The perfect 2 days itinerary in Florence + Doing Piza in a half day (Part 1)

1st day in Florence! That day I felt happy and proud hah, I had just taken my very first train in Italy and I loved this experience. Trains in Italy are easy to take even if the language is different, although it can help to learn a few words such as (Binario meaning track or platform, Treno = Train (train number), Destinazione = destination , Ritardo = delay in minutes, Orario = hour.)

Back on topic, the schedule for my first day in Florence was busy (as usual haha) I had even planned to visit Pisa the same day! Let’s see what I planned to visit in detail:

1- Uffizi Gallery.

2- Piazza Della Signora + Palazzo Vecchio.

3-Ponte Vecchio.

4-Pitti Palace, Piazza de’ Pitti

5-Pisa

6- Shopping in Piazza Italia + Florence Central Market.

And this is what I was actually able to visit:

1- Uffizi Gallery : X

The Uffizi Gallery is a very famous museum; commissioned in 1560 by the powerful Medici family and rightly considered one of the world’s leading historical art museums, with an almost unrivaled collection of Renaissance masterpieces. It is highly recommended to all art lovers visiting Florence. Uffizi Gallery  is a U-shaped building embracing a square and piercing prospectively towards Piazza della Signoria, with a perfect view of Palazzo Vecchio and its tower.

A victim of its beauty and popularity, the crowds are very high and sometimes spoil the pleasure of strolling. One of the reasons why I couldn’t visit it was the long queues that there were that day because entry was free, I was there at 9:30am and there was already a very long queue to do to access it.

That day I had planned a visit to Pisa at 1:30 p.m, I remember that I arrived in Florence around 8:30 a.m, the purpose of taking an early train was to take advantage of every minute hah I wanted to take advantage of every moment to discover several other places instead of only seeing the museum because you must take into account that you will need a good 3 to 4 hours to be able to explore it fully and properly.

Useful information :

-Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The ticket office closes at 5:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. visitors will be invited to head towards the exit.

-Closed on: Mondays, January 1 and December 25.

Free entry every first Sunday of the month. (Please note that entry cannot be reserved on free entry days. Priority access only for disabled people and pregnant women.)

-Ticket price: 13 Euros on site / 17 euros for an online reservation.

-Official website to book tickets: Here.

-It is best to purchase tickets online in advance, especially in peak season. The audio guide is available at the entrance for €6. (Be prepared to drop off your passport or driver’s license at the entrance to get your headphones.)

2- Piazza Della Signora + Palazzo Vecchio: Done

Piazza della Signoria is one of the most important squares in Florence. It houses the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery, it is a square full of activity, also having a collection of statues including a replica of the statue of David (the original is exhibited in the Galleria Dell’Accademia in Florence) . So if you don’t have enough time or you’re just broke hah, you can settle for the replica in the Piazza. The square also houses other interesting statues like the Centaur, Hercules, Marzocco, Perseus, etc. The monumental statue of Cosimo I was on scaffolding during my visit. Without forgetting of course the emblematic Neptune fountain at the corner of Palazzo Vecchio! And as I mentioned above, Piazza della Signoria is very busy; locals and tourists come together to see the Florentine artists who are making this square their own.

Palazzo Vecchio  is an important palace with a ton of history. Today, it serves as both Florence’s town hall and a museum where you can discover part of the Medici art collection (a very popular banking family that left its mark on the history of Florence and dominated  this  city for about 3 centuries). I had not planned to visit it inside, seeing it from the outside was more than enough for me given the lack of time, so I stayed a little while in Piazza Della Signoria admiring its architecture which is impressive . On site you will notice that the tower of Palazzo Vecchio is not adjusted to the middle of the palace, it is slightly oriented towards the right and bears the name of its designer “Torre di Arnolfo”. I asked myself diffrent questions and i needed to understand several things, which is why I booked a 2-hour guided bike tour for the following day, (I will tell you about it in the next article.)

Useful information:

-Opening hours for the Palais Vecchio Museum:

Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. except Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

-Ticket price: 17.50 euros online +1 euro reservation fee. (You can buy your tickets here.)

-For Arnolfo’s Tower, opening hours are: on Monday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

N.B: You must arrive 15 minutes before your visit. In the event of rain, the Tower will be closed to the public; it will be possible to access the medieval walkway.

-Ticket price: 12.50 euros online +1 euro reservation fee. (You can buy your tickets here.)

The end of on-site ticket sales is one hour before closing.

3-Ponte Vecchio : Done

The Ponte Vecchio means the “old bridge”, this bridge weaves a story of medieval charm and artisanal appearance, it is also the oldest and most famous bridge in Florence knowing that it is the only bridge who survived World War II.

With its iconic shops overlooking the River Arno and spectacular views, this bridge is a living canvas of history and craftsmanship, today lined with boutiques, jewelry stores, and luxury goldsmiths. Jewelry lovers; be ready and bring a good amount of money with you haha!

Some history :

Before that, there were butchers bringing the bridge to life instead of the jewelry stores, the butchers were kept away from the buildings in the city center and were also allowed to throw the foul-smelling waste directly into the “Arno” river. but in the end the butchers had to relocate their activities. The fact is that such landscapes (and smells) did not fit very well with the plans of the Medici, the latter frequently crossed the Vasari Corridor which is a corridor built in 1565 just above the Ponte Vecchio side, it was a protected and covered passageway passing through the Ponte Vecchio connecting the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti which was the official residence of the Grand Dukes and whose Medici family often went there.

