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Follow in the footsteps of Botticelli and Michelangelo as you discover one of the cultural treasure-houses of Europe. Explore ancient churches and historic galleries, shop for bargains in lively markets, sample tasty delicacies in friendly cafes and bars, treat yourself to the latest Italian designer fashions from chic boutiques, and immerse yourself in the Renaissance splendour of royal palaces and grand piazzas.
One of the iconic outlines on the Florentine skyline is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), so head for the Piazza del Duomo and start your tour with a climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s fabled dome for a bird’s-eye view of the whole city spread out at your feet. You might be able to pick out some of the attractions you’ve yet to visit, such as the distinctive U-shape of the Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi), which houses masterpieces by world-famous artists including Botticelli, da Vinci and Titian, or the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge over the Arno River with its jumble of jewellers shops lining the sides.
Across the river lies the Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti), the former residence of the powerful and wealthy Medici family, where yet more artistic treasures await. Spend time viewing the Medici collection of works by Raphael, Caravaggio and other Renaissance painters before heading outside to admire the sculptures in the Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli), beautifully laid out in finest 16th-century Italianate style.
The Renaissance saw an unprecedented flowering of art and architecture, and no building sums up its unique design philosophy as strongly as the San Lorenzo Church (Basilica di San Lorenzo), which combined the talents of fabled Florentine architects Brunelleschi and Michelangelo in one of the oldest and largest ecclesiastical buildings in Florence.
No visit to the capital of Tuscany would be complete without sampling some of the region’s famous culinary specialities such as smoky prosciutto ham, tasty tomato soup flavoured with basil, fresh pasta or tender Florentine steaks, washed down with a nice bottle of local wine. When it comes to finding a restaurant, you’ll be spoilt for choice in this gourmet paradise.
The mild Mediterranean climate attracts visitors year round, although it can be a little quieter during the winter months. However, it makes sense to book tickets to the galleries, especially the popular Uffizi, in advance to avoid the queues and guarantee entry, particularly at peak times. The city is compact and most attractions are within a short walking distance from the centre. Public transport is excellent, with electric buses connecting all the major sites, but be warned – driving and parking in the congested, narrow streets is not for the faint-hearted!
Although located just one block from the bustling Santa Maria Novella Station, this early 20th-century townhouse is set on a quiet street in central Florence, one kilometer from the Duomo. Hotel Albani Firenze also is near Fortezza da Basso, Palazzo dei Congressi, Centro Affari, Santa Maria Novella Church, San Lorenzo's Market, and San Lorenzo Church.
This Florence hotel is 150 meters from the Bargello Museum and 250 meters from Dante’s House, the Piazza del Duomo, and the Badia Fiorentina. The Duomo Works Museum is 300 meters away.
Located in Peretola, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Cascine Park, Fortezza da Basso, and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. Villa di Castello and Meyer Children's Hospital are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated in Florence, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of University of Florence, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, and Accademia Gallery. Fortezza da Basso and San Lorenzo Church are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Housed in a medieval tower, this hotel is amid shops and cafés at Ponte Vecchio, only 2 blocks from Pitti Palace and 4 blocks from Santo Spirito Church and the Uffizi Gallery.
Tucked away on a quiet street, this Florence hotel is about 5-minute walk from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Il Duomo), Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, and many other famous attractions.
Located in Duomo, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza della Repubblica and Florence Baptistery. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Ponte Vecchio are also within 10 minutes.
This 83-room hotel in the residential quarter of San Frediano lies close to the city centre on the side of the Arno with attractions such as the Pitti Palace, Fort Belevedere, and Boboli Gardens.