The Ultimate Insider Guide to Florence
After living in Florence for three months, it is easy to say that it is our favorite in Europe (we might be biased). Getting lost of the history, architecture, and culture that this city offers is something we could do forever. In this guide, we’ll be sharing our favorite spots, activities, and hidden gems throughout Florence, and we will do our best to keep this guide as concise and valuable as possible. Enjoy and happy travels!
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Food and Drink:

The best thing about Florence? Endless pizza, pasta, panini, and gelato. Below are some of my favorites:

Quick and Easy Eats:

Mercato Centrale (€):

Mercato Centrale
@andrewandbrenna
Mercato Centrale in Florence is a vibrant culinary haven, offering two stories of amazing, fresh food. There is truly an eclectic array of gourmet delights making it a food lover's paradise. From delectable Italian dishes to artisanal specialties, visitors can indulge in a diverse range of flavors amidst a lively and authentic market atmosphere.
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Pino's Sandwiches (€):

Pino's Sandwiches - Salumeria Verdi
@andrewandbrenna
Pino's is by far the best place in Florence for a sandwich. Hundreds of people everyday choose to wait in line for the Instagram-famous sandwiches, when this gem is less than a five minute walk away. Pino's offers over 25 different types of sandwiches, all customizable and made to order. The best part? Pino makes them himself. Throughout my three months in Florence, I went here almost every other day. Each time I went, Pino and his family welcomed me with smiling faces, ready to craft whatever I requested.
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Pizza Napoli 1955 (€):

Pizza Napoli 1955
@andrewandbrenna
Pizza Napoli is best for a quick, easy, and affordable pizza. This spot offers table service, but you can also order your pizza to-go. Aside from Gustapizza (where wait times can exceed two hours), this pizza is the best in town. Our favorite thing to do is order to-go and take a two minute walk to Piazza della Signoria to indulge.
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La Milkeria (€):

La Milkeria
@andrewandbrenna
Breakfast in Florence is essentially non-existant, unless you're only craving a croissant and a cappuccino. La Milkeria offers a wide-variety of breakfast favorites for an affordable price. The BEC bagels will remind you of New York, and the crepes will make you feel like you're in Paris.
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Full-Service Restaurants:

Osteria Pastella (€€€):

Osteria Pastella
@andrewandbrenna
Must go. Osteria Pastella is rated one of the best in Florence for a reason. This option can become a little pricey, but the food is to die for. Home of the best pasta, Osteria Pastella will have you dreaming of their truffle cheese-wheel pasta, cooking right in front of you. Plus, Osteria Pastella allowed you to hand-pick your Florentine steak, and it was cooked to perfection. If you're dying to try this novelty steak, Osteria Pastella is the place to do it. Reservations are needed.
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Osteria Filetto d'Oro (€€):

Osteria Filetto d'Oro
@andrewandbrenna
Osteria Filetto d'Oro is the perfect hole in the wall restaurant. With a wide selection of wine, fresh made pasta, and a beautiful ambiance inside, this restaurant is perfect for a casual night out.
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Golden View (€€€€):

Golden View Firenze
@andrewandbrenna
Sitting right on the Arno River, Golden View offers a luxurious take on classic Florentine dishes. Illuminated by the sunlight that reflects on the river, a particular golden light at certain times of the day, resulting in the perfect name for this upscale restaurant.
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Ristorante Boccadama (€€):

Ristorante Boccadama
@andrewandbrenna
Ristorante Boccadama is located in the beautiful Piazza di Santa Croce. This restaurant is very casual and perfect for an affordable dinner. Enjoy a seat outside with a beautiful view and a lively environment.
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La Vespe Cafè (€€):

Le Vespe Cafè
@andrewandbrenna
As mentioned earlier, breakfast in Florence is sparce. La Vespe is a perfect option if you're craving that traditional American breakfast. This cafè is a hotspot, so be prepared for a potential wait.
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Bars and Pubs:

