Florence is one of my favorite cities in Italy. The architecture, the culture, the food and the people drew me in as soon as I stepped into the city. I only spent 48 hours in Florence and although short, I was still able to take in the beauty and wonders the city had to offer.
Explore Florence at night
One of the best parts of my visit to Florence was seeing the city at night. We arrived late in the evening and instead of winding down in our rooms we took the city on by foot. The city center was filled with people, the bars and restaurants were jumping, the street artists were out and the city felt less touristy.
I try to stay out of tourist traps, but I couldn’t go to Florence and not visit Galleria dell’Accademia to see the statue of David. I would suggest making a reservation ahead of time to avoid the long lines.
Florence is filled with amazing goods, usually at a great bargain. I got up early and hit the leather shops and found some awesome steals including a custom leather jacket that was crafted for me and then shipped to my home in America (if you do this I suggest you pay by credit card, since all vendors don’t have your best interest at heart).
Visit La Basilica di Santa Croce
Although the Duomo is one of the most popular churches to visit in Florence, as well as visually stunning, I really enjoyed my experience at Santa Croce. This is considered the church of the “common” people of Florence, but it houses the tombs of Machiavelli, Galileo and Michaelangelo; it’s beautiful both inside and out.
There is so much to eat in Florence, I don’t know where to start. To experience food in a local way I loved Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo. It’s a three story market which has vendors selling everything from fresh produce to sit down meals. I experienced great meals in every area, but sitting in Piazza Santa Croce was one of my favorites. They had the best lasagna I’ve had in my life, provided an opportunity to people watch and the ability to soak in the culture of the city.
Watch the sunrise from the Ponte Vecchio bridge
During the day this destination is pretty crowded, but getting up early and catching the sunrise here will give you quiet time and an amazing sight.
Take a trip to Pisa
It’s only a short train ride away, then from the train station a pretty reasonable walk. There are a lot of beautiful churches in Pisa and of course the Leaning Tower, but there isn’t much more to see there, so it can easily be tacked on to your trip to Florence.
There are plenty more amazing things to do in the city, but these are just a few things you can accomplish in 48 hours or less.