All love affairs starts somewhere, my love affair with Italy began with the Renaissance.
Even before I had the opportunity to explore this country I call my motherland I was fascinated by the masters.
Now after two back to back trips to Florence, I am happy to share my roundup of musts in the jewel of the Renaissance.
A favourite BNB located in the Oltrarno neighbourhood with 14 rooms individually designed, minutes from the Ponte Vecchio. The staff is warm and friendly and I love the room we stayed in with Florentine frescoes.
Same family of owners as Oltrarno Splendid, looks equally well curated and overlooks a green garden.
Located in Santa Maria Novella, a great location in the city centre.
Located on the arno river,
A former Medici residence is all you need to know!
The space feels like a museum in and of itself, with lush and expansive gardens.
Lovely for even just a drink to indulge!
An ancient renaissance monastery in the town of Fiesole. Everything Belmond touches is gold!
A remarkable property, we really enjoyed drinks and dinner here.
Away from the crowds, outside of the city centre, a 19th-century villa with lavish interiors blending original fittings and bold contemporary furnishings.
With a pool and view it is great if you want to be close to but not in the city.
Piazza Santo Spirito
A lovely piazza filled with life, and one of my favourite rooftops, Loggia Roof Bar for a drink during sunset, and maybe a tramezzino too.
Piazza di Santa Maria Novella
The facade of the Santa Maria Novella church alone is worth seeing.
Filled with floral and always a great destination to sit on a patio for an afternoon aperitif.
Former Medici residence is now home to Florence’s most impressive museums.
Spare a good 2-3 hours to thoroughly explore and walk the gardens (steps are steep- I warned you)
Even more impressive in my opinion than Giardino Boboli. Super lush with floral and picturesque views as you climb to the top. Wear comfortable shoes and head out early to avoid the beaming sun in the summer months.
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
I don’t know how anyone could not be amazed by the famous Duomo.
The heart of the city, this 15th century beauty has had my heart from the first time I laid eyes on her.
One of my favourite galleries to date, so many wonders under one roof.
Allot a good amount of time to really indulge, it is large and gets crowded fast! One piece of advice, look up!
Home of the famous Michelangelo’s David.
A magical view of the city. We were driven here, but many cycle or trek up by foot. Definitely worth seeing!
Definitely hard to miss! One of my favourite places to watch the sunset in Firenze.
Be sure to pass under the renowned Ponte Vecchio and experience the city from the water.
The oldest pharmacy in the world that has been crafting beautiful fragrances, remedies and herbal products since 1221.
The shop is a step back in time, its a must !
The porcelain factory is situated just outside of Florence and dates back to 1735.
It was revamped in 2014 when acquired by Gucci. I love their patterns and quality, we own a number of pieces in our home.
Artisan crafted womenswear, children ware and tableware.
A wondrous curated collection of antiques, we have purchased items from Maurizio’s incredible collection.
Stampe Fratelli Sarti
An antiche print shop with lots of treasures from botanicals to architecture.
Another lovely print shop that I recently purchased from.
For all your truffle desires! They operate as a full bar too, with mini paninis to nibble on.
Handcrafted ceramics hand painted by 3 Tuscan artists
Classic Tuscan fare, don’t miss the pappa al pomodoro. A beautiful marriage of tomatoes and bread. Buonissima!
Another classic trattoria, some highlights were the pappardelle in wild boar sauce, the roast chicken, Florentine tripe (if that is your sort of thing), oh! and the Tiramisu.
Slightly more upscale than the trattorias, but extremely reasonably priced for the atmosphere and taste. Eat the baccala mantecato!
Right next door to Il Santo Bevitore, their sister restaurant is a charming wine bar with delicious eats. I love sitting on the stools watching them prep!
Great for a morning cornetto or bread of course.
Located in the Belmond’s Villa San Michele Hotel, an ancient renaissance monastery in the town of Fiesole.
Dinner is served on the al fresco loggia. I still dream about the spaghettone.
Cooking, serving and eating Bistecca alla Fiorentina is serious business. This place does it well in an elegant setting.
Just 25 minutes outside the city centre, is the mecca of Antinori winery.
Their restaurant sits atop the winery as is perfect for an outing to the countryside for lunch with a view!
I have yet to make it here, but have heard wonderful things from family and friends.
Arrive before opening time, this place knows how to pack a lineup.
Recommended to me by a local, he says it’s his favourite Trattoria in Firenze.
Another recommendation, slightly elevated Tuscan classics.