The Sonder secret to 24 hours in Florence

Sonder is going to Florence this spring — and we think you should join us. Check out our guide to exploring the best of this historic gem in just 24 hours. Sights, sips, and sustenance curated for beating the crowds, with no compromise on the experience.

Arrive in the afternoon

You’ve just dropped off your bags. You’re tired and the hungriest you’ve ever been. The thought of trying to string together an Italian sentence to order in a restaurant is too much to bear at this exact moment. Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Head directly to All’Antico Vinaio for a sandwich you can devour on the street. Don’t be phased by the line. It moves quickly.

There’s no denying that Florence has iconic art pretty much everywhere you look. But if you’re tight on time, you might not want to spend the afternoon queuing to see Michelangelo’s David or the Uffizi Botticellis. Instead, get a taste of some ancient graffiti. On the side of the Palazzo Vecchio, you’ll find a simple stone carving of a man’s face. The story goes that this is a self-portrait of Michelangelo himself. 

That evening

Sunset at the Piazzale Michelangelo is unmissable.  Grab yourself a bottle of wine filled directly from the barrel at Vino Divino (value-for-money rating: 10/10) and hit the road, crossing the Ponte Vecchio en route. The uphill walk won’t be for everyone but the view from the top certainly is. Aperitivo overlooking the Duomo and the rolling Tuscan hills? Sì.

Time for more wine. Scattered across the city are buchette del vino (wine windows) — the perfect way to sample Tuscan tipples to go. Their history is a bit of a mystery, but it’s been said they were created to avoid taxes, keep out undesirable guests, and even facilitate social distancing during the plague. See for yourself at Babae, Osteria Belle Donne, or Cantina de Pucci.

While there’s no shortage of Michelin stars in this gastro capital, we prefer to keep it casual and skip the tourist hotspots. In the quieter streets of Santa Croce, Il Giova and Trattoria Accadi serve delicious authentic fare. Round out your day with a sweet treat. Florence claims to be the birthplace of gelato, so for dessert, take your pick from our top three picks: Gelateria La Carraia, Vivoli, Perché No.

The next morning

You may be tempted to join the hoards lined up to see inside the Duomo: Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the city’s most striking landmark. But we’ve got a hack. For the faithful and the early risers: morning mass service means skipping the queue via the south side entrance.  We recommend starting your day here.

Morning sightseeing complete, return to the sunny courtyard at The Sonetto powered by Sonder for a morning espresso and full buffet breakfast (available for purchase). The perfect spot to refuel and finish the morning crossword.

Pick up a souvenir yet? Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is one of the oldest apothecaries in the world. It was here that Dominican friars created the world’s first perfume for Catherine de‘ Medici. Fun fact: all their top-sellers come in travel sized editions. Go on, treat yourself.

Bonus: if you haven’t gotten your fill of art and architecture just yet, the nearby Basilica di Santa Maria Novella is packed with masterpieces. Stop by en route to its namesake train station as you continue your journey.

Where to next?

Need more dolce vita inspiration? With unique spaces across Italy and in 40+ other cities worldwide — there’s a Sonder for you.

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