Florence Historic Center
Our best advice for exploring the centre? Travel on foot. Pretty as the paintings that adorn its most illustrious galleries, Florence will charm you with stories and beg you to make your own. Get lost among the jewellery makers and trinket buyers of Ponte Vecchio; then tie your love to a lock on the bridge’s fence (for good luck).
Places to stay from $13 a night
1 miles from downtown
Hot, hungry, and dreaming of pecorino? Sounds like you made it through the tree-lined streets to the heights of Piazzale Michelangelo. The Duomo looms high above the terracotta rooftops. A few flights up, you’ll find the prettiest church in Florence called San Miniato. Picnic among the ornate tombstones of the church’s cemetery (if you dare).
Places to stay from $59 a night
0.5 miles from downtown
Pay homage to Galileo and Michelangelo, both buried beneath this Basilica. But don’t pray and run. Giotto’s frescoes decorate the Franciscan church’s interior chapels. French writer Stendhal coined his syndrome of the same here (an illness of “awe” marked by symptoms of intense nervousness caused by seeing great art).
Places to stay from $27 a night
Santa Maria Novella
0.4 miles from downtown
Ready to cut your teeth on 20th century Italian art? Museo Novecento’s got just the collection. Afterward, let an espresso buzz you through Santa Maria Novella’s Gothic Basilica. Next door is Italy’s oldest apothecary and perfumery (1221), where aromatic elixirs steep in decanted bottles, and chemists still concoct colognes from the past.
Places to stay from $13 a night
0.2 miles from downtown
Gucci certainly approves of the high-fashion boutiques that abound in his hometown. Heels and cobblestone? Not a problem for the Florentine female. This block is a who’s who crash course of Italian high fashion–from Armani to Versace and everyone in between. Even the air smells expensive. Window-shop your heart out, honey.
Places to stay from $38 a night
0.2 miles from downtown
Both district and world-famous gallery. Art students stand agog in front of masterworks (ah, Botticelli) in the Uffizi Gallery. After a Renaissance morning, buy a gelato from “Perché no!" (the mozzarella with chestnut honey is a must!) and lick it all the way to Piazza della Signoria. Navel-gaze amidst pigeons, people, and sea-coloured statues.
Places to stay from $16 a night
Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, is also the capital of Italy's Tuscany region and a powerhouse of culture, architecture, and art.
The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you never have to look far for things to do. The Uffizi Gallery is home to masterpieces like "The Birth of Venus" and "Primavera" by Sandro Botticelli, as well as Titian's "Venus of Urbino," while the Accademia Gallery is home to Michelangelo's "David" and the unfinished "Slaves." If you have time, be sure to visit other great museums like the Bargello, the Gucci Garden, and the former palace of the famous Medici family.
In the old town's center, you'll find the city's wonderful cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (also known as Duomo di Firenze) and Giotto's Tower, which offers a 360º view of the entire city. Then make a visit to Mercato Central to try some Florentine cuisine. It's the city's oldest and largest food market, packed with fresh, local produce, and even a bookshop and culinary school. You'll find all the local favorites, from tripe panini and pasta to gelato and Florentine steak.
Florence's Amerigo Vespucci airport is close, only a 15-minute bus or taxi ride from the city center.
From $42 per night
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|Most popular time to visit||August-October|
|Cheapest time to visit||January-March|
|Local currency||€ 1 = $1.20|
|Average weekend price||$104 per night|
|Average weekday price||$104 per night|
|Average stay||2 nights|
Florence is one of the most beautiful historical cities in the World! Besides the Uffizzi Gallery (tne number#1 in Renaissance art); the sun setting over the Arno, seen from the Piazzalle Michelangelo; the delicious Bisteca Fiorentina; the wonderful galleries of small restaurants and different kinds of food on the first floor (balcony) of the Central Market (open until 01:00 am!), with incredible and affordable options - we had the privilege of staying at the CERRETANI Firenze Hotel (Mgallery by Sofitel)! THe hotel has an incredible location, just 3 minutes walking to Il Duomo and the Batistero! It is located just in front of the most glamurous street in town: The Tuornaboni Street! The rooms are beautiful; comfortable and cozy. Breakfast (included) is just delicious and served as a buffet (all you can eat) in a wonderful breakfast area with modern décor including TV screens showing contineous videos of relaxing nature views. The hotel staff is wonderful! Always ready and happy to help, and always with a smile. One thing though you have to be prepared for, if you are coming to Florence downtown by car... Parking (the hotel indicates a garage service, and your car will be ready just after 30 minutes of a request) is expensive. But, in general, the CERRETANI was a major help for our wonderful stay in Florence!
