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Surprisingly small but perfectly formed, history pours from every tiny alleyway, arching doorway and soaring bell tower of Rome's little sister, Florence. Once the home of inspiration for Brunelleschi, Bernini and Michelangelo, art has left a lasting impression on the city's streets. But while its magnificent domes and stately palaces still feel like a living museum, Florence has accelerated into the 21st century without sacrificing any of its beauty and charm. Once dilapidated piazzas have been sympathetically revitalised, while contemporary art galleries have sprung up to join the venerable Uffizi, the jewel in Florence's crown. We like taking in the Duomo at dusk, when its pink, green and white marble façade reflects the dying light, before eating at a palazzo-turned-restaurant for dinner.
Start as you mean to go on with the Duomo, a more pleasant experience now that its surrounding piazza has been pedestrianized; if you're feeling energetic climb the 464 steps to the roof of the Duomo for a breathtaking view over the city. Pop into the adjacent Museo to see Michelangelo's unfinished Pietá, before visiting the Galleria dell'Accademia to marvel at David in all his glory. Those with a sweet tooth should try Dolci & Dolcezze, the city's best pasticceria filled with cases of tiny wrapped chocolates and pastry tarts, perfect with a breakfast cappuccino. Balmy autumn nights were made for aperitivo: sample small plates and drinks with a crowd of locals that spills onto Piazza Santo Spirito.
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
Nights: 6 | from £2,995pp
Immerse your family in the exciting world of Italian history on a luxurious tour of Rome, Florence and Pisa that makes learning fun – and delicious, with... Find out more
Holiday type: Tailor-made
Call 01242 547 934 Enquire
Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
Nights: 14 | from £3,550pp
Contrast the glitz of Monte Carlo with the rustic prettiness of Elba on a voyage that brings out the best of the Mediterranean’s history, art, and culture. Find out more
Nights: 9 | from £5,199pp
Discover pearls of the Adriatic and their wild beauty, gaining access to 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Find out more
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STAR JUNIOR SUITES AND SUITES VIP AMENITIES 2017
- Bottle of champagne and fruit basket in room on arrival
- One fine dining experience at L’Olivo for two people (beverages excl.) for the night of arrival
- One complimentary 50-min massage per person per stay
- Soft drinks from in-room minibar
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access
- Daily newspaper
- Complimentary shuttle and entrance to Il Riccio Restaurant & Beach Club
Terms and conditons apply. Subject to availability.
40% DISCOUNT OFFER 2017
Enjoy 40% off stays in the Olilveto Suites at Hotel Castello di Casole.
Valid for year-round travel.
Black out dates include 18th - 20th May and 16th - 18th June 2017.
A minimum stay of 4 nights is required.
Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
To find out more about our Europe team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 703 or enquire online
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Our recent awards
My travel consultant, Sarah Brunger, was very polite to talk to over the phone and I felt as though she asked all the right questions. She was very kind and presented me with a number of options to choose from and even after I had made a choice, was very accommodating with the specific changes I was requesting.
- NP, London
Best time to be there
Coastal areas and the islands are great year round, although July and August can be very hot. The arts and opera seasons are generally at their peak outside these months. August is very much a shut down month as Italians take their annual break.
Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Milan, Pisa, Rome and Verona (British Airways), Naples and Venice (British Airways or bmi)
2 hours - 2 hours 30 minutes
GMT +1 hour