Florence may flood with tourists come spring and summer, but not without good reason. This, Tuscany’s most famous art town, is a breathtakingly beautiful city in almost every way.
Of course, there is a classic checklist for its visitors. You must see the impressive Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, and head to the Uffizi and Accademia to see the likes of Botticelli, Da Vinci, Giotto, and Michelangelo. Then there are the slightly less famous, but equally important monuments. The church of Sante Croce, for example, or the Palazzo Vecchio. Be sure to see these delightful monuments that are so intrinsic to Florence.
However, to discover its true charm, you need to dig a little deeper. For example, though Florence is famous for its Uffizi and Accademia galleries, it also boasts a number of more niche museums. Why not discover a little fashion history in the Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo museums? Alternatively, keep your eyes open for various smaller boutique galleries that exhibit varying artists depending on season.
Any visitor to Florence must also appreciate the great importance Florentines put on their food and wine, or enogastronomia. The best place to find an authentic restaurant meal is undoubtedly in the Santo Spirito area. Some of the best can even be found on the piazza itself. Alternatively, head to the Mercato Centrale, where local produce is sold. In the evenings this turns into a glorified pick and mix of the best Tuscan foods. Take your pick of pizzas, pastas, cheeses, meats, and other foods and dishes, which you can then enjoy in its modern mess-hall style seating area.
Another area not to overlook is the Piazzale Michelangelo. A short, though steep, uphill walk will reward you with the most spectacular view of Florence in the whole city. A popular place for couples and friends alike, it exudes a serene and romantic ambiance. Head there before sunset, picking up some chianti wine and brindisi snacks for an evening that will be relaxing and breathtaking in equal measure.
Those who have had enough of staying on their feet the whole day, the Boboli gardens offer a much needed break. Located behind the Palazzo Pitti, these landscaped gardens offer extensive spaces in both sun and shade. Of course, the Palazzo Pitti itself is also a great attraction, with its palatial rooms and artefacts preserved.
A plethora of train, plane, and bus connections serve this city. Fly to Pisa or Florence airport for quickest transfer times. From Florence you will also have access to great train connections across Tuscany, as well as many coaches that run to nearby towns and villages.