How To Spend 48 Hours in Florence

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Photo of How To Spend 48 Hours in Florence by Divas Bahuguna

There is an undeniable charm of watching the things that you had only heard of, or read in text books till now, stand proud in front of you. While growing up, I was always fascinated by the exciting stories of Italian Renaissance and beautiful cities the text books narrated about. So no words can describe the moment when I stepped onto the cobbled streets leading towards the glorious chapters of our history, reliving the beauty and elegance of a city long heralded as the breeding ground of art and culture. But how do you experience entire centuries of art and architecture in a few hours? That's precisely where I will help you!!

Here's how to get the most comprehensible experience of a phenomenon called Florence - in just 48 hours!!

Day 1, 09:00 hrs

As I made my way through the streets along the outskirts of Florence towards the centre, It seemed to me as if someone had retouched the entire city-scape with a vintage Instagram filter of sorts. From the window facades to the colourful Vespa scooters zooming past you, everything has an interesting feel to it. As I was busy feasting my eyes on the architecture around me, my stomach was craving for a feast too. This was a perfect time to have a sumptuous breakfast as it was bound to be a long day ahead!!

Do not forget to taste the rice puddings here - Pasticceria Nencioni (c)Piacerefirenze

Photo of Pasticceria Nencioni, Via Pietrapiana, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

Although bakery and coffee is not synonymous with Florence, this place is a definite recommendation due to its old school vibe and classic breakfast menu. You must try budino di riso and sflogia filled with ricotta, pear and chocolate here to truely appreciate the flavors of this beautiful bakery.

Alternatively, located just around the corner Caffe Cibreo provides another great breakfast option. The pastries here are really good and the theater-style seating makes up for a comfortable breakfast experience.

If coffee is your thing then La Loggia degli Albizi is where you should head to. The owner being from Naples literally guarantees superb quality of coffee you get here.

Day 1, 10:00 hrs

Keeping a watch over you, wherever you go. Duomo cathedral in Florence. (c)Divas

Photo of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

After breakfast, I needed to get going and strike off one of the most majestic, exhilarating and magnificent sight in all of ancient Roman architecture from our list - The Duomo. This unmistakable spectacle built in green and white marble deserves quite a lot of our time for understandable reasons. Since the entry to this cathedral remains free, you can expect a long queue at the entrance. But it's worth the pain as you will be left spellbound by the masterpiece of the cathedral, demanding your entire attention as you tilt your head upwards. Giorgio Vassari's frescoes of The Last Judgement is the centerpiece of the cathedral and will make you stand in awe.

However, not to be missed are the 476 stairs that ascend to the top of the cupola, providing you unmatched and unbeatable views of entire Florence. Alternatively, you can climb the adjacent bell tower to have the best views of Duomo cathedral along with the city-scape. Climbing to the Duomo cupola costs around 8 euros while an ascent to bell tower will cost around 6 euros.

Day 1, 13:00 hrs

By the time I came out, it was time to go on another hunt for local cuisines over lunch. I would not blame you if you give in to the temptation of lunch in one of the open-air beautiful restaurants along the old streets, but I would like to recommend some of my absolute favorites of traditional Florentine restaurants.

It's rare to find this restaurant so empty!! (c)whereisfatboy

Photo of Trattoria Mario, Via Rosina, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

This place still maintains a pocket-friendly genuine Tuscan character, and it reflects in its menu too. Make sure you order a Florentine meal full of grilled meat and fried specialties. Get there as early as possible — the best offerings sell out quickly.

Unbeatable collection of wine!! - Coquinarius

Photo of Coquinarius, Via delle Oche, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

I recommend this for its perfectly vintage ambiance and proximity to the Duomo. This place will treat you to an extensive collection of local Tuscan wines. Pair your vino with scrumptious pastas like burrata-filled ravioli in a pistachio pesto, baccala and saffron spaghetti, cacio e pepe ravioli with truffle, or artisan charcuterie platters and crostini.

The best of the rest - Perche no! (c)Perche

Photo of Perché no!..., Via dei Tavolini, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

Florence is the birthplace of Gelato, so make sure you grab one whenever you can. I could not help return to this place many times during the course of my stay here. Unlike most shops which serve you processed ones, this shop serves you gelato made from most authentic of ingredients - southern Tuscan rose water, for instance!!

Day 1, 14:00 hrs.

One of the many sculptures greeting you at the Piazza! (c)Divas

Photo of Piazza della Signoria, Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

After a sumptuous lunch, now was my time to explore the old town on foot. The next stop was a walk to Piazza della Signoria, which is a perfect teaser of all that Florence is about. This was once yard of the home of ruling Medici and is adorned by a replica of "David", among other extraordinary sculptures at The Loggia on the side of the piazza. Needless to say, each sculpture here is dipped in historical and philosophical significance and a prior research is recommended to better appreciate this.

Day 1, 15:00 hrs.

