Two (almost) car-free weeks right in magical Florence. This will allow you to see the city in some depth. We’ve also included a 3-day car rental right in the middle, to allow you to explore the countryside outside Florence in three directions: north, south, and southwest.
Arrive and get settled
The Duomo, Baptistery, Giotto’s Campanile, and the delightful and important Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
If you can stand it, a full day at the Uffizi, including the Corridoio Vasariano.
A day to stroll the medieval streets of the city, lunch at a special place like Il Latini, followed by ice cream at Vivoli. Or eat with the workers and other “real” Florentines at the little “restaurant” in the Sant’Ambrogio market. You should also include a stop at the Palazzo Davanzati, the restored home of a wealthy Florentine banking and merchant family.
A most unusual museum, the Museo Stibbert. Google it: it’s just delightful. Around 7pm, rent a car for 3 days. Park it that evening in a public garage.
You’ve got the car, and so it’s yours to jump into for an EARLY start. Today, drive NORTH into the Mugello. So many people head south immediately into Chianti. But the countryside is even more beautiful north. Follow a route like the following: Fiesole, Olmo, Borgo San Lorenzo, San Piero a Sieve, Vaglia, and eventually back into Florence. Stop, of course, for lunch, and explore as many side roads as you can. This is truly beautiful countryside.
South into Chianti, concentrating on places like Radda, Castellina, Greve, Gaiole, the abbey of Badia a Passignano, Brolio Castle, Vagliagli, Villa a Sesta, San Gusme’, and Castelnuovo Berardenga. Stop at two or three of the many wineries you’ll see along the way for a tasting, being sure that you have a “designated driver”!
A south-southwesterly drive covering the following: Carrmignano, Poggio a Caiano, San Gimignano, and Certaldo. Again, especially around Carmignano, you’ll see many wineries. Return your car to the agency at the same time you picked it up.
Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato al Monte in the morning; the National Alinari Museum of Photography in the afternoon – a relief from the Renaissance!
Cross the Ponte Vecchio for a day exploring the Oltrarno, especially the Masaccio frescoes in the Santa Maria del Carmine; the Palazzo Pitti; and the Boboli Gardens.
A half-day in our favorite museum in Florence: the Bargello, followed by lunch and an afternoon of shopping.
A visit to the Accademia to see the Michelangelo David and the “unfinished” Slaves; followed by a visit to the Fra Angelos in the Museo di San Marco.
We almost forgot the churches: Santissima Annunziata, Santa Maria Novella, Ognissanti, Orsanmichele, Santa Croce, the Cappelle Medicee, and SO many more
Santa Croce: its piazza and the neighborhood.
Whew! Arrivederci, Firenze!