One day in Florence
Let’s say your cruise ship is docking in Livorno (Florence’s nearby port city) or can only eek out one day to enjoy Florence on your European itinerary. Here are the must-see sights if you have one day in Florence.
Outside there will usually be crowds of people taking pictures and listening to their tour guide. Bypass all those people and head inside.
The inside is not as impressive as many other European churches. The Duomo spent their money on the exterior.
Behind you when looking at the main entrance to the Duomo are the Bronze Doors. They are just replicas of the real thing (which are inside the Duomo in the basement museum). The bronze doors are not only shiny but very intricate with each square telling a story.
Personally I believe you should see the Duomo during the day and at night when they light it up. There are a few outdoor cafes in the piazza but they tend to be very expensive. Don’t eat here but bring your own diet coke or water bottle and sit on the curb and enjoy the view.
The best place to see the Duomo in its entirety and to take pictures of it are from the Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace, which is on the other side of the Arno River. Cross the Ponte Vecchio to get there.
You can buy a ticket to just the Boboli Gardens and skip the interior of most of the Pitti Palace. The Pitti Palace is a former Medici Palace that is now made up of many different museum exhibits.
There is some uphill walking involved but it is a lovely spot for a picnic with spectacular views.
The Ponte Vecchio is a bridge that connects the two sides of the river. It is very touristy and full of jewelry stores.
The Ponte Vecchio from the side is much prettier:
The Uffizi Gallery is an art lover’s dream. If you go to Florence during the summer, get your tickets in advance. If not, you can hold off a bit although I would still recommend getting reservations for your day.
I saw the Uffizi once. I’m not big into art, so I skipped it this trip.
Next to the Uffizi is the PIazza della Signorina and it’s statues. Fake David is here. You cannot take pictures of Real David in La Accademia gallery so take your David pictures here.
He is right outside the Palazzo Vecchio museum.
There is a statue garden in the piazza as well. Do some wandering here.
Make sure to come back to Piazza della Signorina at night too. They light it all up.
The last spot you really need to hit is Santa Croce. Inside are the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli and more.
Your feet are going to be very tired after this one day tour of Florence. Make sure you eat a lot of gelato and carb up with some gnocchi so you can see all the Florence has to offer. It truly is one of the world’s most beautiful cities.