A visual journey of 2 days in Florence

A visual journey of 2 days in Florence


If you are visiting the beautiful Italian city of Florence but are short on time it is possible to see a lot in 48 hours. These are my recommendations of must-do’s if you only have 2 days in Florence.

1. Visit Florence Cathedral


With the baptistery on the right

cathedral and dome

detail of marble in Florence

Florence Cathedral

Florence Cathedral


It is pretty spectacular and from the outside it is beautiful. Inside its a bit plain except for the amazing paintings on the dome.

dome in Florence

Inside cathedral of Milan

The clock – half in this picture was designed by Paolo Ucello in 1443.

Inside cathedral

Il Duomo di Firenze is the main church of Florence. It was begun at the end of the 13th century with the beautiful dome added in the 15th century. It is the exterior of this church that stuns as it is decorated in a mix of pink, green and white marble and is simply stunning.

dome detail in Florence

beautiful frescoes decorate the inside of the dome


Filippo Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome

sunrise in Florence

2. Visit the Accademia Gallery- Michelangelo’s David

I can’t describe the awe you feel when you see this statue. It is perfection.  It was craved out of one piece of white marble between 1501 and 1504 by the genius that was Michelangelo. The 14 foot statue depicts the Biblical David about to slay the giant Goliath.

Do yourself a favour if you are going to Florence and go and see David! You will not regret it.


statue of David in Florence

detail of the statue of David

Of course there are more of Michelangelo’s statues there…his slaves or prisoners show how he created his sculptures…the figures seem to be freeing themselves from the marble. ”Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” (Michelangelo)

and other artwork…its a teeny museum though compared to the Uffizi!


And of course last but not least Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women – this is the plaster model he made before carving the statue out of marble (the marble statue stands in the Piazza della Signoria)

rape of the sabine women

3.Visit the Uffizi

Again I would highly recommend you book…and also consider a tour. Our guide knew so much about the artwork in the Uffizi that I learnt a lot (I wish I had written it down though!)

Uffizi museum

The Uffizi


The Uffizi was began in 1560 by Vasari and were designed to be offices. Today they house an amazing art collection. At the moment air conditioning is being installed so we were pleased our guide knew where everything was as some paintings have been temporarily moved rooms.

Medici coat of arms

Medici family coat of arms

ceiling Uffizi

everywhere you look is beautiful



I didn’t take many photographs…just a select few.


Giotto di Bondone

Adoration of the magi

Ghirlandaio – Adoration of the Magi

Doni Tondo

Doni Tondo by Michelangelo

Uffizi tribuna

Uffizi tribuna


Birth of Venus

Birth of Venus by Botticelli

La Primavera

La Primavera by Botticelli

I really enjoyed looking around the Uffizi! Highly recommend it!

4. Walk the Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval bridge across the river Arno. It is the only bridge that survived World War 2.

There are shops on the bridge that were in medieval times butchers shops but in 1593 Ferdinand 1 decreed that only goldmiths and jewellers be allowed to have shops on the bridge. The Vasari corridor also runs along the bridge above the goldsmiths shops.

The bridge gets packed! It is a great place to take pictures of the river though.

old shops

goldsmith’s shops line the bridge

The Vasari corridor runs across the top of the bridge



Ponte Vecchio 2


The weather was beautiful!

good view!

View of the Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi (and of the Vasari corridor)

River Arno

View from bridge

5. Admire the Florence Baptistery and Ghiberti’s doors

Somehow I managed not to take a picture of the Baptistery!! It is featured in one of the photographs above with the cathedral. I did however take some pictures of the famous doors by Ghiberti. (These are copies as the originals were severely damaged during the floods in Florence in 1966.)

door of baptistery 2

these doors are copies of the original which were damaged in the flood of 1966


6. Visit the Palazzo Medici

This is one place I really want to explore further….it is the most amazing palace that was built for the Medici family between 1444 and 1484. The architecture is amazing. It is also the place Michelangelo lived in 1489 as a 14 year old boy when he was sponsored by Lorenzo de Medici.

Medici palace

Michelangelo’s ‘kneeling windows’

Medicci palace

three tiers


7. Stand in the Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signora

piazzaThe Piazza della Signoria is in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The L shaped square contains a copy of David as well as other statues (Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women is here and can be seen in the above video)

The square also leads onto the Uffizi so I am sure you will find yourself here during any visit to Florence.

