A cultural and gastronomic look at this northern region of Italy
Florence: the birthplace of the Renaissance, and one of the most dazzling cities Italy has to offer. The allure of la bella Firenze has tourists flocking en-mass each summer, but why not try a spring time trip and have it all to yourself?
Kick-start the day with a creamy cappuccino from an elegant bar in the historic centre. Pair your coffee with a Cenci alla Fiorentina – also known as a “love knot cookie” – a zingy lemon Tuscan pastry.
Next, head to the the iconic Duomo: the artistic and historical heart of Florence – featuring a stunning cathedral and a must-see art museum showing off the fine works of Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Visit this masterpiece first thing in the morning to avoid the hordes and view the stunning marble façade and gothic bell tower in peace.
You don’t have to queue for the Uffizi or Accademia to enjoy the world-class art Florence has to offer. From the medieval frescoes in the Santa Croce to Michelangelo’s wooden crucifix at Santo Spirito, church hopping in Florence provides a cultural tour of magnificent treasures.
For lunch, sample the trendy Florentine street food. You could choose a lampredotto, a traditional workman’s lunch of a juicy and nutritious tripe sandwich. Just add salsa verde or chilli oil and you’re good to go.
Pick up a silky hot chocolate from Caffè Rivoire and take a look around the endless supply of shops. We recommend popping by Via di San Niccolo to browse the unique craftsman jewels by Alessandro Dari.
Check out, Otalmo, an unmissable bohemian neighbourhood south of the river, brimming with lively bars tucked away in ancient buildings, serving up a selection of organic wines. Meander through the Giardino di Boboli, or enjoy the Medici’s collection of Renaissance paintings in the Palatine Gallery.
Don’t miss a trip to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a stunning panorama of Florence. The views are at their best at sunset!