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florence in one day

Florence in One Day

On some occasions travelers have such tight schedules that they cannot dedicate all the time they want to enjoy visiting all the wonderful sights of places which are so interesting from the cultural point of view, such as Florence. We always doubt whether we have seen everything which is worth visiting, or if we have missed some interesting sight. The problem is that it is really difficult to organize a visit to the marvelous capital city of Florence in just a couple of hours. In this article our aim is to suggest an itinerary for those who have limited time to travel around Florence and do not want to miss the most important and outstanding places in the city.

Our first piece of advice for those who travel to Florence is to get to the city by coach or train as parking in the city center is “mission impossible”.

Both the coach and the train stations are perfectly located for tourists to start off the visit towards the center. Holidaymakers staying at a Villa, a Rural House, or a Hotel in Tuscany will have a bus or train station nearby to reach the city easily and enjoy an unforgettable day of cultural tourism. The first stop arriving at the city by train or bus would be the stunning Basilic of Maria Novella, one of the most important and spectacular churches in Florence, whose marble façade is considered one of the Renaissance masterpieces. Half an hour should be enough to get a general impression of this architectonical wonder. The second stop in our Florentine route would be the Florentine Cathedral: Santa Maria in Fiore, the main protagonist in all the pictures that identify the city.

Its majestic dome and its undeniable beauty make of this cathedral a landmark no tourist can miss. Its name is translated as Saint Mary of the Flower and it makes reference to the lily, the symbol of Florence. Brunelleschi’s grandiose dome with its 100 m. interior height is so beautiful that it perfectly justifies that tourists fall prey to the “Stendhal’s syndrome” during their visit.

The architectural compound composed of the church, the belfry and San Juan’s baptistery is certainly the most visited and admired place in the city. In this case it will be difficult to rationalize time limiting yourself to what is strictly necessary as besides considering the time for the interior visit of the cathedral one must allow for extra time to visit the dome. Even though the climb is heavy and uncomfortable due to its narrow stairway, the panorama from the top is so amazing and stimulating that it would be a real pity to leave the city without going through the experience. After visiting the cathedral there are two other places “you shouldn’t miss”: the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Galleria dell’Accademia.

This could turn out really tiresome, but considering that both museums house unique collections of the world of Art it is worth spending some hours on both of them. During summer months it is worth booking tickets way ahead to make sure you can get in without trouble. At many of the Villas, Rural Houses and Hotels they offer ticket booking service, so if you’re spending your vacations at any of these places you can ask for advice and information on how to book at the reception desk. Alter an intense cultural morning the afternoon can be a good moment for a nice stroll around the city idling by the marvelous Ponte Vecchio, which is 200 meters away from the Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) with its wonderful Boboli Gardens.

The Palazzo Pitti houses one of the most extraordinary art collections in the whole of Florence. However, due to its size and the gardens that surround it the Palace requires at least half a day to visit. For shopping lovers, you cannot leave Florence without passing by the San Lorenzo Market, a typical city market which is open all day and where you can find all kinds of second-hand goods. The market is unique in its kind and it offers the most peculiar and varied items. Likewise, the famous Via Tornabuoni with its extremely exclusive stores and its highly refined Italian trade marks is the gathering spot for fashion lovers. Before leaving one should stop at the amazing Piazza della Signoria, the last place we want to include in this one day excursion to Florence.

This splendid square was the political heart of the city for many years and is nowadays the gathering point of many Florentines and of a big number of tourists visiting the city. We are aware that it is extremely difficult to visit all of Florence beautiful places in just once day, but if you follow this route you will be able to get a general impression of some of the touristic spots in the city so as to be able to explore the area further once you come back to Florence with more time to spare.

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