As everyone knows, Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. In fact, the Tuscan capital boasts some of the highest concentrations of artistic treasures on the face of the earth. Enough to make you dizzy and Stendhal knew something about it all along with his famous syndrome.
But Florence is not just an open-air museum. You can eat (good), drink (very good) and have fun (too).
What to do in Florence?
Among the best known, you will find the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), of course, and its dome, Giotto’s bell tower, the baptistery and gates of Ghiberti, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, which summarizes all of Florence’s history. Not to mention the Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s emblem that crosses the Arno River. You will not believe your eyes!
In the Duomo district, there is simply one of the most beautiful museums in the world! It Uffizi Gallery that you can find Botticelli’s famous Spring and Birth of Venus. But also Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Le Caravage, Mantegna and all the others.
The Galleria degli Uffizi is full of universally known masterpieces. It is not uncommon, in high season, to queue for 2 to 4 hours before entering the museum. A tip: book your ticket in advance online!
Go and have a look around: a 5-metre high athlete, all muscles (5.5 tonnes!) and sculpted by Michelangelo, you can’t refuse it! The real David, is the image of perfect beauty, and is at the Galleria dell’Accademia, the second most famous museum in Florence.
Once you leave the Accademia, explore the San Marco district, which hosts some of the wonders of Tuscan art. Don’t miss the discreet convent of San Marco and its divine frescoes by Fra Angelico.
What to eat in Florence?
To whet your appetite, head towards the San Lorenzo market in the homonym district. Under 19th century halls, you will face a lively conservatoire of Tuscan gastronomy: more than 1,000 stands where you can find and taste excellent quality deli meats, meats, fruits and vegetables in a lively atmosphere.
Tripe is one of the Florentine specialities and you can enjoy this very local pleasure in both in San Lorenzo market and in piazza dei Cimatori.
If you don’t like it, try other Florentine specialities such as ribollita (vegetable soup with black cabbage), pappa al pomodoro (tomato soup) or bistecca, a thick slice of beef to enjoy rare.
Take a stroll in Oltrarno district.
“Oltrarno” is on the other side of the river Arno, which for sure is a less touristy district, and also where the heart of a more popular Florence still beats with lots of locals having coffee in the traditional bars.
Here, as an advice, go to San Frediano, with its friendly alleys and the Piazza del Carmine, a meeting place for young party people at nightfall. In the neighbouring district of Santo Spirito, the imposing Palazzo Pitti houses, in the Palatine gallery, all the masterpieces acquired by the Medici.
Always Oltrarno, three natural havens to go green: the Boboli Garden, which surrounds the Pitti Palace; nearby, the Giardino Bardini, with its hundreds of flowers and magnificent views of Florence; and finally, in the San Niccolo district, the Giardino delle Rose with its rose garden (of course!), its Japanese garden, its statues of Folon and its panorama of the old city. What a joy!
Where to sleep?
Another essential tip for a getaway in Florence, is to choose the perfect accommodation. With its contemporary twist and its historic melange, the Hotel Brunelleschi, a 4 star hotel in Florence, invites you to a truly Renaissance stay with a spectacular view of Brunelleschi’s dome.
Bright and very refined, it offers a 360° breath taking view of San Lorenzo, Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Tower, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Palazzo Vecchio, Fiesole and Piazzale Michelangelo.
You will be just a couple of minutes walk from Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio, which means that you can walk around the city, without paying transportation costs, and fully enjoy its soul.
Are you ready? It is time to book your stay and fall in love with Florence, the city of arts!