As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it’s no wonder Florence attracts visitors from all walks of life. The city offers an abundance of authentic Italian art, culture, evolving fashion brands, and restaurants. If you decide to pack up for a journey through this Italian paradise, here’s what you can expect from your adventures.
For the Art Lover
Florence is home to a world of incredible art. The Uffizi Gallery, located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria, showcases famous artwork from the Italian Renaissance. The collection here includes pieces by Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Giotto, and Titian. Art and architecture meet at the iconic Piazza del Duomo, home to the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. Admire it from afar or book a guided tour of the famed dome and cupola, the highest point in Florence. No matter where you look, you’ll see something magnificent. The city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an open gallery of gorgeous architecture, colorful homes, cobblestone streets, and painted skies. Street artists and painters, jewelry designers, and more all make up the art community that continues to thrive in Florence. Take a break from a stay at AC Hotel Firenze to explore Galleria dell’Accademia (where you’ll find Michelangelo’s David), Museo di San Marco, Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, and Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo.
For the Explorers
Once you’ve checked into your stay at The Westin Excelsior, Florence, roam around the riverfront. The Arno River sparkles from sunup to sundown and well into the evening hours. Stroll along the multiple bridges, including Ponte Vecchio, Ponte alle Grazie, Ponte Santa Trinita, and Ponte alla Carraia, perfect for photo ops with friends and family. For unexpected greenery in the booming metropolis, explore the Giardino Torrigiani, the most extensive privately owned gardens in Europe. Walk through the neighborhood of Oltrarno, meaning “on the other side of the Arno.” While less traversed by tourists, this part of the city is perfect for an authentic look at how the locals live. However, nothing reflects Florence quite like its aromatic food markets. San Lorenzo and Sant’Ambrogio are perfect for fruit, veggies, meat, and deli goods.
For the Foodie
Florence is located in the middle of the Chianti wine region, meaning you can drink affordable and delicious varieties of wine all over the city. Sure, you can take your pick of Italian favorites such as pizza, pasta, and gelato, or you can pull up a seat to enjoy traditional Tuscan dishes. As the capital of the Tuscany region, there is no shortage of delicious food. Try wild boar pasta, tripe, or filet mignon soaked in a warm bilberry sauce. Trattoria Da Burde, II Guscio, and Casa del Vino are can’t-miss spots for the food lover. For Tuscan soul food, pull up a seat at Trattoria Mario, Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori, and Del Fagioli. With minimal, richly flavored ingredients like olive oil, saffron, truffles, wild herbs, numerous types of cabbages, mushrooms, and cannelloni, chefs add unique twists to the signature dishes of Italy. The city also hosts a Gelato Festival every April, but you don’t need to wait around for a festival to try delicious gelato. There’s a gelateria on nearly every corner. My Sugar is a popular one that is bound to satisfy your sweet tooth. After getting your fill, rest easy at the Sina Villa Medici, Autograph Collection.
For the Fashion Fiend
Florence is home to high-end designer shops and boasts fashion museums such as Gucci Garden and Salvatore Ferragamo. In addition to offering luxury handbags and the latest couture, Florence serves as a creative place for designers like Prada, an opulent, illustrious brand native to Italy. However, you don’t need a Birkin bag to enjoy the shopping scene in Florence. More affordable boutiques such as Sofí offer Italian finds at a reasonable price, and the amount of high-quality leather products is endless. Massimo Leather and San Lorenzo market are among the many great places to find authentic leather goods. Take a break from relaxing at The St. Regis Florence to fill your bags with products from Via della Spada, Borgo Santi Apostoli, and Via dei Serragli. Each of these streets offers artisan gifts, jewelry, and modern and vintage finds that will satisfy your retail appetite.
Are you ready to pack your bags for a Florence affair? Book your trip with Vacations by Marriott to get started.