Florence, the regional capital of Tuscany, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. It is acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and stepping onto its historic cobbles it is easy to see why. Cradled between the surrounding hills, the city hosts some of the most famous works of art on the planet and the whole of the city centre is packed with stunning palaces, churches and monuments. The surrounding countryside is well-known for its rolling hills and its wine, particularly the Chianti area between Siena and Florence.
Florentia—literally "florid city"—was the name given by the Romans to this settlement founded in the I century AD along the Arno river, at the foot of Fiesole, an Etruscan city whose ruins are visible on the hill which dominates the city. The flowering of Florence in art, culture and international trade began in the 13th century and reached its peak in the 15th century under the reign of the Medici family, who ruled over the city for more than three centuries.
Everywhere you turn in Florence, you find extraordinary works of art and architecture, which attract almost 8 million tourists every year—from the Palazzo Vecchio to the world-famous Uffizi Gallery to the Cathedral with its magnificent dome and the tower designed by Giotto. Along the river Arno the Ponte Vecchio, with its jewellery shops is a must for all those who pass through the city, as well as the splendid Boboli gardens across the river.
Florence is also an international wine and gastronomic centre, Chianti is its most famous local product together with the celebrated Fiorentina steak on the bone.Read More