Italy’s artistic capital, Florence is the cradle of the Renaissance and home to some of the country's, if not the continent's, most important art. The city that inspired Brunelleschi, Bernini and Michelangelo has accelerated into the 21st century without sacrificing any of its beauty and charm. Contemporary art galleries have sprung up to join the venerable Uffizi, the jewel in Florence's crown. Visit the Duomo and, if you're feeling energetic, climb the 463 steps to the roof for a breathtaking view. Pop into the Museo to see Michelangelo's unfinished Pieti, before visiting the Galleria dell'Accademia to marvel at David in all his glory.
Those with a sweet tooth should try the gelato at Perche No! or Venchi, two of the best in a city that literally offers ice cream on every corner. Fashionistas can revel in the history of one of the world's finest shoe designers, Salvatore Ferragamo, with his collection of over 10,000 shoes in the archive. Balmy autumn nights were made for aperitivo; sample small plates and drinks with the locals on Piazza Santo Spirito.