaissance lived and created in Florence. The model for Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is believed to be Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo of Florence, and his Adoration of the Magi and a self-portrait hang in the Uffizi. Michelangelo’s David is in the Accademia, Botticelli’s Birth of Venice and Primavera are both in the Uffizi, Titian, Vasari… there are so many greats who were here it is dizzying.

Florence’s main Cathedral, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is often simply called ‘The Duomo’. The dome of the cathedral was an architectural triumph at the time, and is still the largest dome in Italy and largest brick dome in the world. (The story behind it is drama that made me literally laugh out loud.) The Basilica of San Lorenzo is a nearly renaissance architectural perfection, the Ponte Vecchio is world famous. The historic center of Florence is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it “can be perceived as a unique social and urban achievement, the result of persistent and long-lasting creativity.”

My third trip to Florence is booked and there are still museums and wonderful art on my Florence itinerary I’ve not seen. Since you’re looking at one day in Florence, I’ve picked a few must-sees below.

Gold in Florence

Before visiting Florence the first time I had no idea the significance of the Gold trade to the city. Even today Italy is a top producer of high quality gold jewelry in the world. Most of that beautiful jewelry comes from the regions right around Florence. The history of gold jewelry-making in Florence dates at least as far back as the 1400s. The production was strictly regulated leading to a reputation for quality and artistic excellence you can still see at work today.

Historically, goldsmiths had shops and worked on the Ponte Vecchio, and you can still see them there today.

Leather in Florence

Leather tanning and working have been practiced for eons, and that’s also true of Florence. Florence had the alum mines and running water of the Arno necessary to the process. So leather making became an industry in Florence.

However again, in the 1400s it is the Florentine guilds that made the difference in Florentine leather versus many other places. There were strict rules, strictly enforced, for any leather and leather goods created in the city. The quality being produced in the city was quickly recognized and gained a reputation for excellence that is still pursued today.

Famous People in Florence

There is no way I can do any justice to the number of famous people who have been born who have lived in Florence. Especially because I like to say something about what their contribution is, and then it all just gets out of hand. But here’s an abbreviated list (if you can believe that) so you can look into anyone who catches your fancy:

  • Filippo Brunelleschi – famous architect, especially known for the Duomo
  • Michelangelo – the David, the Sistine chapel, Madonna of Bruges, etc
  • The Medici family – Lorenzo, Catherine, Cosimo and more who ruled Florence and pretty much funded the Renaissance
  • Lorenzo Ghiberti – sculptor, his baptistery doors are considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Italian Renaissance
  • Donatello – artist, especially sculptor. His David is a fascinating contrast to Michelangelo’s.
  • Leonardo da Vinci – artist & engineer known for Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Vitruvian Man.
  • Niccolò Machiavelli – Renaissance poet and philosopher
  • Galileo Galilei – physicist, astronomer, philosopher born in Pisa but grew up in Florence. His observations by telescope were key to beginning the Scientific Revolution and caused him to be found guilty of heresy by the Church in Rome.
  • Sandro Botticelli – artist famous for Birth of Venus, Primavera, and more. (Did you Botticelli is a nickname derived from ‘botticello’ which means ‘little barrel’? Creates a mental picture, doesn’t it?)
  • Gucci family – Gucci’s home offices and a Gucci museum are here
  • Salvatore Ferragamo – opened his first shoe store here
View of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
View of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

When to schedule your one day in Florence

As always, this is so subjective. Plus, when planning a day trip to Florence I’m guessing you are already in the area. Or you own a transporter, which I admit would be awesome, but I doubt is true. So here is some schedule information that may rule a particular day in or out:

Major Sight Weekly Closures

  • Sunday & Religious Holidays – Cathedral closed, and Dome hours reduced
  • Sunday – San Lorenzo Street Market closed
  • Mondays – Uffizi Gallery Closed

Markets in Florence: Daily, Weekly, Monthly

There are MANY markets, but here are few of the most popular. If one in particular is of interest, check the days of operation and choose your day in Florence accordingly.

