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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 2,325 Hotels in Florence
£142
Hotel Albani Firenze

Hotel Albani Firenze

Via Fiume 12, Florence
4.4
of 5, from 477 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Although located just one block from the bustling Santa Maria Novella Station, this early 20th-century townhouse is set on a quiet street in central Florence, one kilometer from the Duomo. Hotel Albani Firenze also is near Fortezza da Basso, Palazzo dei Congressi, Centro Affari, Santa Maria Novella Church, San Lorenzo's Market, and San Lorenzo Church.

Hotel Franchi

Hotel Franchi

Via Sgambati Giovanni 28, Florence
3.6
of 5, from 94 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Peretola, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Cascine Park, Fortezza da Basso, and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. Villa di Castello and Meyer Children's Hospital are also within 3 mi (5 km).

£197
Grand Hotel Cavour

Grand Hotel Cavour

Via Del Proconsolo 3, Florence
4.2
of 5, from 491 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This Florence hotel is 150 meters from the Bargello Museum and 250 meters from Dante’s House, the Piazza del Duomo, and the Badia Fiorentina. The Duomo Works Museum is 300 meters away.

£202
Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

Borgo S.Jacopo, 3/r, Florence
4.3
of 5, from 968 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Housed in a medieval tower, this hotel is amid shops and cafés at Ponte Vecchio, only 2 blocks from Pitti Palace and 4 blocks from Santo Spirito Church and the Uffizi Gallery.

£155
Hotel Pendini

Hotel Pendini

Via Strozzi 2, Florence
4.4
of 5, from 372 reviews
3.0 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.

£118
Diana Park Hotel

Diana Park Hotel

Via G Pascoli 10, Florence
4.2
of 5, from 8 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Florence, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of University of Florence, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, and Accademia Gallery. Fortezza da Basso and San Lorenzo Church are also within 1 mi (2 km).

£174
Borghese Palace Art Hotel

Borghese Palace Art Hotel

Via Ghibellina, 174r, Florence
4.1
of 5, from 410 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Tucked away on a quiet street, this Florence hotel is about 5-minute walk from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Il Duomo), Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, and many other famous attractions.

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