Italy is a magical place to visit. But Florence, in particular, has a charm that is not found in any other city within this boot-shaped nation. With its winding cobbled roads, central Duomo, and the multitude of galleries and museums it is the kind of place a solo traveler can wander around for days without truly seeing it all, and taking a wrong turn or two. So with some time to spare how should you spend a few days in Florence?
Day 1: Morning
Dependent on whether you are arriving by train, plane or automobile you will need a place to leave your bags and rest up after a long day of walking. If you want some mid-range hotel vibes then the Palazzo Galletti will do the trick. It is smack dab in the middle of the famed Duomo and Santa Croce which makes it an excellent starting point. Plus, the rooms feature magnificent frescoes, gilt furniture and chandeliers which makes you feel like you have stepped back into the 16th century.
Afternoon and Evening
Since you are close to the Duomo, walk over and peer at the enormous gold doors to the entrance designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti in the 15th century which depict the Gates of Paradise. You can then enter the Duomo and look at the delicate frescoes and sculptures which litter it. After wandering around it is time to sit down for a nice evening meal.
As you are in Tuscany you will want to sample some of the regional dishes and the fabulous wine. Ristorante Il Pennello offers affordable meals with things like wild boar and polenta. Once you’ve finished dinner it is time for gelato and Grom offers some of the best.
Day Two: Morning
Wake up to the sun shining through the gossamer curtains and have a nice leisurely breakfast at the hotel with pastries and strong espresso. Now that you are fueled up for the day head over to see one of the most famous sculptures in the world: Michelangelo’s David. After seeing this marble masterpiece you can walk across the Ponte alle Grazie which will give you an excellent viewpoint of Ponte Vecchio the bridge that connects part of Florence. From there you can head directly to the Uffizi Gallery and look at Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and many other Renaissance paintings.
Now that you have seen the major sites you can decide to do some shopping or just sit and people watch at one of the many cafes. Florence is a city that is full of hustle and bustle but if you look hard enough you will find a quiet place to take it all in.