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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!
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.
c-hotels Ambasciatori is surrounded by masterpieces. It's a 6-minute walk to the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, 10 minutes to Florence's Duomo, and 15 minutes to Galleria dell’Accademia - which houses Michelango's David and Botticelli’s Madonna and Child.
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).
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.
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.
Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps from Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Florence Baptistery, and San Lorenzo Church. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum are also within 5 minutes.
A 10-minute drive from Florence Peretola Airport airport, Hotel Cosmopolitan is within a 15-minute drive of Florence's city center, the Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori, and the Statue of David at Galleria dell' Accademia.
Steps from the shops and cafés of Via del Corso, the hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza della Repubblica, Uffizi Gallery, and Florence's Duomo. The Statue of David is 10 minutes away and Palazzo Medici Riccardi and Dante’s Home are nearby.