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Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Franciscan Basilica di Santa Croce, with its striped green-and-white marble facade, dates from about 1294. Inside are the tombs of many celebrated early Florentines, including Dante, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Among the many art treasures...
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Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It's in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt...
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Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
You will likely see Bronzino's famous portrait of Eleonora (or Eleanor) de Toledo, in the Uffizi, during your visit to Florence. The Spanish noblewoman who became the duchess of Florence in 1539 when she married Cosimo I de' Medici was unusual for...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence’s most lively square is dominated by the blank, unfinished facade of Brunelleschi’s last church. Lined with trees and centered around a pretty fountain, the piazza plays host to a small daily market (where local ladies do their shopping)...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The rooftop restaurant of the Westin Excelsior hotel wins top prize for being the most panoramic spot for a meal in Florence; floor-to-ceiling, wraparound windows permit 360-degree views over the entire city and the hills beyond....
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Despite the fact that it was the last week of October, the line to climb to the top of the Duomo dome was wrapped around the building. The line to climb Giotto's bell tower, right next door, was nonexistent. Lucky for us, we had our walking shoes...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
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Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This is the only Gucci museum in the world. The company was founded in Florence in 1921, and different floors of the museum take you back through its history and designs. There are sections on clothes, shoes, luggage, and more. The museum is...
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Piazza Vittorio Gui, 1, 50144 Firenze FI, Italy
If you get a chance to book seats for a night at the opera in Florence, grab it! The city has a new opera house, the Opera di Firenze, a 150 million theatre complex near the Cascine Park. Opera was born in this city when Jacopo Peri’s ‘Dafne’, was...
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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
There are few better places from which to enjoy river views and sunsets than the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345. Spanning the Arno's narrowest point, this is the only bridge to have survived the German bombing of the city in 1944. There have always...
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Via di Santo Spirito, 64/66 r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This busy, buzzy Oltrarno restaurant continues to be a personal favorite for its lively atmosphere and dependable cooking at reasonable prices. The menu offers ever-present favorites such as pasta with sweet tropea onions and cherry tomatoes as...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
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Via Baccio Bandinelli 98, 50142 Florence, FI, Italy
You know the daydream where you’re in a colorful vintage car zipping along cypress-lined Tuscan roads that line the Arno? Well, here it is. You turn off onto a gravel path ending at a sunny complex of restored 19th-century Italian factories...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 1, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
If every Renaissance palazzo had been as luxurious as the St. Regis Florence, it seems unlikely the Renaissance would ever have ended. Designed in 1432 by Filippo Brunelleschi, this riverside palace just northwest of Florence’s centro...
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Borgo S. Jacopo, 14, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Somewhere between a luxury yacht and a royal residence, the Hotel Lungarno seems like the sort of place where Audrey Hepburn’s Princess Ann, of Roman Holiday, would have felt right at home. A 16th-century private residence on the southern...
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Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
There are many excellent restaurants in Florence, but this one was recommended to me by a local, and I'm so glad it was. Alessandro, the chef, recently returned after working in New York City for eight years. Located on a small street near the...
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Via de' Ginori, 8/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
It's difficult to know what to call new Florence opening La Ménagère: it's a café, flower shop, tapas and cocktail bar, bistrot, purveyor of gorgeous homeware and restaurant all under the same roof. Done out in the retro, shabby-chic style that...
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Borgo S. Frediano, 167R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
IO Osteria Personale is a small, elegant, and innovative restaurant in Florence. It's a foodie's delight, with an à la carte menu of meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, but no pasta! You can choose three or five dishes plus dessert to create...
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Via dei Renai, 17/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
[CLOSED] This sleek, red-and-black-interiored bar is one of the coolest places in town for an aperitivo and really good background sounds. Your aperitivo of choice has to be a Negroni (equal parts gin, Martini Rosso and Campari plus a twist of...
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Via dello Sprone, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Located on one of the prettiest little squares in the Oltrarno, this caffè has a few tables on the sidewalk, a tiny bar area, a room in the back for sit-down meals and snacks and a cosy, Bohemian atmosphere. It’s a great place for either...
