A Romantic 2 Day Itinerary for Couples
How to See the Best of Florence in 2 Days
After a fascinating stay in the city of Rome, many couples are thrilled to continue their adventure in Italy. Oftentimes, the next stop on their itinerary is Florence, and most people choose to travel there from Rome via the train.
How far is Florence from Rome?
It is 270kms by car from Rome to Florence and around 3 hours drive time.
Train is the most popular mode of transportation because it is quicker ( only 1.5 hours) and it allows couples the chance to relax, relive their favourite Rome moments, and enjoy the picturesque views as they travel through the glorious countryside. For train schedule information, we suggest you utilize the Italian railway website.
Is Two Days in Florence Enough?
First time couples to Florence should be aware that it is impossible to see everything in one trip. This 2 day romantic itinerary will have you wanting to revisit Florence over and over again.
Day 1 | Let the Tour Begin | Visit The Heart of Florence | One Day in Florence
Upon arriving in Florence, head directly to your hotel – check in and freshen up before venturing out for the best hot chocolate at Caffe Rivoire. The café overlooks Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza Signoria, a very romantic area to begin your 2 days in Florence. Take a stroll across one of Florence’s great icons, Ponte Vecchio (meaning old bridge), and take in the view from the famous medieval three arch bridge over the Arno River.
Best Museums in Florence | Home of the Statue of David
The Uffizi gallery is the busiest building in the entire city, remaining open at certain times of the year until 10pm in the evening. Nearly all museums in Florence are closed on Mondays and there is no single ticket that can be used for all museums.
Pre-booking a ticket to see the original statue of David at Galleria dell ‘Accademia is essential unless you are prepared to stand in line for hours. It is possible to reserve your tickets online with Viator. Skip the Lines | Reserve your tickets to see the Statue of David before you visit.
Florence Italy Attractions | Florence Food and Leather Markets
The famous Florence leather and food markets (Mercato Centrale) are within walking distance of Galleria dell ‘Accademia and other attractions. Mercato Centrale indoor market’ centre’s around food, while the outdoor market stalls that surround the Mercato Centrale building, is where you will find the famous genuine Italian leather goods and hundreds of other stalls selling everything from pottery to poetry.
Where to Stay in Florence | Hotel Brunelleschi
There are numerous luxury hotels throughout this city, but one of the best and reasonably priced ones is the Hotel Brunelleschi. This romantic and well-appointed hotel (one block from the Duomo) can be found down a tiny street away from the busyness – yet located within the centre of Florence.
It makes for an excellent base for those couples who want to wander around on foot. Many fabulous attractions are within easy reach from this luxurious hotel in a short amount of time.
The Hotel Cellai roof terrace overlooks Florence’s rooftops and rambling hills. This gorgeous hotel also features original paintings and antiques in its many reading rooms and relaxing lounges.
Guests can listen to jazz music in the library in the honesty bar and enjoy the contemporary art exhibitions on site monthly.
Each of the guest rooms is individually decorated with warm colours, and is equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, and Wi-Fi access. The style is classic, with wooden or carpeted floors, and elegant furniture.
Buffet breakfast is served at the light of a candle, in the former workshop of a famous local sculptor. Free bicycles are available at the 24-hour reception.
Day 1 | Start with Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore | Two Days in Florence
One of the first things couples love to do in Florence is visit one of the greatest cathedrals in the world. The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore was constructed at the end of the 13th century, but the famous dome was not added until the 15th century.
Couples must go to the famous Duomo, because the views from the top are extraordinary. Of course, the journey to the top is not easy, as there are four hundred and sixty-four steps to climb, but the cupola climb is worthwhile. It is best to book your tickets in advance to avoid any long lines.
Picture Perfect Florence Italy
There are a ridiculous number of instagrammable places in Florence and one of the most romantic is the one from the top of the Duomo. Even more beautiful on sunset. Look down over the city and allow your eyes to wander and get lost in the beauty of this exceptional destination. Everyone feels that something special here, because it is such a magical place.
Before leaving the Florence cathedral, go to the crypt, where you will see some of the ruins of the Santa Reparata Cathedral and the tomb of Brunelleschi. Filippo Brunelleschi was a renaissance artist author of the Dome of Santa Maria dei Fiore and was one of the previous owners of Hotel Brunelleschi. Reserve your spot to ensure you see the awesome views from Florence’s Duomo.
See a whole New side of Florence | Tower Views
Steps away from the cathedral is Giotto’s Bell Tower, which is two hundred and seventy-seven feet high. Three different architects worked on this tower, which is evident with all the different design styles that are seen today. Couples can climb the four hundred and fourteen steps to the top of the tower and this is where the best views back to Piazza Duomo are found.
