Can you visit the major sites on an Italy Tour in a single day? If you’re fast or have a bit more than a day.
Think of Florence as “Renaissance with a capital R.” Thanks in part to the patronage of the Medici family, the city is fairly littered with some of the most fabulous Renaissance art in the world. It’s a very walkable city, but don’t drive there. Really. You’ll thank me for it. Please read my article on Driving in Italy.
Depending on how much time you have there, here are some highlights:
Florence: The David: A
The statue by Michelangelo is the size of a titan and can be seen inside the Galleria dell’Accademia. Book ahead. See my detailed article on visiting The David.
Florence: The Ufizzi Gallery: A
At one time, these were the offices (ufizzi) of the Medici family. The Galleria degli Uffizi houses some of the most spectacular Renaissance artwork in the world. Get a timed entry ticket ahead of time; they get two million visitors a year. It’s the 27th most visited museum in the world.
It has been significantly modernized since 2017. There are 101 rooms. Choose ahead of time which you want to see. The Botticelli Room will take your breath away. The first thing you see is his Venus on the Halfshell. (The Birth of Venus). Then you’ll see The Primavera!
When you walk out the other side of the Ufizzi Gallery, you’ll be at the Arno River (think: the Merchant Ivory’s film A Room with a View, filmed near there).
The bridge nearby (Ponte Vecchio, Old Bridge) crosses the river and has shops and souvenir stalls on it.