Vanilla Club - Speakeasy
@andrewandbrenna
The Vanilla Club is possibly the most exclusive bar that is open to the public. This hidden speakeasy has no signs on the street, and guests need clues and a password to get in. Entry is strict. When we discovered the Vanilla Club, we were in a local bar called Fuk, and we noticed a package of matches that were labeled "Vanilla Club" with an address. Upon asking the owner what the Vanilla Club was, he handed us a statue of a golden pig. We were given the password, exact location, and told to present the pig upon entry. This bar also has no menu, so the bartender asks for your preferences before crafting you a custom cocktail. Information and clues on the Vanilla Club can be found sites such as Reddit or Instagram. This bar was a personal favorite and must-try.
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Pub Dragonfly
@andrewandbrenna
Dragonfly is an industrial steampunk themed bar with a great variety of drinks. Their liquid tiramisu cocktail is a different take on the classic Italian dessert, but is definitely a personal favorite. This bar also offers outdoor seating.
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View on Art Rooftop Cocktail Bar
@andrewandbrenna
View on Art is the most popular rooftop bar in Florence. This bar offers a stunning view of the Duomo and surrounding landmarks. The drink menu isn't the best as it is very limited, but the view is hard to beat.
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The Lion's Fountain
@andrewandbrenna
The Lion's Fountain is arguably the most American spot in town. This sports pub offers classic bar food and drinks. Lion's Fountain is also the #1 spot for Americans who are studying abroad in Florence.
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Kikuya Pub
@andrewandbrenna
Kikuya is presented as a typical English-style pub. With bar food and a large selection of draft beer, Kikuya is the perfect place to unwind after a long day.
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Nightlife and Clubs:

Flo Lounge Bar
@andrewandbrenna
Located beside Piazzale Michelangelo, Flo offers a vibe that is hard to beat. Although this spot is only opened during the summer months, Flo is a spacious club with a classy appeal and a beautiful view overlooking Florence.
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Space Club
@andrewandbrenna
Space Club is a three-story venue in the heart of Florence. On weekend nights, lines down two or three blocks isn't unusual. But once you make it inside, you'll thank yourself. Space offers an upbeat dance floor, as well as a spacious lounge with a variety of seating.
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Villa Vittoria Firenze
@andrewandbrenna
Villa Vittoria is an upscale and classy spot located on the outskirts of Florence. There is a large list of cocktails as well as hookah and made-to-order seafood. Open until three in the morning, this club has a traditional Florentine vibe.
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Babylon Club
@andrewandbrenna
Babylon is a low-key underground haven located in the city center. Although its five rooms can feel small, the younger crowd that it attracts has an energy that constantly through the roof. There is a wide variety of EDM and house music played at Babylon.
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Red Garter
@andrewandbrenna
If karaoke is your thing, this is the place to be. Red Garter offers three unique rooms, one of which operates with a full bar menu. The karaoke is constantly going all night and theres always a crowd to sing along with you.
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Gelato:

La Carraia in Santa Croce
@andrewandbrenna
During my time in Florence, La Carraia was my second home. I would purchase gelato daily and was always greeted by the owner with a smile of enthusiasm. A personal favorite from here is the strawberry gelato or the granita al limone.
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Vivoli
@andrewandbrenna
Vivoli is a Florence staple. This traditional shop is everything that you imagine when you picture an Italian gelato store. They offer over 40 flavors of gelato, coffee, and the best affogato you will ever have.
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Gelateria dei Neri
@andrewandbrenna
Gelateria dei Neri is arguably the most famous shop in town. They often have a line out the door and it is worth the wait. This gelato shop offers over 40 different unique flavors.
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Florence Staples:

All’Antico Vinaio
@andrewandbrenna
You know the viral videos of an Italian sandwich shop that people will wait up to four hours for? This is the one. When I lived in Florence, it was rare to see a line that wasn't wrapped around the block. The sandwich is good, but there are much better options all throughout the city.
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Gustapizza
@andrewandbrenna
For being voted best pizza in the world by Guy Fieri, Gustapizza lives up to the hype. Although waiting for a table can take up to two hours, the burrata pizza is worth it every single time.
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Activities:

Florence is commonly referred to as "The Birthplace of the Renaissance". This makes Florence one of the richest places for history, art, and architecture. The activities below will give you a glimpse of what's waiting for you:

Free Things To Do:

Ponte Vecchio
@andrewandbrenna
The Ponte Vecchio is one of the few bridges connecting Florence's north and south sides. Featuring three arches and two rows of shops along its sides, this bridge is home to over 20 luxury jewelry designers. The Ponte Vecchio is a popular tourist attraction, known for its picturesque setting and historical significance, representing the beauty of Florence's medieval architecture and heritage.
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Piazzale Michelangelo
@andrewandbrenna
Piazzale Michelangelo is a famous square that overlooks Florence. This space offers panoramic views of the city's skyline and iconic landmarks, including the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. There are many vendors and eateries around making it the perfect place to catch a beautiful sunset over Florence. If you choose to sit on the steps (where hundreds of tourists watch the sunset every night), watch out for the fake newlyweds. After visiting Piazzale Michelangelo over ten times, there is always a couple who show up mid-sunset to take "wedding photos" in their full wedding attire. After taking pictures with the crowd and receiving applause, they will go around and ask for donations. Don't fall for this tourist trap!
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Giardino dell'Iris
@andrewandbrenna
Located beside Piazzale Michelangelo, this garden is a perfect place for a picnic or simply sit and overlook the city. Admission is free and it is open from dawn-dusk. There is also a rose garden located on the opposite side that can tend to get a little busier.
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Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio
@andrewandbrenna
Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio is a marketplace located in a small neighborhood on Florence's east side. This market is not a common tourist spots, but is definitely the most traditional Italian market in town. Vendors offer a wide selection of meats, cheese, coffee, and more.
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The Big Four Basilicas of Florence:

