Florence is often characterized as open-air museum, its cathedrals, palaces and squares are the dream of those who honor the Renaissance period. The main city of the Tuscany region surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, the one which holds magnificent creations of the Renaissance geniuses, excellent cuisine and rich wines, and, of course, an unimaginable concentration of attractions per its square meter. You will probably never be able to visit all the sights of Florence, because history and art are hidden literally in every lane of this beautiful city. The graceful Florence amazes and conquers: one glimpse of the divine dome of Brunelleschi, which dominates the city panorama, is enough, and this sight will forever remain in the memory of the traveler.
It is more than enough to hear the name of the city to start picturing in your head images connected to luxury of architecture and famous historical figures. Florence is a city worth visiting at least once in your life, it is beautiful and interesting for tourists at any time of the year.
Sights in the “Italian Athens” (this is what Florence sometimes is being called) cannot be counted – everyone probably understands this. Therefore, in order not to clog your mind with details about each brush stroke of Donatello, we suggest we focus on the fundamental. However, we will do this in our second edition as usual, so stay with us to find out more. Meanwhile we present you with the most outstanding places for you to stay and spend your time here.
Hotel Lungarno Collection
Rooms from 600/night
Luxe from 1500/night
This hotel is part of the high-end Salvatore Ferragamo family, is a must-visit holiday refuge. It is situated right on the Arno River, with its lobby overlooking the medieval Ponte Vecchio Bridge. The hotel was renovated recently and currently features a bold style with nautical furnishings. The rooms and suites are furnished with antique furniture and more than 450 pieces of art, including Picasso’s art, Tuscan artisanship, and works from renowned Italian artists. Word class cuisines are served at the Michelin-starred Borgo San Jacopo restaurant located within its vicinity.
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
Rooms from 725/night
Luxe from 1300/night
Four Seasons Firenze represents historic hotel with its Michelin-starred Italian restaurant and a locally inspired Spa where you can spend afternoons in pure indulgence. This luxury five-star hotel is located quite a distance away from the city center, situated on the northern stretch of the avenues that lie between old Florence and the new suburbs. However, if you’re a keen walker you can cover the distance to the Duomo within fifteen minutes. The Hotel’s expansive private garden, with its charming statues, fountains and even a small Ionic temple, was planted in the 15th century and retains all of its ancient beauty which is available for guests.
The Westin Excelsior
Rooms from 380/night
Luxe from 720/night
Established in a 14th-century palace and is one of the time-honoured five-star hotels in Florence. It doesn’t cease to amaze with its opulent interior, outstanding service and a host of luxury facilities. Located in the northern bank of Arno hotel is adjacent to a series of high-end fashion boutiques along Via Tornabuoni Street. You can relive history in one of 171 elegant guest rooms and suites recently renovated, some of which feature private balconies and pools.Hotel’s restaurant Se-Sto on Arno holds unique location with breathtaking 360-degree views, exquisite cuisine with a Mediterranean gastronomic tradition and a precious wine cellar.
J.K. Place Firenze
Rooms from 550/night
Luxe from 1100/night
One of Italy’s classiest townhouse hotels, J.K. Place Firenze has been much imitated since its launch, but few of the copies match the warm, suave, elegant original. It’s on lively Piazza Santa Maria Novella, just around the corner from elegant, boutique-lined Via Tornabuoni. If you choose to stay at the Penthouse which sits elegantly over two levels, you will get a 360-degree view and a romantic private balcony with a clear view of the Duomo – Florence’s most-renowned landmark can be spied from the bath tub too.
Rooms from 250/night
Luxe from 780/night
Occupying a storybook stone tower and medieval church built over ancient Roman baths, the hotel simply radiates history. It bears the name of one of the old owners of the building, Filippo Brunelleschi – a wonderful Renaissance artist author of the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore.
It’s a feast of stone walls, beams, vaults and arched windows, with a sixth-century circular tower and historic church at its heart. Nor is it merely food for the eyes: drawing on a tradition that dates back to the Medici, the hotel is deliciously perfumed with fragrances from Florentine parfumier Dr Vranjes.
Florence’s food scene is much more dynamic and varied than it was just a few years ago. Twenty years ago, Florence had only one Michelin-starred restaurant (today’s three-star Enoteca Pinchiori). The rest of the restaurants were mostly mom-and-pop traditional. Florence is a hub of Tuscan cuisine, and the city is famous for its signature dishes like ribollita soup and bistecca Fiorentina T-bone steak. Nevertheless, there are plenty to try and explore within gastronomic scene of Florence.
Today Florence is a place of gastronomic delights, with delicious street fare – such as panini and gelato – at every turn, and more than a smattering of elegant dining experiences as well. Start exploring it now, with our list of Florence’s best restaurants.
Housed in the vaulted ex-cellars of 15th-century Palazzo Antinori, the Cantinetta restaurant breathes aristocratic old Florence. The atmosphere is upscale and slightly silent, tables are laid with crisp white cloths and crystal glasses shine. Menus are based on Tuscan classics with some seasonal variation.
La Giostra is known for its original backstory and for hosting the likes of Elton John. This restaurant is run by an Austrian royal family, the space boasts the perfect ambiance for a romantic night out accompanied by deep red wines in beautiful glass decanters. The plates are carefully crafted and extremely Italian, although offering a more gourmet take on traditional trattoria eats. Reservation is suggested to be made in advance.
One-Michelin-starred Il Palagio sources seasonal ingredients from local producers throughout Tuscany. The restaurant occupies the former stable block at the Renaissance Palazzo della Gherardesca and boasts distinctive period arched ceiling and columns. Winery Room with around 400 bottles on display is offered to guests for wine selection. Select from a menu of small dishes designed to complement exquisite vintages, which can be tasted by the glass.
The Leggenda dei Frati
In Villa Bardini near the Palazzo Vecchio, La Leggenda dei Frati is housed in a 1600s villa for an ancient Italian feel. One Michelin star restaurant offers two additional menus in addition to its a la carte: Per Noi Classici with tortelli, formaggi Toscani and veal, and Gran Menù dei Frati which takes guests through nine tasting courses.
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