Florence has other magnificent towers offering unique Florentine views – Palazzo Vecchio’s Arnolfo Tower (two hundred and twenty-three steps, not accessible in rain) and San Niccolò’s Tower in Piazza Poggi. For couples who make it up the hundred and sixty steps of San Niccolo’s Tower are rewarded with new 360 degree vistas of Florence. The sights from these three towers are phenomenal, and the perfect romantic locations to capture selfies for your new Instagram profile pic.
Best Breathtaking Panoramic Terrace Views | Piazzale Michelangelo
There are many pedestrian areas within this city which makes exploring Florence better on foot. For couples looking for a romantic destination to soak up the spectacular beauty of Florence from a far, couples must see the heights from Piazzale Michelangelo. Couples can reach this partly pedestrianesed area numerous ways, including by bus, but it is best to simply stroll hand in hand, and relish the hidden treasures found along the way.
Getting There | Piazzale Michelangelo
You can skip the steep walk by catching a city bus (number 12 or 13) from Santa Maria Novella train station and various other bus stops around the historical centre. Another popular option for many couples is taking the bus or taxi to Piazzale Michelangelo and afterwards walk downhill to Florence central across the Arno River. The first thing you can see is the magnificent Duomo dome.
This famous viewpoint is one of the best places to appreciate and capture stunning day or sunset photographs of the Florentine skyline. Be sure to take a photograph of the copy of Michelangelo’s David that sits in the centre of the square.
Florence Must See and Detour | Piazzale Michelangelo
For those couples looking for a shortcut to the Piazzale from Porta San Miniato Gateway (near San Niccolò), there is an entrance up a short steep cobblestone street with direct access to Piazzale Michelangelo.
At the base of the foothill first stop for an Italian beer, espresso or lunch on the terrace at Il Rifrullo on Via San Niccolo. On your route upwards be sure to make a detour to Folon e il Giardino delle Rose (the Rose Garden) and smell the hundreds of flowering roses. Climb the stairs at Scalinata del Monte alle Crosi to finally reach the magnificent Piazzale Michelangelo.
Best View of Florence City
Once at the Piazzale Michelangelo couples can find a place to rest and admire the stunning views. However, most couples find themselves sitting for a little while before heading off to explore more of this fabulous area. There is so much to see and do near this Piazzale and no one will want to waste a minute of their 2 days in Florence.
Florence Film Location | Pinocchio Author
The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte is approximately ten minutes from Piazzale Michelangelo, and yes, everyone should be prepared to climb some more stairs. This small peaceful church is from the 11th century and couples love wandering around the inside to marvel at the gold mosaics, medieval architecture, and religious art. The exterior of the basilica was a film location in the 1976 film Obsession as was Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio.
Before leaving the church take a few minutes to stroll through the ancient cemetery to pay your respects to those who have been buried here including Carlo Lorenzini (pen-name Collodi), the author of The Adventures of Pinocchio.
‘A thousand woodpeckers flew in through the window and settled themselves on Pinocchio’s nose.’
Home of the Powerful Italian Dynasties
The Florence Pitti Palace is only a half hour away and thankfully, that walk is mostly downhill. Visitors adore the art exhibits that are inside the rooms of this 15th century palace. The most intriguing features though are the private apartments, where the powerful Medicis and the Hapsburgs dynasties once lived.
The Medicis family was an Italian banking family and political dynasty between the 15th – 18th centuries. In 1734, after the extinction of the Medici dynasty, the apartments were passed to the reigning House of Lorraine.
Romantic Stroll | Florence Boboli Gardens
After exploring the palace, couples can then venture out to the enormous Boboli Gardens to smell the fragrant flowers and view the colourful botanicals. The elegant Italian-style gardens are decorated with sculptures, fountains and ancient oak trees similar to other famous royal gardens like Versailles.
The Boboli gardens are the perfect spot for couples to stop in a tranquil area and talk about whatever is in their heart. Conversations within the gardens can be overheard, as visitors discuss the history of the palace whilst pondering the lives that once lived here. It may be the scent from the flowers, the gentle breeze that wafts through the air, or simply being with a loved one that makes everyone cherish their time here.
After wandering through the gardens, couples quickly realise that their first day in Florence is quickly coming to an end.
Words Speak Volumes | Like a Local
Just two minutes’ walk away is one of the best bars in Florence called Volume. It can be found right on the Piazza Santo Spirito, a lively square full of locals and tourists. With a cocktail in one hand and the love of your life by your side, there is no better way to take in the Florentine atmosphere of Piazza Santo Spirito.