  • Mercato Centrale (Central Market) – Open Daily – more on this restaurant and fresh food market below.
  • San Lorenzo Outdoor Market – 7:30am-7pm, Tues-Sat – Near Basilica San Lorenzo & Central Market. Most known for leather goods, though you will also find other items.
  • Mercato Delle Pulci (Florence Antique/Flea Market) – Mon-Sat 9am-7pm – some antiques & collectibles, also clothes, books, jewelry, trinkets, etc.
  • Flower MarketThursday morning, Sept-June, in Piazza della Repubblica
  • Santo Spirito Flea Market for Arts & Crafts2nd Sunday of the month, 9am-7:30pm in Piazza Santo Spirito. Vintage clothes, handmade artisan goods, household antiques.

How to get to Florence from Rome, Venice, Milan

How close is Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station to the Main Sights?

The easiest way to visit Florence for a day is by train. The station, Florence S.M.N., is only 750 meters from the Duomo. That’s less than a 10 minute walk. From there, all the other sites I talk about, and most of the sites you might want to fit into one day, are in an easily walkable area.

Is It Easy to get to Florence by Train from Milan, Rome, Venice?

I love train travel through Italy and Europe! To look at actual prices and times, or to purchase a ticket, go to Trenitalia’s website. Remember, search for Firenze S. M. Novella, Florence’s train station.

  • Rome: 3-5 trains per hour, 1 hour 30 min trip duration
  • Milan: 3-5 trains per hour, 1 hour 30 min trip duration
  • Venice: direct trains depart roughly hourly, 2 hours 15 min trip duration

If you are only spending one day in Florence, double check you are getting a direct train!


One Day in Florence Itinerary

I waffled between three different versions of this list repeatedly. The biggest struggle is that the Duomo, Uffizi, and the David in the Accademia are all must-see in Florence. But putting them all in a one day Florence itinerary is, in my opinion, too much in line and/or in museums. So, in the end, I removed the Accademia.

There really IS a lot to see in Florence, 
so if you make it your home base for a bit 
remember to consider a day trip to Venice or Pisa!

If you are a fast walker, or want to take some thing (or two) off this list, that is my recommendation to fill the spot. I found Michelangelo’s unfinished sculptures, sometimes called ‘prisoners’ or ‘slaves’, with the David to be incredible.

Painted dome in Florence's Cathedral

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore & Brunelleschi’s Dome

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, often just referred to as ‘the Duomo’, is the most dominating feature of the cityscape. The dome of the Cathedral was the largest in the world until modern materials made larger possible, and there has still never been a larger brick dome constructed.

Brunelleschi’s Dome

Arnolfo di Cambio, architect of the church of Santa Croce and the Palazzo Vecchio, designed the plan for the cathedral approved in 1294. The First stone was laid in September of 1296. A series of architects worked on the project, which was halt several times due to death and even plague. By 1380 the architects had expanded and finished everything except the dome, and the major problem here was – no one knew how to complete such a large dome!

Brunelleschi had (see below) been forced into a partnership to create the Baptistery doors, and offended took off to Rome to study architecture instead. This was at a time that people generally thought the Pantheon had been built by devils, because it just wasn’t possible. But Brunelleschi returned and developed a plan, only to be forced into a partnership with Ghiberti again. Short version: DRAMA, Brunelleschi largely vindicated.

Brunelleschi’s dome took 16 years to complete and was finished in 1436.

Interior of Florence Cathedral

The interior of the cathedral had many contributors to its final design and ornamentation. Some of the more interesting features are:

Portraits of Sir John Hawkwood and Niccolo da Tolentino

On the north wall of the cathedral are two very large portraits, each of a man on horseback. On the left is Niccolo da Tolentino, and on the right is Sir John Hawkwood. Both men were mercenary generals whose great “successes” for Florence earned them the honor of these frescoes inside the cathedral.

Hawkwood’s fresco was reworked after the point of view meant the sex organs of the horse were visible, which was deemed unacceptable. So you may notice the perspective of the horse versus the rest of the image is off. Tolentino’s great victory for Florence against San Romano was actually more that he held out with some of his forces until another of his commanders rode in and drove off the enemy forces. But political spin has always been important, and Florence claimed that for a great victory.

Uccello’s Duomo Clock

Over the main door you will see an impressively large, one-handed, 24-hour clock. It uses an Italian time schedule not used since the 1700s where the 24th hour is at sunset. Only a rare few such clocks of this kind still exist in working order as this one is. The faces in the corners of the clock are the writers of the first four books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Florence Duomo’s painted interior

For years the interior of the dome was a simple whitewash. Cosimo de’ Medici commissioned Giorgio Vasari, and he began the scene of the last judgement but died 2 years into the project. Several other artists worked on completing the painting.

