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Explore Florence - An Exclusive Guide

A perfect day in... Florence, Italy

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As one of Europe’s great art cities, Florence is packed with enough cultural gems and Renaissance marvels to keep you busy for days, as well as glorious medieval architecture, elegant piazzas and local culinary delicacies to savor.

What to see in Florence

Set out early to beat the crowds and head to the Piazza del Duomo, in the heart of Florence. Pause for a moment to take in the majestic Duomo, before climbing inside Brunelleschi’s terracotta-tiled dome, the Baptistery with its bronze Gates of Paradise, and Giotto’s impressive bell tower. Those who climb the 414 steps right up to the top will be rewarded with one of the finest views over the city.

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A short walk away is the Piazza della Signoria, which has been the center of Florence's political power for centuries. The medieval town hall of Palazzo Vecchio dominates the square and is now home to a popular museum, filled with artworks from the celebrated Medici dynasty. On the south side of the square you’ll find the open-air Loggia dei Lanzi, where you can marvel at sculptures including Cellini’s Perseus and the Rape of the Sabines by Giambologna.

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To see the city from a different perspective, hop onto a traditional wooden barchetta boat and sail down the Arno. The 50-minute tour passes many landmarks as it winds gently down the river, including the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio and the Palazzo Corsini.

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What to do in Florence

Art lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to museums and galleries in Florence. Start with the most famous of them all, the Uffizi, which is home to arguably the world’s finest collection of Renaissance pieces. Lose yourself amongst the Botticellis, Caravaggios and da Vincis – just make sure you book in advance to avoid joining the interminably long line. Afterwards, head to the Accademia Gallery to gaze up at Michelangelo’s David, as well as some of the sculptor’s other masterpieces.

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Once you’ve had your fill of art and museums, walk over to the Ponte Vecchio. Literally translated as the ‘Old Bridge’, it has connected the city’s river banks at this precise point since the 12th century. Lined with charming boutiques, it’s been a hub for small jewelry shops and goldsmiths since the late 1500s. Come to explore the treasures on offer and take in more spectacular views over the Arno.

On the south side of the river, spend a couple hours wandering around the enchanting Boboli Gardens, central Florence’s largest green space, filled with fountains, grottoes and shaded walkways.

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What to eat in Florence

This is definitely a city for meat lovers and Florentines are happy to eat almost every part of the animal. Sit down at a family-run trattoria for wood-grilled bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-bone steak) or stop at one of the traditional tripperia street food stalls for a portion of tripe, considered a local delicacy.

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The vast Mercato Centrale is where the locals come to do their food shopping. Housed in a 19th-century iron and glass structure, this food hall is one of the most popular in the city – go to sample freshly-made mozzarella, pasta with truffles and excellent gelato.

For more information, go to visitflorence.com

This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.

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