3 zile in Italia: Florenta, Pisa, Bologna – itinerar, locuri de vizitat

Italy is a wonderful holiday destination, whatever location you choose. Italy has its charm and magic, it has wonderful landscapes, romantic cities with beautiful architecture, famous monuments and an exceptional cuisine!

Italy certainly deserves more than 3 days to be fully discovered, but for a short weekend getaway, the touristic cities of Tuscany are always a perfect choice.

We took advantage on a weekend and ran off to Italy, for a short visit in the cities of the Tuscany region. I invite you to read this article to find out how we organized our 3-day mini-vacation in Italy.

Florence
Florence

Italy has a very well developed transport system, so that in our short trip of 3 days we managed to travel only by train.

  • Between Bologna and Florence we paid 12 euros for an InterCity train ticket (duration: 1.5 hours).
  • Between Florence and Pisa we paid 9 euros for a one-hour Regio train ticket.
  • From Florence to Bologna we chose to return with a high-speed train, which covered the distance of 100 km in 38 minutes, at a maximum speed of 250 km/hour. The ticket cost 25 euros / person.

From the airport in Bologna to the center of Bologna we traveled with Marconi Express, the express tram that connects the airport and the central train station in just 7 minutes. A return ticket cost 20 euros.

In the cities visited, there was no need to use taxis or public transport. Florence, Bologna or Pisa can be visited on foot.

What to do for 3 days in Italy?

Day 1 - Bologna

We landed in Bologna on Friday morning, after which we took the Marconi Express train to reach the city's central station. We left our luggage at a luggage store (Stow Your Bags) and then set off to explore the beautiful Italian city. From the train station to the central area we walked for about 15 minutes.

Bologna
Bologna

If you want to know more about what you can visit in Bologna in one day, I recommend you to read this article: Bologna, Italy - What Can You Visit in Bologna in One Day?.

The 2 Towers - Asinelli and Garisenda

We started the walk with the two towers Asinelli and Garisenda si Garisenda. In Bologna the towers that rose above the roofs of the houses are famous. If in the Middle Ages there were approximately 180 such towers, today only a few remain, and the most important are these two. The towers were built in the past by wealthy families from the city, as a sign of wealth and power. Asinelli is the highest and it can be visited, but tickets must be purchased online in advance: https://www.duetorribologna.com/.

Asinelli Tower
Asinelli Tower

Maggiore Square

The heart of the city is represented by Maggiore Square, surrounded by remarkable buildings such as the Fountain of Neptune, the Basilica of San Petronio or the Palazzo d'Accursio.

Piazza Maggiore
Piazza Maggiore

Fontana del Nettuno

Fontana del Nettuno, or Neptune's Fountain, is a superb bronze fountain from the 16th century that embodies the god of the sea whose name it bears.

Fontana del Nettuno
Fontana del Nettuno

Basilica di San Petronio

The Basilica of San Petronio is the dominant building of Piazza Maggiore, and is one of the largest churches in Europe, dedicated to St. Petronio, the patron saint of the city. Its construction began in the 14th century.

Bologna
Basilica di San Petronio

Municipal Palace (Palazzo d’Accursio)

Palazzo d’Accursio houses today the local administration, art collections (Municipal Art Collection) and the city library. There are several halls that can be visited for free, including the Sala Farnese or Sala d'Ercole.

Bologna
Palazzo d’Accursio

Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio)

In Palazzo d'Accursio we were able to climb the clock tower, from where we had a wonderful panorama over the center of Bologna and the two imposing towers. A ticket costs 8 euros, with access to the municipal art collection.

Via d’Azeglio

Near Piazza Maggiore we found the most cheerful and authentic street in Bologna, the street where we really felt the Italian spirit and tourist atmosphere.

Porticoes – covered walkways

Bologna is famous for its covered alleyways, called Porticoes. These alleys date from the 12th century, and were designed to extend the houses, but without entering the street space. Today there are almost 40 kilometers of covered alleys in Bologna, which can be admired throughout the city.

La Picola Venezia

In Bologna there is a network of underground canals built since the Middle Ages. Today there are still several locations in the city center where part of the uncovered canals can be observed, and the most famous place is the Little Window in Via Piella. It is one of the most hidden locations in Bologna, but on the other hand, it is also among the most instagrammable.

 In the evening we returned to the station and took the train to Florence, where the next day a wonderful city was waiting for us to discover and admire.

Day 2 - Florence

Florence is a destination that definitely deserves more than a day to be fully explored, but one day is enough to feel the spirit of the city and to see the most famous sights.

