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Guide to Florence

Once known as the Athens of the Middle Ages.  Today, Florence is the jewel in Italy’s cultural crown with much to fascinate and intrigue any visitor.

Florence is the capital and largest city in the region of Tuscany, on Italy’s west coast.  It is home to around half a million inhabitants. 

Since it was founded first century B.C., Florence has had a reputation as one of the world’s most innovative cities, making many contributions to civilisation.  It is well-known as the birthplace of Renaissance art.  Where Dante founded the Italian language; where legendary artists Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo rubbed shoulders, and as one of the wealthiest cities in the world, was also the origin of the banking industry. 

Today, Florence remains a fascinating and beautiful city.  It has been described as a walking museum, and is small enough to see on foot. 

The centre of Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning art and architecture in abundance.  It was here that influential Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi designed the city’s magnificent gothic cathedral, the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, more widely known as the Duomo.  The must-see cathedral is located at Piazza del Duomo.  It is a magnificent piece of architecture, and one of the country’s largest churches, with the largest brick dome in the world.  Brunelleschi is honoured by a statue on site.  Entrance is free, but there is often a long line to get in.  Pay to climb the dome for an extraordinary view over Florence.

From here you can walk to the impressive Romanesque Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence.  Don’t be fooled by the statute of David, it is a replica.  Michelangelo’s original famous nude can be seen at the city’s Accademia Gallery.

If on a budget, buy a Firenze card.  This 72 hour card gives users free admission to public transport and many of the city’s major museums, such as the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio and Galleria d’arte moderna. 

End a day’s sightseeing by heading towards the San Niccolò area, on the left bank of the River Arno.   Here you’ll find the Piazza Poggi tower (also known as the Torre di San Niccolo) which offers beautiful views over the city.  If feeling brave, climb the 161 steps to the top.  From here you can see up to the Piazzale Michelangelo.  Afterwards, take a hard-earned refreshment and rest in the neighbourhood’s typical Florentine bars or restaurants and enjoy the excellent Tuscan food and drink.

There is always something to enjoy in Florence.  It celebrates all year round with many festivals and events such as opera and theatre seasons, design week, fashion week, and even a gelato festival!


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See all 2,692 Hotels in Florence
£52
c-hotels Ambasciatori

c-hotels Ambasciatori

Via Luigi Alamanni 3, Florence
4.0
of 5, from 749 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum and Florence Baptistery. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and San Lorenzo Church are also within 15 minutes.

£85
Hotel Pendini

Hotel Pendini

Via Strozzi 2, Florence
4.4
of 5, from 1,126 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

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.

£56
Relais Piazza Signoria

Relais Piazza Signoria

Via Vacchereccia 3, Florence
4.6
of 5, from 192 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Duomo, this apartment is steps away from Loggia dei Lanzi, Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi Gallery. Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria are also within 5 minutes.

£78
Hotel Albani Firenze

Hotel Albani Firenze

Via Fiume 12, Florence
4.3
of 5, from 1,136 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Palazzo dei Congressi, Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum and Fortezza da Basso. San Lorenzo Church and Florence Baptistery are also within 10 minutes.

£58
PopArtment

PopArtment

via Catalani, 13 , Florence
4.4
of 5, from 286 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Porta al Prato, this apartment is within 1 mile (2 km) of Palazzo dei Congressi, Fortezza da Basso and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. Florence Baptistery and San Lorenzo Church are also within 1 mile (2 km).

£35
Albergo Firenze

Albergo Firenze

Piazza Donati 4, Florence
3.7
of 5, from 794 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps away from Dante’s House Museum and Bargello. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Piazza della Signoria are also within 5 minutes.

£82
Grand Hotel Baglioni

Grand Hotel Baglioni

Piazza Unita Italiana 6, Florence
4.2
of 5, from 1,094 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Duomo, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, and San Lorenzo Church. Florence Baptistery and Fortezza da Basso are also within 10 minutes.

£61
San Gallo Palace Hotel

San Gallo Palace Hotel

Via Lorenzo Il Magnifico 2, Florence
4.5
of 5, from 1,254 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in San Lorenzo, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of University of Florence, Fortezza da Basso and Accademia Gallery. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and San Lorenzo Church are also within 1 mile (2 km).

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