Florence is a city full of museums. Only a 10-minute walk from the Hotel, the Galleria Dell'Accademia hosts Michelangelo's famous David and his legendary Four Prisoners. Italy's most important museum, the Uffizi, offers a peerless collection of works by Botticelli, Caravaggio, da Vinci and Piero della Francesca, to name a few. Pitti Palace, the former residence of the Medicis, contains a remarkable number of exhibitions, and the Museo del Bargello Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Museum of Anthropology and Galileo's Museum are all worth a visit.
Starting with the emblematic Duomo and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, erected between 1296 and 1436, Florence features numerous churches, which in turn host paintings by the masters of the Renaissance. These include:
- The Dominican Basilica of Santa Maria Novella with masterpieces by Giotto, Massaccio and Ghirlandaio
- The Basilica di San Lorenzo with the splendid old sacristy by Michelangelo and the Medici family tombs
- The Santa Croce Church, holding the tombs of Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo
- The Church of Santo Spirito, designed by Bruneslleschi, situated in the south bank of the Arno
- The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, built in the 11th century, offering the most splendid views of Florence
- The Basilica of Santissimo Annunziata, founded in 1250, featuring frescos by Pontorno and del Sarto
Parks and Gardens
The largest park in Florence is the Giardino di Boboli, located behind the Pitti Palace. The former park of the Medici family, it features unique statues and fountains crafted in Romantic style. The city's Parco della Gherardesca is Florence's second-largest park, offering beautiful botanical species. Nearby, the Botanical Garden is the world's oldest of its kind, showcasing exotic plants and unique species. Lastly, we suggest you visit the Giardino Bardinin during the warmer months. This Renaissance garden offers unique views of Florence, with splendid winding paths and a cafe at the top – perfect for a memorable sunset drink.
Teatro Maggio Musicale
Considering that members of the Medici family were such great patrons of the arts, it's hardly surprising that Florence hosts one of Europe's great music festivals, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which runs annually from April 1 to June 30. Featuring concerts, opera and ballet, it attracts world-class soloists and orchestras. Zubin Mehta is the music director of its resident orchestra. Concerts take place mainly in the Teatro Comunale, the town's principal theatre, but they are also held in some of the smaller auditoriums, such as the Teatro Goldoni.
The Calcio Storcio is Florence's ultimate experience. Simply explained, it's a football game that used to be played traditionally among the various quartieri (neighbourhoods). It's a rough game with few rules, and the players wear the traditional costumes of a hundred years ago. The game takes place in the month of June. Please contact our Concierge for more details.
Estate Fiorentino and Fiesolana – Summer Festivals
During June, July and September, musical events take place at the Boboli Garden in Florence and in Fiesole's amphitheatre. Take in the sunset views and fresh air while listening to a performance of opera or classical music. Reservations are recommended.