Florence is a city which has it all; fantastic weather and dining, art and culture on every corner. It is also a good mid point for those wanting to spend time in other cities, being easily accessible to Venice, Verona, Milan, Siena and Rome.
Whether your break is a long weekend or more, we have the right blend of guided tour options and priority line passes to make sure you spend your time as you wish, rather than standing in line in the heat.
We can tailor-make your once in a lifetime trip to celebrate your special occasion or your wanderlust!
It's impossible not to love this beautiful city. With stunning art on every corner, the iconic Duomo, the best and biggest art gallery in the world (Uffizi), Michelangelo's David ...Click for More Details
Fall in love with Shakespeare's city of Verona; the birth place of Romeo & Juliet. Feel yourself be swept away by the beauty of the Verona Roman Arena for your opera ...Click for More Details
Why limit yourself to one fantastic city, when you can have two, AND an overnight on the iconic Venice Simplon Orient Express?! Return to the Roaring Twenties on this famous train ...Click for More Details
The perfect blend of culture and opera multi city break. We arrange your stress-free travel including our night at the Verona opera in the Very Best seats. Then head onto ...Click for More Details
This break is the perfect Italian break encompassing viewing the opera in an open-air Roman arena in Verona, the beauty of the Renaissance in Florence and the thrilling historical ...Click for More Details
If Italy is still on your wish list, then our multi city Italy break will tick all the boxes. Dress up for your night at the Verona open-air arena , before exploring Venice, ...Click for More Details
Jill and I had never been on a holiday where everything had been arranged for us prior to arrival, and were a little sceptical as to how things would run. This was a trip on our bucket list and was taken for our thirtieth wedding anniversary treat. It could not have been any more perfect, and was the trip of a lifetime from beginning to end.
All the arrangements worked out beautifully and the guide and drivers in Florence were punctual and professional. The hotel arrangements were as promised and the service there was first class. Thank you.
Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance so any Florence city break has to include time exploring some of the cities’ beautiful artworks and you will certainly be spoilt for choice. It is perfect to take a Florence trip in most months of the year. Florence could in fact easily keep you busy for up to two weeks if you want to indulge fully in all the art and culture available in the museums and art galleries, though many say that the whole of Florence is an outdoor art gallery!
The 13th Century Cathedral is the centre of Florence so a “must do” on your list for your Florence Holiday, especially for seeing first hand Brunelleschi’s curved dome which was added in the 15th Century. Inside the Mosaic floors are impressive, and Vasari’s Last Judgement Frescoes are also certainly worth a look. (Though whilst designed by Vasari the frescoes were actually painted by his student Zucchari).
The Uffizi Gallery has stunning art in over a hundred rooms including the celebrated Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’. There are works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Raffaello and many other Renaissance artists. You could easily spend several days at the Uffizi so it makes sense to pre-plan and to be very focused on what you wish to see if you are only spending a half day here, as most people do on a Florence Short break.
The Accademia Gallery is famous for Michelangelo evocative prisoners, the statue of David and other ancient sculptures. There are works by great Italian artists such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pontormo, Sarto, Allori and Orcagna, to name just a few of the painters. Many of the works here were donated by the last Medici so that everyone could enjoy these beautiful works, and should not be missed on your Florence city break.
However, both the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries usually come with a long queue right in the baking sun, so we include a Priority Line Pass to ensure you spend your time inside marvelling at the artworks rather than standing in the line outside waiting wasting time on your Florence Holiday.
For those with time for a longer Florence Holiday enjoy some time at the Pitti Palace and museums. Here you can see stunning art by Raphael, Titian and Rubens as well as the Royal Apartments of the Medici family. Make sure to allow plenty of time and good walking shoes for the Boboli Gardens attached to the Pitti Palace. With ancient Renaissance statues, Groots and Fountains scattered through the gardens this is a treat not to be missed on your Florence city break.
The Medici Chapels which are part of the San Lorenzo Church are great for avoiding the bulk of the crowds, and are where many of the Medici family are buried and laid to rest. The idea for a family tomb started in 1520 when Michelangelo started work on the New Sacristy (The Old Sacristy having being built by Brunelleschi at the other side of the church). Cardinal Giulio de Medici (who will become Pope Clement VII) wanted a family mausoleum for family members such as his uncle Lorenzo the Magnificent, Lorenzo’s grandson Lorenzo Dike of Urbina, and Lorenzo’s youngest son Giuliano.
The understated Galileo Museum is often overlooked on a Florence city break; it is much larger than it first appears and contains some of Galileos telescopes. It is claimed that the Galileo museum has the world biggest collection of scientific instruments – many of them linking back to Medici ownership from the 15-18th Century and the Lorraine family (18th-19th Century).
We would recommend all Florence holidays need to include some time at Santa Croce Church, where many of the poets and artists are buried, and is considered the largest Franciscan Church in the world. Here are 16 family chapels which help create the basilica. The aristocracy of the area thought that building such a chapel would help make them immune to Gods wrath for their lifetime sins, and so the more elaborate the chapel and design the better. At the other extreme we would also recommend the leather shop attached where individual leather goods can be purchased and can be personalised with your initials.
No Florence trip is complete however, without a walk along the Ponte Vecchio, one of the key symbols of Florence. Until 1218 the Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge to cross the Arno.
Whilst it was rebuilt after a flood in 1348 there are documents of a bridge on this site going back to 966. The shops on-top were originally butchers, tanners and fishmongers shops as it was easy to throw the waste into the river! These were banned in 1593 by Ferdinand I who decided it would be more pleasant if only goldsmiths and jewellers were allowed on the bridge.
This was the only bridge across the River Arno that the retreating Germans did not blow up, though they did block it by destroying the medieval shops on-top of the bridge. Rumour has it this was under instructions from Hitler himself who was so impressed with the bridge when he had been on a Florence trip before the second world war.
Providing some of the best views of the city as well as the River Arno, this bridge offers a very walkable option to the Pitti Palace and further museums and churches.
The Vasari Corridor was built in 1565 over the top of the shops on the bridge when the Medici family moved to Palazzo Pitti from Palazzo Vecchio and they decided a connecting corridor was needed to the Uffizi as the Medici family did not want to mix with the masses. The Vasarai Corridor is currently closed for restoration following damage during a terrorist attack in 1993, but when open (expected 2021) we would highly recommend a visit to this special corridor.
The hotel we particularly recommend is Hotel Brunelleschi which is located right in the heart of the city, and for an upgrade to a Deluxe Duomo view room, gives you ‘A Room with a View’ moment, made famous by both literature and onscreen.
Florence is ideally located in the centre of Italy, so you have the option of a few more days, why not combine by going north east to Venice, north to Verona for the Verona Opera Festival, north west for Milan and the stunning La Scala opera house, or perhaps west to Pisa, and Lucca, the latter one with the Puccini Opera Festival. Or, if you want the thrill of a good race, then the Siena Palio horse race on both the 2 July and 16 August are absolutely essential. Lastly, why not take in the capital with a trip down to Rome for a few nights.