Florence is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. As it is full of museums, shops, markets, restaurants and more, it is recommended to spend there at least a couple of days. But, If your time is limited and you can only visit in Florence for 1 day, starting in the morning and ending in the evening, then you came to the right place.
Here is a list of the 10 places to visit in Florence in 1 day.
Note: Everyone has different pace and taste when it comes to exploring a city. My two important recommendations are: plan ahead and buy the tickets you can in advance online.
Also called Santa Maria del Fiore this church is considered one of the largest and most beautiful churches in the world. This is also one of the city’s most well-known symbols. The entrance to the Duomo is free and because of that, you may encounter some very long queues.
2) Cupola del Brunelleschi (The Dome)
The enormous dome of Cupola del Brunelleschi, which is actually a dome inside a dome, was designed by the 15th-century architect, Filippo Brunelleschi. It has a diameter of over forty meters and it dominates the city skyline. This is a genius architectural structure. For those of you who want to climb the 463 steps up to the top, you will find at the end the wonderful view of the city, and perhaps also gain insight into the way this dome was built. It is necessary to book your visit in advance and the ticket gives also the entry to other attractions as well which are the Duomo Museum, Baptistery, bell tower, and area under the church.
3) The Baptistery
The Baptistery (Battistero) which is located opposite the Duomo is an octagonal structure about a thousand years old. This structure is best known for its golden bronze doors, which are located on the eastern side facing the Duomo, whose originality was made by a competitor of Brunelleschi’s time, Lorenzo Ghiberti. Although it is now a replica, one can understand why Michelangelo called them “the doors of heaven” and it has been called like that since. For more information about the Duomo and its surroundings.
4) The bell tower (Campanile di Giotto)
This tower rises to a height of about 85 meters and is a very good example of the Gothic architecture of the 14th century in Florence. It is coated with white, green and red marble like the cathedral, and is considered the most beautiful bell tower in Italy.
5) Mercato Centrale
The Central Market located not far from the Duomo. It is divided into two parts: indoor and outdoor. At the indoor part, there are two floors: the first floor is a food market where you can find fruits and vegetables, fish and meat, cheese, fresh and dried mushrooms, homemade pasta and more. On the second floor, there is a huge selection of restaurants (including vegan) and even a cooking school. It is a great place for a lunch break. At the outdoor part of the market, you will find all kind of stalls that sell mostly souvenirs and accessories for tourists.
6) The Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze
Accademia Gallery is an art museum in Florence, best known for its “David” sculpture. The sculpture was created by Michelangelo, who was one of the students of the gallery and became one of the great names of the Renaissance artists, especially in sculpture (in fact, with this statue he became famous). This is the second most visited art museum in Italy, after the Uffizi Gallery – and is smaller and more specialized in details. The Academy Gallery is recommended for those that are interested in Michelangelo’s art or interested in seeing the statue of David. The main interest in the gallery is the exhibits inside it, and there is no point in coming to see the building only from the outside. For those who decide to go to the gallery, it is recommended to book tickets in advance because the line at the entrance is long and exhausting.
7) Piazza Della Signoria
Located in the center of Florence’s old town, this square has a long history and has seen key events of the city’s past. It is one of Florence’s most famous tourist sites and a must-see. The square is the beating heart of Florence and there you have an excellent opportunity to see replicas of Florence’s famous art and sculptures, free of charge.
8) Uffizi Gallery
Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s most famous museums for fine art and a Renaissance art gallery among the most important in Europe. The gallery is in the old town of Florence, very close to Ponte Vecchio and close to Piazza Della Signoria. The name Uffizi in Italian means offices, because the building was built in the middle of the 16th century in order to house the offices of the magistrates of Florence. The gallery is divided according to different periods of the history of art: Gothic art, early Renaissance, late Renaissance and later works. Among the most important paintings (and there are many) are the famous “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli and the “holy family” by Michelangelo. You can also see works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, and even Rembrandt. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Florence and highly recommended for visiting, therefore you should book tickets in advance.
9) Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio which translates to ancient bridge If you go down the street from Piazza del Duomo to the city’s river and turn right you’ll reach the old bridge called in Italian Ponte Vecchio. The unique shape of the bridge has made it one of the hallmarks of the city and has been standing since 1345. Over the years, the bridge has passed through metamorphosis and is now full of jewelry stores and jewelers.
10) Piazzale Michelangelo
Michelangelo Square is square is located high above the old city of Florence and during the morning hours (and even in the dark) you can enjoy panoramic views of the breathtaking city. Of course, there are also tourist souvenir stands here. It is recommended to watch out for pickpockets (there are warning signs in place)! This square contains a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s “David” statue.
As I said in the beginning, one day is not enough to see all the beautiful things this city has to offer. However, I do think that this list covers the most interesting and famous attractions.
If you have any other suggestions please leave them in the comments below.
If your planning on a family vacation to Tuscany, be sure to check our Tuscany 7 days itinerary with kids, here.