Brunelleschi’s Tomb

Only part of the crypt of the church is accessible by the public, but Brunelleschi’s tomb is part of what can be seen.

Visiting Florence Cathedral

The cathedral itself is free to enter, but crowds are paced through so there can be long pauses in line movement. The line can also get quite long and there is little shade, so I strongly advice getting there and inside early.

The Dome is only accessible with a timed entry ticket. Also, if you are at all claustrophobic, or even kind of don’t like narrow, enclosed spaces, you will not like climbing the dome. There are 463 steps that spiral up, and you are walking between the inner and outer shell of the dome where the workers walked. I have not actually gone up the dome because although I have never thought I was claustrophobic, I struggled when trying the same at St. Peter’s in Rome. I’ve been told by multiple people the Florence Duomo is darker, narrower, and more difficult.

If you really want to go up for a view but cannot do the Duomo, you can go up Giotto’s Bell Tower which is fewer steps and not nearly so enclosed.

  • Location: Piazza Duomo
  • Cathedral Hours:
    • Mon-Sat, 10:15am-5:00pm, last entry at 4:30pm
    • Sundays & religious holidays
  • Dome: must have timed ticket
    • Mon-Fri, 8:15am-7:30pm, last entry at 6:45pm
    • Sat, 8:15am-5:15pm, last entry 4:30pm
    • Sun & public holidays, 12:45pm-5:15pm, last entry at 4:30pm
  • Tickets: Visit the Opera di Santa Maria site to purchase tickets

Panel in Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise bronze doors

Baptistery

The Baptistery of Saint John is one of the oldest buildings in Florence, with construction starting in 1059. Inside the Baptistery is the tomb of Antipope John XXII by Donatello, and an impressive mosaic ceiling, but if you are only in Florence for a day, I recommend skipping the interior.

Three sets of bronze doors on the exterior of the Baptistery are the big draw here anyway. To look at them in the order they were created, start with the doors on the south side, so the Cathedral is to your right as you look at the doors.

Baptistery South Doors

The south doors were created by Andrea Pisano over a period of six years. The Upper and middle panels depict scenes from the life of St. John. The bottom two rows depict the eight virtues: hope, faith, charity, humility, fortitude, temperance, justice, and prudence.

Baptistery North Doors

The north doors – opposite side of the building, so Cathedral is on your left – were created by Lorenzo Ghiberti.

The council that awarded the commission actually couldn’t decide between Ghiberti and Brunelleschi for the project, so just decided to tell them to work on it together. That didn’t go so well as Brunelleschi was greatly offended by this, quit the project, and took off for Rome to study architecture. Which, in the end, worked out well for the Florentines as he came back built that dome that had been unfinished forever. Ghiberti, no saint in the ego department himself, recorded for posterity that there hadn’t been a single dissenting voice in the decision to award him the commission. And a lifetime feud began.

Anyway, the north doors took Ghiberti 21 years to complete. The upper and middle panels depict scenes from the life of Christ, and the bottom two rows depict the four evangelists and four saints. You’ll notice bronze heads at the corners of panels, also. These are prophets and prophetesses. Except for three panels up from the bottom, in the middle. See that pudgy dude wearing a turban? That is Ghiberti’s self portrait.

Baptistery East Doors

The commission for the east doors was also given to Ghiberti who worked 27 years to create them. This time the doors have only 10 panels depicting narratives from the old testament. Examining these panels the strides forward in understanding and using perspective can be seen. Ghiberti showed depth with very shallow relief and one-point perspective, and these doors are clearly a work of the Renaissance. Again, Ghiberti made a self portrait, amusingly enough where his head seems almost a doorknob. According to Vasari, when Michelangelo first saw these doors he proclaimed, ‘They are so beautiful, they might be the Gates of Paradise.’

  • Location: Between Piazzas Duomo & San Gionvanni, across from Cathedral
  • Hours: Outside doors (copies to protect the originals) are always in view
  • Tickets: If you only have one day I don’t recommend spending time inside. But they can be purchased along with Cathedral/Duomo tickets above.

Orsanmichele

The Orsanmichele was originally a grain market built around in 1337, gold medals and coins thrown into the foundation for luck. Sometime around 1380-1404 the craft and trade guilds of Florence transformed the main floor into a church. The upper floors were still put to more secular use with the second floor transformed into offices and the third floor holding the city’s grain storage.

