Florence is the perfect city for any Brit! With fantastic weather, great cuisine, fantastic leather goods and beautiful buildings on every street, there really is something for everyone. The main highlights have to be the Duomo and views from the dome-shaped roof, the Uffizi Gallery for Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and Accademia Gallery for Michelangelo’s David Statue.
But Florence has so much more! Wander over the Ponte Vecchio to explore the Pitti Palace and huge gardens along with the Zoological Museum, before crossing the Arno for the Galileo Museum and the Palazzo Vecchio.
Florence is also ideally located in Tuscany, where a day trip can take you in any direction from the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Puccini’s home town of Lucca, to Cinque Terre for the incredible views and the sea, to high towers of San Gimignano and the Siena Palio horse race in the south.
Just be careful if you order a typical Bistecca (beef steak) – in Florence this is 1kg!
Why we love Hotel Brunelleschi
Whilst you can walk end to end in Florence in around 30 minutes, having a central hotel which is around equal distance from each end, has to be a consideration. Whilst many people opt for a hotel very close to the Duomo, this is the busiest area in Florence, and therefore noise levels can be a problem.
Hotel Brunelleschi is located in Piazza della Repubblica, one of the ritziest places in Florence, just a few minutes walk down from the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery. In the summer months there is usually a carousel and some lively stalls selling good quality leather goods and pashminas in a wide range of colours. The hotel itself is a luxury 4 star hotel with 2 fantastic restaurants, and some rooms have spectacular views of the duomo. Hotel Brunelleschi was created within a circular Byzantine tower and a medieval church, reconstructed, but keeping the original characteristics. Inside you can find a private museum with the ruins discovered during the restoration. It is mentioned in Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”.
Flying into Florence airport is only possible with direct flights from Gatwick, however, nearby Pisa services many regional UK airports, and then it is only around 1 hour transfer to Florence.
Typically around 2hrs from Gatwick flying into both Florence and Pisa airports.
The temperatures can vary hugely between the seasons. Autumn hovers around 19-24 celsius, winter 6-10 celsius, spring 15-21 celsius and summer 24 – 32 celsius.
Florence is fortunate in being a good place to visit all year round, however, the best months are early spring and autumn when the weather is cooler and the crowds have reduced.
Florence is 1 hour ahead of the UK.
For spring/summer travel we recommend you bringing sun screen and a hat, along with a good map. Please note Florence is a very humid city, so keeping yourself hydrated is very important, fortunately this is a good excuse to sample some of the wonderful gelato flavours on offer! However, Tuscany can still suffer from the odd wet day, so it is always best to have a light summer mac with a hood in case of a rain cloud.
Unfortunately in the warmer months, sleeping with your window open if you are near to the River Arno can be a problem with mosquitos. Florence has many chemists who offer the best products for both avoiding and dealing with being stung.
It is recommended not to bring a rucksack, as some of the museums and churches will make you leave this in a locker or even refuse entry. The best option is a cross body bag as this is harder for someone unscrupulous to steal. Whilst Florence is generally a safe city, it is wise to be careful of your belongings, especially around the Duomo where the densest crowds are located.
Please also be aware that Security is likely to be at the main sights, and so you will probably have your bag and person checked before you enter most places. This is for your own safety and we recommend you comply fully.
A Florence city break, is the perfect trip for anyone wanting to explore beautiful art and scenery. It is my favourite of the Italian cities, and very easy to see why!
Click here for more information on our Florence trips.