A haven for all art lovers - Uffizi (c)Lela

Photo of Uffizi Gallery, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

The next stop for me was a tour of the majestic Uffizi Gallery, which is an absolute must to get an experience of enormous Boticelli paintings gazing at you. This place is plagued with long queues, but I found a lesser known ticket window - thanks to my prior research here!! But in any case I would recommend planning ahead and buying your tickets prior to coming here, since the queues can get as long as 5 hours!!

Day 1, 18:00 hrs.

Colors as vibrant as in a painting !! (c)Divas

Photo of Piazzale Michelangiolo, Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

By the time I came out, the sun was already on its way towards the horizon. So I hastened across the Arno river and climbed up to the beautiful open courtyard of Piazzale Michaelangelo. This place gets really crowded during sunsets so make sure you find for yourselves a nice vantage point overlooking the city of Florence. There are few better views of this city than the sunset colours splashed across the signature domes. The entry to the piazza is free - the experiences, though, are priceless.

End of Day 1

! Let's call it a night at this classy bar - Le Volpi e l'Uva (c)Gianluca

Photo of Le Volpi e l'Uva, Piazza dei Rossi, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

This revered wine bar will guarantee you a perfect end to the day. They have bottles that uniquely represent the Italian wine landscape. If you see wild boar fennel salami, order without any second thoughts!! And you can’t leave without having the crostino with melted lardo and asiago or the finger panini with cured duck breast and butter - thank me later!!

Day 2, 09:00 hrs.

David's abode - Galleria dell’Accademia (c)florenceinferno

Photo of Galleria dell’Accademia, Via Ricasoli, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

Wrapping up with the breakfast in my recommended restaurants, I geared up for an early morning appointment outside one of the most sought after places in Florence - the Accademia, home to Michelangelo's David!! Irrespective of how many times you may have seen this sculpture in textbooks, nothing beats the awe and astonishment at the sheer magnitude of this masterpiece when you stand next to it. As can be imagined, it does not take a long time for the queue to build outside the museum. So I would recommend an early appointment if you haven't pre-booked your tickets. The entry will cost you around 10 euros.

Day 2, 12:00 hrs.

What Uffizi is to art, Bargello is to sculptures. (c)VisitTuscany

Photo of Bargello National Museum, Via del Proconsolo, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

After having lunch, my next stop was the relatively lesser known but equally majestic Bargello Museum for sculptures. It contains some of the early and lesser known works of Michelangelo and Donatello's bronze sculpture of David. The fact that this museum is surprisingly overlooked by most of the tourists is an additional reason why I loved spending quality time here. Not to be missed are the official entries for a competition held in 1401, to choose designers for the doors of Florence Baptistry. Also of importance is the bronze statue of David along with a few more sculptures from Michelangelo's early years as an artist.

Day 2, 14:00 hrs.

The perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon - Boboli Gardens(c)sarahakwisombe

Photo of Boboli Gardens, Piazza Pitti, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

My next stop took me across Arno once more, towards the expansive and beautiful garden of Boboli. Located directly behind the Pitti Palace, this garden boasts of beautiful fountains and sculptures from 16th century placed across the meticulously landscaped garden designed by four of the most famous of architects. With entrance fee as low as 10 euros, this truly is an oasis in Florence.

Day 2, 17:00 hrs.

A perfect goodbye - Ponte Vechhio. (c)Divas

Photo of Ponte Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy by Divas Bahuguna

Finally, it was the end of my exciting experience of exploring the historic city of Florence. There was one last thing left to do - watch the sun go down from Ponte Vechhio across the Arno river. It is one of those sights that will stay with you for the rest of your lives!!

Two days do not do justice to the experience called Florence. But a visit to this place will guarantee a craving in your hear to return to these streets one more - and who can blame you for that!! So, are you ready to put this itinerary into motion?

Best Time to Travel

The months of May or October are ideal in terms of weather and temperatures.

Getting There and Around

The charm of Florence is best experienced by walking through its colorful streets. Alternatively, you can hire bicycles here and cycle across the city too. Fortunately the city is not too big and you really do not feel the need to take taxis or local buses (which are a little expensive).

If you are into visiting museums, then you can opt for a Firenze Card, which offers you 72 hours of free museum entries for 72 euros.

Who would not want to walk in streets as beautiful as these!!

Photo of How To Spend 48 Hours in Florence by Divas Bahuguna

Where to Stay

For my love of solo traveling, I was staying in a beautiful hostel away from the city center. But you can check this link out for the accommodation of your preference. Options can get relatively pricey the more amenities you desire due to the city's popularity on the travel radar.

So go ahead, explore the city and relive the splendour of renaissance!!

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I believe that a human is designed to explore and try all experiences in life - specialisation is probably for insects!! I am a solo traveller, lived for extended periods in Japan and Europe and have a penchant for meeting locals, learning about diverse societies and travel experience narration through my travel photographs. In case you want to join me along my journeys, you can find me on Instagram @through.a.robins.eye and read my travel journals at www.talesofarobin.wordpress.com

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