itinerary for 2 days in Florence

Are you planning to spend 2 days in Florence? It is an excellent idea! In two days you can visit the most important museums of the city, such as the Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery. You will fall in love with the medieval streets of the centre. You will be able to visit the Duomo complex and enter the most important basilicas of the city, Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce. If you pass two days in Florence, you will definitely decide to come back to the town again!

This itinerary starts with the arrival to Florence on the morning of the first day! Since the state museums are closed on Mondays, this itinerary can be followed during a visit to the city on days other than Monday.

Visit Florence in 2 days: complete itinerary with the most important sights!

The best way how to arrive to Florence is by train. The Florentine Santa Maria Novella train station is located in the heart of the city. If you arrive to the city by car, make sure you can park it at your hotel or in one of the private garages in town.

After your arrival you can leave your luggage at the hotel and set off to discover the city.

Day 1: your morning

The best place where to start your 2 days visit in Florence is Piazza Santa Maria Novella, located behind the train station. Still in 1219, when the Dominican friars arrived to Florence, the square was located outside of the city walls.

Santa Maria Novella

In 1221 the Dominican order obtained from the Florentine curia the small church of Santa Maria delle Vigne located just outside the walls of Florence. Over the years the Dominicans expanded the building, transforming the primitive church into the transept of the grandiose basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The construction of the new basilica was completed towards the mid-fourteenth century, but at the time the church still didn’t have a façade. The decoration of the façade was concluded only thanks to Leon Battista Alberti‘s design, carried out in the second half of the fifteenth century and financed by the rich Florentine merchant Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai. Alberti’s facade can be considered the first Renaissance façade in the history of European architecture.

The visit at the Basilica can open your stay in Florence. In fact, Santa Maria Novella preserves many treasures of medieval and Renaissance art. Inside you will find:

• the painted crucifix by Giotto

• the Trinity by Masaccio

• the Tornabuoni Chapel frescoed by Domenico Ghirlandaio

• the Strozzi di Mantova Chapel with the illustration of Inferno inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, painted by Nardo di Cione

• the Strozzi Chapel with the frescoes by Filippino Lippi

After the visit inside the church you will pass through the cloisters of the convent. From the Green Cloister you can enter inside the ancient chapter house, now called the Capellone degli Spagnoli. On the walls of the room you will see the frescoes by Andrea di Buonaiuto depicting the Mission of the Dominican Order and the Glory of St. Thomas Aquinas, surrounded by scenes from the New Testament.

Subsequently, the museum itinerary will guide you inside the refectory, where today you can admire the frescoes by Paolo Uccello with the Old Testament Stories, restored after the damages caused by the last flood of 1966.

2 days in Florence

Santa Maria Novella:

opening times: from Monday to Thursday and on Saturday: from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm; on Friday: from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm; Sundays and holidays: from 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm.

Tickets: adults: €7.50; children 11-18 years old: €5.00; children under 11: free.

Suggested duration of the visit: 60-90 minutes.

Historical centre and Dante’s neighbourhood

After the visit to the Basilica you can go for a walk in the historical center of Florence. From Piazza Santa Maria Novella you can head towards Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza Duomo.

Piazza Duomo houses the most important sacred buildings of the city: the Baptistery dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Bell Tower.

From Piazza Duomo you can pass through the medieval streets of Florence, via dello Studio and via Santa Margherita, which bring you to the neighborhood where Dante Alighieri grew up. There you will also find the so-called Torre della Castagna, a medieval tower which used to host the assemblies of the Florentine priors. From there you go to see the Orsanmichele church, Piazza della Signoria, Piazzale degli Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio.

Florence 2 days itinerary

Suggested duration of the walk: 60-90 minutes.

If you want to book your guided walking tour in Florence, click here 👇

After the walk, you can stop for a lunch break.

Day 1: your afternoon

In the afternoon you can visit the most important museum in the city: the Uffizi Gallery. The building that today houses the museum was built to host the offices of the numerous magistrates of the Duchy of Tuscany. This new state was created in the mid-sixteenth century by Cosimo I de’ Medici who militarly conquered the Republic of Pisa and the Republic of Siena, uniting their territories with the Duchy of Florence rulled by the Medici dynasty.

The Uffizi Gallery

Already the Medici family started to gather inside of the Uffizi’s building their collections of art. However, during their rule, the access to the rooms of this government building was reserved for their close friends and important guests. The Uffizi became a public museum only in 1769 when the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty decided to bring together Medici’s collections and the works of art transferred to the Gallery after the suppression of numerous religious institutions.