If you go inside, it is free to do so. You can see two columns which are still hollow with open chutes where the grain from the third floor would flow out when distributed. But the outside is worth a lap around the building.

Niche Statues of the Orsanmichele

Sometime around 1339 a decree was made that the guilds should commission artists to create statues of the patron saints of each guild to be placed in niches around the building. This turned into a competition, as these things do, to see who could commission the best artists and use the most expensive materials, thus showing their guild to be the most prestigious. Which then led to some guilds taking their original statues out and replacing them later with even more expensive statues by even more famous artists. Human nature at work.

When it was all said and done, four statues were entirely replaced with upgrades. One of the niches was sold to a judicial body and its statue was replaced yet again. Donatello made a total of three of the statues, Ghiberti two, and Verrocchio (da Vinci’s teacher) one.

The statues currently on view are copies, but excellent copies, and very worth seeing in the place they were designed to be viewed. Most of the originals are in the Orsanmichele museum on the third floor.


Medici Lions in Piazza della Signoria where outdoor sculptures are a free museum for your day in Florence

Piazza della Signoria

The Piazza della Signoria is a large square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Town Hall of Florence. This square has been the gathering place and location of public ceremonies since Florence was the Roman Florentia. This is where the original Bonfire of the Vanities happened in 1497 and where where Girolamo Savonarola was martyred. The Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence, overlooks the piazza, and the Uffizi Gallery borders it on the other side.

Whole books could be written about the history, monuments, and statues of the Piazza della Signoria. Instead here are just a few words about the most significant things to see in this square.

Statues within the Piazza della Signoria

  • Fountain of Neptune – another Cosimo de’ Medici commission to celebrate Francesco’s marriage to Grand Duchess Joanna of Austria, and that Cosimo had brought clean water to Florence through the Mugnone aqueduct.
  • Michelangelo’s David – This copy stands where the original did for nearly 400 years as a symbol of the Republic of Florence. David, the common man who defeated a king with a slingshot, stands outside the town hall, staring down the road toward Rome – and those (for a time) banished Medicis.
  • Giambologna’s Equestrian Monument of Cosimo I – commissioned by Cosimo’s son Ferdinando I.
  • Donatello’s Judith Beheading Holofernes – Donatello’s statue depicts an event from the Catholic bible, but was particularly startling for the depiction of a strong woman murdering a man. This came to symbolize the power of the humble people over the proud

Statues at the Logia dei Lanzi

  • Cellini’s Perseus and Medusa – Cellini worked on this for nine years and claimed that in fear of being short of materials he threw his pewter dishes into the molten bronze. While Duke Cosimo Medici commissioned this to symbolize his power over any who opposed him. Cellini was a violent man who (several times, mind you) attacked and stabbed people he was feuding with, so maybe the subject just appealed to him.
  • Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women – This is considered Giambologna’s masterpiece, and never cared much what it was named. He was in it for the challenge of a composition of three figures that could be viewed and appreciated from multiple angles. The name and narrative was thought up later when Francesco de’ Medici wanted it displayed publicly.
  • Medici Lions – The two lions were once ornamentation at the Medici villa in Rome. There were moved here in 1789.

Lunch Stop

This is probably a good time to fuel up before heading into the Uffizi for a couple hours. You can just follow your nose and pick a place, but keep in mind that most service-at-the-table meals will not be fast service. That’s not how meals in restaurants in Italy work. Here are a couple of highly rated (but not crazy expensive) options for lunch close to Piazza della Signoria:

Mangia Pizza

Authentic Florentine pizza, good prices, rave reviews:

  • Location: Via Lambertesca, 24/26/R
  • Hours: Daily 11am-7pm

Il Cernacchino

Serves local pasta dishes, as well as soups and sandwiches

  • Location: Via della Condotta, 38R
  • Hours: Daily 11am-11pm

Botticelli's Birth of Venus in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence

Uffizi

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important Italian museums, ranked 25th on the list of the most visited art museums in the world, and the most visited Italian museum in the country. Let’s get this out of the way first: at the height of tourist season the line can be hours – and I mean up to 5 hours – long. Buy your tickets ahead for a time slot and skip the line (links below)!

