Is there such a thing as a Perfect Day in Florence?
As far we’re concerned, when it involves secret strolls through winding alleys, experiencing the city with Italian friends, and cups of wine on the steps of your new favorite piazza, the answer is yes!
If you had one summer day to make the most of being in this incredible city, here’s what we would suggest for you.
When you wake up…
Make it early.
Florence is not a place to take it easy-peasy when it’s nice and cool.
This is THE time to don your fave linen pants, leap out of bed and get the day started sweat-free, pronto.
There’s no better time to explore the city by foot, so walk to your heart’s content and you’ve worked up an appetite for a brioche.
If you’ve done your share of strolling along bridges, keep an eye out for churches with gardens –– they’re so peaceful first thing in the morning.
Better yet, squeeze in a shopping stop at the San Lorenzo market.
It opens at 8AM, and it’s the best time to hit the stalls in the streets. For leather bags, jackets and even leatherbound notebooks in every color imaginable. Sweet silky scarves to take home for prezzies. Bold, beautiful boots you’ll wanna wear right away, but know you should save for winter.
And if you haven’t grabbed a coffee and pastry at a breakfast bar yet, you can settle down with some snacks and people-watching here.
After your morning espresso..
Hang out with us!
We recommend The Ultimate Florence Experience Tour –– it was designed for anyone who wants a condensed overview of Florence in a single day, and kicks off at 10AM.
It’s perfect after you’ve had the morning to yourself and wanna swing into seeing the city with your
tour guides new Italian friends.
This is a tour for the person that doesn’t want to hang out all day in museums.
We love the museums in Florence as much as anyone — if you’re going to do a museum trip anywhere, this is the place! (And we’ve got some tours for museum lovers on our roster as well.)
But the Ultimate Florence Experience is about experiencing Florence with all five senses.
The scents, the feelings, the conversations, the food. Those are the things that linger on in your memory, the things that take a trip from great to magical.
This is the experience for you if you want to see Florence through a local’s eyes, uncovering nooks and crannies you’d never find on your own.
First stop: step into the stunning studio of a Florentine artisan, whose work has been featured in magazines globally. Listen to how they’ve honed their craft, take a peek at what they’re currently creating and you’ll walk away itching to make something with your own hands, like, soon.
Next up, you’re visiting Gucci’s own perfumist –– a true master at his craft. Spritz bespoke perfume on your wrists, get the mini-VIP treatment and a whole new appreciation for how scents are cultivated and created. It’s a gorgeous science we’re obsessed with, and we love that Gucci’s formulas are rooted in Florence.
Time for a casual lunch at a local haunt in San Niccolò. You’re making new friends, swapping travel tips and scribbling down all this insider intel in the new notebook you picked up at the morning market. Plus, you’re picking up on Italian etiquette and how to order food in Florence like a pro.
You gotta have gelato in our fave piazza next, with some free time to unwind and explore. Our guides will help you scope out cool corners and cafés you’ll wanna come back to later.
Then you’re off to Pitti Palace, once the official Medici residence and now home to several museums. Stroll through gorgeous works of art, the only history-of-fashion museum in Italy, pretty porcelain, and treasures that the Medici family tucked away.
You’ll visit another fab piazza –– Piazza Santo Spirito –– and end the tour with an aperitivo among your new friends on the other side of Ponte Santa Trinita.
When you wrap up at 4PM…
Double back home to freshen up and drop off your new goodies.
Call that new friend you made on the tour and go for dinner in Piazza Santo Spirito (or take yourself on a date).
This is THE PIAZZA to hang out at in the evening.
It’s got the spirit of youthful Italy –– laughter, negronis on ice, dogs following their owners off-leash and multiple aspiring guitar players hanging out on the stone steps.
The lingering heat makes room for cool breezes brushing on warm, freshly tanned skin.
When the sun dips, Piazza Santo Spirito lights up with a whole new energy that you can’t help but want to be a part of.
Order any pasta with seafood in it. (We love the gigantic painted bowls that they come in.)
Get an espresso at the end, because you want to stay up for the rest of the evening!
After a heaping bowl of tagliatelle and mussels…
head into the grocery stores near the piazza, grab a plastic cup and some Birra Morretti and hang out on the steps with the rest of Florence.
Watch and listen to the sounds of an ancient city infused with new spirit.
Make a new friend –– it won’t be hard.
Maybe the scent of the perfume you tried on earlier is still lingering at midnight and you make a mental note to take some sweet scents home.
Maybe you’ve had one sorbet cup too many at Bacio Gelato, but you’re still considering another.
Maybe you don’t need to hang out with anyone else but yourself right now, because you’re in good company just by being here.
Maybe it’s past your “bedtime,” but you remember that there’s no such thing on vacation.
Maybe you’re having the time of your life.
Because you’re in Florence.
One of the prettiest, oldest cities in the world.
Romantic as heck. (Is there anything more charming than cobblestone?)
And whether you’re wowed just by walking the streets, the River Arno, being guided by new Italian besties on our Florence tours, or discovering sweet spots all on your own… you’re lucky to be here.
So no matter how you choose to spend your perfect day in Florence, as long as you can embrace the heat (and sweat), bring your sturdiest stylish sandals and an open mind, you *will* have the time of your life.
Give yourself a mental hug as you finally tuck into bed that night, with a happy tummy swimming in pasta, wine and sweet treats.
How we can help you see Florence:
- Check out Gigi Guides, our digital guidebook. It’s chock-full of insider recommendations for Florence, as well as the Cinque Terre, Venice and Rome.
- Want to explore Florence or Cinque Terre with us? Take a look at our tours in Florence and tours in Italy, so we can hang out with you during your trip (and offer expert suggestions for how to make the most of it).
- Ask us a question in the comments below and we’ll help you out!
Want more intel on Florence? Here you go:
- Gigi Guides: Florence
- Italian Fix Tours In Florence
- Florence Private Tours: A Perfect Selection
- Florence Italy Attractions: What We’re Loving Right Now
- What To Do In Florence
- Where To Stay In Florence
- Eating in Florence: 4 Things You Should Know
- Restaurants in Florence: 20 Top Choices from Food Critics, Travelers and Locals
Now, over to you!
Are you traveling to Florence soon or have you been before? Does this sound like your perfect day? Got questions about how to make the most of your trip? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Photos 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 by Leela Cyd