09 Dec 2014 Romance in Florence: a Romantic Trip to Florence
In the heart of Tuscany is the birthplace of the Renaissance: Florence. This ancient city is bustling with beautiful art, interesting architecture and plenty of spots to inspire romance on your holiday.
The weather in Florence is warm and sunny in the summer, and mild and calm in the winter. A light dusting of snow on the top of Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore’s famed cupola, Il Duomo, is a captivating sight.
In order to fully experience the best the city has to offer, check out these things to do in Florence.
On the south bank of the Arno River, the hills rise above the city, providing majestic views of the old city. The Oltrarno quarter is a beautifully preserved neighborhood, filled with artisans and boutique shops. It’s quiet, chill atmosphere is perfect for a lovely morning stroll.
Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens are best in the morning, before too big of crowds arrive. The imposing palace, which served as inspiration for several of the French royalty’s most famous residences, is now home to an outstanding art gallery, costume gallery and porcelain museum.
When visiting the famed Medici gardens, there are plenty of opportunities to escape other tourists, whether near one of the grottos on the north end of the park, or in the tree-covered path that runs parallel to the avenue of the cypress, Il Viottolone (the perfect place to steal a kiss!).
Next, visit the San Miniato al Monte, a marble-façade Basilica atop one of the highest hills in the city. The church has been the location of royal weddings and the filming of movies, and the view from the top of the steps will give a great overview of Firenze.
Take a walk from the Basilica at sunset through Piazza Michelangelo (the iris garden in the spring is spectacular), then wind your way through the Giardino Bardini, where you’ll find a restored 17th century villa and Renaissance-style gardens.
On the north side of the river, you’ll find so many of the iconic buildings and museums of Florence. But instead of crowding around Il Duomo, take your special one to another church, the Santa Maria Novella, which has its own charm.
At the church Dominican monks started a tradition of perfume making centuries ago, and today that tradition is continued in one of the world’s oldest pharmacies, Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella.
After you’ve found the scent of love, wind through the smaller streets of the city and explore some of the unique shops and boutiques that make Firenze so special.
Crowds diminish at the Uffizi Gallery in the evening, where in addition to finding Botticelli’s masterpiece odes to Spring and the Birth of Venus, you can catch a delightful sunset over city center from the museum’s third floor terrace. It’s the perfect place to grab a glass of Tuscan wine and take in the sights and sounds of Firenze.
All that art will make a couple hungry, and the restaurants of Florence do not disappoint. From casual sandwich shops to traditional family trattorias to high-end modern bistros, the city is a foodie delight.
Fall in Northern Italy is the season for olive oil pressing and porcini mushrooms, and Florentine chefs make use of these local ingredients in delightful, creative ways.
Finally, a romantic trip to the cradle of the Renaissance is not complete without taking in some live art. In the Teatro della Pergola, you can feel the history of the opera venue while taking in modern classics.
One of the original theaters with tiered boxes, Teatro della Pergola has been host to performances of works from Vivaldi, Mozart and Verdi. For more than 350 years, this centrally located theater has charmed and wowed patrons of the arts, not only with the content on the stage but the beauty of the theater within.
In addition to being accessible by car and on foot, Florence can also be explored by bicycle, which Ville in Italia can help arrange. You’ll feel like a 1950’s Italian movie star riding together along the Arno and through the Tuscan hillside.
The best part is all of this is accessible from one of several luxury villas operated by Ville in Italia, the perfect place to relax on your romantic getaway.