The capital of Tuscany, Italy, Florence is renowned for its art, architecture and culture. Tourists have a long list of must sees, from Boticelli’s The Birth Of Venus at the Galleria degli Uffizi to Michaelangelo’s David at Accademia Gallery. For magnificent 360 degree views over Florence, climb the 414 steps of Giotto’s Tower, before exploring adjacent Santa Maria del Fiore (or Duomo di Firenze), the city’s beautiful cathedral. For some al fresco sightseeing, wander amongst the sculptures of Boboli Gardens, and at night watch the street performers by the Uffizi, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. When it’s time to refuel, local specialties include crostini toscani (crostini with live paté) and bistecca alla fiorentina, t-bone steak priced per 100 grams. Whatever you eat, be sure to wash it down with a glass of chianti wine, and finish with gelato or biscotti. If you choose self-catering Florence accommodation, you can also take advantage of delights such as the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale, the city’s best food market. Here you can stock up on local Tuscan products, from wine and cheese to biscotti and meats.
When to go to Florence
Florence is lovely at any time of year, though is most popular with tourists over Easter and in spring, autumn and summer. July and August are the hottest months, while June and September are mild and great times to explore the city.
Getting to and around Florence
Although Florence has its own airport, Amerigo Vespucci, most flights arrive into Pisa’s Galileo Galilei airport, located 80 minutes train journey from Florence. If travelling to Florence from other Italian cities, however, train is often the best option, with the city’s main train station, Stazione di Santa Maria Novella (or Firenze SMN) connected to Milan, Venice, Rome and Bologna. Once you arrive, walking is the best way to experience the city, with most attractions in walking distance from each other. Other local transport options include taxis, buses and cycling, which is a fun and viable way to explore the city. If in Florence for a few days, a 72 hour Firenze Card gives free use of all public transport plus access to a range of museums.
Where to stay in Florence
When deciding on accommodation in Florence, apartments are a fantastic alternative to expensive hotels. HouseTrip has a range of great value rental apartments and villas in Florence, many in the historic centre. By choosing a self catering apartment in Florence, not only will you save money, but you’ll also experience life as the Florentines do. Plus, HouseTrip makes booking your Florence apartment or villa easy – you can book in as little as six clicks.