WHAT TO DO IN 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.
It is pretty spectacular and from the outside it is beautiful. Inside its a bit plain except for the amazing paintings on the dome.
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.
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.
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)
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!)
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.
I didn’t take many photographs…just a select few.
I really enjoyed looking around the Uffizi! Highly recommend it!
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.
The Vasari corridor runs across the top of the bridge
The weather was beautiful!
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.)
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.
Piazza della Signoria
The 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.
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!
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
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!