To visit Tuscany without spending at least a day in its capital city, Florence, is unthinkable for most holidaymakers, with the great attraction being the art of the Renaissance.  

Florence was one of Europe’s wealthiest cities as early as the thirteenth century, a prosperity based on wool and banking.  It has also by then established a reputation for its craftsmen.  But it is the period from 1400 to 1600, the full flowering of the Florentine Renaissance, that left the greatest legacy: art treasure by Michelangelo, Leonardo do Vinci, Donatello and many more besides.

The city became, and remains, a vast storehouse of frescoes, paintings and sculptures.  It is often said that all of Florence’s beauty is on the inside, in museums and galleries.  But such a notion underestimates the almost overpowering effect of Brunelleschi’s cathedral, the architectural splendour of churches as diverse as Santa Croce and San Miniato al Monte, and the romance of the Ponte Vecchio, the fourteenth-century bridge laden with jewellers and goldsmiths which spans the River Arno. 

Although the historic centre is compact enough to be navigable on foot, it is a bustling and sometimes noisy place, whose streets are filled with tourists throughout the year. 

Unlike Rome or Venice, therefore, it isn’t made for the casual stroller.  For the first-time visitor, it’s advisable to plan ahead, be realistic about what is achievable in the time available and, if possible, arrive by public transport.

Accommodation in Chianti & Florence



Accommodation in Chianti & Florence

Travel la carte
258 Belsize Road
London NW6 4BT
Telephone: 0044 (0)207 316 1867