Florence holidays are your gateway to grand buildings, great artwork and gastronomic treats.
This romantic capital is famed for being the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ and is still the cultural heart of Tuscany today. Famous attractions such as the Galleria dell'Accademia – home to Michelangelo’s David – pull in visitors from across the world.
There’s also a stylish shopping scene. Head to Via de' Tornabuoni for some of Europe’s best fashion boutiques, as well as an enviable range of restaurants serving up delicious Italian food.
Florence – or Firenze as it’s known to the locals – is a compact city and easy to explore on foot. You also don’t have to travel far to explore the stunning Tuscan countryside and its charming towns and medieval villages such as Collodi.
A holiday to Florence provides enough variety for an amazing cultural break, romantic trip for two and an indulgent gastronomic getaway.
Home to one of the world's greatest collections of Renaissance art, and with a story dating back to the 16th century, the Uffizi Gallery is a must-see.
Discover some of Italy’s best-known paintings, including The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci, The Holy Family by Michelangelo and Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch.
There are also rooms displaying Botticelli masterpieces. When planning your Florence itinerary, be sure to allow at least a morning for a visit here.
Fashion fans should pay a visit to Via de' Tornabuoni. Running across Piazza Santa Trinita, this street is home to many high-end and boutique stores – as well as being the home to Palazzo Tornabuoni, the birthplace of opera.
Mercato Centrale is also a must-visit, with the produce on offer underlining Florence’s reputation as a hotbed of gastronomic excellence.
The independent outlets in this indoor food market make it a great place to learn more about local delicacies - think juicy olives, hearty soups and plenty of truffle-laden dishes.
The city’s most famous landmark is Florence Cathedral – also known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or simply ‘Duomo’.
It’s a sight to behold and should be at the top of your list of things to visit when you book any of our Florence packages.
With its red-tiled dome and breathtaking green and pink marble facade, the cathedral is a much-loved feature of the Florence skyline. Inside, cast your eye over scores of impressive stained-glass windows, as well as artwork by the likes of Vasari and Zuccari.
Galleria dell'Accademia is the place to see Michelangelo’s world-famous statue of David.
This beautifully detailed marble depiction of the Biblical figure was first unveiled in Florence in the early years of the 16th century.
Today, locals still consider it a symbol of power, liberty and civic pride. The gallery – which dates back to the 18th century – is also home to paintings by Botticelli, Orcagna and Lippi.
Tuscany is a place famed for its cuisine, so it will come as little surprise that Florence is home to many great restaurants, including a string of Michelin-starred establishments.
Those seeking a truly special dining experience should head to Enoteca Pinchiorri – one of a select band of eateries in Italy with three Michelin stars.
Created by gastronomic visionaries Giorgio Pinchiorri and Annie Feolde, the menu here is a celebration of the traditional flavours of the Tuscan countryside.
Florence Cathedral acts as the heart of the city, with accommodation around here offering the chance for a room with an incredible view. For an extra touch of luxury, try the Bernini Palace.
Situated close to leading attractions like the Uffizi Gallery and Piazza della Signoria, this five-star hotel has a rooftop terrace and a restaurant specialising in the finest Italian cuisine.
Florence also offers a good range of three- and four-star accommodation.
Four-star choices include Hotel Albani Firenze, which is a 10-minute walk from the Santa Maria Novella Basilica, and Via dei Martelli’s Hotel Spadai, where amenities include a spa and sauna.
Three-star picks include the Rodo Hotel Fashion Delight, which is perfectly located for a visit to the cathedral.
Cross the Arno River to find yourself in Oltrarno – a lively neighbourhood packed with artisan workshops and home to a booming cafe culture. It also boasts superb panoramic views of the city.
The Palazzo Mannaioni Suites is a good option here. Close to Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace, it has spacious studios and impressive apartments that are perfect if you want a bit of space to relax during your stay.
The currency used in Florence and the rest of Italy is the euro (EUR). The city has plenty of ATMs and credit cards are widely accepted.
Florence’s compact size means it is easily explored on foot. ATAF bus services are a handy transport option, along with the city’s tram system. The centre of Florence is closed to traffic – although taxis with permits can go in.
The main language spoken in Florence is Italian. Visitors will find that English is also widely used here, particularly in the key tourist areas.
Ferragosto – or Feast of the Assumption – takes place on August 15. Other dates to look out for include Liberation Day (25 April) and Republic Day (2 June).
Simplicity is the key to food in Florence with bread, olives, cheese, mushrooms and tomatoes all staples here. While these ingredients might be simple, the final creations are far from it.
Pasta is often made from scratch and rolled by hand. White truffles also feature prominently on menus, adding an extra touch of flavour to even the best dishes.
Regional desserts include panforte (similar to a Florentine biscuit and made with honey, fruit and nuts) and cavallucci (biscuits made with almonds, candied fruit and coriander).
Holidays in Florence will get you up close and personal with some of the world’s most spectacular buildings.
Elegant palaces house medieval chapels, marble statues and acclaimed museums, where the works of Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci take pride of place.
Reminders of the Renaissance era can be seen as you explore the cobbled streets at the heart of Florence, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Be sure to visit the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo and Pitti Palace once you’ve finished at the Uffizi. The Bargello, a former prison turned art museum, is another highlight.
With its verdant vineyards and picturesque valleys, it’s little wonder Tuscany is regarded as one of the most romantic regions in Europe.
Take a day or two out to explore the forests and mountain ranges to the north, or head to coastal resorts such as Viareggio and Castiglioncello.
To learn more about Tuscany’s wine making traditions, visit the Chianti area.
The medieval village of Collodi, about an hour’s drive from Florence, is a particularly popular destination, thanks in part to a park dedicated to the classic children’s story Pinocchio.
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