Florence fun fact: The city of Florence was split into four geographical quarters in the early 1400's. Known as San Miniato, Santa Maria Novella, Santo Spirito, and Santa Croce, these four quarters represented neighborhoods within the city and are represented by their own basilica. Basilica translates to church, making it the best spot for the "headquarters" of these neighborhoods back in the day. Upon the birth of these four quarters came the birth of Calcio Storico. Calcio Storico is an ancient game played by Florentines that has carried on into modern day. The game is played similar to rugby or football, but there are essentially no rules as far as fighting and getting physical. There are four teams (one team per basilica) and the winner is declared "ruling neighborhood of Florence" for the next year. Calcio Storico is a fascinating sport to watch, and the annual tournament normally takes place in the end of June. If you are visiting during this time, it is definitely worth checking out. For more on Calcio Storico, watch the video here: https://youtu.be/1_bMrTysuJs

Below are the four churches of the respected participating neighborhoods:

Basilica di San Miniato
@andrewandbrenna
Basilica di San Miniato is one of Florence's big four churches. San Miniato is by far the most overlooked of the four. Sitting atop Piazzale Michelangelo, this church hosts one of the best views of the city, as well as a graveyard where you can find the graves of famous Italian artists, architects, and philosophers. Entry into the church is free.
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Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
@andrewandbrenna
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella is one of Florence's big four churches. Santa Maria Novella is located directly in front of Florence's main train station. There is a large piazza located in front of the basilica, where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a scoop of gelato. Admission into the church is free.
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Basilica di Santo Spirito
@andrewandbrenna
Basilica di Santo Spirito is unfortunately the most underwhelming of the big four churches. Santo Spirito is located on the south side of the Arno river right next to the popular Gustapizza. Admission into Santo Spirito is free.
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Santa Croce
@andrewandbrenna
Although admission into Santa Croce isn't free, it is the one basilica I recommend everyone visits during their time in Florence. Inside the church you will find walls covered in stained glass and traditional Italian art, but the best part about this church are the tombs. There are burial sites located all throughout the church, with the most notable ones being the tomb of Galileo and the tomb of Michelangelo. Santa Croce also holds the annual Calcio Storico tournament. Admission into the church starts at €8.
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Cheap Things To Do:

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
@andrewandbrenna
More commonly referred to as the Duomo, this church is the highlight of Florence and sits directly in the city's center. Adorned with intricate facades, sculptures, and stunning stained glass windows, the Duomo stands as a symbol of Florence's rich history, art, and cultural heritage. Tickets are available to visit the inside, climb to the top, climb the tower next door, or visit the Baptistery of St. John next door. Tickets are available as a package or as low as €25. It is recommended that you book in advance as tickets sell out daily.
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Accademia Gallery
@andrewandbrenna
The Accademia Gallery is an art museum renowned for housing an impressive collection of masterpieces from various artists. It is most famous for being the home of Michelangelo's iconic sculpture of David. Tours are available for easier access, and general admission tickets begin at €13 for visitors from outside of the EU.
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Palazzo Vecchio
@andrewandbrenna
Palazzo Vecchio is the most famous palace in Florence, known as the original home of the Medici family during the beginning of their ruling. Before the family took over the Pitti Palace, Palazzo Vecchio was known to be the center of Florence, as this palace held the city's town hall and only government offices. Today, this palace is open to visitors to admire the original rooms of the Medici's, as well as the artwork and collections that the family owned.
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GetYourGuide's Combo Ticket:

Getyourguide.com offers a combo ticket for the next three locations that are listed (Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, and the Uffizi). Tickets begin at €55 for all three. The link to order combo tickets is below:

