Florence in a Day: Hidden Gems & Top Attractions

Florence in a Day: Hidden Gems & Top Attractions

Hi! Welcome to The Roman Guy How 2 Series. Today we’re going to show you get the most out of your day trip to Florence. A lot of people refer to Florence, the city, but it has much more of a small village type feel. It’s perfect for a day trip because it’s centrally located between Milan, Venice, and Rome and very easy to get to by fast train. It’s an hour from Rome, two hours from Venice, and an hour & forty minutes from Milan. Think of it this way, it’s a three-hour car ride from Rome to Florence or a one-hour train ride. I took the fast train today to get to Florence and I can honestly say how extremely comfortable they are. I recommend an early train so you can make the most of your day trip to Florence. Most of the main attractions are a short walk from one another. Our first stop is Accademia, which is about 13 minutes by foot from the main train station. Be sure to RSVP tickets to Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. You can call ahead to get the lowest price or book online with one of our partners. Visit our blog for more information on these options; you’ll find a link below in this video’s description. Regardless of how you book, I recommend getting inside by 9:30am. Be sure to give yourself at least 30 minutes between your reservation and your train arrival time. It’s heavily debated on what Michelangelo’s masterpiece is, but David is an amazing work of art with a great story. At the turn of the 16th century, people would walk by Michelangelo’s studio, describe him as working like mad, faster and more vigorously than other sculptors. After David’s completion, Michelangelo was asked why he worked so fast, his response was: “I saw an angel trapped in that marble and I carved until I set him free.” Let’s try to step inside the head of a genius here, Michelangelo looked at the block of marble while he carved as if David was already inside, like a character of a storybook trapped inside a block of ice. The central market of Florence is about a seven-minute walk from Accademia. In Italian, it’s referred to as il Mercato Centrale. It’s a great place to grab a coffee, some fruit or snacks to keep you going all day. The first floor is home to locals selling produce, meat, cheese, and fish. You can put together a cheap picnic style meal here and take it with you to go. The second floor has more of a modern feel with a very stylish food court type atmosphere. It’s a host to a variety of different restaurants. You’ll see a lot of locals eating here during the lunch break at
work. After the central market, you should head to Brunelleschi’s Cathedral, which is Florence’s central focal point. It’s about a seven-minute walk. You’ll hear the massive cathedral being referred to as il Duomo. It’s recognized for its captivating color scheme, bronze doors, and magnificent cupola, or dome. The cathedral took over a hundred years to build and was consecrated in 1436 during the height of the Florentine Renaissance It’s an epic symbol Florence that towers over the surrounding homes. Right in Piazza del Duomo is a great artisanal gelato shop called Gelato Edoardo, it’s family-owned, organic, and has recipes that are over a hundred years old. What more could you want from a
gelateria? They named it after their son, Edoardo, who even has a flavor named after him deriving from hazelnuts and rich chocolate. As for all points of interest in this video, you can find their website, address, and hours of operation in our blog, which is linked below in the description. From Piazza del Duomo, it will take seven minutes by foot to get to the Basilica of Santa Croce, not only a beautiful church but the final resting place of Michelangelo and Galileo. One of the best parts about Santa Croce is on the outside, this lively piazza is a people watchers dream. It’s often a host to buskers playing live music with plenty of locals running and playing in the piazza. Great for a sunny day. By now, I imagine you’ve built up an appetite, there are plenty of outdoor restaurants in Florence but consider La Cantinetta Verrazzano. It’s only a few minutes by foot
from Santa Croce and right in the thick of things. This is a local favorite and recommendation of one of our guides in Florence. They have great salads and sandwiches as well as, other local delicacies. From here you should pass by one of Italy’s most famous bridges, the Ponte Vecchio or old bridge, famous for its shops physically built into the bridge. Today most of them sell gold, but they’ve been selling different artisanal goods here since it was constructed as far back the 12th century. It’s said the concept of bankruptcy originated here. Venders sold their goods on a type of table or bench called “banco”. If they couldn’t afford rent for their space, local authorities would come and destroy or break their tables so they couldn’t continue to sell. The Italian word for broken is “rotto”, so the authorities refer to these people as “bancorotto” or broken table. It’s still the term used today in Italy for bankruptcy, although the spelling has slightly changed. Look at the similarity to our English word. Now you’re right around the corner from Piazza della Signoria. This square is connected to one of the world’s most impressive collections of Renaissance art, the Uffizi Gallery. Piazza della Signoria is host to a beautiful array of outdoor statues, monuments, and fountains. It’s a prime example of a European square buzzing with life, excitement, and tons of foot traffic from tourists and locals alike. The most notable building in this square is Palazzo Vecchio which is the Town Hall of Florence. By now, it should be getting late and you should consider going to All’Antico Vinaio for a Florentine sandwich, could be great to bring on the train. They have a ton of options and you can always get a glass of wine to pair. This is one of my favorite Italian
street food stops. The guys behind the bar are fun and helpful in ordering. Something to highly consider is the porchetta, or pork sandwich. On the way to the train station, you should stop by La Fontana del Porcellino. It’s a bronze statue of a bore and Florence’s most famous piece of folklore. You put a coin in the boar’s mouth and let it slide out. If it successfully falls the grate below, it ensures a safe return to Florence. This tradition was documented as early as 1766, and it’s the perfect last stop if you want to return to Florence. From here you’re only 10 to 15 minutes from the main train station, and by a rule of thumb in a foreign city, you should try to get there 20 minutes early. You never know if you’re going to get lost or happen upon a last-minute shop that you have to run in to. As I’ve mentioned throughout, visit our blog link below for more in-depth descriptions, websites, addresses, and hours of operations. You’ll also find a helpful timetable when planning your day trip. For more information on tours and excursions, visit our website theromanguy.com

