Bucket list trip:
Florence 3-day Itinerary
Editor note – Nicky has not included specific recommendations of where to stay each day unless it’s necessary. Instead, see the ‘Where to stay’ section in our Florence destination guide.
Start your day in Florence with one of the city’s big hitters. Grab a coffee at Café Rivoire before picking up your pre-booked tickets for the Uffizi gallery; allow at least two hours.
Pop into nearby Vini e Vecchi Sapori for a restorative plate of pasta with zucchini flowers before tackling the mighty Duomo. Climb the 400-odd steps of Giotto’s bell tower for a bird’s eye view of the terracotta rooftops.
Sip a sunset aperitivo at panoramic La Terrazza (Hotel Continentale) before a vast T-bone at Regina Bistecca.
Cool, edgy Ferragamo-owned design hotel by the Ponte Vecchio in the heart of the city – the perfect base for sightseeing.
Start the day at the Accademia Gallery (pre-book) to admire Michelangelo’s David.
Then drop by Benozzo Gozzoli’s tiny Chapel of the Magi en route to the foodie heaven of the Mercato Centrale. Spend the rest of the morning browsing the gourmet offerings and stay for lunch, or sign up for a tour/cooking lesson.
Book a guided walking tour of the centro storico, and wind up with a prosecco at old-fashioned Procacci in Via Tornabuoni.
After a rest, head to hip La Menagere for cocktails and dinner.
Benozzo Gozzoli’s glorious fresco depicting the Procession of the Magi dates from 1459 and covers the tiny ‘Cappella dei Magi’ in Palazzo Medici-Riccardi. Painted in brilliant jewel colours, it shows a procession of richly-attired kings, knights and servants travelling through a fairytale rural landscape.
Adult price: £6
Best for ages 18+
The first floor of Florence’s traditional produce market, Centrale Mercato, was transformed in 2014 into a dazzling food hall where producers offer everything from freshly-made mozzarella, truffle pasta, barbequed ribs, artisan bread and cheeses to hand-made chocolates. Pair a guided tour (to find ingredients) with a Tuscan cooking class after.
Best for ages 13+
For visitors who want to learn to make as well as eat the local specialities, this cooking school is a good place to start. Hands-on classes taught by pro chefs include making pasta, pizza, gelato, Tuscan meat and vegetarian. You can opt to tour the Central Market first too.
Adult price: £100
Best for ages 13+
Duration: 3-4 hours
A day in the Oltrarno…
After a cappuccino in Piazza Santo Sprito, discover the vast, ornate Pitti Palace and wander the shady Boboli Gardens before stopping at nearby Le Volpi e L’Uva wine bar for a lunchtime snack.
Explore the artisan workshops that line the surrounding narrow lanes, and don’t miss a gelato at award-winning Gelateria della Passera.
Squeeze into the tiny Santino wine bar for a glass of fizz before a Tuscan-with-a-twist dinner at Il Santo Bevitore (booking essential).
This small wine bar specialises in wines from small, independent producers and always has something interesting on offer. Order one of the bubbling, melted cheese-topped crostini to soak it up; the one with truffle-infused sausage is particularly good.
Best for ages 18+
This hole-in-the-wall ice cream shop (on pretty Piazza della Passera in the Oltrarno) dishes up some of the best gelato in the city centre, all made in small batches from fresh ingredients and without any kind of artificial flavourings. Think pistachio, pink grapefruit, zabaglione and coffee; flavours move with the seasons.
Best for ages 4+