Pitti Palace
@andrewandbrenna
The Pitti Palace is a Tuscan residence built in the mid-1400's. Most commonly known as the home of the Medici's, the palace was used as their main residence starting 1549. Today, the Pitti Palace holds over 20 rooms of artwork that was owned by the Medici's and offers guests a glimpse into the life of royalty.
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The Boboli Gardens
@andrewandbrenna
Located directly behind the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens is best known for its luscious greenery and stunning views that overlook the city. These 111 acres of beauty are perfect for a picnic or a day to escape the city.
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Uffizi Gallery
@andrewandbrenna
The Uffizi is the best known museum in Florence for one main reason: the abundance of iconic artwork it holds. Featuring The Birth of Venus and Doni Tondo, the Uffizi is simply just royal halls lined with masterpieces.
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Gucci Garden
@andrewandbrenna
Founded in Florence in 1921, Gucci has quickly grown to be the most well-known designer brand around the world. The Gucci Garden offers visitors unique experience that combines fashion, art, and history, including various rooms that showcase the company's seasonal collections over the years. Exclusive merchandise is available for purchase in the Gucci Garden store. Tickets to the Gucci Garden begin at €8.
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All-day Activities:

E - Bikes Florence
@andrewandbrenna
E-Bikes Florence was an activity recommended to me by a friend, and is now my #1 recommendation to anyone spending 3+ days in Florence. This e-bike company provides e-bike rentals to guests who are looking for a taste of what's out there to explore outside city limits. This e-bike tour is a self-guided tour that takes guests 22 miles around the outskirts and countrysides of Florence. The tour takes guests through four neighboring towns, two wineries, and the winding hills of Tuscany. This tour can be intimidating, but with the motor of the e-bike, riding up and down hills comes with ease. This bike tour is my #1 recommendation to anyone looking for a taste of true Tuscany.
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Castello di Verrazzano
@andrewandbrenna
Castello di Verrazzano is one of the most well-known vineyards in Tuscany for two reasons: the wide selection of wine produced here, and the stunning panoramic views of Tuscany. Castello di Verrazzano also offers a wide selection of their own Chianti wine, a type of wine strictly produced in Tuscany. Tours of their winery, tastings and pairings are available for purchase. Tours of the winery begin at €28 per person.
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Antinori nel Chianti Classico
@andrewandbrenna
Antinori nel Chianti Classico is a luxury winery located in Tuscany, and is most well-known for being the creators and top producers of Chianti. The Antinori family has been in the wine industry since the last 1400's, producing the first high-quality Chianti wines. Today, the Antinori keeps their reputation as being one of the best wine producers in the world. Because of the reputation that this winery upholds, Antinori nel Chianti Classico only offers private tours, tastings, and pairings. There is a restaurant and shop open to the public. Private tours are priced beginning at €600 for a group of four.
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Pisa
@andrewandbrenna
Pisa a great destination, but I don't see it possible spending more than one day here. Pisa is only an hour train ride from Florence, and the perfect landmark to cross off your bucket list. For my guide on spending a day in Pisa, click below:
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Cinque Terre
@andrewandbrenna
Contrary to popular opinion, covering Cinque Terre is possible within a single day-trip from Florence. Catching the first train out and the last train back is key. Try to avoid regional trains as they can take 4x as long due to the amount of stops made. For my guide on Cinque Terre click below:
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Bologna
@andrewandbrenna
Bologna is a beautiful city only 45 minutes away from Florence. I don't see it possible spending more than a day or two here, which is why I recommend using Bologna as a day trip. For my guide on spending a day in Bologna, click below:
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Siena
@andrewandbrenna
Siena is a magical city tucked away in the hills of Tuscany. Siene can be reached by bus or train, and is only an hour away from Florence. Siena is the perfect location to spend a few days if you are looking to spend some time adventuring through Tuscany, but for this guide's sake, Siena is also a perfect day trip from Florence. For my guide on spending a day in Siena, click below:
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Lucca
@andrewandbrenna
Small Tuscan city, Lucca is well known for its medieval city walls that encircle the whole city. A must-see stop on the Tuscan itinerary and a perfect day-trip from Florence.
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If you are planning a trip to Florence or Italy in general, feel free to contact us via Instagram with any questions or concerns. We'd be happy to help!

Feel free to check out all of our guides on Italy here:

Thank you for reading through this guide and happy traveling!