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Via Borgo San Frediano, 8, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Aperitivo is one of the best things that happens all over Italy every day. Cafe Volume, in the heart of the piazza, is open all day and late into the night and has a great vibe. I love that they have a dedicated crepe-maker and delicious drinks!
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Via de' Bardi, 58/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The name says it all: this sleek bar is set right on the south bank of the Arno, just east of the Ponte Vecchio and the sunset views of the bridge as dusk falls are indeed golden. Bag a table in the window, order a cocktail and help yourself from...
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Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ideally you'd have a whole day to appreciate the world’s foremost collection of Renaissance paintings, housed in the 16th-century headquarters of the Medici court. But for those with less time, highlights include the three great...
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Via Senese, 89/R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Family-run Ruggero is a bit of a hike from the centre of town, but in my mind, it is the best traditional trattoria in Florence, so worth the effort. You can expect textbook versions of Florentine classics from ribollita (a hearty...
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Piazza del Carmine, 18, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
A dependable neighbourhood trattoria with a loyal local following and a daily-changing list of seasonal specialities, Carmine is a regular haunt of mine. It serves one of the best beef carpaccios in town (topped with arugula and parmesan...
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Piazza di San Lorenzo, 8R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Hidden away behind the stalls in the San Lorenzo market, Da Sergio turns out wholesome, unpretentious food to locals and tourists. Last time I was here I ordered tortelli di patate (potato-stuffed ravioli) with meat sauce and deep-fried calamari...
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Via dei Neri, 74/R, 50100 Firenze FI, Italy
Fresh as you can get and a great price. The baker was bringing in steaming loaves of oven-fresh bread from the bakery down the street while we were standing in line!! Prosciutto on focaccia with warm Parmesan spread and arugula was delicious....
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Piazza della Signoria, 31, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The aristocratic Frescobaldi family is one of Florence’s foremost wine-producing dynasties and at their relaxed, modern wine bar just off Piazza della Signoria, you can sample all the house wines and choose from a menu of cheeses, cold cuts and...
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Piazza S. Lorenzo, 50050 Limite Sull'Arno FI, Italy
Over ten years ago, I took my first trip to Florence. I bought 2 leather jackets there, one of which I still wear regularly today. The other one is in great shape but slightly out of style. So on this recent trip 10+ years later, I was bound and...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
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Via della Spada, 34r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
It all started with the bottle of organic argan oil that Antje d’Almeida, the owner of Mio, bought on a trip to Morocco. The silky, scent-free oil was too good not to share, so she opened a shop and started selling...
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Via Montebello, 58, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
During my last stay in Florence, I wanted to learn more about the artisan trades, and Bruscoli was recommended to me by a local. I am so glad it was. As I walked along the Arno River on my way to the workshop, I had no idea what an extraordinary...
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Via de' Guicciardini, 1/red, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The only glove shop in the city to produce its stock on site, Madova’s exquisitely-crafted ‘guanti’ are made in a factory just behind the shop. There is a huge range of colours and styles range from simple, un-lined styles, silk or cashmere-lined...
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Via Guelfa, 5, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
The colors! The traditional art of Italian ceramics is celebrated in this shop, conveniently located, close to the Mercato Centrale. It's a joy to browse amidst the vibrant, hand painted goodies, that are reasonably priced. It's perfect for...
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Via S. Giuseppe, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked behind the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence is Scuola del Cuoio—the school of leather. To get into the school, one must go through the church's side door, walk under the church's tunnels, and climb up a nondescript set of stairs. There,...
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Via de' Bardi, 17, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The centuries old art of Florentine bookbinding and papermaking is kept beautifully alive here by the charming owner--Erin Ciulla, who came from Canada to Florence to study the craft and stayed on. Since part of the tiny store is her workshop, I...
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Borgo la Croce, 44/r, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
For fabulous room fragrances, head for the Antica Officina del Farmacista where Dr. Paolo Vranjes works his magic producing perfume essences inspired by Florence’s long, rich history.