48 Hours in Florence, Tuscany’s Paradise

Duomo Cathedral Florence - girl in milan

Florence is known as the “cradle of the Renaissance”, la culla del Rinascimento in Italian and it is no doubt one of the most visited towns in the Tuscany region. I have seen a lot of blogs and websites add Florence to the list of places you should take a day trip to from Milan. With the fast train Freccia Rossa, it takes only about an hour and a half – so in the past, I agreed it was a great idea for a day trip from Milan.

However, after I visited this beautiful city nestled in between the hills in Tuscany, I took a different stance. Florence needs more than a day to explore! You need time to immerse yourself in each moment you uncover.

The City Skyline from Piazza Michelangelo

Florence Panorama
The famous Florence Skyline from Piazza Michelangelo.
Florence, Firenze Italy
Another shot of the Skyline from Piazza Michelangelo.
Piazza Michelangelo, Florence
A beautiful panorama of Piazza Michelangelo.
San Miniato al Monte, Florence
San Miniato al Monte, a basilica on one of the highest points in Florence.

And apart from the inner peace you feel settling within once you step into this city, there is a lot to discover – the good food, historical centres, and vibrant nightlife. I left the city with the wish I had spent more time there.

You see, elaborating a little more on the inner peace. For me, it wasn’t really about the size or what I could see in few hours. Florence gave me a relaxing and homely feeling. It was like a breath of fresh air from the quiet chaotic Milan. It felt like I was in a town that I would find a Novelist like Nora Roberts describe. Oh, I’m a sucker for her novels!

What to eat in Florence

Bruschetta

Bruschetta is really famous in Florence. They are made from grilled bread topped with variations like tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat or cheese.

Bruschetta with tomatoes, garlic and olive toppings.
Bruschetta with tomatoes, garlic and olive toppings.
Breakfast in Florence
My signature breakfast when I have a long day of walking ahead.
Cozze and Pasta in Florence
I can’t resist not having Cozze and Pasta once I spot it on a restaurant’s menu. My initial plan was a typical Firenze dish.

Ponte Vecchio, the famous bridge of Florence

Ponte Vecchio bridg
The Ponte Vecchio bridge with the Arno River running beneath.
Ponte Vecchio is very photogenic.
Statue of Benvenuto Cellini "The Goldsmiths Master of Florence" at Ponte Vecchio.
Statue of Benvenuto Cellini “The Goldsmiths Master of Florence” at Ponte Vecchio.
Ponte Vecchio, Firenze
I can’t get enough of Ponte Vecchio.
Ponte Vecchio.
Houses near the Ponte Vecchio.
Ponte Vecchio.
Getting the perfect shot against the beautiful backdrop.

Giardino delle Rose

The garden is located on the left, while on the way up to Piazza Michelangelo. It is impossible to miss it. You can also get another great view of the city from here.

Giardino delle Rose
Entrance to the Garden (Giardino delle Rose)
View of Florence skyline from Giardino delle Rose
You can see the famous skyline even from the Giardino delle Rose.
Jean Michel in Giardino delle Rose, Florence
Jean Michel always offers a shoulder to lean on after the long hike to see the Skyline of the city.
Giardino delle Rose
Giardino delle Rose

The street of Florence

Few of the things I found unique were the jewelry stores lined up close to the Ponte Vecchio bridge. They look like a big wooden box of ancient collections while closed.

Jewelry stores along Ponte Vecchio
Jewelry stores lined up near the Ponte Vecchio.
Street view of Florence.
Street view of Florence.

Piazza della Signoria, Firenze

Piazza della Signoria is an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. It hosts some important statues, hercules and restaurants.

Statue of Cosimo de Medici, Florence
Statue of Cosimo de Medici, Florence

Streets of Florence, Italy
Streets of Florence, Italy
Gallery of Statues, Florence
Gallery of Statues, Florence

Historical Buildings in Florence

Florence Cathedral

Formally called the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. It is also called the Duomo di Firenze, meaning Cathedral of Florence in English. Duomo literally translates as Cathedral.

Duomo Cathedral, Firenze
Duomo Cathedral, Firenze

Florence Cathedral – Duomo di Firenze

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio, Florence
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

This is the town hall of Florence, located near the Piazza della Signoria.

Medici Chapels

The Medici Chapels are two structures at the Basilica of San Lorenzo, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. They are built as extensions to Brunelleschi’s 15th-century church,

Medici Chapel
One of the Medici Chapels

San Lorenzo Market of Florence

The market was so full I couldn’t make it past the entrance to see what more was ahead.

Streets of Florence
Streets of Florence

There are a lot of open-air bag shops like this. These bags are traditionally made in Florence.

Market in Florence
I had no fair warning the market could get crowded. I was hoping for a quiet and peaceful stroll. What a hope I had!
Market in Florence
Traditional Venetian masks, typical of Venice.

As regards to costs of items, Florence is quite on the same radar as Milan. But if you keep your eyes out for Trattorias and dig just a little more, you can score good deals that will help you save more on your trip!

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