Florence City Breaks
Birthplace of the Renaissance, home to Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and the works of Botticelli and Giotto, Florence has inherited a rich cultural heritage. A perfect choice for a short city break; even today, the Florentines and their city never fail to impress, a perfect holiday to Italy.
Perhaps the best views of the city are to be had from the Piazzale Michelangelo, reached by following the quiet landes from the Ponte Vecchio along the city walls rising towards the San Miniato church.
Michelangelo's huge statue of David occupies pride of place in the Accademia Gallery, carved from a single block of marble.
Brunelleschi's gravity-defying Duomo which dominates the Florence skyline.Read more
The world-famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, the oldest bridge in Florence, which has housed tanners, butchers, blacksmiths and, finally, the goldsmiths' shops that still line it today.
See Italy's most important collection of art, the Medici collection, housed in the Uffizi Gallery.
The city at its most beautiful at dusk, admired from the Oltrarno.
Marvel at the frescoed ceilings of the Baptistry and the Duomo.
If you are not afraid of heights, ascend the 463 steps to the summit of the Duomo, which provides a new perspective on Florence.Read more
Visit Santa Croce, the largest Franciscan church in Italy, reputedly by St Francis himself.
Spend some time away from the bustle of the city streets and make your way up to the cool, cypress-lined Boboli Gardens.
Take some time out to enjoy a refreshing drink or a gelato and admire the medieval setting of the Piazza della Signoria.
Food & Drink
Try schiacciata, a type of Tuscan flatbread, for a snack or a light lunch, or sample the fare of the many fiaschetterie around the city for a plate of crostini, salami, and pecorino cheese accompanied by a glass of wine from the Chianti region. The traditional bistecca fiorentina, the Florentine T-bone steak, is a must if you enjoy a hearty portion of meat, whilst the delicate fresh courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta cheese are not to be missed.Read more
Gilli is one of the city's finest cafes, on Piazza della Republicca, and ideal for an aperitif before heading off to dinner. The famous Obika mozzarella restaurant on the Via Tornabouni is worth a try if you are keen on the lovely soft milky cheese, or for a typically Florentine experience try one of the small and cosy trattorias around the Piazza Santa Maria Novella.
The region is popular for the full-bodied red Chianti wine, though there are many Tuscan white wines, such as Vernaccia, from San Gimignano, which are well worth sampling.
Piazza San Lorenzo has a daily morning market that's a great place to pick up some bargains and traditional gifts. Good buys in Florence include baskets, leather gloves, jackets and handbags, beautiful paper goods, silk and lace. Food and drink are also good buys; bottles of herb-infused olive oil, dried porcini mushrooms and dried pasta in all shapes and sizes and colours all make welcome gifts.
As you would expect, all of the designer shops are here, from Gucci and Roberto Cavalli to Salvatore Ferragamo, so whether it is a special purchase or simply some window shopping, the Via Tournabouni is where you need to be. For a souvenir with a difference, visit the ancient Dominican apothecary of Santa Maria Novella, housed in a 14th-century chapel and stocked with a range of antique perfumes and soaps.
Includes the main cultural and historical sights of Florence, such as the Piazzale Michelangelo, the Accademia Gallery, the Duomo, Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistry.
Departs: daily except Mondays. Duration: half day.
Adult from £36, child from £18.
Visit to Siena & San Gimignano
Drive through Chianti, visit San Gimignano with its 13 medieval towers. Continue to Siena with its beautiful shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, and after a guided tour, some free time for lunch and shopping.
Departs: daily except Saturdays. Duration: full day
Adult from £51, child from £26.
Visit to Chianti with Wine Tasting
Travel through the rolling hills of the Chianti countryside before visiting a wine estate for some wine tasting and a tasty snack of crostini toscani.
Departs: daily except Tuesday and Thursday. Duration: half day.
Adult from £34, child from £17.
Cinque Terre Tour
Explore the five picturesque villages that make up the Cinque Terre, including Vernazza, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Suspended between sea and land, hanging from sheer cliffs surrounded by hills and vineyards, this is a spectacular scenic day out. (Apr-Oct only).
Departs: daily except Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Duration: full day.
Adult from £71, child from £37.