8. Rub the nose of Il Porcellino

Il Porellino is the Florentine nickname for the bronze statue of a boar that can be found in the Piazza del Mercato Nuovo. The statue was sculpted and cast by Pietro Tacca in 1634. The present statue is a copy. Tradition holds that if you rub its nose you will return to Florence. I rubbed its nose!

9. Admire the countless door knockers, stonework and pretty places

Last of all I thought I would include some pictures I took whilst in Florence of- well -door knockers and other things that caught my attention!!!

That was what we  managed to see during our 2 days in Florence – I am sure I will return as there are things I still want to see and I think reading more about the Italian Renaissance may help before visiting again. If reading more about Michelangelo interests you I would recommend the biographical novel The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone which you can purchase below.

If you are interested in the tours we took in Florence (and other cities in Italy) check out my recommended tours on my Viator Italy page!

You may be interested to read my other posts about Italy

What to do in one day in Milan in Italy

Top Tips for Venice - where to go, what to see where to eat

A guide to the best things to do in Venice Italy

Top sights to add to your itinerary for Rome Italy

5 reasons to visit Rome Italy

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To find out more about it check out the listing on their site HERE!

Click here for more UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Around the World

PIN FOR LATER – 2 days in Florence

a-wander-through-florenceFlorence Italy

Author: Tracy

Tracy is your expert expat!

She has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)

Through down-to-earth stories, tips and advice (based on her own extensive knowledge and experience of life as an expat) she aims to support new and prospective expats to survive and thrive in Australia.

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, she is also able to share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help you travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.


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  1. September 15, 2016 / 11:54 am

    Lovely pictures, they make me want to return back to Italy now. I love the fact it is so full of some amazing history to

    • September 15, 2016 / 5:57 pm

      Yes just love Italy – could spend a lot of time there if I was able to – so much to see and take in.

  2. September 15, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    I LOVE that book Tracy! What do you think??
    Your pictures almost made me weep again – I cried when I saw the David. So mesmerising.

  3. September 15, 2016 / 5:59 pm

    I am loving the book Alex – I love Michelangelo even more reading that. I agree about the David – it has such an amazing aura around it. I found it totally awe-inspiring.

  4. Pauline
    September 25, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    We have been invited to spend a week in Florence Tracy with some Italian friends in June. It will be interesting to see where they take us.

    • September 25, 2016 / 7:02 pm

      Fantastic Pauline! I hope you get to the Accademia to see David – it was the highlight for me. If you haven’t read it I would highly recommend ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ a novel based on Michaelangelo’s life. Will be interested to see what you think after your trip!

  5. September 27, 2016 / 10:37 am

    Ah don’t you just love Florence!!? Amazing pictures! #CityTripping

    • September 27, 2016 / 6:39 pm

      Unfortunately I don’t cope well with confined spaces (or steps)so didn’t do it though I can imagine the view is amazing!

  6. September 27, 2016 / 6:55 pm

    Lovely photos. Really do Florence justice #citytripping

  7. September 28, 2016 / 4:32 am

    Wonderful! I have been two times to Florence but there are so many things I have not done or visited. A third visit is necessary!

  8. September 28, 2016 / 10:39 pm

    Such wonderful photos – it’s years (and years) since I was last in Florence, but everywhere I turn, I seem to see posts about the city. I think the universe is giving me a hint. Lovely to read yours and be reminded of some of the things I saw. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • September 29, 2016 / 3:56 pm

      I think most of the people who wrote the posts were there with me in August lol! Seriously though Florence is always worth a visit and I hope you get there soon! Thanks for the lovely comment and hope to see you again soon! #citytripping here I come!

  9. September 29, 2016 / 9:43 am

    Fabulous pictures! I’ve been to Italy a few times but never to Florence, I so want to go! #citytripping

    • September 29, 2016 / 3:47 pm

      Thanks glad you like my photos. Yes Florence is definitely worth a visit – I will be going back for a third time as still have not seen everything I want!

  10. October 2, 2016 / 8:58 pm

    I love your photos. We didn’t make it to see the statue of David so we really need to go back at some point…just not at the height of the summer! We went in June about ten years ago and it wasn’t too busy – certainly not as bad as Rome. I really love Florence…probably a bit more than Rome because of its size, charm and amazing architecture. I was really wowed by the Duomo. #citytripping

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:49 pm

      We went in August and it was manic! Not as hot as Rome but still fairly warm! David is really worth seeing – I saw the replica the first time I visited but the real thing just takes your breath away. The Duomo is stunning too. Thanks for dropping by!