4-Palais Pitti, Piazza de’ Pitti : Done

I was happy because not only was I able to visit it but also I got my entrance tickets for free since access to the palace is free every Sunday; and best of all, the queue wasn’t that long and it moved very quickly!

The Pitti Palace houses a diverse and well-preserved collection of works by well-known Renaissance masters. However, apart from all the magnificent paintings, it is also worth admiring all the interior decorations made in each room, the royal apartments, adorned with sumptuous furniture and exquisite decorations, every corner of the palace is a treasure trove of artistic riches.

Adjacent to the palace are the Boboli Gardens, a vast oasis of greenery and tranquility. As you stroll through the gardens, you are greeted by meticulously manicured lawns, lush greenery and a stunning array of sculptures and fountains. The grandeur of the gardens is truly impressive, offering breathtaking views of Florence and the surrounding landscape. I would have liked to visit every corner of the garden but I was in a hurry so as not to miss my bus to Pisa.

Some history:

Built in 1458, the Pitti Palace is the largest museum complex in Florence, originally it was the residence of the famous banker Luca Pitti, friend and ally of Cosimo de Medici. One of the most fascinating facts about this palace is that the man who originally commissioned it probably never imagined that it would one day become the property of his friend’s family, the Medici , and this is exactly what happened a century later, the building was sold to the powerful woman Eleonora di Toledo in 1549, wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici, the second Duke of Tuscany, which effectively made of the palace the property of the Medici.

Useful information :

-Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

– Closed: Mondays, January 1st and December 25th.

-Free entry every first Sunday of the month.

-The price of the ticket: Palazzo Pitti + Boboli Gardens combined ticket 15 euros. (Palazzo Pitti only 11 euros/ Boboli Gardens only 9 euros)

Book your tickets online: Here.

****Before taking the bus to Pisa I passed by a restaurant known for its famous delicious pizza and to my surprise I found a queue in front of the restaurant! :O

IMG_8963

I really wanted to try their pizza so I waited in line for about thirty minutes, it was the first time in my life that I had waited in line to be able to eat a pizza hah! And finally their pizza was good.

5-Pisa :

IMG_8988

History will record that I was going to miss my bus trip for pizza haha.. After finishing my pizza quickly, I ran all over the place to get there on time, I ran and ran and ran and when I arrived at the meeting place I didn’t find my group or my bus, I asked a guide for help and she told me that a bus has just started towards Pisa! (Oh i was like how did they dare to leave without me?! :O) My heart was about to stop, I told her that there might be another bus, then she pointed at a group from afar and asked me to go see if it’s mine and finally it was, phew I arrived exactly on time hihi (It was my little adventure in Florence x).

Back to the point, the bus travel time between Florence and Pisa is generally around 1 hour for a distance of around 81 km. The excursion to Pisa lasts 6 hours, the departure time I chose was at 1:30 p.m., the bus was large, with comfortable chairs, the outward journey took about 1h30min and the guide spoke to us several places along the route. When we arrived around 3 p.m. the group split into two; those who continue the tour with a guide and those who are free to do it on their own, I was part of the second group, I took a good little tour, took a lot of photos with the famous leaning tower, bought a little souvenir and finally enjoyed a good Gelato. We set off again around 6 p.m. and arrived in Florence around 8 p.m. (there was a bit of traffic jam on our return).

I could go to the city of Pisa on my own and it cost less but since it was only half a day I didn’t want to bother too much because the excursion offered to take us directly to the tower. Also I wanted to make new friends so they could take some pictures of me with the tower hehe.

Useful information :

-The excursion cost me 39 euros. (50% guided tour) / for those who want a (100% guided tour) it costs 58 euros.

– You can reserve your places: Here.

-The tour lasted 3 hours not counting the hours of the round trip.

-The Florence S.M.Novella/Pisa Centrale train journey lasts between 1 hour and 1 hour 17 minutes and costs 9.30 euros (one way only, so around 18 euros for the return journey). -You can buy your tickets either on site or at the ticket machine, or online at Trainline or Trenitalia. (I advise you to buy them online to avoid the queue and on Trenitalia because it is cheaper.)

-By bus it takes almost 1h 30min and it costs around 16 euros for a round trip (Take into account that the departure and arrival points of the buses are located outside the city centers of Florence and Pisa. This means additional travel time and additional costs to get to the city center. You can book your bus tickets either on Itabus or on FlixBus.

6- Shopping in Piazza Italia + Florence Central Market: Done

IMG_9127

To shop in Florence at a low price you have several stores. The area around Piazza Santa Croce is famous for its leather goods shops and workshops where you can admire artisans at work. Ciao Ciao located directly opposite the Florence-Santa-Maria-Novella station, there is also Oviesse.

To visit the Central Market of Florence it was already night and the majority of the shops were closed except the restaurants, it was not a surprise for me, I had expected this and I planned to visit it again by corner the next morning. (I’ll tell you about it in the next article)

And that’s it for the first day in Florence!

Looking forward to seeing you in the next post to tell you about my second day in Florence!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top