Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world; for many people, it is the most splendid. Its palaces, churches and museums overflow with masterful paintings and sculpture. As the birthplace of the Renaissance, the city combines unequaled beauty with centuries of history in a heady mix. Your first glimpse of the Duomo, set incongruously in the midst of streaming traffic, is likely to take your breath away. The spirits of Da Vinci, Dante, Boccaccio, Michelangelo and the Medicis are palpable on virtually any street, and the days of the Renaissance seem close at hand. Yet Florence is essentially a proud, provincial town, with a conservative mentality. You can sense that its citizens pay a price for living in what has become, essentially, an open-air museum. Florentines – especially those who deal with masses of tourists on a day-to-day basis – can be haughty and standoffish toward visitors. But there are many who will offer the visitor a warm smile and a helpful gesture. And the vitality of this small city, the robustness of its cuisine, the enduring beauty of its architecture and the richness of its treasures cannot fail to educate, exhilarate and dazzle those who visit.
Getting to Italy
Restaurants in Italy
When we think Italy and food, it is easy to conjure up thoughts about ‘real authentic’ pizza, and spaghetti and meatballs. It is easy to build up a food…
Doing a bit of research and acquiring some knowledge about this fascinating and beautiful country can truly enhance planning a trip to Italy. Italy affords…
A visit to Florence would have to be a wonderful experience any time of the year. For me it was Christmas, and one of my best ever. Fewer tourists, no queues…