This romantic Italian city is of Europe's cultural jewels, and with its treasure trove of world-famous art and astounding architectural delights, luxury holidays in Florence have an unrivalled aesthetic appeal. Delve below the surface of this city, and you'll discover a gourmet local cuisine, boutique fashion houses, magnificent villas, and an enviable lifestyle that fuses age-old tradition with contemporary culture.
The cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is home to extraordinary art, architectural masterpieces, storied fashion houses, and a long-standing culinary tradition bursting with pride. Handsome yet historic, the city is small in size but big in character, and welcomes you to explore its narrow cobbled streets and experience ‘la dolce vita’.
Located on the banks of the Arno river in northeastern Tuscany, much of Florence hasn't changed in 700 years. Elegant 15th-century palaces sit alongside fresco-decorated churches and marble basilicas. Equally alluring eye-candy can also be found within the walls of Florence's internationally vaunted art museums, from Michelangelo’s David to canvases by Botticelli.
But it's the Florentine lifestyle that keeps many a traveller coming back for more. Shop for jewellery made by fourth-generation goldsmiths along the Ponte Vecchio, stroll through the art-laden corridors of the Uffizi Gallery, wander the landscaped grounds of Boboli Gardens, sample traditional cuisine in the restaurants that line the piazzas, or simply amble along the River Arno before indulging in an aperitivo at dusk.
Spring (April and May) represents the start of the high season in Florence. Not only do cafes spill onto the streets, but a number of major festivals also take place during this warm and sunny period. At the height of summer (June to August), several locals swap the city for the seaside, so you may get Florence to yourself.
Between September and March, the crisp blue-skied days are perfect for sightseeing and dining at Florence's top restaurants. Colourful sunsets on the banks of the Arno river are quite magnificent too.
The ingredients used for Tuscan cuisine are typically locally sourced, seasonal, and sustainable. When coupled with Italian cooking techniques and a generous glass of Chianti produced nearby, the dining experiences in Florence are beyond compare.
Although much of the city favours the traditional - with perennial favourites like pizza and pasta and earthy dishes like ribollita and blue T-bone steak - Florence has a contemporary restaurant scene too, with young Tuscan chefs serving up fusion cuisine and innovative cocktails.