I recently spent a very pleasant few days in Florence. The Tuscan capital is, of course, famous for its history, art, architecture and music, but there’s much more to the city.
It’s cleverly introduced the trappings of modern life – designer shops, night clubs and fast food outlets, for example – without compromising its status as the cradle of the Italian Renaissance.
The world-famous Uffizi gallery draws people from all over the world, and if there’s one tip I’d offer it’s to book an organised tour. In this way, you’ll avoid the long lines of visitors paying on the day, while also being given some context to the paintings you see. Also, it seems that the later the tour in the day, the less crowded it is and the easier to move around the displays.
Also impressive was the Basilica of Santa Croce, which is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians in history, including Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. It’s vast, so allow plenty of time.
And when your feet can stand no more walking, head for the sprawling Boboli Gardens, an oasis of calm from the constant traffic of vehicles and tour parties. As well as the formal 16th century gardens, there are sculptures, Roman antiquities and, if you’re up for a climb, great views of the city.
by Andy Moreton
The capital of Tuscany is a delight all year round, and Luxique offers a selection of 14 of the finest luxury hotels in Florence.