Florence shopping.food.wine.beauty.stylish

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Less is more ... rather than overwhelming you with volumes of travel tips, here is a specific list of exclusive recommendations with Mr & Mrs Crystal's stamp of approval.

insider tips

  • Stroll through the renaissance gardens at Giardino di Boboli.
  • Hire a car and drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside.
  • Indulge in a cooking or wine courses and experience the best of Tuscan gastronomy - our favourites are those organised by the always helpful Giulio of La Limonaia.
  • Sip an espresso at the Piazza della Signoria and then fall into the ateliers of Prada, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli.
  • If you are in Florence during November, head to Pisa Province of Tuscany for the white truffle festival. 
  • new!  Of course everyone should see the Uffizi gallery, with its peerless collection of works by Botticelli, Carvaggio, Leonardo and the rest, but don’t queue for tickets - buy them online before you arrive at the Uffizi and spend your precious time enjoying Florence rather than standing in a queue.
  • new!   Via de' Tournabuoni, which runs from piazza Antinori down to the Arno at palazzo spini ferroni, better known as the Museo Ferragamo, is a virtual alphabet of high-end italian designers from Cavalli, Armani, Bulgari to Ermenegildo Zegna.
  • new!   One of the best spots to enjoy a bistecca, and feel like a local, is Trattoria Sostanza near Piazza Santa Maria Novella.
  • new!   Looking to spoil yourself even more? We LOVE Villa Bordoni in Greve in Chianti. Its owner, David, will make you feel at home right away. From the chic, elegant rooms to the exquisite restaurant (which offers cooking classes), this is one Tuscan hideaway where you won't want to be found!
  • new!   Whilst mustering the energy to climb the Duomo, enjoy a perfect espresso at cafe b-gallo (Piazza San Giovanni, 1). Despite its perfect location, this is no tourist trap.

what we think

Could there be anything more indulgent than a stroll over the Ponte Vecchio, browsing some of the world’s finest jewellery? A wander down via Tornabouni overflowing with Italy’s most famous designers comes in at a close second. Perhaps you prefer sipping a glass of Chianti Classico in a Santa Croce wine cellar or savouring a mouthful of tantalising gelato gazing over the River Arno? Florence has it all and so much more. The grandeur of the Duomo is breathtaking, the galleries house some of the world’s most famous artwork and the cafés’ baristas serve only the most perfect espressos. Located near the heart of Tuscany, the options for winery tours and cooking courses are endless, and all easily discoverable as a day trip from Florence.