With only two days in Florence, where should I eat and tour?
Hi, Mary Ann,
I am a fan of trying not to fill every available moment with "must-do" activities even when time is very limited. Prioritizing and using time efficiently is the name of the game. Without knowing where you are staying, I would say that the priorities for only two days in Florence would be Accademia di belle arti for the David, a truly magnificent work of art that has the ability to change lives. Have your hotel reserve you a spot to save you time in the queue or I believe you can book online. After the David, go gaze at the Dome of the Florence Cathedral also known as Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. The best view is actually obtained not by climbing the dome itself, but by climbing the adjacent bell tower, Campanile di Giotto. Take photos of the dome and the fantastic view of the red terra cotta roofs surrounding you. Have gelato. Everyday. Do not look for the brightest, artificially-colored gelati you see, but rather, instead hunt for the muted colors of the true gelati. My favorites are pistacchio and fico (fig). Spend some time in the Piazza della Signoriawhere so many significant historical events have taken place (e.g., the Bonfire of the Vanities). People-watch, listen to the musicians, marvel at the women walking in heels, take a stroll through the Palazzo Vecchio If you are interested in Art History, then the Uffizi Gallery is a must, and it is adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria. But, again the queue is long. Your hotel may also be able to reserve a spot for you here. Don't miss a walk on the Ponte Vecchio. These are the priorities, I would think but there are so many other things to see and do that it really depends on your desires and energy-level and time. For a beautiful time in a beautiful garden a stroll in Boboli Gardens is never regretted. See if you can find Tindaro Screpolato, the most modern sculpture in the gardens and quite something to see.
Two friends of mine write a fantastic blog on free things to do and see in Florence: http://florenceforfree.wordpress.com/
(They even have a post on free nighttime, not-quite-legal doughnuts in Florence. Sounds like a grand and memorable adventure!)
Hope this helps! Have a wonderful time!
P. S. Here's a photo-blog post I created regarding that sculpture in Boboli Gardens:
P. P. S. For a fantastic bisteca alla pomodori (beefsteak and fresh tomatoes) and chianti, try Ristorante Osteria Zio Gigi. And, don't forget spinaci con burro (spinach with butter) and ribollito (leftovers as only Italians can do)!
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