Photo Credit: TN
Florence, Italy Travel Guide: Discover Your Renaissance In Tuscan's Capital City
Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a treasure trove of art, architecture, culture and cuisine. The city’s Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and Uffizi Gallery are a few of the attractions drawing visitors from around the world. Beyond its history and art, Florence is a vibrant and lively city. It has a thriving food and wine scene with charming cafes, local markets and decadent indulgent ristorantes. With a romantic ambiance, stunning medieval architecture and picturesque views, Florence captures every visitor’s heart.
- Best time to travel: March to May (shoulder season), September to November (off-season), November to February (holiday season)
- Time zone: Central European Time (CET)
- Currency used: Euro (EU)
- Noteworthy: Carnavale (February), Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (late April to June), Florence Dance Festival (June to July), Carro Matto and the Grape Harvest (September)
- Best for: Solo Trip, Romantic Trip, Art History Trip, Friends Trip, Food & Wine Trip
Play: Things To Do In Florence, Italy
Tasty Florence Street Food Tour
The Tasty Florence Street Food Tour is the key to experiencing samples of the local foodie scene on a budget. Led by a local food expert, this walking tour takes people through the historical streets of Florence. They get to taste Italian specialties, like coccole and schiacciata.
The panoramic Florence views are some of the most stunning attractions of the region. This tour is perfect for meeting new people, visiting small shop proprietors and learning about the city’s culture. The tour also can accommodate vegetarians and serve a wider range of palettes.
Francy’s Pasta, Gnocchi and Italian Home Sauces
What’s an Italian getaway without an authentic pasta cooking class? Visitors will enjoy making Francy’s Pasta, Gnocchi, and Italian Home Sauces, while learning about the region’s most beloved recipes.
Starting with a welcome coffee and cookies, guests spend time getting to know the host before preparing fresh bruschetta together. Under Francy’s guidance, travelers learn how to make fresh pasta dough using flour and eggs. Then, they will cut and shape it forming the base of their pasta dish. The highlight of the experience is when everyone sits down to eat the fresh pasta they made together. There are accommodations for guests with different food preferences, allergies or religious restrictions as well.
Italian Coffee Experience
If there are any traveling coffee aficionados in the group, then this Italian Coffee Experience is one for the books. This experience features a full immersion into the history of Italian coffee and the production process. It also includes a visit to the production plant, which makes this an unforgettable experience.
Guests participate in a roasting workshop, as they learn how to roast a coffee sample and prepare espresso. Participants get the opportunity to taste authentic Italian espresso and cappuccino made by professional baristas passionate about their craft. This excursion offers a unique perspective on one of Italy’s most beloved traditions.
Capture The Beauty of Florence In A Photo
For those travelers who value pictures, this experience is perfect for them. After a friendly introduction, guests go on a tour through the historic city center. They visit famous landmarks, like Piazza Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Signoria and Piazza Repubblica. The photographer and host guides travelers through hidden streets and shares tips on how guests can capture the best photos.
This tour is best experienced in the morning because there are fewer people on the streets. By the end of the tour, guests receive almost 250 unedited pictures within 48 hours and five edited ones within ten days. They will feel lucky to have explored the beauty of Florence and have unforgettable memories captured in photographs.
A Real Tuscan Wine Experience
Travelers with an affinity for wine will enjoy this Real Tuscan Wine Experience. It is a one-of-a-kind wine and olive oil tour through a middle-age cellar and the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves. The experience comes with wine-tasting and delicious homemade food.
Depending on the season, visitors can participate in the vineyard and cellar work. They can harvest and press dried grapes for Vin Santo dessert wine. On certain days, guests can have a barrel wine tasting with a master of wine. There, they will learn about the history and tasting of balsamic vinegar and enjoy white truffle-infused extra virgin olive oil. Guests also can request a private personalized label of wine 24 hours in advance.
Yoga, Dinner, and 360 View of Florence
The Yoga, Dinner, and 360 View of Florence experience immerses travelers in yoga with a serene backdrop of Florence’s monuments. This excursion is suitable for all age levels. After the yoga session, guests enjoy an authentic vegetarian Tuscan dinner and connect with fellow yogis.
Perfume Masterclass and Sensory Experience
Florence is steeped in history and culture. It has the oldest perfumery in Europe located right at the heart of the city. This workshop teaches travelers the art of perfume-making at an artisanal laboratory and the perfume history in the region. During the workshop, guests will create a personal ambient fragrance and take home a complimentary bottle.
Gourmet: Best Restaurants in Florence, Italy
Caffè & Ristorante La Loggia
Located on the famous panoramic terrace of Piazzale Michaelangelo, the Caffe & Ristorante La Loggia is a family-owned Florentine restaurant. Guests can enjoy an elegant main, bistro and dessert menu to fit any occasion. Some of the authentic Florentine recipes include pork cheek in Cacciatore sauce with potato purée and potato tortelli in classic Tuscan meat sauce with porcini mushrooms. The Bistro menu includes classic cocktails, local wines and spirits and light dishes. The desserts make for a delicious final dish with gelato, warm chocolate soufflé, Sicilian cannoli and pistachio bavarois.