We started the day with the most symbolic place in Florence, the Duomo, and then we continued with the visit of the historic center, with its beautiful squares, elegant streets and many shops, restaurants and ice cream gellaterias. We crossed the other side of the Arno river, crossing the oldest stone bridge in Europe and went up to Piazzale Michelangelo, from where we had a superb view of the whole city. We then returned to the dome area, to admire this grandiose building during the evening as well.

During the day, we enjoyed typical Florentine delicacies, such as the famous sandwiches from All'Antico Vinaio or ice creams from traditional gelaterias.

Florence
Florence - View from Piazza Michelangelo

The Duomo of Florence

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) is definitely the emblem of Florence. An imposing, superb, remarkable building, it is the second largest church in Italy, after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Florence

The construction of the cathedral began in the 13th century and was completed in 1436, after the construction of Brunnelleschi's dome, the largest brick dome in the world, with a diameter of 45 meters. The cathedral has an impressive facade, made of green, white and pink marble, decorated with beautiful sculptures.

Florence

The complex includes two other impressive buildings: Campanile di Giotto (bell tower) and Baptistery of St. John.

The dome can be visited, but you need to buy your ticket online in advance, because they sell out quickly: https://duomo.firenze.it/en/home. An entrance ticket costs 30 euros/adult, 12 euros/children 7-14 years old and free for children under 6 years old. This ticket includes the entrance to the campanile and the baptistery.

Campanile di Giotto

Campanile di Giotto is the bell tower of the Florence cathedral. It is an 84-meter high building (414 steps), with the same remarkable architecture as that of the cathedral.

Florence

Campanile di Giotto can be visited and the entrance ticket can be purchased here: https://duomo.firenze.it/en/home. You can choose the 30 euro ticket with entrance to the dome, or the 20 euro/adult ticket (with entrance to the baptistery included).

We also climbed the bell tower, and the panorama from the top was spectacular, especially over the dome, which we could see now from a completely different perspective.

Florence

Baptistery of St. John

Baptistery of St. John is located opposite the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It can also be visited, alone or in combination with the other 2 buildings, and you can purchase tickets from the official website: https://duomo.firenze.it/en/home.

Florence

Old Town

Old Town of Florence is absolutely enchanting. With winding streets, stylish squares, harmonious buildings, Florence left us the impression of an elegant and very romantic city.

Piazza della Republica

Piazza della Repubblica is one of the most famous squares in Florence, built on the site of an old Roman forum.

Florence
Piazza della Republica

Fontana del Porcellino

Fontana del Porcellino is a symbol of Florence, it is a fountain in the shape of a pig, made of bronze, near Piazza della Republica. It has become a tourist attraction mainly due to its legends, it is said that if you touch the pig's nose you will visit in Florence again.

Florence
Fontana del Porcellino

Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria is another impressive square in Florence, and among the most important attractions in this square are:

  • Palazzo Vecchio – a medieval palace from the 13th century, today the town hall
Florence
Palazzo Vecchio
  • Fontana di Nettuno - the fountain that represents the statue of Neptune
Florence
Fontana di Nettuno
  • The statue of David - the replica of the famous statue made by Michelangelo. The original statue can still be found in Florence, in the Academia Gallery
Florence
The statue of David - replica in Piazza della Signoria
  • Loggia dei Lanzi it is a building from the 14th century, with wide arches, an open-air gallery of Renaissance sculptures
Florence

Ponte Vecchio

After visiting the old center, we decided to go to the other side of the Arno river, crossing the Ponte Vecchio, another symbol of Florence.

It is considered the oldest stone bridge in Europe, from the 14th century, being a medieval bridge covered with arches. In the 16th century, the Duchess of Medici built a secret passage above the bridge, the Vasari Corridor, which connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Pitti Palace, in order to be able to walk safely from one side of the river to the other. Vasari Corridor, care conecteaza Palazzo Vecchio de Palatul Pitti, pentru a putea merge in siguranta de pe o parte pe cealalta a raului.

Today the bridge is full of jewelry stores and boutiques of bags and leather accessories. 

Florence
Ponte Vecchio in the evening

Giardino delle Rose

From the bridge we started towards Michelangelo Square, and on the way, near Michelangelo Square, we came across the Giardino delle Rose, a beautiful garden with flowers, an oasis of peace in the center of the city. The garden is open every day, and the entrance is free.

Piazzale Michelangelo

From the rose garden we then arrived at Piazzale Michelangelo, from where we had a superb panoramic view of Florence. In the foreground stands the Duomo of Florence in all its splendor.

Florence
The Duomo in Florence seen from Piazzale Michelangelo

In this square there is also a replica of the statue of David, made by Michelangelo.

If you want to read more about what you can do in Florence, I recommend you this article: What to Do in Florence, Italy's Romantic City.