Today, a visit to the Uffizi is a mandatory stop for anyone arriving to Florence. The Uffizi collection includes some of the greatest masterpieces of Italian painting.

What to see at the Uffizi? These are the works you cannot miss:

• Giotto’s Maestà

• the Adoration of the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano

• the Double Portrait of Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza, Dukes of Urbino by Piero della Francesca

the Spring (Primavera) by Sandro Botticelli

the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli

the Calumny of Apelles by Botticelli

• the Holy Allegory by Giovanni Bellini

the unfinished Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo

• the Annunciation by Leonardo

• the Tondo Doni by Michelangelo

• the Madonna of the Goldfinch by Raphael

• the Portrait of Eleonora di Toledo by Bronzino

• Titian’s Venus of Urbino

• Caravaggio’s Medusa

• Caravaggio’s Bacchus

A complete visit to the second and to the first floors of the Gallery takes about 3 hours. If you want, you can focus only on the part of the collection displayed on the second floor. This way you will see the paintings from Giotto Maestà to Michelangelo’s Todo Doni and the works of Raphael and Leonardo. The visit to the second floor takes about 1.5-2 hours.

If you visit Florence between March and October, remember to book your tickets in advance using this website:

https://webshop.b-ticket.com/webshop/webticket/eventlist?production=1

B-ticket is the only official online ticket office of the state museums of Florence. Only here you will find your tickets without additional fees.

Two days in Florence: what to see

The Uffizi Gallery:

opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15am to 6.30pm (last entry at 5.30pm)

tickets:

from March 1st to October 31st:

adults: 25 euros (+4 euros for booking)

EU youths 18-25 years old: 2 euros (+4 euros for booking)

under 18: free (+4 euro booking)

from November 1st to February 29th:

adults: 12 euros (+4 euros for booking)

EU youths 18-25 years old: 2 euros (+4 euros for booking)

under 18: free (+4 euro booking)

Suggested duration of the visit: 2-3 hours.

If you want to book your guided tour at the Uffizi Gallery, click here 👇

Piazzale Michelangelo

After the visit to the Uffizi Gallery you can spend the evening reaching Piazzale Michelangelo (20 minutes walking from the Gallery, reachable by taxi and city bus number 12). Piazzale Michelangelo is a panoramic terrace from which you can admire a spectacular view on Florence.

Coming down from the Piazzale towards the centre, you will pass through San Niccolò neighbourhood, where you can find many restaurants and bars for your aperitivo or an excellent dinner.

Day 2: your morning

In the morning I suggest that you start the day early. This way you will be able to enjoy Florence without the crowds and confusion. After your breakfast and check-out at the hotel you can head towards the Accademia Gallery where the original statue of David sculpted by Michelangelo Buonarroti is kept today.

Galleria dell’Accademia

Michelangelo’s David was sculpted between 1501 and 1504. The sculpture was commissioned from the young artist by the Arte della Lana and the Cathedral authorities. It was supposed to be one of the statues of the Old Testament prophets meant as a decoration for the apses of the Cathedral.

After just three years of work, the artist revealed the sculpture to the public. The public was simply amazed.

In the political context of 1504, when the Republic of Florence was trying to maintain its independence, fighting with the Medici family and with the powerful European states, the image of David winning against Goliath became an allegory of the political struggle of Florence against its enemies. The city decided, therefore, to place the statue in front of Palazzo dei Priori, the seat of the republican government. Michelangelo’s David became a symbol of strength and independence of the Florentine Republic.

The statue was displayed in the square for long centuries, exposed to the elements. In 1872 it was decided to protect the precious sculpture, moving it inside a museum. A year later, in August 1873, Michelangelo’s David was transferred to the Gallery of the Fine Arts Academy in Florence, the Galleria dell’Accademia, where you can still admire it today.

This masterpiece by Michelangelo is definitely the most famous piece in the museum’s collection, but it’s not the only work worth seeing inside the gallery. At the Galleria dell’Accademia you can also admire:

• the Slaves by Michelangelo, unfinished sculptures, probably designed for the funeral monument of Pope Julius II

• the plaster model for the Rape of the Sabine Women by Jean de Boulogne, called Giambologna

• the Cassone Adimari by Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, called Scheggia

• the museum of musical instruments with the Medici Viola made by Antonio Stradivari

IMPORTANT:

The Accademia Gallery is a small museum and it houses one of the most important works of the Italian Renaissance. Therefore, the tickets for the Gallery are very often sold out already two, or even three weeks in advance. If you want to visit the Gallery between April and October, book your ticket well in advance.

