Irene Clunie, City Breaks Specialist

"The capital of Tuscany, Florence is an amazing city with beautiful buildings and winding cobbled streets. Most of the major tourist sites in Florence are within easy walking distance of each other. It’s possible to walk from one end of the historic centre of Florence to the other in a half hour. No visit to Florence would be complete without a trip to the lovely Uffizi Gallery. This region of Italy is famous for its culinary delights so why not take a cooking class with a market tour and lunch. "

Florence at a glance

The jewel of Italy, Florence is the historic capital city of romantic Tuscany. With a wealth of history, culture and art, the city’s beauty permeates both inside and outside its Renaissance architecture, presenting a truly magnificent destination to explore.

The city skyline of Florence has changed little since the 16th century when it was one of the most important cities for trade and finance in Europe. Heralded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence was home to renowned artists, wealthy noble families and ruling popes. Much of the city’s grand past is still in evidence today in grand architectural works such as the Gothic Duomo and the Romanesque Palazzo Vecchio.

A large concentration of art galleries and museums are also found within the city, showcasing some of the best of Renaissance masterpieces. One of the oldest and most well-known art museums in the world, the Uffizi, is housed within an opulent palace that was built as a base for the Tribunal and a storage centre to preserve the state archives. Today the museum maintains an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures and frescos from Florence and around the world.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Iconic sites
  • Art and culture
  • Stunning architecture

Getting around

A public bus system operates throughout Florence. Bus tickets are good for a set period of time (usually 90 minutes) and can be purchased at any authorized ATAF sales point (typically newsagents and bars) for single or multiple trips.

Most buses operated by ATAF have three doors. The front and rear doors are for getting on the bus. The middle door is for getting off.

Shopping

With a tradition of fine clothing dating back to the 1300’s it comes as no surprise that fashion leaders such as Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Emilio Pucci call Florence home. Many of these high-end designers feature their items in the popular chic shopping street of Via de’Tornabuoni and the surrounding area, where fashion luxury boutiques rule.

Street markets, antique shops and independent fashion stores can also be found throughout the city, sure to please a variety of tastes and budgets.

Dining in Florence

Florence is a feast for the senses and your taste buds will not be disappointed either. Some of the best Italian food can be found in the restaurants of Florence.

Try Piazza Santa Spirito, a lovely tree lined square with a mouth-watering selection of eateries!

One of the most important vineyard regions in Tuscany, wine is one of Florence’s main economic staples. Here you will find both innovative Supertuscan blends as well as time preserved specialties.

Must-try local dishes:

  • Crostini toscani – round slices of bread topped with chicken-liver paté
  • Ribollita – a hearty Tuscan soup consisting of cannellini beans, leftover bread and a mix of vegetables including carrots, cabbage, beans and onions
  • Cantuccini with vin santo – Almond biscuits served with a glass of sweet wine for dipping

Osprey Holidays top tips

Cross the Ponte Vecchio and wander up to the Boboli Gardens for stunning views across the terracotta roof tops. A pleasant surprise is the little summer house nestled in amongst the trees in the garden where you can stop for coffee and a bite to eat!

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Florence designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice (not just Saturday to Saturday!)
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Florence hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 370,092
Languages Italian
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Check out the outdoor leather markets for a belt or handbag bargain.

Distance from airports
Peretola 4 km
Railway stations
Firenze Santa Maria Novella

Things to do in Florence

  • Uffizi Gallery: Easily one of the best galleries in Italy, this magnificent building houses the Medici collection amongst other Italian works of art.
  • Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral: The russet dome of this beautiful cathedral, designed by Brunelleschi, dominates the Florence skyline. Climb to the top for unforgettable panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.
  • Ponte Vecchio: The oldest bridge in Florence, and a great place to stand and watch the River Arno.
  • Piazza della Signoria: A gorgeous medieval piazza where people watching is an art form.
  • Michelangelo’s David: This huge, iconic statue takes pride of place in the Galleria dell'Accademia.
  • Palazzo Pitti: A huge museum and gallery containing part of the Medici family's former private collection.
  • Boboli Gardens: One of the best examples of Italianstyle gardens, with stunning sculpted hedges, statues, fountains and hidden groves.
  • San Lorenzo Market: An excellent place to pick up all kinds of high quality leather goods.
  • Vivoli Gelateria: Widely thought to be the top gelateria in Florence, with a bewildering array of mouth-watering flavours.

Tours and Excursions

Uffizi Gallery Walking Tour

Avoid the long queues at one of the world's oldest art galleries and admire the works of masters including Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo. Visit the Uffizi’s rooftop terrace to admire the incredible views of Florence. After your tour you are free to stay and explore the museum at your leisure.

Best of Florence Walking Tour with Galleria dell'Accademia and Duomo

Skip the line with a small group tour of the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s renowned statue of David then enjoy a walking tour of Florence. Learn about the city’s fascinating history as you stroll the timeless streets, enter the breathtaking Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and admire Uffizi Square, Piazza della Repubblica and Ponte Vecchio. 

Tuscany in One Day

Ideal for those on a short break, this tour departs from Florence and features the best of Tuscany; gothic Siena, the medieval hill town of San Gimignano, and Pisa where a guided tour includes the Leaning Tower, Cathedral and Baptistery & Monumental Cemetery. A 3-course lunch and wine tasting in the Sienese hills, among the Chianti vineyards, is just one of many highlights on this immensely enjoyable tour.