Florence is the capital of Tuscany and home to some of the most historically significant churches, palaces and museums in Italy and beyond. This quintessential Italian city offers everything you’d expect from a holiday to Italy and more; admiring art, indulging on fine delicacies and wines and basking in the wonderful Italian climate. Whether you’ve booked a stay in one of our luxury holiday villas in Tuscany or you’re looking for inspiration for your next holiday, we’ve created a taster of how you could spend seven days in this fascinating city.
Upon arrival, find your villa and unpack, exploring all that your luxurious villa has to offer, organising rooms and unpacking your suitcase so you can truly settle in to your home away from home. If your villa has a pool, a refreshing dip might make you feel a little more alert after a long journey. You won’t want to over-exert yourself on the first day, and might be tired from work and travel, so take a leisurely stroll around the immediate area of the villa and scout out a local restaurant for some fine dining later in the evening. An early night is recommended in preparation for an action-packed week ahead.
Wake up early on day two and hit the local super market or, if you want a truly authentic experience, street market to get supplies for the week. Head back and refuel with some breakfast before heading out into the city for the first full day of activities. Begin with what is arguably one of the most famous galleries in the world, the Uffizzi Gallery. To fully appreciate all of the fantastic works of art on offer we recommend spending 2-3 hours exploring the attraction, leaving aside plenty of time to admire one of Botticelli’s finest pieces, the Birth of Venus. Lovers of architecture will appreciate the venue itself and those with an interest in history will enjoy learning all about the history of the Uffizzi family. Grab a quick lunch before heading to one of the outdoor pools in the city to idle away the afternoon in the sun, dipping into the pool if it ever gets too hot. Piscina Comunale Costoli is 50m long and also has a kids pool. Once everyone has had enough of the swimming, head back to your villa for showers, dinner and perhaps a few games around the table.
Wake up even earlier today – you’re going on an adventure! Chances are you’ll be meeting your tour provider before 7am to make the journey to Cinque Terre, where a string of centuries-old seaside villages await. Most tours will explore the main highlights of the destination, taking in the classic architecture and fine views of the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. There’s plenty to see here to keep you entertained all day and each tour will be slightly different, so ensure you choose the one that is best-suited for you and your family. You’d be forgiven for taking a nap on the coach home, and perhaps heading straight out for dinner to save cooking tonight. Head back to the villa for an early night, and perhaps a film before bed.
There is still much of the fascinating city to see, so why not head out early and see it all from one of the most impressive viewpoints in Florence? The Piazzale Michelangelo offers the perfect platform to enjoy the breath-taking cityscape, pointing out any landmarks you can see. Don’t forget your cameras, this spot makes for the perfect holiday album backdrop and will allow you to capture all that Florence has to offer from above. It is also a fantastic point for a picnic for those of you that want lunch with a view. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Piazza Santo Spirito where you’ll experience a proper taste of real cosmopolitan life in Florence. Grab an afternoon coffee Al Fresco style while you people watch, browse the markets, sample some local cuisines at the restaurants or step into the church for a moment of silence in the thriving square.
Opt for more of a chilled morning at the villa, making full use of any features your luxury villa has and those hoping to return home a little more sun-kissed than when they left, make the most of some sun time. After lunch, head back out into the city for a visit to Boboli Gardens, located behind Pitti Palace. Awe-inspiring Tuscan panoramas are all around you and the beautiful park is full of Renaissance and classical sculptures. The gardens even have some hidden grottos, including the fairy-tale-esque Grotta di Buontalenti where you can retreat to for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Once you’ve had your fill of zen gardens, head for a fantastic performance at St Mark’s Church. Located as part of an old Medici palace, they do mass every Sunday alongside a variety of concerts and opera throughout the year.
Wake up early for your last full day, as no trip to Florence is complete without discovering the delights of the Duomo. Built over six centuries, the cathedral is a sight to behold, and the minutes will soon turn into hours as you marvel at the fascinating architecture. For a birds-eye view of the city, opt to climb the 414 steps of Giotto’s bell tower for another fantastic viewpoint. Spend the afternoon browsing any of the other museums or art galleries that you want to see before you go and visit any of the places that have been recommended by family and friends. Celebrate your final night with a sunset boat cruise along the River Arno which includes drinks and snacks, before indulging in a meal out in one of the many fine dining restaurants in Florence. Head back with heads full of the happy memories from your holiday, albeit perhaps a fuzzy one after one too many glasses with dinner.
As the unfortunate but inevitable departure date arrives, chill at the villa until it’s time to make your way to the airport. Children and adults alike may fancy one last dip in the pool, and you’ll want to check the villa thoroughly to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Your return to England will be bittersweet in the sense that the holiday is over, but no doubt you’ll already be planning your next Italian escape.
That concludes our guide to what awaits you in Florence, Tuscany and a sample itinerary of what a week in this fantastic city could look like. We hope it has provided you with a little inspiration on where to take your next holiday or what to do during your time in Florence. For more guides on what to do in this city, check out our recent blogs on child-friendly attractions and child-friendly restaurants in Florence. If you’d like any further information about the range of villas in Tuscany, don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team here at Quality Villas who would be happy to help.
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