The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence has always been known for its incredible art, medieval architecture and fashionable boutiques. Beyond the classics, you’ll discover an enviable lifestyle of being busy doing nothing – simply enjoying long walks, dining on divine cuisine, and enjoying the buzzing atmosphere.
Romantic, charming and artistic
Florence is a truly enchanting city. Inundated with jaw-dropping art galleries and museums, decorated with rustic terracotta roofs and littered with tiny boutiques and cosy trattorias, there’s much to see and do in Florence. Yet, the lifestyle remains enviably laidback. The locals live the life of dolce far niente, meaning ‘the sweetness of nothing’ in Italian, and they’re more than happy to share this way of life with you. Enjoy a slow stroll through the piazzas, taking in incredible architecture including Brunelleschi's red cathedral dome on Piazza del Duomo and stopping for another gelato or a Tuscan treat from a street market. It’s hard not to feel instantly charmed by the 15th and 16th century palaces, atmospheric chapels and cobbled-stone streets.
You can feel the warm buzz of Florence at any time of day, but dusk is one of our favourite times in the city. As the sunset casts a golden glow on the city, locals and visitors alike leisurely meander through the streets, soak up the atmosphere and grab an aperitivo – a pre-dinner drink where you can open up your palate and mingle. This is called a ‘passeggiata’, meaning a laidback stroll in the early evening for the sole purpose to socialise. We couldn’t think of anything better.
Why visit Florence?
- Florence is easy to navigate by foot, and walking around the city is one of our favourite ways to really soak up the fabulous atmosphere and impressive architecture. Fuelled by sweet gelato, take the time to slowly meander through the narrow streets, noticing how every corner you turn you’ll be introduced to more history, medieval architecture, pretty piazzas, designer boutiques and picturesque gardens. We recommend whiling away an afternoon exploring the Boboli Gardens with centuries-old oak trees, before heading to the North Terrace at dusk for an amazing view of terracotta roofs, Arno river and the Duomo.
- Florence has and always will be, a fashionable city. Much loved by art buffs, Florence showcases its incredible art history at every turn, from world-renowned art galleries displaying Michelangelo and Botticcelli, to the intricate dome ceiling in the Florence Cathedral adorned with Vasari’s fresco of The Last Judgement. Florence is also where the trendiest people flock, either looking to make their name known or simply wanting to buy a piece of Florentina jewellery. World-class designers including Gucci and Ferragamo opened their boutiques here back in the 1920’s, and the city’s style has gone from strength to strength ever since. The humbler side to Florence’s art scene is the goldsmith and shoe-maker workshops that you can wander past and watch talents at work.
- Residing in Tuscany, one of the biggest foodie destinations in the world, it’ll come at no surprise that the food in Florence is phenomenal. Locals take much pride in their culinary traditions, using the freshest ingredients plucked from the verdant Tuscan countryside and coastline. Treat your taste buds with classic Tuscan dishes that are simply timeless, including Bistecca alla Fiorentina – a huge t-bone steak that’s fire-grilled over roasted chestnuts, and the opinion-dividing pappardelle al cinghiale – a sandwich filled with thinly sliced tripe. For something a little less adventurous, you can’t go wrong with a pillow-like pizza cooked the Tuscan way, or pappardelle al cinghiale – long and wide, flat pasta coated in hearty boar ragu.