Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region in Italy. Approximately 380,000 people call Florence home, with more than 1.5 million living in the surrounds.
Founded in 59 BC, Florence was established by Julius Caesar’s solders who named the area “Florentia”, in honour of the Goddess Flora – the symbol of spring and fertility.
A bridge was built where now stands the current Ponte Vecchio (which translates, correctly, to “Old Bridge”), at the narrowest part of the Arno River that runs from the Apennines, through Florence and out to the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The Roman Forum was set up where now stands the Piazza della Repubblica, whilst a theatre was built in today’s Piazza della Signora and Roman baths where now sits the Florence Cathedral, Il Duomo.
After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD, a market was established selling international wares where traders would pass through, establish Florence from this time on as a European hub of finance and trade.
Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, where many of the biggest characters earned their name in history. Florence was home to the important Medici family as well as writers and political, social and religious figures including Galileo, Machiavelli, Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio and Savonarola. Numerous master artists also hail from or at least lived out most of their lives in Florence (think Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli, Vasari, Donatello, Ghiberti, Masaccio, Rafael, da Vinci and more).
The wealth of the Renaissance also fostered the establishment of Florence as a fashion capital, giving rise to a range of artisan crafts and markets such as the fabric trade, fashion designers, cobblers, leather artisans, jewellers, milliners and the like.
Italy then went through a period of turbulence lasting for two centuries after the Renaissance, culminating with the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy, seeing the unification of the various regions to form the Italy we know today.
From 1865-1871, Florence was the capital of this Italy, during which time the city was given a little bit of a facelift, including the remodelling of the central Piazza della Repubblica.
Florence then had its own renaissance in world fashion after the end of the Second World War, giving rise to names such as Roberto Cavalli, Enrico Coveri, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emilio Pucci and Guccio Gucci.
Today, the city of Florence is a great mix of medieval, Renaissance and early modern architecture. It was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. There are also a great number of exceptional artworks, many housed in the Uffizi Gallery, plus Michelangelo’s David standing in the Academia Gallery.
The city has never lost its artistic and creative spirit, to this day attracting many art and artisan students to the various art schools and studios in Florence.
As the capital of the gastronomically-rich Tuscan region, Florence has also developed a world-class cuisine that today blends the quality foods of the well-to-do (such as Florentine Beefsteak) with the delicious slow-cooked lower class recipes such as Ribollita, Trippa (tripe), Zuppa di Cipolla (Onion Soup) and a range of delicious sweets.
Visiting Florence today thus gives visitors a chance to see some of the world’s best art by master artists, visit historic palaces and piazzas, enjoy some fabulous shopping for designer and bespoke fashion items, plus to dine on delicious traditional Florentine and Tuscan food (gratefully paired with excellent Tuscan wine).
Visit all the must-sees of Florence's historical city centre and the two top museums - the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Museum - in around 6 hours led by Florence's best tour guides.
A great walking tour covering the historical centre of Florence, focusing on the area north of the river to the west of the Santa Croce area.
Our transfers offer you the safety and convenience of a private vehicle and driver to pick you up as you disembark and whisk you off to the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence for the ultimate shore excursion.
Avoid the hassle of using public transport and the stress of driving in Italy. Book a private driver to take you from the Pisa airport to the Florence city centre.
This is the first tour to reveal Florence as you've never seen - through the eyes of Robert Langdon of Dan Brown's 'Inferno'.
Florence's dark, medieval past is brought to life on an exploration of this little-known historic quarter.
From the outrageous lifestyles of the well-known and well-to-do to the sordid skeletons in Florence's closet, discover the outragous occurances that rocked the Renaissance on Florence's most unique private tour.
Stunning views of classic Chianti countryside, gourmet lunch, wine and olive oil tasting, Tuscan villa cellar visit, the most beautiful church in Tuscany and a great bi-lingual guide.
Individual instruction ensures this workshop suitable for all ages and skill levels - from complete novices to more experienced artists wanting to gain insight into Florence’s art scene and to meet local artists.
Artemisia Gentileschi broke many boundaries during the Renaissance, not least for being a female artist accepted into the Accademia di Arte del Disegno.
The Museo Galileo is home to the only surviving instruments designed and built by Galileo Galileo himself. Step back in time as you explore the wonders of the Galileo Museum with your own private tour guide.
Whether you wish to bike ride through the Tuscan hills, treat your family to the art cities, experience Italy's rich gourmet and wine heritage, explore your artistic side, or have a romantic honeymoon vacation, we can arrange it all.