City Life: Florence, Italy
Your stay in Florence puts you in the heart of a legendary landscape, where you’ll explore a history-rich region that is the very cornerstone of Italian culture. Your Italian home will be one of the most popular cities in all of Europe – Florence! Set on the banks of the Arno River, its charming cobblestone streets lead to quaint cafes, open-air markets and trattorias serving delicious food, as well as internationally renowned art galleries, museums and world-class shopping!
Florence remains the spiritual capital of the Renaissance with hundreds of museums, galleries and magnificent architectural landmarks. But the city squares buzzing with Vespa scooters, the shop-filled plazas, and the trattorias alive with conversation and amazing cuisine have made Florence the living heart of Tuscan lifestyle – known throughout Europe and the world.
As you explore this stunning city, you’re sure to be won over by the charming Florentine people. Living in one of the world’s most popular cities has not changed their embrace of the Italian lifestyle, celebrating a love of art, cuisine and culture for more than six hundred years! Stroll the shop-lined Ponte Vecchio, marvel at a seemingly endless variety of galleries full of acclaimed art, watch the boats drift down the Arno, then stop in a city square to sip a cappuccino or enjoy a gelato. After you’ve worked up an appetite, try one of the countless trattorias for an amazing meal that’s way beyond spaghetti and meatballs.
A stay in Florence is filled with countless opportunities to explore some truly incredible times in world history. The city’s history actually pre-dates the Roman Empire by almost 500 years. It was then, in the 5th-century B.C., that the Etruscans founded the city that the Romans would eventually name Florentia.
Perhaps more celebrated and renowned than Florence’s role in Roman history are its invaluable contributions to the Renaissance, which helped it secure its reputation as “The World Capital of Art.” The list of Florentine artists who have made an eternal impression on our Western culture is unrivaled by any city: the works of Giotto, Botticelli, Duccio, Paolo Uccello, Lippi, Ghirlandaio, Beato Angelico, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and more are evident throughout the city, and their influence is still felt around the world. In fact, Florence was also the home of Amerigo Vespucci – the mapmaker after whom North and South America are named! Today, Florence is the largest city in Tuscany and remains a major center of culture, tourism and culinary festivals.
From the ever-visible beauty of the Duomo to the astonishing art of the Uffizi Gallery to the fun found on the shop-lined Ponte Vecchio, you’ll never forget all the appeal Florence has to offer. Climb the 463 spiraling steps of the Duomo – the most renowned landmark in Florence – and reward yourself with a sweeping view of the city and the picturesque Tuscan hills that surround it. Linger at the Ponte Vecchio shops, which dazzle with gold craftwork. Saunter through the market at San Lorenzo and check out some of the world’s finest leather goods. Take a break at the beautiful Boboli Gardens, then finish the day at the Galleria dell’Accademia, home of the most famous sculpture in the world – Michelangelo’s David.
The Florentine people themselves are fortunate enough to live in the midst of so much artistic accomplishment, yet they still excel at celebrating the simple pleasures of everyday life. It’s no wonder that so many artists found Florence to be an ideal home city, for it satisfies both the need for creative inspiration and an appetite for good food, friends and festivity.