Italy’s renaissance metropolis is home to some of the world’s greatest art treasures and noble shopping streets. Florence is tightly packed with imposing historical buildings. The city’s mix of luxury and culture makes it a place of longing for art lovers, connoisseurs and fashionistas.
Hotels in Florence © Hotel Montebello Splendid
Highlights: Florence practically bursts with sights: Foremost the famous „Galleria degli Uffizi“ (Piazzale degli Uffizi), the museum that houses works of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Botticelli. The great cathedral with its dome, Brunelleschi’s Renaissance masterpiece, is also attracting many tourists. The Galleria dell’Accademia ( Via Ricasoli 60) displays Michelangelo’s David, an enormous statue from the year 1502. The bridge Ponte Vecchio is the only one in Florence that was not destroyed during World War II. If you need a little rest from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city take a break in the pretty Boboli Gardens around Palazzo Pitti, then see the works of Ruben, Tizian and Raphael in the museum. Afterwards you can admire the view over the medieval silhouette of Florence.
Luxury shopping & markets Florence’s elegant shopping streets are located in the center between the dome and the banks of the Arno river. Via dei Tornabuoni, Via Calimala and Via de Strozzi will satisfy every fashionista’s longings with quantities of designer boutiques like Armani, Gucci, Versace and Prada. Via Maggio in the district Oltrarno is well known for antique dealers - some of the art pieces and furniture that you can buy here date back to the 16th century. Chic jewellery stores can be found everywhere on Ponte Vecchio. If you are looking for budget-friendly clothes, leather goods and even food you should visit the charming San Lorenzo market on Piazza San Lorenzo or the Sant’Ambrogio market on Piazza Ghiberti.
Elegant nightlife: The Florentine nightlife takes place around Piazza della Signorina, where lots of elegant cafés and restaurants await nighthawks. Also popular are the piazzas in Oltrarno that are filled with laughter and chit-chat until the early morning hours.
Locals &Tourists: Around 40,000 tourists pass through Florence every day. Most Florentines tend to live in Oltrarno, Santa Croce and on the outskirts. So if you want to have Florence to yourself for once, you should be out and about in the old town really early or join the hustle and bustle at Sant' Ambrogio and Oltrarno in the evening.
Gay scene: Gays and lesbians were already welcome in Florence during its heyday. Perhaps that's why Florence is home to the largest gay community in Italy today (clubs in the city centre).
Ancient History & Modern Art: Florence is all about art and history at its best. But the city also tries to give a place to the present, to "dust off" Florence, so to speak. Those interested in contemporary art should visit the Museo Marini, the Modern Gallery in Palazzo Pitti and the surrounding galleries.
Views: The beauty of Florence is best enjoyed from above. Piazzale Michelangelo can be climbed from Oltrarno through small alleys and many steps. Small taverns and trattorias make the way comfortable. Street musicians play in the square and the view is gigantic. If you are in the Giardino di Boboli, you can simply walk further up to the city wall and let your gaze wander. Another option is to take the serpentine roads 7 km north-east of Florence to Fiesole by car or bus. An uninterrupted view of the city in the hilly countryside: stunning!