48 hours in Florence

Where to stay

Located just steps from the famed Ponte Vecchio (the arched bridge over the Arno), Hotel Milu is housed in a 14th-century building. The 22 accommodations fuse old world elegance with bold accents. Admire views of the city center from the rooftop or relax in the hotel’s library. 

Inside an 18th-century palazzo with an internal courtyard, you’ll find Oltrarno Splendid. Each room features a different, eclectic aesthetic, pairing industrial-chic decor with lush pops of color. For impressive city vistas and atmospheric terracotta flooring, book the king deluxe room.

Day 1

Start the day with breakfast at Caffè la Posta. Sip on an expertly-crafted matcha or cappuccino and fuel up for an active morning with farm fresh yogurt with fruit and granola. 

Known as the Duomo, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, and the Cathedral of Florence, this ornate, majestic structure is an iconic sight in the city. Hike the 463 steps up the cathedral, followed by 414 steps on the bell tower for a picturesque start to the day. Then, head to the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, one of Howe’s favorite museums and a building first used as a stable by the Medici family. Check out the quaint indoor garden and the Magi Chapel fresco.

For lunch with a side of entertainment, visit Teatro del Sale. A Tuscan buffet is served while guests take in live shows and musical performances by the neighborhood’s creative community. 

Have a casual dinner at Il Santino, where the focus is on regional food and wine from nearby producers. Try one of Tuscany’s hearty reds or a crisp glass of Trebbiano as you sample pappa al pomodoro, a classic tomato soup, or a selection of cured meats. For a heartier meal, visit the sister property, Il Santino Bevitore. Dine on dishes like squid ink risotto and beef carpaccio with smoked ponzu in addition to their housemade bread.

Day 2

At Ditta Artigianale, as in many places in Italy, they take their coffee very seriously. Choose your favorite brew, then purchase beans to take home afterwards. They offer breakfast fare too, like avocado toast and simply-prepared eggs. 

Parco delle Cascine is an ideal place to run while exploring Florence. You’ll pass by tennis courts and soccer fields along with a central piazza which features a bronze statue of Vittorio Emmanuele II (the king of Italy from 1861 to 1878) and an array of pine, cedar, and ginkgo biloba trees. A popular path measures just under four-and-a-half miles. 

Choose your lunch at the Mercato Centrale, a bustling open-air market that opened in 1874. As you stroll through the stalls, you can find fresh fruit and vegetables in addition to pizza, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and rotisserie-cooked meats. 

Visit one of the ten Fotoautomatica locations, an ode to the bygone photo booths of the past. Snap a few shots as mementos before returning to the hotel for a quick pre-dinner nap.  

Spend your final night in Florence at 5 e Cinque, an organic vegetarian restaurant. The menu celebrates locally-sourced ingredients in dishes like trofiette pasta with beans and pesto and ricotta and apple with ginger honey.

48 hours in Milan

There are over 100 miles of cycling paths inside the city.