Florence

The capital city of Italy’s Tuscany region, Florence is famed for its Renaissance art and architecture, making it a popular travel destination for those passionate about history and culture. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists every year who visit the city to see landmarks including The Duomo, the Fountain of Neptune, the Medici chapel and much more, all contained by the city’s 14th century medieval walls. Sitting in a basin formed by a collection of hills, Florence is often referred to as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A fashion capital, Florence is also a popular tourist destination for those who love to shop and discover some of the finest clothing Europe has to offer. Other treasures and delights the city holds includes the huge range of museums, breathtaking views overlooking the city, its historic architecture, and some of the best gelato in the world.

A bed and breakfast in Florence is a great option for those who want the flexibility of dining out during their stay in the city and it’s an opportunity to experience an authentic Florentine home. Set in the heart of the city centre Joanna I is a classic and stylish bed & breakfast with beautifully spacious rooms, offering delicious breakfasts that is just a short walk from the city’s main attractions. If you are planning to spend the majority of your trip out and about exploring the city, a studio apartment is just what you need. With all your basic necessities, these apartments might be small but offer visitors the perfect base in the city centre. A favourite amongst tourists to Florence who want to book a luxury break is Hotel Spadai. This boutique hotel with its beautiful interiors and state-of-the-art facilities offers luxury like no other venue in the city. Set jut outside of the city centre is the 5-star Villa Cora. This magnificent venue overlooking the Baboli Gardens is the ultimate Florentine spa retreat with a luxurious swimming pool and a range of unique treatments available for guests to enjoy.

Like all Italian regions, Tuscany offers a host of traditional foods specific to the area. Local ingredients you are likely to see in Florentine restaurants include tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and basil. Antipasti is a favourite amongst the locals as is Parpadelle wild boar ragu and Ribollita & Pappa al Pomodoro, a traditional Tuscan dish that uses seasonal vegetables served with bread. A traditional Florentine restaurant in the heart of the city is Trattoria Sabatino. A family run restaurant since 1956 offering traditional cuisine such as hearty pasta and meat dishes. One of the most elegant venues to enjoy a coffee is Caffé Rivoire. Its delightful terrace make it the perfect place to people watch in between sight-seeing. If you want to try some authentic gelato during your trip to Florence, make a bee line to La Carraia, serving some of the most intensely flavoured gelato you will have ever tried

Planning is key when it comes to organising your trip to Florence. With so much to see, you might be pushed to fit everything in over a short mini-break. Monuments and Piazza’s should definitely be on your sight-seeing list and one of the best is Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can take in the jaw-dropping panoramic views overlooking the city. The Iconic cathedral of Florence, The Duomo is a Renaissance masterpiece and one you will love to spend the day exploring. Filled with beautiful frescos, learn about the buildings rich history either on a pre-booked tour or with the cathedrals audio guide. The Baboli Gardens, known as the “green lung” due to its unique shape dates from the 15th century and offers a unique insight into the history of the city. Inspired by royal gardens from around Europe, including Versaille, discover the many different areas of the gardens including the sweeping avenues and the impressive amphitheater.

If you are not a fan of the heat, you may want to avoid July & August in Florence when temperatures soar. Both the Spring and Autumn are lovely times to visit the city, when the weather remains warm and most restaurants will have their outside seating set up. Although you will benefit from fewer crowds during the winter months you may be disappointed to find many of the attractions and restaurants closed. Early to mid may is one of the best times to miss the crowds but still benefit from the warm weather. However, if you would like to visit Tuscany to see the famous fields of sunflowers, you will want to book a trip to Florence between June – August.