Happy hour on sunset, brings the Piazza alive with visitors who cannot hide their amazement as they stare at the architectural masterpieces like Basilica of Santo Spirito and Bianca Capello House. Bianco Capello was an Italian aristocrat who was the mistress, and later became the second wife, of Francesco I de’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Take a seat, relax and enjoy your first drink of the day, you have earned it. You will notice that many of the locals take their favourite Italian craft beer and conversation out to the steps of the church. For me, the atmosphere is unique inside Volume, and it is easy to feel at home within seconds of arriving.
Cuisines of the World | Best Bars in Florence
We have all heard the health benefits of eating mediterranean food but after eating traditional Italian cuisine for a few weeks you may begin to crave something different. Pint of View offers an Asian fusion menu, great craft beers and cocktails plus an awesome selection of background music. The staff are very helpful and happy to explain each dish on the menu. It is the perfect way to end a couples’ first day in Florence.
Day 2 | Fiesole Ancient Roman Ruins | Day Trips From Florence
A couple’s second day in Florence is going to fly by just as quickly as the first day did. Many couples find themselves heading towards the pedestrian areas of the city, as there is less traffic to dodge. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the number of tourists in Italy, so it is wise that couples don’t over plan. It is the ‘unknown’ that makes Florence the romantic city that it is.
Those who have been in Florence before may want to do something a little different on their second day here. The Fiesole’s Archaeological Park in Tuscany on the hill, is only a thirty minutes scenic bus ride from Florence. As soon as couples arrive at the park, they will want to sign up for one of the tours that takes place there. These tours are the only way that couples can completely appreciate the cultural significance of ancient Fiesole that is rich in history, art and nature.
The ancient Roman Amphitheatre was constructed during the 1st century B.C., but the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. brought expansive additions to the attraction. This Amphitheatre is still used during the summer months and guests enjoy every minute of the performances from their seats that offer fabulous Tuscan views. Food and wine tasting tours take place in Fiesole’s focal point which is Piazza Mino da Fiesole, a square surrounded by small cafes and taverns.
The tours then lead people to the Thermae and the Etrusco-Roman Temple. The last stop is the Archaeological Museum, which contains numerous artefacts from the Etruscan era all the way to medieval times. Couples will be amazed and appreciate how well-preserved each item is.
After a historically filled day at the Fiesole Archaeological Park, couples will look forward to heading back to the centre of Florence for a bite to eat and some downtime. While there is an abundance of restaurants to choose from in Florence, some couples may decide to have a romantic dinner at their hotel.
Dinner in Hotel Brunelleschi’s Byzantine Tower
Restaurant Santa Elisabetta on the first floor of the original byzantine tower is an excellent option for romantic dinners, as it offers an elegant ambiance paired with exquisite Tuscan culinary tradition.
Guests can order their meal a la carte or choose one of the chef’s degustation five-course or seven-course menus. Each dish is carefully prepared and beautifully presented to each guest with ample time in between courses. This allows guests to fully enjoy and appreciate the flavours that are before them, savouring each bite before the next course is served.
The seven-course meal currently includes the amberjack, quail, ravioli, dumpling, red mullet, suckling pig, and a delectable smooth and creamy chocolate cream cake. The five-course meal consists of red prawn, cuttlefish, bottoni, red mullet, and a soft and flavourful cannoncino.
Osteria Pagliazza | Hotel Brunelleschi
The restaurant also has an extensive wine list for those who wish to pair wines with each delectable course. Cocktails, craft beers and other types of beverages are available too. Osteria Pagliazza located on the ground floor of Hotel Brunelleschi has an exclusive and rich menu of incredible Italian flavours. Their maître will be happy to suggest the best wine to order to create an incredible pairing experience with their special selection of Italian cheeses and cured meats.
Last Stroll in Florence until Next Time
After dinner wander the nearby streets around your hotel and appreciate the best views of Florence at night. Remembering, these romantic views cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.
The next day will bring a couple’s romantic journey to the next stop on their itinerary and the promise of Verona being just as wonderful is guaranteed. There is no place in the world as historically beautiful as Italy and each destination seems to make this statement more believable to those who take the time to visit.
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Looking for the Best Italy Tours? Viator Florence Tours can help. They have been helping travellers discover destinations and experiences since 1999. The Viator Florence Walking Tour is an excellent way to get the lay of the land of this magical city!
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For other travel stories like this and vacation tips, subscribe to Progressive Traveller and receive new stories directly in your inbox. Also, check out 5 Days on the Best Rome Rooftops, 3 Day Guide In Rome and Verona Another Romantic City in Italy for other great tips and recommendations.
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