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Province of FlorenceTuscany, Italy

Province of Florence

Tuscany’s beautiful capital is renowned for its world-famous art, breathtaking architecture and effortlessly stylish inhabitants.

Follow in the footsteps of Botticelli and Michelangelo as you discover one of the cultural treasure-houses of Europe. Explore ancient churches and historic galleries, shop for bargains in lively markets, sample tasty delicacies in friendly cafes and bars, treat yourself to the latest Italian designer fashions from chic boutiques, and immerse yourself in the Renaissance splendour of royal palaces and grand piazzas.

One of the iconic outlines on the Florentine skyline is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), so head for the Piazza del Duomo and start your tour with a climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s fabled dome for a bird’s-eye view of the whole city spread out at your feet. You might be able to pick out some of the attractions you’ve yet to visit, such as the distinctive U-shape of the Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi), which houses masterpieces by world-famous artists including Botticelli, da Vinci and Titian, or the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge over the Arno River with its jumble of jewellers shops lining the sides.

Across the river lies the Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti), the former residence of the powerful and wealthy Medici family, where yet more artistic treasures await. Spend time viewing the Medici collection of works by Raphael, Caravaggio and other Renaissance painters before heading outside to admire the sculptures in the Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli), beautifully laid out in finest 16th-century Italianate style.

The Renaissance saw an unprecedented flowering of art and architecture, and no building sums up its unique design philosophy as strongly as the San Lorenzo Church (Basilica di San Lorenzo), which combined the talents of fabled Florentine architects Brunelleschi and Michelangelo in one of the oldest and largest ecclesiastical buildings in Florence.

No visit to the capital of Tuscany would be complete without sampling some of the region’s famous culinary specialities such as smoky prosciutto ham, tasty tomato soup flavoured with basil, fresh pasta or tender Florentine steaks, washed down with a nice bottle of local wine. When it comes to finding a restaurant, you’ll be spoilt for choice in this gourmet paradise.

The mild Mediterranean climate attracts visitors year round, although it can be a little quieter during the winter months. However, it makes sense to book tickets to the galleries, especially the popular Uffizi, in advance to avoid the queues and guarantee entry, particularly at peak times. The city is compact and most attractions are within a short walking distance from the centre. Public transport is excellent, with electric buses connecting all the major sites, but be warned – driving and parking in the congested, narrow streets is not for the faint-hearted!

Province of Florence Travel Guide Video

Popular cities in Province of Florence

Ponte Vecchio featuring street scenes, vehicle touring and a city
Florence
Known for Historical, Museums and Art

Reasons to visit

  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
San Gimignano showing street scenes and shopping as well as a large group of people
San Gimignano
Known for Countryside, Historical and Wineries
Take a step back in time as you explore the grandiose plazas and frescoed churches of this medieval town set above Val d’Elsa in the heart of Tuscany.

Reasons to visit

  • Piazza della Cisterna
  • San Gimignano Communal Palace
  • Piazza Duomo
Volterra showing a small town or village and heritage elements
Volterra
Known for Historical, Hills and Countryside
Encounter many different eras of history in Volterra, a scenic hilltop town in Tuscany famed for its palaces, museums and archaeological sites.

Reasons to visit

  • Porta all'Arco
  • Cathedral of Volterra
  • Palazzo dei Priori