Plan a weekend in Florence day-by-day

updated 10/16/2021
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Spend a weekend in Florence. The city captures Italy's essence. It's the birthplace of modern Italian language. Seat of the Renaissance. Dante wrote Divina Commedia here. It's where to see the Duomo. And browse the Uffizi. Here's how to plan weekend breaks in Florence. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Italy your essential guide for visiting Italy.

Day 1 of a weekend in Florence

1. Start at the Uffizi Gallery

Galleria degli Uffizi is first stop.

  • Collection of masterpieces.
  • Three floor exhibition space.
  • Must do visit in Florence.
  • Busy in high season.

Skip the queue. Book a small group tour of the Uffizi.

A weekend in Florence is an art history lesson © Lorenzooooo/Shutterstock

2. See Giotto frescoes at Santa Croce

Church of Santa Croce is next.

  • A major site in Florence.
  • Founded in 13th century.
  • Site of the Pazzi Chapel.
  • Contains Giotto's St Francis frescoes.
  • Collection of important statuary.

Short on time? Stay at La Casa di Morfeo next to Santa Croce.

3. Take a break for lunch

Avoid tourists. Bag a lunch bargain.

  • Find Sant’Ambrogio food market.
  • Buy salami, cheese and biscotti.
  • Try Il Pizzaiuolo. City's best pizza.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Italy or Italy Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Italy expert.

4. Cross Ponte Vecchio in the afternoon

Cross Ponte Vecchio at least once.

  • Florence's most famous bridge. It's also the oldest.
  • Crosses River Arno.
  • Links to Oltrarno district.
  • Home to city's best jewellers.
  • Browse century old shops.

Splash out. Book Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio for a night.

Ponte Vecchio is a must see on weekend breaks in Florence © fokke baarssen/Shutterstock

5. Palazzo Pitti and its marvellous gardens

Spend hours in Palazzo Pitti.

  • Several museums.
  • Includes the Palatina Galleries.
  • Works by Raphael and Titian.
  • Leave time for Giardino di Boboli.

Use time wisely. Book a guided tour of Palazzo Pitti

6. Fit Cappella Brancacci into a weekend break in Florence

Find Capalla Brancacci in Santa Maria del Carmine.

  • Dates back to 15th century.
  • Part of original church.
  • Contains Masaccio frescoes.
  • Comparable to Sistine Chapel.

Stay in the 15th century. Book Santo Nome di Gesú on Piazza del Carmine.

7. Join Florence for aperitivo then dinner

Do as locals do in Florence.

  • Try aperitivo in Sante Croce area.
  • Sant’Ambrogio is a good aperitivo spot.
  • Seek out rooftop bars in summer.
  • Head to Oliviero for dinner.

Stroll home. Book Hotel Torre Guelfa close to Oliviero.

Day 2 of weekend breaks in Florence

1. Discover the Renaissance at Bargello

Bargello is Renaissance concentrate.

See Bargello in-depth. Book a guided walking tour of Florence.

2. Always do the Duomo in Florence

The Duomo dominates Florence. Get closer.

  • Duomo dome is Florence's symbol.
  • Designed by Brunelleschi in 1400s.
  • Climb 463 steps to the top.
  • Unmatched views of Florence.

See more. Book a Duomo small group tour in Florence.

3. Visit Museo dell’Opera del Duomo

Browse Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.

  • Contains over 750 works.
  • See Michelangelo's The Deposition. AKA the Florentine Pieta.
  • Visit the Donatella room.
  • View the original Gates of Paradise.

Wake up to the Duomo. Book Hotel Duomo Firenze in Florence.

5. See the San Lorenzo and Medici tombs

Don't miss San Lorenzo Church.

Go deeper. Follow the footsteps of the Medici with local guides.

6. Santa Maria Novella and its museum

Visit the most handsome church in Florence.

Stay at Hotel Croce di Malta. It's a short walk to Santa Maria Novella.

7. Head to San Frediano for dinner

Have dinner at iO.

  • Fin iO in San Frediano.
  • Originally a traditional deli.
  • Now an interesting restaurant.
  • Focus on fresh, local ingredients.

Ready to travel to Italy? Find out about the best time to go and the best places to see and things to do in Italy. For inspiration use the Italy itineraries from The Rough Guide to Italy and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

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updated 10/16/2021
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