Florence Holidays

Tuscany's Renaissance treasure

 As one of Europe's most historically important cities, Florence hardly needs an introduction. This sunny and startlingly pretty city in central Italy is where the Renaissance is said to have been born, through the genius of the enquiring minds that lived and thrived here. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Dante are just a few of the legendary names who called Tuscany's great capital home, and goodness, did they leave their marks on the city. Follow in the footsteps of Europe's most talented Renaissance men, treat your taste buds to hearty Tuscan treats and feast your eyes on more medieval art and architecture than you can handle on a holiday to Florence. 

You can get a feel for the energy and turbulence of the city's past just by walking around its UNESCO-protected historic centre. At every turn, you'll find a magnificent building, an ancient square or a stunning bridge, each with a story to tell. There's simply no doubt about it, Florence is one of the world's most beautiful cities, a fact celebrated and reaffirmed by the masterpieces of art and sculpture that hang in its many high calibre museums. 

 

Your Florence questions, answered...

You can see the main sights on foot in this compact city. If you don't feel like walking, hop on a bus or tram.
Feast on crostini with pâté, bistecca alla Fiorentina and obscene amounts of pasta. Washed down with a glass of Chianti or Sangiovese of course.
Florence is a good place to visit, anytime. If you want warm weather for sightseeing, late spring and late summer are good times. If you love the heat, summer is perfect. But if you’re keen to avoid the crowds, then outside this time is ideal. From January to May, there’s a host of traditional festivals to watch. While summer and autumn see a range of music and dance celebrations in the squares. Whatever time you go, there’s always plenty to amuse you.
Too many to count, but you'll kick yourself if you don't lay eyes on Michelangelo's sculptural masterpiece David in the Galleria dell'Accademia.
Florence is easy to get around, so you could stay anywhere around the city. Right in the centre is good for sights like the cathedral. And there’s a fine choice of elegant and stylish hotels here. Just outside the centre, you have the neighbourhoods of Santa Croce and San Niccolo. You'll find these a little more relaxed, with restaurants and wine bars near the river. There’s a mix of contemporary and traditional hotels to stay in too. If you fancy making your budget go a little further, try one of the cosy hotels in Florence’s outer suburbs.
It’s probably most famous for its art and architecture. The city centre is packed with sights. There’s a beautiful cathedral and the medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge. Plus, you have the ornate Uffizi Gallery and many palaces. Michelangelo's famous David statue is here too. It’s considered the birthplace of Renaissance art and Italian gelato. So, whether you fancy a cultural break or simply scoffing ice cream, Florence is the place to do it.
Florence holidays with the family are a fine idea. You have plenty of piazzas and historic sights to wander around. Among the museums, you'll find the Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum perfect for younger kids. The parks and gardens are excellent for some space and relaxation with all the family. And Parco delle Cascine has something of everything to keep both young and old occupied. And there’s plenty of pizza and ice cream to eat. But Florence is a good place for couples too. Wine bars, art galleries and scenic tours are ideal for a romantic getaway.
You could certainly see some of Florence’s highlights in three days. However, you may wish to stay longer if you want to take in all the beautiful squares and historic buildings. And there’s so many museums and galleries worth visiting. A trip to Florence wouldn’t be complete without spending time sampling the food and drink either. So, you may need a week or more if you fancy doing everything.
The Tuscan seaside port of Livorno is about an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Florence. It’s certainly a good place to go if you’re looking for a day trip to the coast. You can also get there by train, so you don’t need a car. If you want to spend some time in the city and some days by the sea, you could stay in both for a few days.

Best things to do in Florence

See the Duomo

Dominating Florence's skyline, this 600 year old cathedral is the largest brick and mortar dome in the entire world and a symbol of the city.

Cross the Ponte Vecchio

It might take you a while as you'll be tempted to stop and browse for souvenirs at the stilted shops and stalls on either side.

Visit the Uffizi Gallery

Gaze at Florentine and international masterpieces in one of the finest art museums on earth.
Beaches