The Tuscany region of Italy is a dream destination for visitors on day trips. Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is a picturesque city whose beauty is on full display in Under the Tuscan Sun. Like the main character in that story, you’ll fall in love with the Tuscan scenery and find plenty to do. Here’s the best way to spend a day in Florence.

Early Morning: Splurge with a Breakfast Buffet

You’ll need a lot of protein to fuel you during a fast-paced day in Florence. The maxim of “when in Rome…” applies to this Italian city as well. You want to eat like the locals. Your destination is Piazza della Repubblica, where the Hotel Savoy offers the finest breakfast at the square.

This five-star hotel costs 600 Euros a night, which means you’ll find cheaper room options. Its restaurant, Irene Firenze, serves delicious breakfast food that’s worth a splurge. Since you’re visiting a breakfast buffet, eat lots of protein. Several of the dishes here feature Italian ricotta cheese, so prioritize those.

The Church of San Miniato al Monte.

Late Morning: Experience Art and History in Oltrarno

Your next destination is the Oltrarno, south of the River Arno. While it’s several miles away from Hotel Savoy, as the historic and artistic heart of Florence it’s well worth the trip. As a mid-sized city with a booming tourist industry, it won’t be difficult to hail a taxi or an uber.

You could spend all day in Oltrarno, but you’ll only have time to visit a few spots. You’ll want to walk through the Pitti Palace art museum, paying special attention to the Palatine Gallery. The museum houses many paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries, including works from the famed Renaissance painter Raphael.

Afterward, walk over to Boboli Gardens to relax in the park for a while. Technically an open air museum, the garden is home to many spectacular, centuries-old sculptures. Don’t miss the ampitheatre on your walk. With the incredible architecture and adornments, you’re unlikely to.

Finally, treat yourself to the best view of Florence. Climb to the top of Church of San Miniato al Monte, located just behind the Piazzale Michelangelo. You’ll be treated to a breathtaking view of city.

Lunch: Eat Like a Tuscan

For lunch, your best option is Rifrullo. This popular eatery has two locations in the city. Conveniently, one of them is at the Oltrarno. You can simply walk instead of taking an Uber. You also need the exercise beforehand, because you’re going to eat a lot.

Rifrullo serves a Tuscan buffet for lunch. For modest cost of 10 Euros, you will enjoy delicious cuisine in a friendly, comfortable setting. If you’re not up for the second buffet of the day, Rifrullo also has a creative menu that the chef changes daily. Many of the patrons at this eatery are locals, and they’re notoriously kind to guests. You may need to brush up on your Italian before starting any conversations, though.

This restaurant was the first one in the city to feature an American menu when it opened in 1981. For nearly forty years, it has melded Italian cooking with western recipes to craft inimitable flavors. Don’t freak out when you see the line to eat here. That’s merely a sign of the food quality.

Il Duomo di Firenze in Florence.

Afternoon: Visit Saint Mary’s Cathedral

Tuscan culture exemplifies everything majestic about Italy, and one of Florence’s most popular attractions is the Duomo di Firenze. This Gothic-style building dates back to the 1200’s, but its world-famous dome didn’t come until later. You can admire the work of Filippo Brunelleschi as you look up at one of the architectural triumphs of the 15th century. Then, you should climb to the top of the cupola to enjoy another spectacular view of the city.

Dinnertime: Eat the Best Food in Florence

If you thought you were treating yourself during breakfast and lunch, get ready for dinner. You’re going to Il Vivandiere, a small rustic restaurant with a reputation as one of the best restaurants in all of Europe.

Offering high-end takes on traditional peasant food, this place will fill you with the warmth of delicious comfort food without breaking your budget. Order the carpaccio with goat cheese and a lush wine pairing. You’ll feel like you’ve enjoyed your Tuscan dream meal.

Evening: Head Back to Piazzale Michelangelo

Florence is an entirely different city at night. Many residents sit at exterior tables, talking and dancing away the night. At Piazzale Michelangelo, you can mingle with strangers, sharing stories about your lives and the time you’ve spent in Italy. It’s an amazing communal experience, one you’ll never forget.