100 thoughts on “Florence in a Day: Hidden Gems & Top Attractions

  1. On my last day in Florence, October 19th 2017, a tourist was killed by a falling Stone from under a cornice inside of the Santa Croce Church. A member of my group witnessed the tragedy. The church was closed for inspection. Check before you go if this famous sight has reopened.

  2. Florence is great you can walk around the city to get to most sites, I recommend the Hop-on Hop-off Tour where it takes you up to the hills surrounding the city really beautiful up there with great views.

  3. A day in Florence is not enough. You need at least a week there. We go there off season and you don’t have to put up with so many tourists. And you don’t have to wait in line to see anything. We just get right in.

  4. May I also highly suggest VYTA Fine Food located in the lower level of the Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station!!!! A high-end looking Wine and Cheese store and bistro, but don't let that intimidate you. It was the absolute BEST Charcuterie plate we had in Italy along with a glass of wine. We were SHOCKED when we went to pay for it! It was only 12 euro!!!!!!!!!!! Incredible Charcuterie at an incredible price!!! We're still talking about it and the design of the place is stunning!!!!

  5. Actually, Brunelleschi designed only the dome. The architect of the cathedral was Arnolfo di Cambio. Both have statues on the south side of of the duomo.

  6. Well… 1st is not 1 hour train from Florence to Rome and he skip the most nicest places in Florence, piazzale Michelangelo, Palazzo Pitti and Piazza Santo Spirito, I think they can do it better with right information

  7. Was in Florence this spring and the Duomo is breathtaking at first sight. We saw all the sights you mentioned except The Boar. Oh, we ate lunch at the Market and it was wonderful.

  8. A very beautiful city full of history, arts and architecture. I was so lucky to spend four days in march 2018 there, and I visited all of the places mentioned in the video except the restaurants (but the market I did). Restaurants I found other places.

    And not to forget: If you have time visit Piazza Michelangelo (from where you have a nice view to the town from south), and do a trip to Fiesole where you can rest and relax a little bit from the busy town of Florence (and have a view from the north :-)).

  9. I followed the itinerary of this video to the letter when I did my sidetrip to Florence from Rome back in December 2017! This was one of the most helpful Florence video I've ever seen! Thanks for making my trip an awesome one!

  10. This video alone helped a lot more on Florence than the dozens on YouTube I have watched so far, especially because of the guidance on pronunciations and local terms. Would have helped better if there was some information included on the local transport and communication options too. Thank you!

  11. Im born and raised in florence, and i really enjoyed your video, everyone who want to come here must watch it ! 🙂 well done!

    I didn't know about that "bancarotta " meaning origins, thanks for that ?

  12. I'll be in Florence in a couple of weeks, thank you so much as I will be catching a train from Rome & spending the entire day there. Exactly what I was looking for, for the limited time. I'm from New Zealand & can't wait! Cheers

  13. just came home from a short vacation in Italy that ended early since the rented house had bedbugs.
    – we did manage to stop by florance and did walk around the town to some of these locations.
    we skipped the food and iceshops since it is soo expensive in the turist areas.
    We parked the car in : garage nazionale and you are in one step away from the Mercato Centrale.

    The city is nice but there are just to crowded to enjoy the place, you allways walk around in a noise and once you stop people are running by to get to the next location, and the locations are crowded with no room to stand and enjoy the place.
    Also if you want to visit the museum and other attractions, you are getting ripped off good. Also, do not visit restaurants or buy ice, when there are no prices on the menu.. you are getting ripped.

  14. Great information
    I did my one day florence trip and this video was very helpful.
    I followed you step by step but started at 8 am so inhad some time to take a bus and visit Piazza Michaelangelo before returning back .

  15. I know also someone who can drive you everywhere,anywhere you want specially when your 5 or more person. His name is Pierguido Sarzani you can msg him through what’s up anytime his number is 0039-339 3475995. It’s safety and licensed.

