Florence in a day at a glance
(plus a 1-hour break for lunch)
Piazza della Signoria
Florence in a day is a comprehensive tour that will show you all the main attractions of the city in few hours, giving you all the needed info about the history of Florence and the Renaissance. It’s perfect for newcomers, or for people who have been in Florence before but didn’t have time to properly appreciate the heritage of this incredible place.
The tour starts in Piazza Santa Croce: you will see the church from outside, hearing stories about this ancient Franciscan convent, but also about the many important people whose graves are inside the church. The square is frequently used for events, including the famous Calcio Storico (Historical Football).
From Piazza Santa Croce, you will walk through Borgo Dei Greci, a Medieval alley built on the place where, 19 centuries ago, Roman gladiators fought for their lives and early Christians were tortured. The layout of the buildings in this area still resembles the shape of the ancient Roman amphitheater. Reaching Piazza San Firenze, you will see examples of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture and also the place where Leonardo Da Vinci executed a portrait to the wife of a rich merchant that later would become the most famous painting ever: the Monna Lisa.
Few steps away is Piazza Della Signoria: an open-air museum of Renaissance sculpture, but also the place from where the city hall towers on Florence since 1299. Your expert local guide will show you the magnificent statues in the square and the decoration of the main courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio, explaining the different functions of this palace in history, but also telling you about the people who were imprisoned in the tower, as a consequence of the political intrigues of the Renaissance, when the powerful House of Medici ruled the town.
Next is a comprehensive visit of the most important and most visited Italian museum: the Uffizi Gallery. With around 1500 paintings on display, the Uffizi Gallery has the largest collection of Renaissance works in the world. For your convenience, the guide will reserve your entrance, in order to skip the long lines. Among the artists represented in the Uffizi Gallery are all the protagonists of the Renaissance: Giotto, Piero Della Francesca, Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and many more.
After being overwhelmed by the beauty of the works inside the Uffizi, you need a break. The local guide will suggest you some good places to have lunch, there are plenty in the Uffizi area. One hour later, the guide will reach you wherever you decided to have your meal to continue the tour.
The afternoon starts with Ponte Vecchio, the old bridge on the river Arno that survived to World War II (unlike any other bridge in Florence), for a romantic view on the river. Then you’ll head north, walking through a district which has been rebuilt after the devastation of the war, and another one that has been “renovated” in the 1860s when Florence, for a short while, became the capital of Italy. Along the way, you will stop to see the Loggia Del Porcellino, where tourists use to toss coins in the mouth of a wild boar statue, the Orsanmichele church, which once was a granary, and Piazza Della Repubblica.
You will finally reach the most amazing place in Florence: Piazza Del Duomo, where stands the ancient Baptistery of San Giovanni with the amazing Gates of Paradise, but also one of the largest Cathedrals in the world, highlighted by the greatest achievement of Renaissance architecture: Brunelleschi’s Dome. You’ll get inside the huge church to admire the largest fresco ever made in history, you will learn how this place was built over the span of 140 years, and how a famous conspiracy against the Medici family took place right inside the Duomo.
Finally, you will take a quick look from outside to the Medici Palace, the place from where the powerful bankers became the godfathers of the Renaissance, before reaching the Accademia Gallery. The guide will collect your skip-the-line tickets, reserved in advance, and you will get inside to see the most famous statue in the world: Michelangelo’s David.
After about six hours of tour, the guide will leave you and you will have a chance to continue exploring the Accademia Gallery on your own or follow the guide outside. If you’re tired, the guide will call a taxi for you to reach your hotel (at your expense).
Florence in a day itinerary
This tour has a duration of six hours, plus a 1-hour break for lunch, for a total of 7 hours. Here is an approximate timetable of the tour:
- START – Piazza Santa Croce
- 00H:30M – Piazza Della Signoria
- 01H:00M – Uffizi Gallery
- 03H:30M – Lunch break
- 04H:30M – End of lunch break
- 04H:45M – Ponte Vecchio
- 05H:00M – Loggia Del Porcellino
- 05H:25M – Piazza Del Duomo
- 06H:10M – Accademia Gallery
- 07H:00M – End of tour
Pick-up and Drop-off
Meeting point: Piazza Santa Croce 9, in front of J&S Leather Factory
Hotel pick-up: available for selected hotels, you must contact the guide after booking the tour
Drop-off: Accademia Gallery
What’s included in the price (and what is not)
- 6-hour private tour with an expert licensed tour guide of Florence
- hotel pick-up (on request and free of charge: available only for hotels in central Florence)
- skip-the-line tickets for Uffizi and Accademia Galleries. They will be added to the cart automatically.
- radio headphones: obligatory at the Uffizi for 8 or more persons.
- any other personal expense
Here are some important things to know in order to ensure you have the best possible experience with your “Florence in a day” tour:
- the itinerary is indicative and can be changed in case some monument is inaccessible for restoration; furthermore, the itinerary can be changed if hotel pick-up is requested, based on the location of your hotel; in particular, the Basilica di Santa Croce can be replaced with the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, and the order of the attractions can be changed to better suit the different starting point;
- on Sunday morning and during any religious event the Duomo is closed. The church reserves the right to change the opening schedule at any time. If the Duomo is closed, the guide will provide a detailed description from outside;
- lines at the Duomo (Cathedral) are usually fast, but cannot be skipped because it’s a free entrance;
- even with skip-the-line tickets, expect to wait some minutes to enter the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries, especially during high season, because of the metal detector checks that slow down the flow of visitors. In particular, entrance at the Accademia during peak time can be delayed by up to 30 minutes.
Things to bring (and not to)
You will have to pay the price of museum tickets. Your guide will assist you and you will pay at the museum ticket office directly, by cash or credit card. After booking, you can directly contact your guide for more information.
Having a camera with you is your choice. Someone prefers to immerse in beauty not being distracted by taking pictures/making videos, someone else prefers to build printable memories of his trip. It’s really up to you. Inside the museums included in this tour, pictures and videos are allowed, but the use of a flash or selfie-sticks is prohibited.
Your jackets and bags will be scanned by a metal detector at both the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries. Knifes, cutters, multipurpose tools and any sharp object that might represent a danger for the works of art will be seized at the sole discretion of the museum personnel.
Large backpacks and long umbrellas will have to be left at the entrance and be collected at the exit (this service is free of charge).
Entrance to the Duomo and any other religious place is subject to restrictions: your clothing must be appropriate and cover your shoulders and knees.