The Uffizi gallery wouldn’t exist today without the Medici family. For that matter, much of Florence and Renaissance art wouldn’t either – but again, another story. The Uffizi building itself was begun by Cosimo I de’ Medici who commissioned Giorgio Vasari to build a new building for the offices of the Florence Magistrates. Thus the name, Uffizi, which just means “offices.” This building would be, conveniently, right next to the Medici residence.

The top floor of this building of offices was to be a gallery to display the best of the art work the Medici family had commissioned and collected. It would be a point of prestige for the city. It would also be somewhere to take visiting dignitaries to see the collection and impress them. And a power play to let them know exactly the level of wealth and power they were dealing with and how much they did not measure up.

Over the generations the Medici family continued to grow their power, wealth, and their incredible collection of art. The portion of the building allocated to the collection grew accordingly.

The Medici dynasty eventually died out in the 18th century, and Anna Maria Luisa, last Medici Heiress negotiated to give the collection to the city of Florence. While the Uffizi collection was open to visitors by request since the 1500s, it was in 1765 that it officially open to the public. It formally became a museum in 1865 and is considered one of the first modern museums.

Today the Uffizi museum is roughly 100 rooms. Expansion continues even today in an effort to display more of the art that has been collected, the most famous of which is still from the Medici collection. Some of the most famous and visited pieces are:

  • Botticelli’s Del Lama Adoration of the Magi
  • Botticelli’s Primavera
  • Botticelli’s Birth of Venus
  • Raphael’s Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio del Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi
  • Bronzino’s Eleonora de Toledo and Her Son Giovanni de’ Medici
  • Titian’s Venus of Urbino

Visting Information:

  • Location: Piazzale degli Uffizi, enter at Door 3 if you have skip-the-line tickets
  • Hours: Tues-Sun, 8:15am-6:30pm, closed Mondays
  • Tickets: Purchase Tickets Ahead for a time slot and skip-the-line

Gelato Stop!

Gelato just means “frozen” in Italian. Technically gelato can refer to any frozen dessert, but we’ve all come to know gelato as the creamy, rich, more decadent version of ice cream from Italy. Personally, I think “You have to eat gelato” is just a good rule for life wherever you are, but especially here where the deliciousness started.

There are actually a couple of versions of how it all happened, starting with a sorbet recipe from China in 1295 and Italians modifying the recipe over time. Then Florentines believe Cosimo Ruggeri created the first version of gelato in a plain “milk flower” flavor, in the court of Catherine de’ Medici. (You want to win the favor of a women – even uber-powerful, kinda scary ones… gelato.) Catherine took gelato to Paris in 1530, and the fame of the dessert started to spread.

In roughly 1565, Bernardo Buontalenti, from Florence, made modifications and created closer to what we have today, the egg cream version of gelato.

Why is Gelato so rich & flavorful?

Believe it or not, gelato only has about 1/3 the butterfat content of other frozen ice cream desserts. Unfortunately, it has more sugar – but that sugar prevents it from freezing solid, giving it a smoother texture. It is also not whipped up with air, so the flavor is more intense. So dig in – it’s a cultural experience!

  • Perché No – Via dei Tavolini 19 – Known for gelato made freshly daily from fresh ingredients.

Ponte Vecchio in Florence Italy

Ponte Vecchio

Crossing the Arno River at the narrowest point is the Ponte Vecchio or “Old Bridge.”  It is believed to have originally been commissioned by Emperor Hadrian and built by the Romans to connect “Florentia” with main road south into Rome.

The Ponte Vecchio originally held shops of butchers, tanners, and even farmers.  But in 1595 the Grand Duke Ferdinando I decreed that the butchers were to be banned.  The smell was terrible and gave a less than positive impression as the city was entered from Rome.  Instead jewelers, predominantly goldsmiths, would be housed on the bridge making a much different impression across the bridge.  Even today the Ponte Vecchio shops are restricted to mostly jewelers, with some art and souvenir sellers.

Through the ages the bridge has repeatedly faced damage and destruction by flooding, always being repaired and rebuilt.  However the Ponte Vecchio was the one bridge to survive the destructive Germany retreat at the end of WWII, apparently at the express order of Hitler. 

Ponte Vecchio Today

Today, the bridge connects piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Pitti on the two sides of the Arno.  It is strictly pedestrian but even that traffic is quite heavy during high tourist season.  When crossing, take note of the second level on top of the shops over the bridge.  This is the Vasari corridor, often called the ‘secret corridor’ built by Cosimo I de’ Medici.  This enabled the family to travel from the Pitti Palace to Palazzo Vecchio, including a stop in their private chapel on the way if they like, in complete privacy and protected from the elements. It can be see only through private tour.

