Florence holidays are served up in a generous tub of Renaissance history, topped with a big ole’ scoop of gelato, and sprinkled with a heap of first-rate architecture.

Magnificent and amazing

Don’t sweat it if your understanding of the Italian language is next to nothing. We reckon you’ll only need two words for visiting Florence – “magnifico!” and “stupefecente!” Because in this elderly Tuscan city, almost every street is home to a sculpture, building or landmark that yells out for a second glance – and then a third. A domed cathedral, teensy churches, art galleries, salad-green outdoor spaces, and charming stone bridges… you name it, Florence has bagged the lot.

Rock on, the Renaissance

The city’s key claim to fame is its art history, scoring a hole in one during the Renaissance period. Some serious art world bigwigs came from Florence. Like Michelangelo, whose famous sculpture of David is on show in the swanky Accademia Gallery. And Brunelleschi, the architect who built the famous cinnamon-coloured dome on the city’s Duomo Cathedral – which is free to enter, by the way. And Botticelli, whose most famous paintings are ready to be goggled at in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery.

Ogle time on the Arno

The Arno river shimmies its way through the centre of Florence, and a boat trip along it is a picture-perfect way to sightsee away from the crowds. The best way to sail it is on a barchetto – a small traditional wooden boat, Florence’s equivalent of Venice’s gondola. Grab a pew on one of these iconic boats, perhaps with a glass of Tuscan wine in hand, and tick off the city’s big-league landmarks – like the Ponte Vecchio bridge, the Corsini Palace and the Uffizi Gallery.

At a Glance

  • Sail in a barchetto down the Arno
  • Climb to the top of Duomo Cathedral
  • Buff up on your art history at a gallery