Florence is a city whose charm and splendid past have remained unaltered. This Tuscan capital on the banks of the Arno river continues to be romantic, enchanting and utterly irresistible. The city, surrounded by wine rich hills, is a gourmet paradise where eating and drinking exceedingly well is mandatory.
The Small List
The St. Regis Florence – Originally home to the noble Giuntini family, the former palace was converted into a hotel in the second half of the 18th Century. The. hotel is located just steps away from iconic landmarks, such as the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery. Overlooking the Arno River, the hotel is emblematic of the city’s rich history. The elegant and elaborate decor brilliantly combine a rich artistic past with the vibrant present.
Villa San Michele, a Belmond Hotel – Overlooking Florence’s most coveted view, this panoramic vista is as stunning as any painting hanging in the Uffizi gallery and perfect for an aperitivo, the enchanting and time-honored tradition in Italy to bring friends together. Paired with impressive views and live music, aperitivo at Villa San Michele is our favorite time of day! For first class luxury with breathtaking views be sure to book the Limonaia suite and villa.
Ristorante La Giostra – At La Giostra, authentic flavors of Tuscany are blended together with passion and sophistication under the twinkling lights in the heart of the historic center of Florence.
Enoteca Pinchiorri – Where the wines of the most famous wineries in the world and haute cuisine collide. This three Michelin Star restaurant excels in exceptional cuisine where every artfully plated dish is more impressive than the last. Worth a special journey!
Trattoria 4 Leoni – This chic and contemporary trattoria is located in the charming district of Oltrarno (literally, the other (oltro) side of the Arno) between the Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti. Quality always comes first at 4 Leoni where traditional Tuscan cuisine is served.
Trattoria Cammillo – This Florentine institution serves up top notch Tuscan food, elevated with perfect ingredients and careful preparation. Founded in 1945, Cammillo’s atmosphere is unpretentious and a Florentine favorite.
La Ménagère – Housed in an ancient and lofty palazzo, La Ménagère is a part restaurant, part cocktail bar, part flower and fragrance shop, part work space, making it one of the coolest hangouts for beautiful people. From 8 a.m. through 2 a.m enjoy everything from cappuccino’s to Negroni’s and grappa.
SE·STO on Arno Restaurant & Bar – One of the seven best rooftop bars in the world located in the Westin Excelsior Florence. This iconic rooftop venue in the heart of Florence offers breathtaking views. In addition, they deliver elegant and contemporary dishes for foodies and culinary experts alike.
Trattoria da Ruggero – Modest, tiny, humble, and packed with locals, Da Ruggero serves some of the best traditional food in Florence. It is located outside of the city center and totally off the radar. The good, honest home cooking and perfectly prepared Florentine classics are hearty and delicious. +39 055 220542
Trattoria da Burde – Originally opened as a grocer’s shop and trattoria, this historic restaurant is a long way off the usual tourist trail. The two brothers who now run Da Burde have kept everything as it was. You can purchase products to pamper yourself at home or to share with true food lovers. The dining rooms in the rear are informal and not surprisingly, the cuisine focuses on authentic local specialities. Lunch only!
Things to See
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore – The typical Italian Gothic building, completed in 1434, is the most important landmark in Florence, as well as the fourth largest church in the world. The Cathedral of Florence is dedicated to “Santa Maria del Fiore”, the Virgin of the Flower. It is clearly an allusion to the lily, the symbol of the city of Florence. It was Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) who won a competition to build the massive and iconic dome. He used more than four million bricks in the construction.
Accademia Gallery of Florence – Michelangelo’s masterpiece, “David”, sculpted between 1501-1504, is currently here in the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze. It is one of the most representative works of the Italian Renaissance, as well as being one of the most famous sculptures in the world.
Forno di Antonio Mattei – For over 160 years, the Antonio Mattei biscuit factory has been making Prato biscuits. Also called cantucci, only those in the Blue bag are the originals, produced with the ancient recipe in their kitchen in Prato.