A day in Florence, Italy

***Warning – long post ahead so grab a drink and a biscuit!***

We left not so bright and not so early on the day we were supposed to go to Florence, and with a fair amount of driving to get there, we arrived around 11am in the city.

Once the car parked, we headed straight into the city centre looking for an early lunch. First stop was Mercato di San Lorenzo, a covered market where the locals do their grocery shopping.

Mercato di San Lorenzo Florence

Don’t get fooled by the market rustic feel at the entrance! Head toward the middle of the building and upstairs where you will find a very trendy indoor food market. You can order from various market stalls and sit down to enjoy your pick. That was lunch sorted for us!

Mercato di San Lorenzo FlorenceMercato di San Lorenzo Florence

Once done with our respective panini and pizza, we headed out toward the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, one of the most famous sights in Florence.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore Florence

The facade of the cathedral will probably remind you of Siena‘s cathedral. White and dark marbles cover the outside walls. A true architectural wonder!

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore FlorenceCathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore Florence

Make sure to visit the inside which is as impressive as the outside with its ceiling frescos.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore inside Florence

Here is a little tip for the best view of Florence cathedral! Walk to the back of the Cathedral and head toward the Biblioteca delle Oblate (the public library), enter the library, go to the top floor and tadaaaaah! One of the best views of the cathedral! It’s our little secret now, don’t tell anyone!

Biblioteca delle Oblate FlorenceBiblioteca delle Oblate Florence

Back in the street, we headed to our next stop, the famous Gilli on Piazza della Repubblica for a coffee break.

Gilli Florence

Well caffeinated, we started our walk through Florence streets and markets and walked to the Palazzo Vecchio.

Florence streetFlorence streetPalazzo Vecchio Florence

On the outside, you will find an ‘outdoor’ museum (the Loggia) with multiple statues displayed, some very famous such as David’s statue.

Loggia Florence

As we were running a little bit late that day, we decided not to visit the museum, however, I visited it before and if you have the time it is ABSOLUTELY worth it, as well as so many other activities if you have more time in Florence!

Palazzo Vecchio Florence

We quickly swung by Piazza di Santa Croce to have a look at the Basilica of Santa Croce.

Florence streetBasilica of Santa Croce

Our next stop, Ponte Vecchio of course! If you have only seen one picture of Florence ever, chances are it is one of the Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte VecchioPonte Vecchio

Now, let’s be real here, it is PACKED with tourists so being on the bridge itself isn’t that pleasant. So make sure to dedicate plenty of time to take pictures of the bridge rather than being on it.

Ponte Vecchio

The bridge is famously covered with houses and shops, almost all of them are jewellery stores! Unsurprisingly, you will see women stopping a lot and men pulling them away from the shops’ windows (a little gender cliche but I was myself guilty!).

Ponte Vecchio shopsPonte Vecchio shops

Once on the other side, we took a moment to appreciate the views of the Corridoio Vasariano and the river Arno, before heading toward Piazzale Michelangelo.

Corridoio Vasariano Florence

We climbed, and climbed, and climbed, and started to have a glimpse of the breathtaking view that was waiting for us at the top.

Florence viewFlorence viewFlorence view

Make sure to reach Piazzale Michelangelo for the sunset. You will be in for a treat of a lifetime!

Piazzale Michelangelo

We took a few pictures, but it was getting so busy that we decided to look for a quieter spot and to climb even higher to Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte.

Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte FlorencAbbazia di San Miniato al Monte Florenc

We visited the hilltop church which is tiny so it only takes 10 minutes and then sat to watch the sunset.

Florence sunset

Once the sun was fully gone for the day, we headed back down looking for a nice spot for dinner and ended at Trattoria Cammillo which I highly recommend.

Trattoria Cammillo Florence

Here you go! If you have a day in Florence, follow our steps and you won’t be disappointed!

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