Effortlessly beautiful, romantic and ever-evolving, the Tuscan city of Florence seasons its historical prestige with a touch of the modern.


Famed as the birthplace of the renaissance, Florence is home to some of the world’s most important artistic masterpieces, including Michelangelo’s David, Da Vinci’s unfinished Adoration of the Magi, and The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. But if you think this city is just art museums and monuments, think again. Modern day Florence is a fascinating mix of the old and the new; a city of historical significance, but also a forward-thinking modern platform for Italy’s contemporary art, fashion, food and wine industries.

High on most people’s checklist when visiting Florence is the city’s cathedral. Famed for Brunelleschi’s dome, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is one of the world’s most recognisable churches, with its external walls of pink and green marble, famous frescoes depicting The Last Judgement, and the world’s largest masonry dome. There is a small charge to climb the 463 steps to the top, but it’s well worth the money - and the effort - to see the frescoes up close, and the stunning views over the terracotta roofs of the city.

Visitors will also want to cross the historic Ponte Vecchio, visit the world famous Uffizi Gallery, wander at leisure through the city’s grand piazzas, try the traditional gelato from Perché No!, take the fifteen minute uphill trek to Piazzale Michelangelo to be rewarded with stunning views of Florence and the picturesque Tuscan hills, then sit back and take in the extraordinary vista with a glass of one of the region’s robust red wines.

Since Florence receives millions of visitors each year, it’s no surprise that the accommodation offer here is broad. That said, there are fewer big chains than you might expect for a city of this size with most hotels being independently run, and subsequently oozing the kind of character and charm that has visitors clambering to come back year after year. At the luxury end of the scale The St Regis, on the banks of the River Arno, stands out amongst many first class options with its lavishly appointed accommodation, superior service and celebrated Tuscan cuisine.

It’s fair to say that Florence boasts a culinary scene to rival any other Italian city, and the Mercato Centrale is a good place to start for the food and wine enthusiast. This fabulous food market showcases local products such as Pane Toscana, cured meats, wine, truffle oil, balsamic vinegar, biscotti, etc, whilst housing on its top floor, a food court serving an array of regional specialities, Italian classics and international dishes.

In the city’s vast and varied restaurants a new generation of creative chefs are reinventing La Cucina Fiorentina, sourcing the freshest local ingredients and fusing exotic flavours with traditional tastes. The three star Michelin restaurant Enoteca Pinchiorri is perhaps the best example, with its exceptional, grandiose style, impeccable service and world renowned wine list, but there are plenty of other fine dining options in the city, as well as numerous family-run trattorias full of rustic charm and hearty, regional cuisine.

You only have to spend a couple of hours roaming the romantic city streets to learn that there’s a wine bar or enoteca on virtually every piazza, side street or cobbled alleyway in Florence. From elegant and refined to cosy and informal, the city’s bars offer something to suit the tastes of all wine lovers. Of particular note are Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina which specialises in small production, high-end wines from local Tuscan producers, and Vineria Sonora - an intimate venue with a focus on natural and organic wines.

A long-time favourite for lovers of art, history and culture, Florence is increasingly touted as a destination for gastric-tourists. With its almost limitless choice of upmarket restaurants and bars, and numerous food and wine festivals throughout the year, its very easy to see why.

Where to Stay

Four Seasons Firenze   Hotel 

Borgo Pinti, 99, Florence, 50121

Where to Drink

Antica Bottega   Wine Bar 

Via Santa Margherita, 13R, Florence, 50122

Casa Del Vino   Wine Bar 

Via dell’Ariento, 16R, Florence, 50123

Enoteca Obsequium   Wine Bar Wine Shop 

Borgo Santa Jacopo, 17, Florence, 50125

Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina   Wine Bar 

Piazza de’ Pitti, 16, Florence, 50125

Le Volpi e l’Uva   Wine Bar 

Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, Florence, 50125

Note di Vino   Wine Bar 

Borgo dei Greci, 4, Florence, 50100

Signorvino Firenze   Wine Bar Wine Shop 

Via de’ Bardi, 46/R 48/R, Florence, 50125

Vineria Sonora   Wine Bar 

Via degli Alfani, 39R, Florence, 50121


Enoteca Obsequium   Wine Bar Wine Shop 

Borgo Santa Jacopo, 17, Florence, 50125

Signorvino Firenze   Wine Bar Wine Shop 

Via de’ Bardi, 46/R 48/R, Florence, 50125

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