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12+ Iconic Attractions in Italy

Festive Via Tournaboui in Florence with Christmas lights viewed from Hotel Milu

Bologna and Florence are two fabulous Italian cities less than two hours apart by car and only 30 minutes by train. So, like any normal person visiting the Tuscany region on assignment, I decided to conquer these two cities over three days.

My Florence and Bologna itinerary started by flying from Amsterdam‘s Schiphol Airport on a Sunday afternoon flight to Florence. I spent my first day exploring the Santa Croce Christmas market and other markets within this much-loved Italian city.

On day two, I took a day trip courtesy of Tourist Italy. I then spent the last day visiting Bologna for the first time before heading home.

Because I was visiting during the winter, I packed some sweaters, long sleeves, and a long winter coat for my two-day stay in Florence and a one-day itinerary in Bologna. Despite my caution, the weather was great for this time of year, with temperatures ranging from 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Day One: Arrival in Florence

Festive Via Tournaboui in Florence with Christmas lights viewed from Hotel Milu
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Upon my arrival in Florence, I was greeted with a beautiful Tuscan sunset. From Florence Airport I took a taxi to the city, which cost me €24 (holiday rate). On non-holiday days, the fixed fee is €22.

Alternatively, a tram is available that takes around 33 minutes and costs a few euros. I chose the taxi because I had limited time in Florence and wanted more time to explore the city. Time is money!

There are tons of great places to stay in Florence. I checked into the Hotel Milu, a beautiful Art Deco hotel with beautiful designs blending modern art throughout the building. The art is also available for purchase.

The hotel is located along Via Tournaboui, next to Palazzo Strossi. After checking in, I went to explore the city’s Christmas markets, making extra time for the Santa Croce Christmas market. 

Illuminated Santa Croce Basilica at night in FlorenceIlluminated Santa Croce Basilica at night in Florence
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Florence was bustling on a Sunday night, but I was pleased to see it compared to summertime, when it is filled with tourists. The city looked beautiful at night with all the lights.

Everyone was out for dinner and enjoying the Sunday night and the Christmas market activities. I took plenty of great pictures of the decorations.

I sourced dinner at Pizza Napoli, a Neapolitan pizza spot I’ve visited several times prior. I know pizza’s more southern Italy, but I wanted an all-Italian vibe on this quick trip. Besides, you can never go wrong with pizza.

See Related: Ultimate Italy Travel Guide

Day Two:…

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