Florence is an essential stop on that long-promised trip to Italy. Strolling through its Cathedral, squares, markets and other charming corners that you won't find in Rome makes this excursion a great plan. If you fancy visiting on an organised tour so you don't have to deal with the logistics of waiting for public transport, read on:
Visit Florence and Pisa on an organised tour.
Perfect if you are looking forward to visiting these emblematic Italian cities without having to worry about organising the trip. You will be accompanied at all times by a specialised guide.
This tour to Florence and Pisa not only takes you to see the most unforgettable sights of Florence, but also passes through Pisa to see the iconic leaning tower that has made the city so famous.
A local guide, an expert in the history of both cities, will take you to see all the must-see sights: Florence's Duomo square, the Palazzo Strozzi, the Ponte Vecchio, which has survived natural disasters and wars and is therefore one of the symbols of the city, the Galleria dell'Accademia, home to Michelangelo's famous David, and on the visit to Pisa, the famous tower.
To visit the Galleria dell'Accademia, you will need to select the option which includes entrance tickets. Otherwise, the tour includes the return trip in an air-conditioned bus, but not lunch.
How to book the excursion to Florence
Once you have made your booking, you will receive a confirmation email at the address you have provided. You don't need to print anything, just show up at the meeting point, greet your guide and show him/her the voucher included in the email from your mobile phone.
The guides will do the narration bilingually, i.e. simultaneously in English and Spanish. Most importantly, the guide will make sure you don't miss any of the highlights of the city.
Tips for your tour to Florence from Rome
Enjoy the sights along the way
Whichever method of transport you choose to travel to Florence from Rome, the views you will enjoy are unparalleled. You'll be able to see the Tuscan mountains and pass through some of the region's major towns such as Assisi and Orvieto.
Climb the Dome of the Duomo if you can spare the time
If you get the chance, I recommend climbing the dome of the Florence Cathedral. Not only are the views from the top breathtaking, but you will also encounter beautiful frescoes and paintings on the way up, making for a very complete experience.
Taste the local cuisine
Florence also elevates gastronomy to the status of art, so keep your eyes peeled as you pass through the city's markets and restaurants. Florentine bread, and in particular Schiacciata, a kind of focaccia, is a real treat. And you've probably heard of Florentine steak, a dish you won't want to miss with a good Tuscan wine.
Taste the best coffee in Florence
If you want to have a coffee after lunch or at sunset, visit the Caffetteria delle Oblate: it's a rooftop café on the roof of a public library with a beautiful view of the Cathedral.
Get around on foot
Don't even bother using public transport: Florence is a perfect city to walk around, especially if your walk ends at the Ponte Vecchio where you can watch a wonderful sunset over the Arno River. Since you're going to walk, remember to wear comfortable shoes: you'll be thankful you wore trainers.
Visit the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens
If you have time to spare in Florence, I recommend a visit to the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens behind the palace, where you will see an open-air theatre, a fountain dedicated to Neptune and numerous statues.
Wear warm clothes in winter
I recommend wearing warm layers especially if you visit Florence in winter (between November and April) and although the weather is very warm in summer it can get a little chilly in the evenings. In general, the temperature in the city is not very changeable.
Marvel at the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo)
Florence' s grand cathedral is a proud symbol of the city and its dome is a testament to the artistic and technical greatness of Brunelleschi, who devised a new architectural structure to create a double vault, which can be visited on a tour of the Duomo.
The interior of the Cathedral is a place like no other, and conveys a sense of infinity as you gaze up at the impressive frescoed dome.
The Duomo in its entirety is the most important visit to make in Florence, to admire the cathedral, baptistery and bell tower as a whole.
Breathe in history at the Palazzo and Ponte Vecchio
A visit to the Palazzo Vecchio is worthwhile only for the famous Salone dei Cinquecento, a spectacular picture gallery where paintings by Vasari are preserved and where you can admire the grandeur of Florence in the Medici era. This salon was home to the court of Duke Cosimo I, his Council, made up of five hundred members.
It is not only in the Salone dei Cinquecento that you will find jaw-dropping works of art, the entire Palazzo contains an overwhelming artistic collection and rooms of great interest such as the Hall of Geographical Maps, and you can find artefacts unique in the world, such as the death mask of the poet Dante Alighieri.
Of course, the exterior of the Palazzo Vecchio and its surroundings make for an unforgettable walk, especially along the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge that throughout its history has been an important commercial hub in the city of Florence, and which during the Second World War was left intact by German artillery, according to legend, on the express orders of Adolf Hitler.
Visit the David in the Galleria dell'Accademia
I don't know anyone who has travelled to Florence without visiting Michelangelo's David. Not only is it one of the most important sculptural works of the Renaissance, it is also a very good excuse to visit an impressive museum dedicated to this historical period. That's why you can book an excursion to Florence and Pisa from Rome with tickets to the Galleria dell'Accademia included.
In this gallery you can see numerous works of art such as religious triptychs, a lush sculpture room filled with busts and even admire original musical instruments from the period.
Stroll through the Piazza della Signoria
This is the most important square in Florence, the centre of the city's public life, where you'll find plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, and sculptures (including a copy of Michelangelo's David, right on the spot where the original sculpture originally stood).
The Fountain of Neptune is another architectural marvel in the square, along with major buildings such as the Merchant's Court, Palazzo Uguccioni and the Loggia della Signoria, a Gothic-style portico that now serves as an open-air museum sheltering the sculptures in the square.
Be sure to visit Santa Maria Novella
This Latin cross church concentrates much of its beauty on its façade, one of the most important architectural works of the Florentine Renaissance. Inspired by one of the oldest basilicas in Tuscany, San Miniato al Monte, the church of Santa Maria Novella elevates the two-coloured marble motif to unparalleled beauty.
Inside the church, you can admire a number of Renaissance paintings and visit the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, the oldest in Europe, built in the early 13th century.
Other activities that may interest you
While in Rome, you can take advantage of your stay to make a number of excursions to other cities and regions. Before deciding on one, I recommend you read our tips here: The 9 best excursions from Rome.
And if you're the type of person who likes to have things clear, I recommend you not to look around and take a trip to Pompeii, where you can see the ravages of Vesuvius and look out of a window to Ancient Rome. Read all about it here: Pompeii Day Trips from Rome.
Now, let's enjoy Florence! It's a city that has so much to add to your trip to Italy and the perfect complement to Rome, and wandering its charming streets will leave you with some memories you won't forget.