Local: Florence

Florence, declared a world heritage site by Unesco, is the capital of Italy’s enchanting Tuscan region. Considered the Cradle of the Renaissance, the historical context for the flourishing of the city and the importance of the art originated there helped shape Europe as we know it. Masters of art, politics and finance lived in Florence, a combination which led to some historical and artistic treasures… Read more »

Luxury and refined style are to be expected in this modern, sleek and comfortable property, which is part of the Lungarno collection owned by the Ferragamo family. Very well located, near the Ponte Vecchio and a 10 min walk to Piazza della Signoria, the Continentale has a minimalist décor with designer furnishings aplenty. Even if you do not stay overnight, go for drinks at the rooftop… Read more »

A must go in Firenze, this market was recently revitalized as part of a project that revived the neighborhood as well. Full of life, noise and banter, it is vibrant and truly Italian with confectionaries, fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, salamis, cheeses, pasta, wine and many other delicious choices, sure to please layman and gourmand tastes alike. They also have a cooking school, with short… Read more »

This beautiful building was the first pharmacy in Florence, founded in 1612. It has kept the original purpose, charm and features of an old drugstore, with marble flooring, painted ceilings and crystal decoration. Marvel at the antique furniture and sculptures, beautifully placed amidst the extensive selection of high quality cosmetics and perfumery goods displayed. Renowned in Europe, some of their products still carry the original… Read more »

Just over an hour by train or car brings you to one of the most beautiful cities in Italy: Siena. At the center of this lovely small town from the medieval times is Piazza del Campo. This unique shell shaped piazza is the perfect spot for an expresso or lunch overlooking the city’s landmark. You should also dedicate some time to admire Siena’s cathedral, the… Read more »

We are always surprised to learn the Boboli gardens often do not make people´s must-visit-when-in-Florence list! Considered one of the most elegant gardens in the world, this extension of the Pitti Palace is not only pure beauty in itself, but also houses an impressive collection of marble statues, fountains, a cypress lane, porcelain museum (on the hilltop) and the stunning grotto (not to be missed).… Read more »

Located on a hilltop near Piazzale Michelangelo and with wonderful views of Florence, this Basilica is considered one of the finest examples of the romantic Florentine architecture. The marble façade was inspiration to other churches in the region and is particularly beautiful when the sun shines on it. It is a bit away from city center, but can be a good option to escape the… Read more »

This was one of those surprising experiences, which has us believing in fate! We were wandering around lost when trying to find another restaurant, and at some point decided to try out the first one we came across. Oh, were we lucky: 13 Gobbi was divine! The charmingly Tuscan rustic wooden décor houses a lively atmosphere, typically Italian, and you can select a table in… Read more »

We explored (yes this is the right verb word for this restaurant) this hidden gem, located right at city center. The setting is quite dramatic: the whole restaurant is housed in a small pallazzo from the 13th century and features the oldest known portrait of Dante Alighieri. As if all this was not enough, on the lower ground floor you can see the remains of… Read more »

A rooftop cocktail bar in a medieval tower in the trendy Continentale Hotel (see our Where to Stay section). It has stunning views of some of Florence’s landmarks, such as the Arno and Palazzo Vecchio, and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a cocktail on a summer’s evening after walking around Florence. Please note drinks are the specialty and there are not many snacks.… Read more »

One of the most famous dishes in Florence is the bistecca fiorentina, a t-bone steak, and we highly recommend trying the one at Sostanza, a small and informal trattoria run by the third generation of the family. The menu is quite succinct and aside from the typical bistecca serves a never-to-be-forgotten artichoke omelet, a unique combination of tastes which we eagerly yet unsuccessfully tried to… Read more »

Remember that legend has it the gelato was invented in Florence, so this will be like a historical tour for your taste buds! Near the Pallazzo Vecchio, some blocks from Bargello, Vivoli is considered an institution in Florence, so you really must try for yourself. We loved the many gelati we tasted and the highlights were chocolate with orange, Sicilian lemon (super citrus), pistachio and… Read more »

Dinner at this restaurant was simply remarkable. The food was authentic and delicious, and we tasted the wine produced by the traditional family who owns the restaurant and is part of Florence’s history. The highlights were an unforgettable starter made of porcini flan with parmeggiano fondutta followed by pasta with tartufo nero, which was so delicious we returned to Dei Frescobaldi one day before leaving… Read more »

If you prefer a quiet stay away from the very center of town, yet still within walking distance from the main sites, we highly recommend the Al Palazzo Marchese di Camugliano. Located midway between Palazzo Strozzi and Santa Maria Novella, this restored mansion house will provide a welcoming classically chic respite from the busy town. The building is a renovated family residence and maintains some… Read more »

Location, location, location. Blocks away from the Duomo or Piazza della Signoria, a few steps to Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio. It certainly is one of the best-located hotels in town and you could easily spend your days walking in and out of the hotel, exploring Florence by foot, as taxis will only be needed as transportation to get in and out of town. Do not… Read more »

Owned by the Ferragamo family, this luxurious city center property located near Ponte Vecchio exudes contemporary elegance. It has a signature restaurant with fusion cuisine and a rooftop with wonderful views of some of the city’s landmarks. As the name suggests, you can quite often find art exhibitions at the hotel. The entrance and lobby are modestly understated in comparison to the bedrooms, which we… Read more »

Are you looking for a charming stay, a gorgeous property and a hilltop appreciation of Florence? Search no further… Hotel Il Salviatino was a truly perfect hotel experience in our most recent stay. It is a property that dates back to the 15th century, meticulously restored some years ago, and converted into a magnificent hotel that embeds the quintessential class and style of Firenze and its… Read more »