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Three days in Florence

What to do and see in Florence

Florence is a rare pearl, in Italy and in the world, for its perfect blend of art, culture, luxury and urban charm. That's why visiting Florence and Tuscany is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

The intimate city center, where the 4-star Hotel Calimala is located, allows you to fully enjoy the special things this destination can offer, even during a “hit and run” holiday. Follow our staff’s suggestions about what to do and see in Florence in three days… you will fall in love.

 

1st day

Don't waste too much time wondering what to see in Florence in three days, rather immerse yourself in the beating heart of the Medici city. Begin your tour of Florence with a visit to Piazza della Signoria and Piazza Duomo, both just a few minutes' walk from Hotel Calimala.

Piazza della Signoria was the ancient center of power of the Florentine Signoria and remains today a bulwark of local politics: the austere walls of Palazzo Vecchio house the seat of the Municipality of Florence. Take your time for a stroll in the square, admire the ashlar masonry and the coats of arms of the medieval building and approach the monumental Fountain of Neptune. Then visit the museum of Palazzo Vecchio, pausing in the Salone del Cinquecento adorned with marvelous frescoes and sculptures by great artists such as Ghirlandaio, Vasari, Michelangelo and Donatello. If you don't fear heights, climb the Torre d’Arnolfo for a stirring view of the city.

Leaving Palazzo Vecchio, take via de’ Calzaiuoli towards Piazza del Duomo, enjoying the profile of the majestic dome of Santa Maria del Fiore from a distance. Admire the interior of the Florentine cathedral, but above all climb the dome projected by Filippo Brunelleschi and the adjacent Giotto's bell tower: from up there the view is breathtaking.

In the afternoon, after a lunch with Florence's famous stuffed schiacciata, come back to Piazza della Signoria and reach the Uffizi Gallery. Dedicate at least two or three hours to the museum, necessary to fully enjoy the masterpieces of Botticelli, Raffaello, Leonardo da Vinci, Mantegna, Giotto and many others. End the day with a romantic walk on Ponte Vecchio, surrounded by refined goldsmith boutiques.

 

2nd day

Spend your second day in Florence in the districts of San Marco and San Lorenzo, both easy to reach from Calimala luxury hotel. In Piazza San Marco, visit the San Marco Museum, next to the church, famous for the masterful frescoes by Beato Angelico.

Your second stop should be the Galleria dell’ Accademia, home to Michelangelo's beautiful David, reproduced also in front of Palazzo Vecchio. Don't be in a hurry, let yourself be inebriated by the grandeur of the Renaissance masterpieces, such as "Il ratto delle Sabine" by Giambologna and "La Madonna e il bambino" by Botticelli. A few steps from the Galleria dell’ Accademia, do not miss the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, a little museum, less known than others, but truly surprising for the collection of semi-precious stone artefacts dating back to the Medici period.

In the afternoon, explore the San Lorenzo district, starting with the basilica of the same name, enriched by the Biblioteca Laurenziana Medicea and some works by Michelangelo. The complex is completed by the Cappelle Medicee, the sepulcher of some members of the powerful family, such as Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano. The tombs and walls of the mausoleum are beautifully covered with inlays with handcrafted semi-precious stones. End your second day in Florence with a tour of the characteristic San Lorenzo market, populated by stalls of all kinds: from souvenirs, to typically Florentine artifacts, to fine leather items and gastronomic specialties such as panino al lampredotto.

 

3rd day

On the third day of your holiday in Florence, discover the Oltrarno area, on the left bank of the Arno, an unmissable stop on a Florentine tour. Start with Palazzo Pitti, ancient Medici residence, and the adjacent Boboli Gardens, a monumental green lung in the city center. Palazzo Pitti hosts five museums, all noteworthy, but we particularly recommend the Palatine Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art.

After the intense tour, have some rest with a walk in the immense Boboli Gardens, dotted with fountains, sculptures and stone allegories. A little further on, immerse yourself in another natural oasis: the Bardini Garden offers an unimaginable view of the city of Florence…enjoy it from the suggestive Baroque staircase. Two caves and the romantic little temple of love complete this garden.

Conclude your visit of the Oltrarno with the San Niccolò area, which climbs to Piazzale Michelangelo, the roof of Florence and emblem of the city's wonders. This spot boasts the most exciting view of the Florentine skyline: in a single glance you embrace the Dome of the Cathedral, the Basilica of Santa Croce, the San Lorenzo district, the Tuscan hills all around ... an absolute joy for the eyes and spirit. Take your souvenir photos and stop for a panoramic dinner in the many restaurants lining the Piazzale.

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