Not many cities have had the global impact of Florence, the hill-tucked capital of Tuscany and one of the most beautiful metropolises in the world.
This, after all, was the birthplace of the Renaissance and the onetime stomping ground of such luminaries as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Dante Alighieri, and Giotto (not to mention Amerigo Vespucci, whose name lives on in a major way in the New World). Much of the gilded majesty of Florence’s golden age, from medieval architectural masterworks to the transcendent art that flourished during the Medici era of the 15th and 16th centuries, remains fully on display today, magnificently woven into the modern cityscape.
“Florence is a great destination for its rich culture, museums, food, and wine,” says top AAA agent and Italy expert Lee Sparks. “There are many museums and churches to visit, some of them free. Since Florence is not a particularly big city, it's easy to get around by walking. And its central location makes it the perfect jumping-off point for day trips all around Tuscany.”
With so many choices, advice from a travel agent is invaluable. Lee has more than 35 years of experience as a travel agent, has been to Italy 6 times, and has a deep love for Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. Here are just a few of Florence's highlights, plus insights from Lee.