* * *
CURATED BY
Hi! We’re Andrew and Brenna. We are originally from Orlando, Florida, and are taking this next year to drive through the United States in our Ram Promaster! Over the past four years, we have visited over 25 states in the U.S. and were given the opportunity to live in Italy for three months during the summer of 2022. We enjoy sharing our experiences with others, and our guides provide information that allows others to do the same. We offer custom services and have dozens of FREE guides on the places we've been. Feel free to reach out to us via Instagram with any questions regarding our guides or services. We are happy to help!
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The Ultimate Insider Guide to Florence
After living in Florence for three months, it is easy to say that it is our favorite in Europe (we might be biased). Getting lost of the history, architecture, and culture that this city offers is something we could do forever. In this guide, we’ll be sharing our favorite spots, activities, and hidden gems throughout Florence, and we will do our best to keep this guide as concise and valuable as possible. Enjoy and happy travels!
48 Places • 24 Saves • ago
Free
Add to
Details

Food and Drink:

The best thing about Florence? Endless pizza, pasta, panini, and gelato. Below are some of my favorites:

Quick and Easy Eats:

Mercato Centrale (€):

Mercato Centrale
@andrewandbrenna
Mercato Centrale in Florence is a vibrant culinary haven, offering two stories of amazing, fresh food. There is truly an eclectic array of gourmet delights making it a food lover's paradise. From delectable Italian dishes to artisanal specialties, visitors can indulge in a diverse range of flavors amidst a lively and authentic market atmosphere.
Add to
Details

Pino's Sandwiches (€):

Pino's Sandwiches - Salumeria Verdi
@andrewandbrenna
Pino's is by far the best place in Florence for a sandwich. Hundreds of people everyday choose to wait in line for the Instagram-famous sandwiches, when this gem is less than a five minute walk away. Pino's offers over 25 different types of sandwiches, all customizable and made to order. The best part? Pino makes them himself. Throughout my three months in Florence, I went here almost every other day. Each time I went, Pino and his family welcomed me with smiling faces, ready to craft whatever I requested.
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Pizza Napoli 1955 (€):

Pizza Napoli 1955
@andrewandbrenna
Pizza Napoli is best for a quick, easy, and affordable pizza. This spot offers table service, but you can also order your pizza to-go. Aside from Gustapizza (where wait times can exceed two hours), this pizza is the best in town. Our favorite thing to do is order to-go and take a two minute walk to Piazza della Signoria to indulge.
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La Milkeria (€):

La Milkeria
@andrewandbrenna
Breakfast in Florence is essentially non-existant, unless you're only craving a croissant and a cappuccino. La Milkeria offers a wide-variety of breakfast favorites for an affordable price. The BEC bagels will remind you of New York, and the crepes will make you feel like you're in Paris.
Add to
Details

Full-Service Restaurants:

Osteria Pastella (€€€):

Osteria Pastella
@andrewandbrenna
Must go. Osteria Pastella is rated one of the best in Florence for a reason. This option can become a little pricey, but the food is to die for. Home of the best pasta, Osteria Pastella will have you dreaming of their truffle cheese-wheel pasta, cooking right in front of you. Plus, Osteria Pastella allowed you to hand-pick your Florentine steak, and it was cooked to perfection. If you're dying to try this novelty steak, Osteria Pastella is the place to do it. Reservations are needed.
Add to
Details

Osteria Filetto d'Oro (€€):

Osteria Filetto d'Oro
@andrewandbrenna
Osteria Filetto d'Oro is the perfect hole in the wall restaurant. With a wide selection of wine, fresh made pasta, and a beautiful ambiance inside, this restaurant is perfect for a casual night out.
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Details

Golden View (€€€€):

Golden View Firenze
@andrewandbrenna
Sitting right on the Arno River, Golden View offers a luxurious take on classic Florentine dishes. Illuminated by the sunlight that reflects on the river, a particular golden light at certain times of the day, resulting in the perfect name for this upscale restaurant.
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Ristorante Boccadama (€€):

Ristorante Boccadama
@andrewandbrenna
Ristorante Boccadama is located in the beautiful Piazza di Santa Croce. This restaurant is very casual and perfect for an affordable dinner. Enjoy a seat outside with a beautiful view and a lively environment.
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La Vespe Cafè (€€):

Le Vespe Cafè
@andrewandbrenna
As mentioned earlier, breakfast in Florence is sparce. La Vespe is a perfect option if you're craving that traditional American breakfast. This cafè is a hotspot, so be prepared for a potential wait.
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Bars and Pubs:

Vanilla Club - Speakeasy
@andrewandbrenna
The Vanilla Club is possibly the most exclusive bar that is open to the public. This hidden speakeasy has no signs on the street, and guests need clues and a password to get in. Entry is strict. When we discovered the Vanilla Club, we were in a local bar called Fuk, and we noticed a package of matches that were labeled "Vanilla Club" with an address. Upon asking the owner what the Vanilla Club was, he handed us a statue of a golden pig. We were given the password, exact location, and told to present the pig upon entry. This bar also has no menu, so the bartender asks for your preferences before crafting you a custom cocktail. Information and clues on the Vanilla Club can be found sites such as Reddit or Instagram. This bar was a personal favorite and must-try.
Add to
Details
Pub Dragonfly
@andrewandbrenna
Dragonfly is an industrial steampunk themed bar with a great variety of drinks. Their liquid tiramisu cocktail is a different take on the classic Italian dessert, but is definitely a personal favorite. This bar also offers outdoor seating.
Add to
Details
View on Art Rooftop Cocktail Bar
@andrewandbrenna
View on Art is the most popular rooftop bar in Florence. This bar offers a stunning view of the Duomo and surrounding landmarks. The drink menu isn't the best as it is very limited, but the view is hard to beat.
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The Lion's Fountain
@andrewandbrenna
The Lion's Fountain is arguably the most American spot in town. This sports pub offers classic bar food and drinks. Lion's Fountain is also the #1 spot for Americans who are studying abroad in Florence.
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Kikuya Pub
@andrewandbrenna
Kikuya is presented as a typical English-style pub. With bar food and a large selection of draft beer, Kikuya is the perfect place to unwind after a long day.
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Nightlife and Clubs:

Flo Lounge Bar
@andrewandbrenna
Located beside Piazzale Michelangelo, Flo offers a vibe that is hard to beat. Although this spot is only opened during the summer months, Flo is a spacious club with a classy appeal and a beautiful view overlooking Florence.
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Space Club
@andrewandbrenna
Space Club is a three-story venue in the heart of Florence. On weekend nights, lines down two or three blocks isn't unusual. But once you make it inside, you'll thank yourself. Space offers an upbeat dance floor, as well as a spacious lounge with a variety of seating.
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Details
Villa Vittoria Firenze
@andrewandbrenna
Villa Vittoria is an upscale and classy spot located on the outskirts of Florence. There is a large list of cocktails as well as hookah and made-to-order seafood. Open until three in the morning, this club has a traditional Florentine vibe.
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Details
Babylon Club
@andrewandbrenna
Babylon is a low-key underground haven located in the city center. Although its five rooms can feel small, the younger crowd that it attracts has an energy that constantly through the roof. There is a wide variety of EDM and house music played at Babylon.
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Red Garter
@andrewandbrenna
If karaoke is your thing, this is the place to be. Red Garter offers three unique rooms, one of which operates with a full bar menu. The karaoke is constantly going all night and theres always a crowd to sing along with you.
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Details

Gelato:

La Carraia in Santa Croce
@andrewandbrenna
During my time in Florence, La Carraia was my second home. I would purchase gelato daily and was always greeted by the owner with a smile of enthusiasm. A personal favorite from here is the strawberry gelato or the granita al limone.
Add to
Details
Vivoli
@andrewandbrenna
Vivoli is a Florence staple. This traditional shop is everything that you imagine when you picture an Italian gelato store. They offer over 40 flavors of gelato, coffee, and the best affogato you will ever have.
Add to
Details
Gelateria dei Neri
@andrewandbrenna
Gelateria dei Neri is arguably the most famous shop in town. They often have a line out the door and it is worth the wait. This gelato shop offers over 40 different unique flavors.
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Details

Florence Staples:

All’Antico Vinaio
@andrewandbrenna
You know the viral videos of an Italian sandwich shop that people will wait up to four hours for? This is the one. When I lived in Florence, it was rare to see a line that wasn't wrapped around the block. The sandwich is good, but there are much better options all throughout the city.
Add to
Details
Gustapizza
@andrewandbrenna
For being voted best pizza in the world by Guy Fieri, Gustapizza lives up to the hype. Although waiting for a table can take up to two hours, the burrata pizza is worth it every single time.
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Activities:

Florence is commonly referred to as "The Birthplace of the Renaissance". This makes Florence one of the richest places for history, art, and architecture. The activities below will give you a glimpse of what's waiting for you:

Free Things To Do:

Ponte Vecchio
@andrewandbrenna
The Ponte Vecchio is one of the few bridges connecting Florence's north and south sides. Featuring three arches and two rows of shops along its sides, this bridge is home to over 20 luxury jewelry designers. The Ponte Vecchio is a popular tourist attraction, known for its picturesque setting and historical significance, representing the beauty of Florence's medieval architecture and heritage.
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Piazzale Michelangelo
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Piazzale Michelangelo is a famous square that overlooks Florence. This space offers panoramic views of the city's skyline and iconic landmarks, including the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. There are many vendors and eateries around making it the perfect place to catch a beautiful sunset over Florence. If you choose to sit on the steps (where hundreds of tourists watch the sunset every night), watch out for the fake newlyweds. After visiting Piazzale Michelangelo over ten times, there is always a couple who show up mid-sunset to take "wedding photos" in their full wedding attire. After taking pictures with the crowd and receiving applause, they will go around and ask for donations. Don't fall for this tourist trap!
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Giardino dell'Iris
@andrewandbrenna
Located beside Piazzale Michelangelo, this garden is a perfect place for a picnic or simply sit and overlook the city. Admission is free and it is open from dawn-dusk. There is also a rose garden located on the opposite side that can tend to get a little busier.
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Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio
@andrewandbrenna
Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio is a marketplace located in a small neighborhood on Florence's east side. This market is not a common tourist spots, but is definitely the most traditional Italian market in town. Vendors offer a wide selection of meats, cheese, coffee, and more.
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The Big Four Basilicas of Florence:

Florence fun fact: The city of Florence was split into four geographical quarters in the early 1400's. Known as San Miniato, Santa Maria Novella, Santo Spirito, and Santa Croce, these four quarters represented neighborhoods within the city and are represented by their own basilica. Basilica translates to church, making it the best spot for the "headquarters" of these neighborhoods back in the day. Upon the birth of these four quarters came the birth of Calcio Storico. Calcio Storico is an ancient game played by Florentines that has carried on into modern day. The game is played similar to rugby or football, but there are essentially no rules as far as fighting and getting physical. There are four teams (one team per basilica) and the winner is declared "ruling neighborhood of Florence" for the next year. Calcio Storico is a fascinating sport to watch, and the annual tournament normally takes place in the end of June. If you are visiting during this time, it is definitely worth checking out. For more on Calcio Storico, watch the video here: https://youtu.be/1_bMrTysuJs

Below are the four churches of the respected participating neighborhoods:

Basilica di San Miniato
@andrewandbrenna
Basilica di San Miniato is one of Florence's big four churches. San Miniato is by far the most overlooked of the four. Sitting atop Piazzale Michelangelo, this church hosts one of the best views of the city, as well as a graveyard where you can find the graves of famous Italian artists, architects, and philosophers. Entry into the church is free.
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Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
@andrewandbrenna
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella is one of Florence's big four churches. Santa Maria Novella is located directly in front of Florence's main train station. There is a large piazza located in front of the basilica, where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a scoop of gelato. Admission into the church is free.
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Basilica di Santo Spirito
@andrewandbrenna
Basilica di Santo Spirito is unfortunately the most underwhelming of the big four churches. Santo Spirito is located on the south side of the Arno river right next to the popular Gustapizza. Admission into Santo Spirito is free.
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Santa Croce
@andrewandbrenna
Although admission into Santa Croce isn't free, it is the one basilica I recommend everyone visits during their time in Florence. Inside the church you will find walls covered in stained glass and traditional Italian art, but the best part about this church are the tombs. There are burial sites located all throughout the church, with the most notable ones being the tomb of Galileo and the tomb of Michelangelo. Santa Croce also holds the annual Calcio Storico tournament. Admission into the church starts at €8.
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Cheap Things To Do:

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
@andrewandbrenna
More commonly referred to as the Duomo, this church is the highlight of Florence and sits directly in the city's center. Adorned with intricate facades, sculptures, and stunning stained glass windows, the Duomo stands as a symbol of Florence's rich history, art, and cultural heritage. Tickets are available to visit the inside, climb to the top, climb the tower next door, or visit the Baptistery of St. John next door. Tickets are available as a package or as low as €25. It is recommended that you book in advance as tickets sell out daily.
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Accademia Gallery
@andrewandbrenna
The Accademia Gallery is an art museum renowned for housing an impressive collection of masterpieces from various artists. It is most famous for being the home of Michelangelo's iconic sculpture of David. Tours are available for easier access, and general admission tickets begin at €13 for visitors from outside of the EU.
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Palazzo Vecchio
@andrewandbrenna
Palazzo Vecchio is the most famous palace in Florence, known as the original home of the Medici family during the beginning of their ruling. Before the family took over the Pitti Palace, Palazzo Vecchio was known to be the center of Florence, as this palace held the city's town hall and only government offices. Today, this palace is open to visitors to admire the original rooms of the Medici's, as well as the artwork and collections that the family owned.
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GetYourGuide's Combo Ticket:

Getyourguide.com offers a combo ticket for the next three locations that are listed (Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, and the Uffizi). Tickets begin at €55 for all three. The link to order combo tickets is below:

Pitti Palace
@andrewandbrenna
The Pitti Palace is a Tuscan residence built in the mid-1400's. Most commonly known as the home of the Medici's, the palace was used as their main residence starting 1549. Today, the Pitti Palace holds over 20 rooms of artwork that was owned by the Medici's and offers guests a glimpse into the life of royalty.
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The Boboli Gardens
@andrewandbrenna
Located directly behind the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens is best known for its luscious greenery and stunning views that overlook the city. These 111 acres of beauty are perfect for a picnic or a day to escape the city.
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Uffizi Gallery
@andrewandbrenna
The Uffizi is the best known museum in Florence for one main reason: the abundance of iconic artwork it holds. Featuring The Birth of Venus and Doni Tondo, the Uffizi is simply just royal halls lined with masterpieces.
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Gucci Garden
@andrewandbrenna
Founded in Florence in 1921, Gucci has quickly grown to be the most well-known designer brand around the world. The Gucci Garden offers visitors unique experience that combines fashion, art, and history, including various rooms that showcase the company's seasonal collections over the years. Exclusive merchandise is available for purchase in the Gucci Garden store. Tickets to the Gucci Garden begin at €8.
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All-day Activities:

E - Bikes Florence
@andrewandbrenna
E-Bikes Florence was an activity recommended to me by a friend, and is now my #1 recommendation to anyone spending 3+ days in Florence. This e-bike company provides e-bike rentals to guests who are looking for a taste of what's out there to explore outside city limits. This e-bike tour is a self-guided tour that takes guests 22 miles around the outskirts and countrysides of Florence. The tour takes guests through four neighboring towns, two wineries, and the winding hills of Tuscany. This tour can be intimidating, but with the motor of the e-bike, riding up and down hills comes with ease. This bike tour is my #1 recommendation to anyone looking for a taste of true Tuscany.
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Castello di Verrazzano
@andrewandbrenna
Castello di Verrazzano is one of the most well-known vineyards in Tuscany for two reasons: the wide selection of wine produced here, and the stunning panoramic views of Tuscany. Castello di Verrazzano also offers a wide selection of their own Chianti wine, a type of wine strictly produced in Tuscany. Tours of their winery, tastings and pairings are available for purchase. Tours of the winery begin at €28 per person.
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Antinori nel Chianti Classico
@andrewandbrenna
Antinori nel Chianti Classico is a luxury winery located in Tuscany, and is most well-known for being the creators and top producers of Chianti. The Antinori family has been in the wine industry since the last 1400's, producing the first high-quality Chianti wines. Today, the Antinori keeps their reputation as being one of the best wine producers in the world. Because of the reputation that this winery upholds, Antinori nel Chianti Classico only offers private tours, tastings, and pairings. There is a restaurant and shop open to the public. Private tours are priced beginning at €600 for a group of four.
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Pisa
@andrewandbrenna
Pisa a great destination, but I don't see it possible spending more than one day here. Pisa is only an hour train ride from Florence, and the perfect landmark to cross off your bucket list. For my guide on spending a day in Pisa, click below:
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Cinque Terre
@andrewandbrenna
Contrary to popular opinion, covering Cinque Terre is possible within a single day-trip from Florence. Catching the first train out and the last train back is key. Try to avoid regional trains as they can take 4x as long due to the amount of stops made. For my guide on Cinque Terre click below:
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Bologna
@andrewandbrenna
Bologna is a beautiful city only 45 minutes away from Florence. I don't see it possible spending more than a day or two here, which is why I recommend using Bologna as a day trip. For my guide on spending a day in Bologna, click below:
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Siena
@andrewandbrenna
Siena is a magical city tucked away in the hills of Tuscany. Siene can be reached by bus or train, and is only an hour away from Florence. Siena is the perfect location to spend a few days if you are looking to spend some time adventuring through Tuscany, but for this guide's sake, Siena is also a perfect day trip from Florence. For my guide on spending a day in Siena, click below:
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Lucca
@andrewandbrenna
Small Tuscan city, Lucca is well known for its medieval city walls that encircle the whole city. A must-see stop on the Tuscan itinerary and a perfect day-trip from Florence.
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If you are planning a trip to Florence or Italy in general, feel free to contact us via Instagram with any questions or concerns. We'd be happy to help!

Feel free to check out all of our guides on Italy here:

Thank you for reading through this guide and happy traveling!

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CURATED BY
Hi! We’re Andrew and Brenna. We are originally from Orlando, Florida, and are taking this next year to drive through the United States in our Ram Promaster! Over the past four years, we have visited over 25 states in the U.S. and were given the opportunity to live in Italy for three months during the summer of 2022. We enjoy sharing our experiences with others, and our guides provide information that allows others to do the same. We offer custom services and have dozens of FREE guides on the places we've been. Feel free to reach out to us via Instagram with any questions regarding our guides or services. We are happy to help!
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