Florence: A trip to the Athens of Italy

Florence is located in charismatic Tuscany and is the capital of the province of the same name. The city is very well connected for tourists as the airport is only ten kilometres away. Culturally, Florence is still influenced by the Renaissance and is therefore also called the Italian Athens. It is a place where travellers can simply drift, as the next sightseeing is always only a short walk away. Read what makes the city so special and how you can spend an unforgettable time here.

Tips for your holiday in Florence

The list of attractions in Florence is very long and can be found in every travel guide. One of the wonderful places is though indispensable. This includes a visit to the Cathedral of Santa Reparata. This cathedral is visible from afar and offers a fantastic view over Florence from its highest point. Visitors can climb to the very top of the dome. Already the ascent, for which it requires some fitness, is worth an adventure, as it leads through meandering corridors and narrow stairs up to the very top. From the outside, the church was lined with three-coloured marble, which the whole world speaks of today.

To every visit to the city belongs a ride in a hackney carriage. With one horsepower the visitors swing through the historical alleys of the city. Tuscany, with its 63,000 hectares, is also one of the most important wine-growing regions in Italy; Florence also benefits from this. The city is famous for its fruity Chianti, with which you can enjoy a good pasta. From a culinary point of view, Tuscany is also famous for its excellent ham, which you should definitely taste. If you want to get to know the original side of Tuscany, the best place to visit is the Artists' Quarter, where the old traditional craftsmanship is still being practiced. In various workshops, books are bound, metal forged or courses held in pottery.

A walk through the old town of Florence

Philosophers from the time of ancient Florence coined the true phrase "History can only be recognized by walking". It couldn't be more suitable for a walk through Florence.

The old town of Florence is a work of art in its own, characterised by narrow alleys and spacious squares. Those who come here can simply let themselves drift and absorb the flair of the city. Dante wrote his Divine Comedy in the historic part of the city and to this day visitors take the monuments and architectural monuments back in time.

The old town is still very well preserved and testifies to the former wealth that Florence gained in the 15th century under the rule of the Medici. Many world-class artists have been inspired to work here, including Macchiavelli, Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Brunelleschi. Galileo Galilei also lived here when he discovered that the earth was not a disc.

Encounters with history in the Florentine Old Town

The Uffizis

The Uffizis were once the office building of the Medici family and today houses Italy's most valuable art treasures. In over 50 halls 1000 paintings, sculptures as well as old notes and sketches are stored. Among the most famous paintings are "The Birth of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli, painted around 1485, and "The Head of Medusa" by Caravaggio. For a spontaneous visit you have to accept long waiting times, because every 15 minutes only a block of visitors is admitted. Those who do not want to waste their holiday time waiting can book online tickets in advance.

Piazza della Signora

The Piazza della Signora is a splendid square and sculpture park and since the 14th century the secular centre of the city. The statues look like a stone history book; they show the most important moments in Florentine history.

Santa Maria del Fiore

Santa Maria del Fiore is the fourth largest church in the world. In 1293 the decision was taken to build the largest cathedral of all time, in order to erect a monumental status symbol. It took 140 years to complete it. Architecturally noteworthy are the self-supporting cupola, 114.5 metres high, and the artistic marble facade from the 19th century.

Oldest bridge in Florence Ponte Vecchio

Translated the "Ponte Vecchio" means the Old Bridge and this is in fact still an understatement. The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in Florence. It was built in the 14th century and connects today the city centre with the south side of Florence. Through the arcades, which were built into the bridge, passers-by enjoy a wonderful view of the Arno. On the bridge itself jewellers have settled in small houses.

Amphitheatre Boboli Garden

The ancient amphitheatre is one of the stateliest gardens in Tuscany. If you are interested in frescoes, pillars, botany, fountains and statues, the whole ensemble is here in one place. Particularly impressive are the caves that were once built to protect themselves from wild animals.

The best view of Florence's old town is from Piazzale Michelangelo, on a hill south of the historic centre. At the centre of the square is a sculpture of Michelangelo's David.

Finding the right accommodation in Florence

In order to fully absorb the historical charm of the city, travellers should find an accommodation that reflects the flair of the city and creates the right setting. The Romantik Hotel Casa Thiele alla Signoria is located on the second floor of a medieval palace. It is centrally located in the main pedestrian street of Florence in the centre of the old town next to Piazza della Signoria.

In the house, the wind of history still blows through the rooms, which are decorated with antique wooden ceilings, Tuscan terracotta floors and sandstone walls. With great attention to detail, the owners have created a private home in which guests can stay in the medieval tower or the carefree bird room. All around there is an ultra-modern, luxurious equipment with WIFI, air conditioning and satellite TV as well as a rain shower in the bathroom.