We visited in early December, and I'd thoroughly recommend that time of year because it's not quite as crowded and it's really pleasant to walk around on a chilly, bright day. Plus, the Christmas lights just make a beautiful city even more stunning! In addition to all the famous sights, which you really can't miss, I'd recommend: Eating at one of the stalls in the Mercato Di San Lorenzo - we had some great polpette and a big glass of rustic red wine, and it was lush :) Walk up to Piazzale Michalengelo for the amazing views, and then on the way back down stop off at Il Rifrullo for an Aperol Spritz. Lovely, friendly cafe/bar/restaurant - the room at the back had a fireplace, which looked super cosy. Sit with the locals and sample the pizza at Gusta Pizza - super cheap, delicious and informal - great fun. Enjoy some drinks and maybe some live music at bar Volume, around the corner from Gusta Pizza in Piazza Santo Spirito - a really nice square with a number of bars and restaurants to choose from. We liked Volume a lot. Have a meal at L'Osteria Di Giovanni - probably best to book as it was really busy when went, but we were lucky enough to get the last table. Real italian cooking and real italian customers - great atmosphere and delicious! I didn't have it, but apparently the Bistecca alla Fiorentina is the best. Take a stroll (up) the Boboli Gardens - more amazing views! It's steep though, but lovely on a crisp December morning. We visited on a Sunday morning, and entry was free. Lastly, I would thoroughly recommend staying at Hotel Glance - a lovely, new and modern hotel with great staff.
The city of Florence is very beautiful I will definitely come back with my friends one day. I found a nice hotel in there Hotel Minerva near the church but I bet that is very expensive!! I am an average traveller on a budget I like hotel not cheap but not expensive. One of our friends met us there and brought us to an Aperifif? Restaurant. It was just an overnight stay, we were just passing through to go to Pisa, Italy. Florence is beautiful but need more time to enjoy the place, had no chance to visit the museum, but my overall trip was fantastic definitely I will come back one day.
Ah, Florence! What don't I love about you? As a historian of the Renaissance, I find treasures on every corner. This time, I stayed right near the Medici Chapels at San Lorenzo at the simple but fabulous Hotel Aldobrandini. Close to the train station and only a few blocks from the Duomo, this one-star hotel is close to good restaurants and really has all you need.
We had two nights and then drove to Cinque Terre before returning for another 3 nights. We loved the variety of Florence. There was so much to do. Try hiring cycles and heading to Signa. It's about 10km away along a great bike track alongside the river. Once there you can relax around an outside pool. You do have to pay but we had a lovely day there. Don't forget your bathing cap though or you'll have to buy one. Obica is a lovely place to dine and reasonably priced. SO much to say but a lot can be found in guide books or any helpful hotel receptionist will offer suggestions. We stayed at Hotel del Corso with lovely Chiara and then for our return stay we were at the Pendini with a good view of the carousel in the piazza below and also the Duomo a few streets away.
Costly city but worth of seeing outside the Tourist season. Difficult to reach hotels inside ZTL Areas as well as to find good and not too expensive Parking for the car. Coperto in the Restaurants is a big minus for the Tourism and in small cities/villages they are not using it, but it's impossible to eat in Firenze without that extra charge. Italy (especially the cities) is not a place for children and it's not recommended to travel with them, for vacations are turning into daily complains for they have no attractions there.
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