La Grotta Guelfa
La Grotta Guelfa has a cozy yet romantic Old-World atmosphere that’s hard to ignore. The sophisticated mix of wood and wrought-iron details, along with the Italian artist paintings and brick walls, complement the equally authentic multi-course Tuscan menu. Starters, like mixed crostini and fried polenta with chicken liver pâté, open up foodies’ palates for the homemade pastas and fresh soups.
La Bistecca Osteria Fiorentina
With a Michelin-starred reputation, La Bistecca Osteria Fiorentina focuses on fresh ingredients. The outdoor seating gives people-watching guests a chance to relax before their next excursion.
Travelers can fill up on hearty second-course recipes, like Florentine-style Heifer Marrowbone Stew or smoked duck breast. The fresh pastas and pizzas are complemented with simple yet decadent desserts. Guests will end the night full and satisfied.
With fresh local meats and other Italian favorites, the Locando Fiorentina is an experience that makes any traveler happy. The different cuts of meat freshly are prepared to each guest’s preferences. They are paired alongside specialty dishes, like Antipasto salads, truffle pastas and Tuscan pizzas.
La Ménagère is a versatile place with a menu that fits any occasion. The restaurant has a unique vibe with a mixture of areas throughout the space. The breakfast, weekend brunch, tea time and champagne time menus include options ranging from freshly baked croissants to eggs benedict.
Gelataria dei Neri
Gelato is an Italian dessert staple that will bring a smile to any traveler’s face at any time of day. The artisan production of every flavor shines through every combination on the menu. With classics, like caffè, Nutella, pistachio and more, it is no surprise that Gelataria dei Neri boasts positive ratings. The fruit sorbets are a refreshing treat after a busy day of excursions.
Stay: Best Places to Stay In Florence, Italy
Santo Spirito Terrace Exclusive Apartment
This Santo Spirito Terrace Exclusive apartment was renovated with beautiful jewel-tone interior colors that’ll have guests feeling very comfortable. Located on the fourth floor of Via Mazzetta, it’s equipped with all the comforts of home. There is a spacious and bright living room with a luxurious sofa, television and air conditioning. The kitchen has all the appliances needed for some homemade cooking. The double room offers a peaceful retreat, and the terrace with a dining table allows for relaxing dinners outside.
The apartment is close to some of Florence’s wonders including Piazza Santo Spirito, the Duomo and the Uffizi Museum.
The Social Hub Florence
Originally a hub for students abroad, this converted palazzo is a space for learning, working and socializing beyond the classroom. With spaces for digital nomads, The Social Hub Florence accommodates a range of travelers. The rooftop terrace and pool provide a relaxing escape, while the on-site restaurant offers authentic tasty bites of Florence. There are weekly events and workshops to connect with other travelers and endless opportunities for personal networking. It truly has everything needed for an unforgettable stay in the heart of Florence.
New Modern Apartment In The Historical Center
With views like no other, this modern apartment in the historical center is in a prime location in Florence. It sits in the historic Piazza Del Mercato Centrale. It is only a three minute walk from the train station and near top attractions, like the Medici Chapels and Florence Cathedral. This modernized apartment boasts a spacious living area with a well-equipped kitchen and a comfortable sofa bed. It also has a double bedroom with stunning views, a large bathroom with a double sink and a laundry area.
La Casa Del Ghiberti Bed & Breakfast
La Casa Del Ghiberti Bed and Breakfast offers modern amenities and warm family hospitality. It was the workplace of artist Lorenzo Ghiberti. He’s famous for his masterpiece “Porta del Paradiso.”
Guests can enjoy staying in a building where one of the most iconic works of art in Florence was created. They also will enjoy a bountiful breakfast of both savory and sweet foods on the outdoor terrace every morning. With its perfect location in the city center and fascinating history, this is a must-stay for any art-loving traveler.
Get Away: Getting To and Around Florence, Italy
Travelers start their Tuscan getaway by flying into Florence’s Peretola Airport, which is three miles from the city center. The Pisa International Airport is another airport that travelers can fly into; however, it is about 50 miles from Florence. Visitors would have to take a train or bus to get to Florence.
Many major airlines fly to Florence, and there are several low-cost carriers that offer flights into the city. It’s always a good idea to compare prices and book tickets ahead of time to get the best deals.
When exploring the surrounding Tuscan countryside, renting a car is a convenient option. Several car rental agencies are located at the airport and in the city center. Taxis also can be hailed or reserved. They are metered and rates are regulated by law, so be sure to agree on the fare beforehand.
By Public Transit
Florence has an extensive network of buses and trams that connect the city center to the suburbs and other areas. Tickets can be purchased at ticket machines, newsstands or tobacco shops.
Bicycle rentals also are available throughout the city. They are a great way to get some exercise, while seeing the all the Tuscan countryside has to offer.
Explore Florence on Foot
Travelers can start to wander through the narrow streets and alleys of the historic city center of Florence on foot. They can begin their journey near the Duomo and then continue to other famous landmarks.
There also are lesser known areas with charming squares and local markets that are perfect for exploring on foot. Comfortable shoes should be worn, as tourists enjoy the architecture, sunsets, art and thriving culture of this Tuscan city.