A vacation in Italy is always a great way to decompress and forget all about the daily worries. Not only does this charming country offer its visitors amazing places to keep them busy and happy, but also a contagious laid-back lifestyle. Florence is a great destination not only for history lovers, art and architecture aficionados but also for people who are interested in having a relaxed vacation and amazing culinary experiences. The city gives you the chance to learn all about Renaissance, get in touch with history and taste the interesting Tuscany with its delicious dishes and great wine.
What to Do Before Your Arrival
After choosing a destination for your 4-day city break, you should begin planning it. The first step is to find accommodation. Florence is not one of those huge cities so you can book a room anywhere in the city and easily get to the central area using the public transport or renting a bike. However, when looking for a place to stay, keep in mind that all main touristic attractions are gathered in the historic center. In addition, your vacation has only four days and you don’t want to waste any time taking the bus or the train. But if you still want to stay far from the center, there are excellent accommodation options just outside Florence.
Think about renting a bike instead of buying a travel card. Not only will you get to properly see the streets, but you will also be environmentally friendly while working out.
Another thing you should know is that Florence is one of those busy cities, filled with both locals and travelers. So, be ready to stay in line or, if you want to make the waiting experience less painful, book your entrances ahead. You can also try to avoid visiting Italy and Florence during the weekend since this is when everybody else comes!
Last, but definitely not least, pack some comfy shoes and prepare yourself for long walks, an overwhelming cultural encounter, as well as an unforgettable delicious culinary experience.
Day 1: Meet the Souls of Great Artists: Visiting the Galleries
Wandering around the delightful streets of Florence will immediately make you understand that Renaissance really made Florence famous and beautiful. Admire the architecture and prepare yourself for an unforgettable encounter with art.
Visit the imposing Duomo and the baptistery and, if heights don’t scare you, climb the bell tower in order to admire the lovely view of the city.
After your precious art encounter, you can head towards the Arno river and enjoy a lovely walk. Admire and cross the famous Ponte Vecchio. This is definitely a great spot for a few pictures. You can end this full day with a delicious dinner and a walk under the moonlight. The beautifully lit streets of Florence create a great, romantic atmosphere.
Day 2: A Little History of Florence and an Interesting Shopping Session
You can begin your second day in Florence with a tasty breakfast and a cup of strong coffee in the well-known Piazza Della Repubblica. When you feel ready to begin exploring the city, go to Piazza San Lorenzo and visit the imposing church.
Catch a glimpse of the Medici Chapels and then have some fun exploring the San Lorenzo outdoor market. It is located just behind Piazza San Lorenzo and it is full of beautiful leather bags and belts. If you love shopping and you want to buy qualitative, handmade leather products, this is a great place for you!
Later, if you are in the mode for visiting one more touristic attraction, check out the amazing Santa Maria Novella church, and the treasures hidden by its walls.
In the evening, you should celebrate another perfect day, with a delicious Florentine steak, known by locals as bistecca alla Fiorentina. Trattoria L'oriuolo is waiting for you with an amazing steak and other interesting Tuscan dishes.
Day 3: Enjoy a Day Trip to the Charming Cinque Terre
Spending four days in Florence gives you the chance to see the main touristic attractions as well as to enjoy a day trip to interesting places around Florence. After two busy days in Florence, many people feel the need to unwind in a quiet place, and they choose to go to Cinque Terre.
The five towns that form Cinque Terre are absolutely amazing, but you won’t have time to really see all of them in such a short time. So, you should probably pick one and hope to see more.
Before you make a decision, keep in mind that Monterosso has the best beaches, Vernazza is the most picturesque of them all, Corniglia is very intimate and has two exclusive tiny beaches, Manarola is surrounded by vines and is a perfect destination for wine lovers, and Riomaggiore has beautiful views, great restaurants and is the most eastern and the nearest village to La Spezia, the place where you will leave your car.
Day 4: Learn All About the Medici Family
One of the most important families in Florence was the well-known Medici Family. So, how about getting closer to the famous family? The Pitti Palace is one of their former homes and it has five interesting museums within.
In addition, behind the palace, there are the beautiful Boboli Gardens, a great place to relax and enjoy a nice picnic before you leave the amazing city of Florence.
And if you still have time, in the afternoon, go to Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can enjoy the best views of the city. There is no better place to say “goodbye” to Florence!
This is how you can spend your precious four days in Florence. You won’t have enough time to explore the city like a local, to check out its hidden gems or to taste all the delicious local food. However, you will catch a glimpse of its beautiful architecture, understand its art and artists as well as get close to the past of the city. So, in four days you will see Florence as a tourist, preparing yourself for a second, longer, visit, when you will experience the city like a local.