Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, is a city overflowing with art, culture and romance. The architecture is a testament to a splendorous past. If that isn’t enough, the Tuscan capital is surrounded by typical Mediterranean landscapes, dotted with grapevines, olive groves and enchanting villages.
If you’re travelling to Florence for a romantic weekend or a family holiday, we have a wide range of holiday apartments in Florence. All our properties are fitted with all the mod cons you need to enjoy your stay to the full.
Renting an apartment in Florence is a great alternative to staying in a hotel, since you can unwind in your own private space. We have apartments in Florence in the city centre, close to the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria, as well as in neighbourhoods such as San Lorenzo, San Frediano and Santa Maria Novella. Staying in an apartment gives you a different perspective on the city, as you can mix with locals and live life there at your own pace. If you like the idea of living the country life, we also have day rentals in the Tuscan countryside.
What to see in Florence?
Florence is one great open-air museum full of treasures of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Its heart is the Piazza della Signoria, home to the Palazzo Vecchio, with its 94 m high tower. Another must-see in Florence is the Piazza del Duomo. The cathedral, or Il Duomo, with its white and green marble façade and magnificent dome, is another of the city’s symbols, vying for tourists’ attention with the Ponte Vecchio. The ochre-coloured arches and hanging houses over the River Arno have made the Ponte Vecchio one of the most famous bridges in the world.
You should also see the Galleria dell’Accademia, home to Michelangelo’s David. In the Ufizzi Gallery you’ll find paintings and sculptures from famous artists across the ages: Giotto, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya, Velázquez… There are plenty more museums to make up an unmatched cultural tour, including Il Bargello.
Other places to see in Florence are the Pitti Place, Boboli Gardens, the Church of Santa Maria Novella and Piazzale Michelangelo, a viewpoint with the best views of Florence.
What to eat in Florence?
Florentine cuisine is reason enough to visit the city. Its main ingredients are fresh local meat and vegetables: mushrooms, spinach, almonds, olive oil, lamb…
One of the most typical dishes in Florence is bistecca alla fiorentina, grilled beefsteak with herbs. Other specialities of Florentine cuisine include toast with liver pâté, ribollita (a thick vegetable soup) and panzanella (a salad made with bread, tomato, onion and basil). When it comes to traditional Florentine desserts, cantucci are small almond biscuits eaten to accompany sweet wine, and the city is rightly famed for its ice cream. Rest assured that there are plenty of trattorias and restaurants to eat out in Florence at a reasonable price.
Shopping in Florence
Florence is home to a number of international fashion brands, such as Gucci, Ferragamo and Roberto Cavalli, but it has also retained fascinating second-hand, antique and craft markets. The two best-known markets in Florence are San Lorenzo and Porcellino, where you shouldn’t leave without rubbing the wild boar’s snout to bring you good luck.
If you go shopping in Florence, the most prestigious clothes and accessories boutiques are in Via de’ Tornabuoni and Via dei Calzaiuoli. Another major shopping area is in Piazza Santa Croce. The Ponte Vecchio is the best place to buy jewellery.
Looking for ideas for presents? Typical products from Florence include leather goods, silk ties and headscarves, notebooks and stationery with marbled and printed paper.
Florence by night
Florence might not be famous for its nightlife, but its student population ensures there are plenty of bars and pubs for going out at night for a drink or two. The bars, pubs and discos in Florence are dotted all over the city, but can be found in greater numbers in some areas more than others, such as around the Duomo. If you’d prefer an alternative atmosphere, Oltrarno, south of the river, is the most bohemian district for partying in Florence.
Visiting Florence with kids
As one of the great cultural cities in Europe, Florence might not come to mind as the first choice for travelling with kids, but it’s a great destination for a family holiday. There are lots of activities for children: taking a walk in the Boboli Gardens, going on the old merry-go-round in Piazza Repubblica, discovering great inventions in the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, taking a boat trip along the River Arno… Videogame fans of all ages will love one of the new guided tours through the locations used in Assassin’s Creed
The weather in Florence
Florence has a warm, Mediterranean climate. Located in a valley between hills, it has slightly higher summer temperatures than other cities in Italy. Although the average temperature at this time of year is around 25 ºC, it can often go over 30 ºC, especially in July and August. Florence’s winter weather, however, is cold with frequent rain, with temperatures between 4 ºC and 10 ºC. At night, the thermometer can go below zero, but it rarely snows. Autumn is often rainy, with November the wettest month.
When is the best time of year to visit Florence?
Any time of year is a good time to visit Florence, although spring is a lovely time to discover the city, with long days that aren’t too hot. If you travel to Florence in spring you’ll find traditional celebrations such as the Scoppio del Carro at Easter, or the Gelato Festival celebrating ice cream. If you like wine, the best time to visit Florence is in the autumn, when local towns and villages celebrate the wine harvest.
There are lots of summer festivals, including the Firenze Summer Festival, as well as more traditional events such as the Calcio Storico Fiorentino, a championship of an early form of football. Winter in Florence can be cold, but the days are sunny and the city is less crowded than at other times of year. Christmas in Florence is also a magical experience.
What is there to see near Florence?
Two famous cities near Florence worth a visit are Pisa, with its famous leaning tower, and Siena, only an hour away by train, with a stunning cathedral and historic city centre that is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Tuscany is wine country, home to strong, aromatic chianti. There are over a dozen official wine tours run as excursions from Florence, where you can taste wines, discover wineries and visit medieval towns and villages such as San Gimignano.
If you want to travel further throughout Italy, Rome is relatively close to Florence, or you could discover differences with the north of Italy by heading up to Venice or Milan.
Why rent an apartment with Friendly Rentals?
Friendly Rentals has a wide range of holiday apartments in Florence to choose from to find the one that suits you. From large apartments for big groups or families with children to small, romantic apartments for couples on a weekend getaway. Our apartments are in the centre of Florence, so you’ll have plenty of restaurants nearby to try out the delicious local cuisine if you decide to eat out. If you’d rather be in the countryside in the beautiful towns and villages around Florence, we also have holiday rentals in the Tuscan countryside where you can relax and connect with the heart of Italy.
All our holiday apartments in Florence have been carefully selected to offer the utmost in quality and undergo regular rigorous inspections. You can contact us whenever you need to, either within office hours or on our 24-hour emergency number.