Capital of Tuscany, Florence amasses all the peaks of this Italian regionFlorence in terms of culture and arts, politics and history, wine and gastronomy, fashion and shopping, representing a genuine tourist hotspot on the world map. Florence has always known how to make built its own historic identity and status reflected both in the fact it has always dominated Tuscany and in the fact it was the first capital of the United Italy. But above all such minute details, what matters is Florence has made its name by gaining the status of birthplace of the Renaissance, by enforcing its economic power by means of a coin which used to bear the name of the city (the florin), and by giving a lesson of mastery of how political affairs should be conducted. In this respect, there is no surprise Florence was the place where figures like the Medici family and Machiavelli emerged. Nowadays, Florence is a destination the worth of which is yielded by the balanced formula which combines the memory of the past mirrored by the plethora of historic religious and civil buildings and landmarks and the expectations one should always make in reference to the utmost modern tourist opportunities.

Short History of Florence

Florence could not be the exquisite destination that it actually is in terms of cultural tourism without having had a long and rich history. Founded by Julius Caesar in 59 BC for army related reasons, it was not until the late Middle Ages that Florence started to become a hub of distinguished significance with respect to the political, religious and cultural life of Tuscany on the basis of the thriving economy. Dubbed the Cradle of Renaissance, Florence made its way through as a cultural peak by its power of enabling the rise and the creative activities of polymaths like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as of other noteworthy artists and men of science: Brunelleschi, Arnolfo di Cambio, Amerigo Vespucci, Masaccio, Machiavelli, Dante. Besides the Renaissance, Florence new yet another peak of historic affirmation, that is, when it became the capital of the United Kingdom of Italy, in 1865, for five years, before being bettered by Rome as to the statute of capital of Italy.

Accommodation in Florence

Accommodation comes in all forms in Florence, both as to rates and as to the quality of services, such as to suit all pockets and tastes. Regardless of the splurging objectives or of the more down-to-earth purposes of tourists, visitors should keep in mind there is a considerable likelihood that Florence runs out of accommodation solutions pretty often. Indeed, despite the some 600 hotels in the capital of Tuscany, the tourist demand is so high that the only smart choice is to make reservations in a timely manner such as not to ruin a perfect stay in Florence with an issue of this kind. Advised tourists know that accommodation in the nearby areas, such as Chianti or Fiesole or, why not, even the northerner Pistoia or Prato, can be just as satisfactory.

Florence Cuisine

Italian food is a mere abstraction grounded on the concrete reality of Italian regional food. Of these, Tuscan cuisine has often been criticized for its pour peasant origins, though only tourists with superficial intentions can disprize it for this qualification only. In Florence, all the gastronomic thrills of Tuscany are at their best. Ranging from prosciutto crudo to famous Maremma beefsteaks, from minestone to excellent chocolate delights and traditional ice-cream, the specific dishes and desserts of Florence could not but be washed down by a marvelous Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, only to prove Florence is not all about sightseeing, but also about a certain quality of enjoying the simple and yet refined pleasures of life.

Florence Tourist Attractions

In order to be as efficient as possible in terms of sightseeing, tourists should plan their stay in a timely manner. This means the conceiving of an organized tourist circuit which should definitely not miss Piazza del Duomo, with its Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori, the Baptistery, the Campanile and the Cathedral Museum. Besides the Cathedral Museum, Florence has some 30 more museums and galleries, of which the Uffizi Gallery, the Bargello National Museum, the Academy of Fine Arts and the House of Dante are but a taste. Of the plethora of state of the art palaces, the Palazzo Pitti (and the adjoining Boboli Gardens), Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Strozzi and Palazzo Corsini should not be overlooked. The said Boboli Gardens are complemented by the Bardini Gardens and by the Botanical Garden, as well as by the Gherardesca Garden, whereas the Vasari Corridor and Ponte Vecchio impress either by the shopping opportunities they offer or by their history. Piazza della Signoria as well as Piazzale Michelangelo should also be visited for their inherent attractions of for the views they offer, just as the Basilica of Santa Croce, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella or the All Saints Church should (though these are but a sample of the more than 40 religious edifices of Florence).

Florence Events and Festivals

A panoramic view over the calendar of Florence can account for the fact the capital of Tuscany sees virtually no day without happenings. Events cover cultural, artistic, fashion related, gastronomical, oenological, scientific, and multicultural, sports and historical topics. The main highlights refer to: the Carnival and the Artisan Chocolate Fair in February, to the Pitti Immagine Taste, to Irlanda in Festa and Salone del Mobile in March, to the Florence Tango Festival and, with a special emphasis, to the Explosion of the Cart (Scoppio del Carro) in April. The Cricket Festival (Festa del Grillo), the Boboli’s Fragrances, the Artisans at the Palace and the Ice Cream Festival, as well as Maggio Musicale tower the calendar in May. June sees the so-called Mugello GP and Calcio Storico as main events, whereas the Festival dei Popoli and the Japanese Festival, as well as the Florence Marathon top the bill, as it were, in the last months of the year, along with the Ponte Vecchio Challenge and the Creativity Festival.

Hotels in Florence

Alba Palace Hotel Alba Palace Florence
Arianna Hotel Arianna Florence
Borghese Palace Art Hotel Borghese Palace Art Florence
Genesio Hotel Genesio Florence
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Hotels Booking

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Residences in Florence

Apartments Viconti Residence Apartments Viconti Florence
Hilda Residence Hilda Florence
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Bed & Breakfast in Florence

Le Seggiole Bed & Breakfast Le Seggiole Florence
Locanda David Bed & Breakfast Locanda David Florence
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Hostels in Florence

Gallo d Oro Hostel Gallo d Oro Florence
Plus Florence Hostel Plus Florence Florence
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Campings in Florence

Michelangelo Camping Michelangelo Florence
Villa Camerata Camping Villa Camerata Florence
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Image Gallery

A view of palazzo vecchio in Florence
A view of palazzo vecchio in Florence
Alla carraia bridge Florence
Alla carraia bridge Florence
Allegri Florence
Allegri Florence
An italian wine cellar full of barrels of chianti near Florence
An italian wine cellar full of barrels of chianti near Florence

Video Florence

Tour of Florence
Tour of Florence
Top 10 things to do in Florence
Top 10 things to do in Florence
Brunelleschi's Dome
Brunelleschi's Dome
Michelangelo's David
Michelangelo's David
Uffizi Gallery
Uffizi Gallery
Palazzo Pitti
Palazzo Pitti
Boboli Gardens
Boboli Gardens
Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo
Tuscan countryside
Tuscan countryside