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A Florence Itinerary: 7 Days of Italian Bliss

Wondering how to spend a week exploring this wonderful city? Look no further than this expert guide

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Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Florence, Italy

Ah, Florence. With a week in this charming city, you can live your full Room With A View fantasies. Thanks to this Florence itinerary, 7 days of churches, living history and glorious food is coming your way. And we here at Plum Guide have guaranteed that it'll be a trip to remember, with this expert guide giving you all the information you need to do your trip to Florence the right way.

Day one: Take a trip to the Duomo

The Duomo, Florence, Italy

The Duomo, Florence, Italy

You absolutely have to start your Florence itinerary of 7 days with a trip to the Duomo. After a few hours admiring the city’s most prominent landmark, head to Caffè Rivoire, close by on the other side of the main square. An institution, their cake and hot chocolate are some of the best in the city. And while you may no longer have the metabolism of a teenager, you still deserve to treat yourself.

Spend the afternoon people-watching and stall-browsing at the Piazza della Republica, one of the city’s largest and most central squares. After dressing for dinner at your Plum home and sipping a glass of wine on your roof terrace, enjoy a Negroni, a drink invented in Florence, at Procacci, a classic bar serving since 1885. For dinner, Ristorante Il Guscio serves Tuscan classics with a gourmet edge - just the ticket for the first night of your Florence holiday.

The Patron, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

The Patron, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

Day two: Get your culture fix

Gelato in Florence, Italy

Gelato in Florence, Italy

Once you’ve woken up early, panicked that you were late for work, remembered you’re on holiday, then gone back to sleep, you’re going to need a good breakfast. Ditta Artigianale, a chic all-day cafe, serves the classic brunch we know you want. Now you’re fuelled up, stroll over to the Accademia Gallery and spend a blissful few hours absorbing the culture and stunning artworks inside - with Michelangelo's David of course being the highlight.

To reward the kids for looking at all that ‘boring old stuff’, indulge in some excellent gelato at Carabé nearby. Spend the rest of the afternoon admiring the Arno and Ponte Vecchio. A Medieval bridge that will take your breath away, it’s been home to Florence's jewellery shops since 1593. Tonight, it’s steak night. Perseus is located just outside the old city walls and it’s well worth the effort to get there. The restaurant is a peon to tradition in both decoration and menu.

Madreselva, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

Madreselva, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

Day three: Absorb more culture and browse a local market

Drink an espresso while lounging on a sofa on your private terrace this morning before tackling today, as it’s the most culture-filled day of your Florence seven day itinerary. Once you’re appropriately caffeine-fuelled (it might take more than one coffee to get you raring to go these days) it’s time for one of the city’s cultural landmarks - the Uffizi Gallery. One of the most visited museums in the world, remember to book your tickets online beforehand.

After grabbing a quick pizza lunch at Mangia Pizza nearby, the Medici Chapels are calling your name - another chance to see some of Michelangelo’s work. Then, visit the San Lorenzo Church, where we recommend taking in the Medicean library. After all that culture, take a break and browse the San Lorenzo outdoor market. A great place to buy gifts for work colleagues who you want to impress with your cultural prowess, you can also delight in picking up an easy and tasty dinner of top quality meats, cheeses and bread.

Let's Dance, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

Let's Dance, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

Day four: Treat yourself to some shopping

Today, we hit the shops. It’s time to treat yourself, your partner, your friends - maybe even your kids if they’ve been well-behaved enough recently. There are two versions of Santa Maria Novella. The first is an unmissable church that’s the first true example of Gothic architecture in the city, and the second is a centuries-old pharmacy that makes perfumes, skincare and soap that smells so divine it might even persuade your teenage child to have a bath.

Once you’ve stocked up on rosewater, Via Roma, Via dei Calzaiuoli and Via de’ Tornabuoni are the streets to hit for the designer classics. We hope you brought your credit card. Dinner tonight is at the classic Trattoria Marione. Filled with locals and cooking Tuscan favourites better than you thought possible, we recommend you order the boar sauce with your secondi.

River Elegance, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

River Elegance, Plum Guide home in Florence, Italy

Day five: Head into Oltrarno

Live like a local today by crossing the Arno into the Oltrarno area of the city. Considered the most authentic remaining neighbourhood of the city, it’s an essential stop on your Florence itinerary of 7 days. As you wander the streets and wonder if you could become a successful writer or artist if you changed career now (you should probably stick with your day job, sad as that is), step into one of the area’s many adorable shops and workshops and let yourself be charmed. For lunch, sample some wine and antipasti from the extensive list at Le volpi e l’uva.

There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than exploring the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens - enjoy the views of the city and entertain fantasies of holding tea parties on the expansive lawns. For dinner, you absolutely must order the sizzling truffle and cheese gnocchi at Osta Santo Spirito.

Day six: Embark on a day trip to San Gimignano

Today, it’s time for a day trip. Rouse your late-sleeping family with the promise of chocolate cornetti, and admire the view from your flat over the Piazza della Signoria before heading out to the beautiful town of San Gimignano, 25 miles away. It’s famous for its towers dominating the skyline, which were built by feuding families who used them as military bases in Medieval times. Stroll the narrow streets while deciding if your favourite gelato flavour is stracciatella or nocciola - better get another of each, just to check.

Day seven: Enjoy some sightseeing

You’ve made it to your last day of your Florence holiday, and by this point are probably considering if you could swing a long-term work from home agreement and move out here permanently. Instead of checking the real estate listings, visit Santa Croce, the burial place for the city’s great and good, and marvel at how the centuries tick by in this city with nothing changing. For an unforgettable last afternoon of your trip, take a walk up to the Piazzale Michelangelo with a bottle of wine and watch the sun sink below the Florentine horizon. Then for a blowout dinner, La Giostra is the place. Known for hosting celebrities and royalty alike, it has the perfect candlelit ambiance for you to hatch your plans to open a gelato shop in your home town.

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