  16. Thank you for your informative video. For people who also like to visit the "Santa Maria Novella" and "Baptistery of St' John" where do there fit in according to your recommended attractions ?

  17. You can't go to Florence and miss out the Baptistry of the Duomo and the Medicci Chapel Galleria.
    Don't bother booking for the Galleria Academia, just go along after 7:00pm and you won't have to wait long to get in.

  18. I live in Florence: a week isn’t enough to see everything! Take at least 4 full days to see most of our beautiful city , otherwise don’t come! You would be running around like everyone else, not enjoying your trip.

  19. Can you tell me where you go in Rome to travel to Florence in train and how much does it cost? What
    is the website to purchase tickets in advance:)

  20. Great tips, but OMG.. how can you miss Piazzalle Michaelangelo?! The best view of the entire city of Florence is right there! And eating Bisteca ala Fiorentina is definitely a must!

  21. One day is not enough…I spent a month and wore out a pair of shoes on the streets of Florence..saw all your places but what about The church of the Carmine, the Brancacci Chapel, walk up to the Piazza St Michangelo and sit on the steps of St Miniato and listen to evensong for the best view of the City, explore the Oltrano, spend days in the Uffizi, the Bargello, St Lorenzo …Much, much more…Florence is the most memorable city, forget about the tourist foodie places and explore little local trattoria Cheers

  22. I was there about a month ago.
    You need to watch out for pick pockets while walking around the area. Beautiful place otherwise.
    Visit the shop where Michael Angelo made the statue of David, the front door has two light blue/white flags hanging on top.
    Order a diavolo pizza when you get hungry and a Peroni beer, you'll enjoy it

  23. Thank you! I found this video very helpful for our upcoming trip! How much time did you allocate for the museums to make this a single-day trip?

  24. Nicely done tour, but you really must add the Piazzale Michelangelo, especially your opening comments are shot from there. That view of Florence is a must-see for anyone who is able to make the walk.

  25. Hey, um, I think you might have left your backpack on the train. I was so concerned about how you filed a lost/found claim with trenitalia that I couldn't concentrate on the rest of the video. Did you ever get that backpack back? Did you have to go to Bologna or Torino or someplace even more exotic to pick it up? Did they send it on the next train back? I'm so worried. Please explain.

  26. I'm going to take my daughter to Rome Florence and Venice for her birthday!! Do you know Where I can contact a guide ?? We have just 8 days for those 3 city !! Thank you

  27. Hey man! Great video, congratulations,
    I liked it! I'm sure that most of the viewers don't know that next to
    the Duomo there's a very nice little secret that most of the tourists
    don't see because it's not in the tourist guides: "I' Vero Sasso
    di Dante", a rock on which Dante used to sit down and relax. I'm
    talking about it in my last video "3 (or 4) more Secrets of
    Florence you won't find on tourist guides (don't miss them!)"

  28. Thank you so much, the map guide so genius, very information, you were brief funny and to the point, well done, well be visiting with my family in June 🙂

  29. This is super helpful! Thank you! I'm exploring your blog and have subscribed. Also: thank you for including accurate closed captioning. That's so often overlooked but makes this so much more accessible. Cheers!

  30. The Ponte Vecchio originally housed members of the butcher's guild. It was one of the Medici (Lorenzo I think) that drove them out and replaced them with jewelers and goldsmiths. The Medici also had the hidden passage constructed above the shops connecting the Pitti Palace with what's now the Ufizi. I think there's the self-portrait gallery of artists in the passage (I think! Someone correct me if I'm wrong!)

  31. dude you missed Piazza Michaelangelo, where you can see the whole city.. its to far to walk, but its only a 10 minute bus ride away

  32. You can check out the info mentioned in the video on our blog: http://bit.ly/2Dw8A3D
    See our Florence Tours: http://bit.ly/2rBhpqg

  33. hy!!!

    i am forever grateful!!

    YOU saved my whole Italy trip!!!!!
    i followed everything you said, i didn't have much time..and i can't thank you enough :D!

  34. My wife, daughter, and I did FIVE Roman guy tours on our trip last month to Italy. All of them were fantastic. Highly recommend anyone considering a tour while in Italy to book with these guys.

  35. Very good tips! And in my hometown! I have a large vacation home and in a perfect location. I love sharing the magic of Italy with my guests!

  36. I am literally at this moment sitting in the Leonardo Room with my wife at Casa del Garbo looking out into La Piazza Signoria while watching this video …we are here on vacation from New York…Claudia and Bruno are amazing hosts…if you have a chance to stay here its amazing…your video is spot on…we are off to Luca tomorrow!…Ciao a dopo!

  37. Absolutely love Florence since we moved here from Spain for tennis a year ago! Great video thanks! ?

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