Florence is located in charismatic Tuscany and is the capital of the province of the same name. For tourists, the city is very well connected, as the airport is barely ten kilometres away. Culturally, Florence today is still shaped by the influences of the Renaissance and is therefore also called the Italian Athens. It is a place where travellers can simply let themselves drift, because the next sight is always just a short walk away. Read what makes the city special and how you can spend an unforgettable time here.
The list of sights in Florence is very long and can be found in any travel guide. However, some of the wonderful places are indispensable. These include a visit to the Cathedral of Santa Reparata. This cathedral towers over the city from afar and offers a fantastic view over Florence from the highest point. Visitors can climb to the very top of the dome. The climb alone, which requires some stamina, is worth the adventure, as it leads through meandering corridors and narrow staircases to the very top. From the outside, the church was lined with tricolour marble, which the whole world is talking about today.
Every visit to the city also includes a ride in a hackney carriage. With one horsepower, visitors swing through the historic alleys of the city. Tuscany is also one of Italy's most important wine-growing regions, with 63,000 hectares; Florence also benefits from this. The city is famous for its fruity Chianti, which is best enjoyed with a good pasta. In culinary terms, Tuscany is also known for its excellent ham, which you should definitely try. If you want to get to know the original side of the city, it is best to visit the artists' quarter, where the old traditional craftsmanship is still carried on. In the individual workshops, books are bound, metal is forged or courses in pottery are held.
Tip for the best time to visit: In the summer months, Florence is often overcrowded and there are long waiting times in front of the sights. If you want to visit Florence in peace and quiet, you should choose the low season as your travel time. Even in October, the average daytime temperature is still 21°C.
Philosophers from the time of ancient Florence coined the true phrase "Only by walking can you tell history." It could not be more aptly chosen for a walk through Florence.
Florence's old town is a work of art in its own right, characterised by narrow streets 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 the monuments and architectural buildings take visitors back in time quite a bit.
The old town is still very well preserved and bears witness to the former wealth that Florence achieved in the 15th century under the rule of the Medici. Numerous world-class artists were inspired to create their works here, including Macchiavelli, Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Brunelleschi. Galileo Galilei also lived here when he discovered that the earth is not flat. Encounters with history in the old town of Florence
The Uffzia was once the Medici's office building and today houses Italy's most valuable art treasures. In over 50 rooms, 1000 paintings, sculptures as well as old records 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'll have to put up with long waits, as only one block of visitors is allowed in every 15 minutes. If you don't want to waste your holiday time waiting, you can book online tickets in advance.
The Piazza della Signora is a magnificent square and sculpture park and has been the secular centre of the city since the 14th century. The statues act like a stone history book; they depict the most important moments in Florentine history.
Santa Maria del Fiore is the fourth largest church in the world. In 1293, the decision was made to build the largest cathedral of all time, in order to erect a monumental status symbol. It took 140 years to complete. Architecturally remarkable are the self-supporting dome, which is 114.5 metres high, and the ornate 19th century marble façade.
Translated, the "Ponte Veccio" means the Old Bridge and this is actually an understatement. The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in the whole of Florence. It was built in the 14th century and today connects the city centre with the south side of Florence. Passers-by enjoy a beautiful view of the Arno through the arcades built into the bridge. On the bridge itself, mainly jewellers have settled in small houses.
The ancient amphitheatre is one of the most stately gardens in all of Tuscany. Anyone interested in frescoes, columns, botany, fountains and statues will find the entire ensemble here in one spot. Particularly impressive are the grottos, which were once created to protect against wild animals.
The best view of Florence's old town is from Piazzale Michelangelo, which is located on a hill south of the historic city centre. The centre of the square is a sculpture that is a replica of Michelangelo's David.
To fully absorb the city's historic charm, travellers should find accommodation that reflects the city's flair and thus 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 the Piazza della Signoria.
The wind of history still blows through the rooms, which are decorated with antique wooden ceilings, floors of Tuscan terracotta and walls of sandstone. The operators have created a private home with great attention to detail, where guests stay in the medieval tower or the carefree bird room, for example. All around is a state-of-the-art, luxurious interior with wi-fi, air conditioning and satellite TV, as well as a rain shower in the bathroom.