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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!


Top Hotel Deals

See all 4,573 properties in Florence
Hotel Tornabuoni Beacci £89
Hotel Tornabuoni Beacci

Hotel Tornabuoni Beacci

Via Tornabuoni 3, Florence
     
    4.3
    of 5, from 1,101 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    This family-friendly Florence hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Via de' Tornabuoni, Ponte Vecchio and Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower. Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 10 minutes.

    Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio £102
    Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

    Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

    Borgo S.Jacopo, 3/r, Florence
       
      4.3
      of 5, from 1,911 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      This family-friendly Florence hotel is located in the historical district, just steps away from Vasari Corridor and Ponte Vecchio. Pitti Palace and Piazza della Signoria are also within 10 minutes.

      Hotel Albani Firenze £79
      Hotel Albani Firenze

      Hotel Albani Firenze

      Via Fiume 12, Florence
         
        4.3
        of 5, from 1,262 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

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

        Forte16 £109
        Forte16

        Forte16

        Viale Antonio Gramsci 16, Florence
           
          4.7
          of 5, from 265 reviews
          0.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Santissima Annunziata, this spa apartment is within a 10-minute walk of Church of Sant'Ambrogio, Great Synagogue of Florence and Jewish Museum.

          Hotel De Lanzi £59
          Hotel De Lanzi

          Hotel De Lanzi

          Via Delle Oche 11, Florence
             
            3.8
            of 5, from 820 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps away from Via de' Calzaiuoli, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Florence Baptistery. Bargello and Piazza della Signoria are also within 5 minutes.

            Hotel Berchielli £129
            Hotel Berchielli

            Hotel Berchielli

            Lungarno Acciaiuoli 14, Florence
               
              4.6
              of 5, from 1,640 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps away from Via de' Tornabuoni and Ponte Vecchio. Uffizi Gallery and Piazza della Signoria are also within 10 minutes.

              Camping Firenze £39
              Camping Firenze

              Camping Firenze

              Via Generale Dalla Chiesa, 1-3, Florence
                 
                4.0
                of 5, from 116 reviews
                0.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in Florence, this campsite is within 3 miles (5 km) of Villa Gamberaia, Stadio Artemio Franchi and Basilica of Santa Croce. Piazzale Michelangelo and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                Hotel Ville sull'Arno £147
                Hotel Ville sull'Arno

                Hotel Ville sull'Arno

                Lungarno C. Colombo 1/3/5, Florence
                   
                  4.7
                  of 5, from 348 reviews
                  5.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Campo di Marte, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Costoli Pool and Basilica of Santa Croce. Ponte Vecchio and Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower are also within 2 miles (3 km).

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