For a Florence day trip, I recommend parking at the Parcheggio Autostradale “Drive and Tramway” on Villa Costanza! It was 5 euros for 10 hours. We took the T1 line into Florence (get off at Porta al Prato – Leopolda if you’re heading directly to lunch at Trattoria da Giorgio) and walked around the rest of the day. I have included all of the restaurants, sights & parking for the perfect day trip guide to Florence in the map below!
Lunch at Trattoria Da Giorgio
This was a new-to-us restaurant but it didn’t disappoint. The menu is overall VERY cost-effective, including a lunch and dinner special for 15 euros that includes a first, second, side dish, water and a quart of wine. We didn’t end up taking advantage of that deal, but chose a couple pastas and a half liter of wine to share. I had a consulate appointment right after and we knew we would be roaming around the city the rest of the afternoon, plus we knew we wanted more pasta for dinner later!
What we ordered: Chitarrina Abruzzese con Funghi e Tartufo & Caserecce con Ragù di Chianina (a specific cow from near Siena) + a 1/2 liter of the house Chianti
Chitarra: A pasta-making tool consisting of a frame with a series of parallel wires used to create a square shaped pasta. Check out the fresh pasta and the tool below that my mom and I learned to use in a cooking class we did while we were in Tuscany a couple of years ago. Luca & Lorenzo are 2 of my favorite Italians! I continued taking online cooking classes with them this past year.
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The cathedral took 140 years to complete and the dome is the largest masonry dome in the world. This gothic style building is a must see on a Florence day trip. It’s quite satisfying to see a building with so many colorful details!
Loggia Dei Lanzi
A 14th-century ceremonial building with wide arches, encompasses an open-air gallery of Renaissance sculptures.
Rampe del Poggi
This gorgeous ramp and fountain system linking the city center of Florence and Piazzale Michelangelo was originally constructed between 1872 – 1876 and just restored, then reopened in May of 2019 after 100 years of deterioration. It is a wonderful treat to happen upon on your climb towards Piazzale Michelangelo.
Once you make it to the top with get to this square you will have arrived at the perfect panoramic view of Florence.
Giardino delle rose
Walk back down through Giardino delle rose for another wonderful view of Florence. This garden was created in 1865 by Giuseppe Poggi, who also designed Rampe del poggi & Piazzale Michelangelo. It is made up of a terraced lawn peppered with 100s of varieties of roses, citrus trees and another 1200 other plants.
Osteria Ponte Vecchio
Enjoy an aperitif at Osteria Ponte Vecchio — after stumbling upon this place on our first trip to Florence together back in 2019 & going back again, this feels like our secret spot, it feels so perfectly quiet & tucked away from the hustle & bustle of Florence, but right next to the Arno with an unobstructed view of Ponte Vecchio!
The most famous of the bridges over the Arno, perhaps because it’s the oldest of the bridges (it was the only one from 996 – 1218), or because it has dramatically flooded a couple of times. The current version of the bridge was rebuilt after a flood in 1345. The first shops popped up on the bridge in the 13th century, including all types of shops, but in In 1593 Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewelers would be allowed to have their shops on the bridge and today you will notice, that’s how it still stands today.
Dinner at Il Brindellone
We had a wonderful dinner at this restaurant in 2019 & decided to return this year while we were in town. It was just as fantastic as we remembered!
What we ordered: Taglierini al Tartufo, Tortelli di Patate al Ragú, pollo fritto, Cantucci vin santo & Mascarpone + one of the house wines
When you are ready to head back to where your car is parked, you will take the Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station. But first, walk over Ponte alla Carraia for a gorgeous view of the Arno under Ponte Santa Trinita and Ponte Vecchio.
Bonus : Santarosa Bistrot
This is a wonderful quiet spot for lunch. I have not returned since 2017 but it still seems to be going strong! They originally opened in 2016, in collaboration with the Municipality, with the aim of redeveloping the public gardens adjacent to the old municipal walls of Florence.