Florence Holidays 2021
Cradle of the Renaissance and capital of Tuscany, Florence enchants everyone who visits. The city is compact enough to explore in a weekend, but fascinating enough to keep you enthralled for weeks.
Few Italian cities can match the beauty of Florence, or Firenze as it’s also known. This is where the Renaissance was born and the streets overflow with magnificent art and architecture. Holidays in Florence naturally start with cultural and historic highlights, but there’s plenty more to discover besides, including fantastic markets and exceptional restaurants.
Outdoor Activities in Florence
While the city might not spring to mind as a destination for an active break, you can pack plenty of outdoor adventures into holidays to Florence. It’s possible to explore the Renaissance ring that encircles the city by bike or on foot or even float down the River Arno by stand-up paddleboard or kayak.
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Why book Florence holidays
Top city attractions
Florence Cathedral (the Duomo), Giotto’s Campanile, Palazzo Vecchio
Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, Uffizi Palace and Gallery, Galleria dell’Accademia (home to Statue of David)
Cultural hotspot not to miss
Admire the views down the river Arno from Ponte Vecchio
Sample the local food
Sample the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine steak) & Schiacciata Fiorentina (soft cake covered in powdered sugar!)
See Florence in all its glory from Piazzale Michelangelo
Walk through the beautiful Boboli Gardens created back in the 16th century
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Your guide to Florence holidays
Even just walking the streets of Florence is a delight. Once you’ve soaked up the atmosphere, these are the top sights to add to your itinerary.
- Florence’s cathedral, the Duomo, should be your sightseeing starting point. The combination of its intricate facade and red-tiled dome imagined by Filippo Brunelleschi is mesmerising. Inside, frescoes by Giorgio Vasari depict the Last Judgment.
- Ponte Vecchio has spanned the River Arno since 1345. The shops that appear to hang precipitously over the bridge’s sides were first butchers and tanners, but only goldsmiths and jewellers have been permitted since 1593.
- Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo – a recent addition to the city in Florentine terms, built in 1869 by architect Giuseppe Poggi – for the best views over the terracotta-tone rooftops.
- You can delve further into Florence’s unique Gothic style at the Church of Santa Maria Novella. The exterior was designed by Fra Jacopo Talenti and Leon Battista Alberti, while inside Giotto's Crucifix is among the frescoes.
- Few visitors head home from a Florence holiday without a small leather souvenir. Look for handmade purses, bags and wallets made by the city’s famously talented artisans.
Neighbourhoods to explore in Florence
Florence is a small city but its neighbourhoods are still filled with life and colour. Venture just a little way off the beaten track and you’ll get to know the real Firenze.
- Sant’Ambrogio, just to the northeast of the centre, is close to the big sights but still a real, lived-in community. Come to browse the daily fresh food market, the flea market or the monthly antiques market.
- Busy, buzzy San Lorenzo extends to the north of the Mercato Centrale towards the station. It was once run down in parts, but is increasingly becoming a hub for drinking and dining.
- Taking its name from the Basilica of Santa Croce, the neighbourhood of Santa Croce itself is a particularly lovely part of the city to stroll. You’ll soon stumble on quiet backstreets and excellent restaurants.
- Oltrarno, to the south of the river, is a hub for contemporary artisans. Start exploring around Via San Niccolò where you’ll find shops selling jewellery, leather goods and even handmade stationery.
- Head to laidback Santo Spirito after sundown, when you can sip spritzes with the locals in its lively central square.
Your Florence questions answered
July and August are the hottest months of the year, although temperatures usually don’t exceed 32°C. June and September are the most pleasant for sightseeing outdoors.
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Prices last checked at 09:04 6 March 2021