You can also see a bronze bust of Cellini in the middle of the eastern side of the bridge.  Benvenuto Cellini was a Florentine sculptor, and also a master goldsmith, making the bridge of goldsmiths the idea place to honor him.  If you have vague memories from history class of the battles between the Guelfs and Ghibellines in the Italian medieval times, there is a stone at the entrance to the bridge that marks the spot where the 1215 murder Florentine families is believed (by Florentines) to have been the start of the whole conflict. But that’s a whole other drama, and this post can only be so long.  Also pause at the large Piazza in the middle of the bridge for beautiful views up and down the Arno.

The Best View of Ponte Vecchio

Now cross over the Ponte Santa Trinita, just because it is the best view of the Ponte Vecchio.  If you have stared wistfully at photos of the old historic bridge over the Arno, it’s likely they were taken from Ponte Santa Trinita.  It’s a great spot to relax for a few minutes, and the lighting is especially nice as the sun sets.


San Lorenzo street market for your one day in Florence

Shopping for Leather

When visiting Florence, you will see leather everywhere. Florentine leather is still among the best in the world, so if wear it, it is a truly authentic souvenir. Buyer beware though, there are plenty of knock offs and low quality items mixed in with the good. This is especially true at the street vendors and the Mercato Nuovo. Use this guide to shopping for leather in Florence for a more thorough listing of quality stores and how to identify good leather.

Shops for High Quality Leather:

  • Leather School/Scuola del Cuoio – Piazza Santa Croce
  • Misuri – Piazza Santa Croce
  • Gucci Museum – Piazza della Signoria, 10

San Lorenzo Street Market:

The San Lorenzo street market starts at the edge of Piazza San Lorenzo and stretches up around the Mercato Centrale. It is bustling with vendors wanting to sell you leather, scarves, belts, and any souvenir you can think of. Quality is definitely hit or miss, but if you’re not stressed about highest quality, you can pick up something for a good price. Be ready to haggle!

  • Location: Piazza San Lorenzo to Piazza del Mercato Centrale
  • Hours: Mon-Sat

Mercato Centrale

Exploring food markets is always fun, so the last stop is a meal at the food market and food hall near the train station. The Mercato Centrale combines a ground floor produce and food market with an upper floor food hall. The ground floor market is great for anyone staying in town with access to a kitchen, or if you are hoping for a non-perishable food gift. Upstairs is a food hall with over 20 restaurant stalls represented. Order your food at one of the counters, take it to a table in the middle, and wait staff will stop by to see if you would like a beverage from the central bar. It’s a great way to taste some wonderful dishes.

  • Location: between Piazza del Mercato Centrale and Via dell’Ariento
    • 500m or about 6-7 minutes walk from the train station
  • Hours:
    • ground floor produce market: Mon-Fri, 7am-2pm, Sat until 5pm
    • upper floor food hall: Daily, 10am-Midnight

I hope this guide helps you enjoy exploring all the city has to offer. Do you have advice to offer to Florence day trippers? Let me know!

Please pin me to save for later or share with other travel lovers.

One day in Florence itinerary pinterest image

16 thoughts on “One Day in Florence: Itinerary to Maximize Your Day Trip

  1. I’m a big fan of history, architecture and art, so this itinerary is definitely a must! Separately a great thanks for the markets list – I usually try to visit markets in all new countries/places, it helps to immerse into the local atmosphere

    1. I’m there with you on the markets. When I do day trips, I always schedule them around when a market is happening if at all possible! 😃 Happy Travels!

    1. Thanks so much, and I totally agree! I was joking it’s like trying to pick a favorite child when I was debating between sites. 🤣

    1. Oh, Italy is so wonderful, you will love it. I’ve been to Positano, Capri, Rome, Florence, and Venice, some repeatedly. So if there’s anything I can help with, let me know. I hope you have an amazing time.

  2. This sounds like an amazing itinerary. I knew about the cathedrals, but didn’t know about the baptistry and that looks beautiful. It’s also great to know about closures !

  3. Great post! I have been to Athens many times and you certainly hit all of the highlights. The Acropolis museum is exceptional. I haven’t been to The Benaki Museum, yet but would love to visit it. The Panathenaic stadium is also super cool to see.

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