We have been home from Florence for just over a month, and yet I feel as though I could still wake up tomorrow and be there! In fact, that’d be pretty amazing if I could! I was so thrilled to share this trip on my Instagram and Facebook page with you all, and it seems many of you are heading to Florence or its surrounding areas soon! I’ve been asked for recommendations and advice, so I felt like a blog post review of this city and all we did/have done was in order! This was my THIRD visit to the city, so I figured I’d share how I maximize a week in Florence!
Spoiler Alert: You won’t even be in Florence the whole time.
You’ve been seeing posts with more comprehensive details about particular tours and experiences we had in Florence and the Tuscany region, but this is a summarization to give you a starting point for planning your own trip!
When I plan my trips, I actually love to use Evernote to compile all of my information and reservations all in one place! Its also how I plan my packing lists, create outfit ideas for reference when I’m there, and save articles with advice or info I want to refer to as I plan or navigate around my destination!
My itineraries are always a mix of some guided tours, which I find to be the most useful way of maximizing time and money, as well as “free time” to wander aimlessly, discover new things in cities we visit, and allow rest when needed. For places like Florence, or Italy in general, where history abounds, you can always change things around to your preference! If you’re big on museums and art history there are tour options geared towards that (and they are excellent for being able to expedite entry and see the highlights). If you’re the lounging type of vacationer, you can opt out of tours and use your time to wander aimlessly and check out the local spas and restaurant scene! Below, you’ll also find links to the specific tours we took!
Here’s my “framework” itinerary I created (straight from my Evernote app-more on that later):
Day 1: Travel Day, morning flight into Florence (arrive next day with time difference)
Day 2: Arrive in Florence Check into apartment
-Walk around the city
-Pecorino cheese and Cacio e Pepe in Pienza
-Scenic drive in Val d’Orcia (SO MANY SUNFLOWER FIELDS!)
-Brunello wine in Montalcino
-Vino Nobile in Montepulciano
-Murano Blown Glass Factory Tour
-Tiramisu (it was invented here!)
Day 5 : Explore Florence
-Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy for perfume/cologne
-Scuola del Cuaio (the leather school)
-Dinner at Gusta Pizza
-Gelato in San Gimignano at Dondoli (crema di Santa Fina-saffron and pine nuts-unlike anything else you’ll taste!)
-Ship home olive oil and Chianti from winery
-Walk into town in Pisa
-Get piazza photos and visit the cathedral in Siena
-Get early morning photos of Duomo (best way to beat the crowds)
-Outdoor Museum at Piazza della Signoria
Day 8: Explore Firenze Some More!
Day 9: Travel day-Fly Home
As you can see, not only is Florence pretty much the most charming place ever (I’m biased), but it’s the perfect launch pad for seeing a lot that Tuscany has to offer! A week is hardly enough to see Florence or its surrounding areas, but in a world where vacation weeks are hard to come by, it’s a great start…and you can always be like me and just keep going back!
What you don’t see on the itinerary is daily gelato stops, pizza stops, and over 15000 steps per day! So here are just a few photos:
What are your tips and tricks for planning trips? Tell me all about them in the comments!
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