You can do it here: https://webshop.b-ticket.com/webshop/webticket/eventlist?production=4

Galleria dell’Accademia:

opening times: Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15am to 6.30pm (last entry at 5.30pm)

tickets:

adults: 12 euros (+4 euros for booking)

EU youths 18-25 years old: 2 euros (+4 euros for booking)

under 18: free (+4 euro booking)

Suggested duration of the visit: 60-90 minutes.

If you want to book your guided tour of the Galleria dell’Accademia, click here 👇

The Duomo Complex

After visiting the Accademia Gallery, you can dedicate the morning to discovering the Duomo complex. Piazza Duomo hosts the most important sacred monuments for the Florentine identity.

During the visit you can discover the Baptistery dedicated to Saint John the Baptist which is one of the oldest buildings in Florence. Over the centuries the Baptistery was decorated with splendid mosaics that cover the entire dome from the inside. On the floor of the Baptistery you will find the marble inlayed decoration with a panel representing the zodiac signs. The Baptistery also houses the tomb of the anti-pope John XXIII who died in Florence in 1419.

You can then enter the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore to admire the internal decoration of Brunelleschi’s Dome and the archaeological area with the excavations of the ancient church of Santa Reparata. The construction of the new cathedral began in 1296 and the new church replaced the ancient temple dedicated to one of the patronesses of Florence, Santa Reparata. Archaeological excavations brought to light the mosaic decoration of the floor of the previous church dating back to the 5th century AD.

Finally, you can conclude your visit to the Duomo complex inside the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. The museum preserves the originals of the works of art that once decorated the Baptistery, the Bell Tower and the Cathedral.

At the museum you will find:

  • the bronze doors from the Baptistery
  • the Bandini Pietà by Michelangelo Buonarroti
  • Donatello’s wooden statue of Mary Magdalene
  • the silver altar from the Baptistery
  • the cantorie by Luca della Robbia and Donatello
  • the originals of the sculptural decoration of the Bell Tower
  • the reconstruction of the first façade of the Cathedral

To avoid queues, you can purchase your tickets for the Cathedral complex in advance:

https://operaduomofirenze.skiperformance.com/it/negozio#/it/acquista?bookable_y_n_a=a

Things to see in 2 days in Florence

Suggested duration of the visit: 2-2.5 hours.

If you want to book your guided tour of the Cathedral Complex, click here 👇

Day 2: your afternoon

After lunch, if you don’t have to leave Florence too early, you will have time to visit the Basilica of Santa Croce.

Santa Croce Basilica

This important Franciscan church preserves the masterpieces of medieval painting. At the beginning of the fourteenth century at Santa Croce worked the famous painter Giotto, decorating with his frescoes the chapels for the Bardi and Peruzzi families. Later, his pupil Taddeo Gaddi painted the Life of the Virgin on the walls of the Baroncelli Chapel, and he left a depiction of the Last Supper in the refectory of the friars.

For many centuries Santa Croce used to host the tombs of the illustrious Florentines. Here rests Leonardo Bruni, the humanist and secretary of the Florentine Republic and here was buried Lorenzo Ghiberti, author of the splendid Gates of Paradise for the Florentine Baptistery. Also the tombs of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Niccolò Macchiavelli and Galileo Galilei can be seen at Santa Croce today. During the 19th century Santa Croce became an important place for the construction of the Italian national identity. Ugo Foscolo in his poem Dei Sepolcri described his walk between the tombs of Santa Croce imagining a dialogue with illustrious Italians of the past.

The Basilica was seriously damaged during the last flood in 1966. In the sacristy you will find the crucifix by Cimabue heavily damaged by the waters of the Arno river

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Itinerary for 2 days in Florence

Basilica of Santa Croce:

opening times: Monday-Saturday: 9.30am-5.30pm

tickets: 8 euros

reduced, 12-17 years 6 euros

under 12 and the residents in the Comune di Firenze: free

Suggested duration of the visit: 60-90 minutes.

Itinerary for your 2 days in Florence with MAP

Here is the map for your 2 days stay in Florence:

Two days visit in Florence: discover my guided tours and museum visits

Do you want to follow this itinerary and organize guided visits to some of these monuments?

We can visit the Uffizi Gallery together or cross the streets of the historic centre during a walking tour in Florence. We can discover the secrets of the Duomo complex or we can learn more about Michelangelo’s life and work at the Accademia Gallery.

I am happy to prepare a custom itinerary for your tours!

Do you want to pass 2 days in Florence visiting the city with an expert tour guide? Contact me to start planning your guided tours in Florence!