Day 3 - Pisa

On the third day, we wanted to see one of the most emblematic towers in the world, namely the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Pisa

Pisa is at a fairly short distance from Florence, we traveled by train in about an hour, a perfect destination for a day trip from Florence.

If you want to know more details about Pisa, about the tourist attractions in Pisa and what you can visit here in one day, I recommend you also read this article: A Day at the Leaning Tower of Pisa - What to visit, costs, tickets.

We arrived in Pisa in the morning, in time for us to visit the Tower at the hour written on our entry ticket.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most famous leaning tower in the world and one of the most famous architectural monuments.

The tower is part of the religious complex in Piazza del Duomo and functions as a bell tower.

Pisa

Today, the tower has an inclination angle of approximately 5 degrees, and a height of 58 meters (273 steps). Following recent consolidation works, the tower is currently considered stable and safe for at least another 2-300 years.

We also climbed the tower, and the feeling is unique. You feel that angle of inclination from the moment you step into the tower, and then up, on the top floor, the strange feeling is even stronger.

View from the Leaning Tower of Pisa
View from the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Entrance tickets are at a fixed time, you have to be present at the entrance of the tower a few minutes earlier. If you have a bag, you must leave it first in a special storage space, in the opposite building.

If you want to visit the tower, I recommend that you buy your entrance ticket in advance, online. Tickets are limited and highly sought after: https://www.opapisa.it/en/tickets/prices/.

Children under 8 are not allowed to climb the tower, and young people under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Cathedral of Pisa

After the tower we visited the interior of the Cathedral, an impressive building both inside and outside.

With the entrance ticket from the tower we had access to the cathedral at any time.

It's good to know that access to the cathedral is free, but if you don't have already a ticket to another monument in the complex, you have to purchase a ticket online (free) for the Cathedral, with a fixed day and time of the visit.

Piazza del Duomo - Piazza del Miracoli

The square around the tower and the cathedral is a very special place, with a very positive charge. We felt the best here when we could sit on the green grass in the park, cool off with an ice cream, watch the crowd of tourists taking pictures with the tower in more and more strange poses and admire all these wonders that Pisa offers.

Pisa

After lunch, we slowly headed towards Florence. In the evening we kept it for a leisurely program, we walked through the city center and enjoyed one of the most romantic cities.

Where did we stay in Italy?

In this short holiday we chose Florence as the central point, and we wanted an accommodation as close as possible to the train station. This was our accommodation for 3 nights: Relais Tiffany.

What did we eat in Italy?

Italian cuisine is an art, it is certainly one of the most appreciated gastronomy in the world. Pasta, pizza, risotto, meat dishes, seafood, desserts... whatever we chose from this list, we wouldn't have made a mistake.

  • In Florence we were impressed by All’Antico Vinaio. Maybe not necessarily because of the dishes served (they mainly focus on the sale of sandwiches), but because of the popularity that this location has on social media. But leaving this fame aside, the sandwiches were really tasty and affordable (7-10 euros for a large sandwich).
Pisa
  • Also in Bologna, we drank one of the best coffees so far, at the Terzi cafe.
Bologna

Travel tips for Florence

  • Try to avoid visiting Florence in the summer months of July and August - since it is quite hot, but it is also very crowded, and the prices for accommodation are much higher.
  • Buy tickets to the tourist attractions in advance, at least a week before. In many places tickets will be sold out a few days before, and where tickets are still available, you will most likely have to wait in line.
Florence
The Duomo of Florence at night
  • Buy train tickets in advance. That way you don't risk not finding a ticket on the spot, and in addition, the tickets are cheaper the earlier you buy them.
  • Climbing the Duomo in Florence, Giotto's Campanile, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Asinelli Tower in Bologna are quite demanding activities. It is about a large number of steps, quite steep, and in a narrow space. People with reduced mobility or claustrophobia are not recommended to climb such towers.
Florence
Campanile di Giotto, Florence
  • Expect huge queues everywhere! Even with the purchased tickets, we had to wait in line at certain tourist attractions. Not mentioning here the queues at famous restaurants.
Florence
Florence - Tourist queues just about everywhere

Italian holiday in pictures

Florence
The Duomo of Florence
Florence
Florence - Arno river
Florence
Florence - Neptune's Fountain
Florence
Florence - Piazza della Republica
Florence
Florence
Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Pisa
Pisa
Pisa - up from the tower
Pisa - Arno river
Pisa - Arno river
Pisa
Pisa
Bologna
Bologna - view from the clock tower
Bologna
Bologna - Basilica di San Petronio
Fontana del Nettuno
Bologna - Fontana del Nettuno
Bologna
Bologna
Bologna
Bologna
Bologna
Bologna