Florence is the ideal place to visit any season, however spring can be the ideal time to explore this historical Italian city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to an incredible array of museums, churches, buildings, and artworks, founder Susie Marquis shares her recommendations and hidden gems in this cultural hotspot…
For many visitors, April and May are considered the best months of the year to visit Florence, with the weather generally mild, and without the summer crowds and heat. We offer a selection of beautiful apartments in the historic centre of Florence, where you can walk easily to all the main sights including museums, art galleries, and a great selection of restaurants and bars.
Another option, especially for a larger group, is to stay at the beautiful Villa Fiesole situated in a rural setting near the village of Compiobbi, just 11 kms from the east of Florence, and with wonderful countryside views from several terraces. Within the grounds of 3 acres, there are olive and fruit trees, flowers and herbs, and you will also be tempted by the large heated swimming pool (16x5m) with sitting area and covered outdoor dining area, as well as a new heated jacuzzi spa pool. Moreover, a driver can be arranged for those who want to go into Florence for day trips during their stay.
What to do and see in Florence this Spring?If you enjoy being outdoors, a visit to the historic Boboli Gardens is a must! Within these vast Italianate Renaissance gardens of 11 acres, you will find beautiful long tree-lined avenues, fountains and ancient statues. The layout of the gardens was originally established by the Medici family, and is an outdoor museum in its own right. As part of Florence’s Historic Centre, it is listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and is also within easy walking distance from the Piazza de’Pitti. Depending on the ticket you purchase, you can visit both the Gardens and the Palace at a discounted cost, or with a single ticket for 5 consecutive days you can visit the Uffizi, Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.
Uffizi Gallery The renowned Uffizi Gallery is also a must-visit with its collections of ancient sculptures and painting. The paintings from the 14th-century and Renaissance period include some wonderful masterpieces, including works by Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo. Moreover, the Gallery boasts an invaluable collection of ancient statues and busts from the Medici family adorning the corridors, and ancient Roman copies of lost Greek sculptures. Opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday, 8.15 am to 6.30pm.
Palazzo Strozzi – Reaching for the Stars The Palazzo Strozzi is located in Via degli Strozzi, just an 8-minute walk from the River Arno, and 6-minute walk from the Piazza della Signoria. Dating back to the 16th Century, the building started between 1533 and 1536, but wasn’t finished, due to the political misfortunes that beset the family due to its opposition to Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici. It wasn’t until 1937 that it was bought by the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni and turned into an exhibition venue, as well as a perfect example of an aristocratic palazzo of the Renaissance. The current Reaching for the Stars exhibition includes over 70 works by leading Italian and international contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Lara Favaretto and William Kentridge, celebrating one of the world’s most celebrated and prestigious collections of contemporary art. The exhibition sets out to provide visitors with an opportunity to reflect on the present and future of art, showcasing its variety and relationship with contemporary times. 04 March 2023 -18 June 2023, Exhibition hours: Every day 10.00-20.00, Thursdays until 23.00
Accademia Gallery The Galleria dell’Accademia is without a doubt most famous for its sculptures by the great Renaissance artist, Michelangelo – in particular, his magnificent statue of David. There is also a large collection of paintings by Florentine artists, mostly from the period 1300-1600. The Accademia Gallery building also houses the Museum of Musical Instruments of Florence. Due to its popularity and limited capacity, it is recommended to book tickets for your visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia in advance. We also recommend buying a Florence Pass, a card which includes tickets for the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Duomo and the Uffizi museum.
Palazzo Vecchio – Giacometti – Fontana. The Search For The Absolute Next to the Uffizi Gallery, the wonderful Palazzo Vecchio is featuring a double exhibition, presenting the art of Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti and Argentine-Italian painter Lucio Fontana until 4th June 2023. This majestic Palazzo Vecchio overlooks the Piazza della Signoria, which is also home to a copy of Michelangelo’s world-famous David statue.
While in Piazza della Signoria, you might like to take a break for coffee or lunch at Rivoirewhich has been a landmark in the piazza since 1872. It is particularly known for its chocolate, and offering both delicious hot chocolate drinks and boxes of chocolate. There is both a restaurant and a cocktail bar here as well. We also have two favourite rooftop bars in Florence, one modern and the other traditional. Just a four-minute walk from the Piazza della Signoria is the Grand Hotel Cavour Rooftop Bar (Via del Proconsolo, 3 | Tel. 055 26627), accessed by lift to the 6th Floor terrace. The amazing views in Florence from here include the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its incredible 90-metre-high Cupola del Brunelleschi on your right and the Palazzo Vecchio on your left. 
If you are looking for a more traditional and quieter location, we also recommend the Palazzo Guadagni Hotel Rooftop Garden Bar (Piazza Santa Spirito 9 | Tel. 055 2658376) in the Oltrarno. In a traditional rooftop garden setting, the bar is created in the loggia of a friendly, character-filled hotel overlooking the delightful Piazza Santo Spirito. From here you can sit in comfort and enjoy a glass of Tuscan wine as you admire the rooftops of the historic centre and the Florentine Hills.
A Few Recommended Apartments:Lungarno Soderino – 3 bedrooms, 6 guestsLocated in the authentic Oltrarno district and just a 12-minute walk along the River Arno to the Ponte Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti, this lovely apartment is also just a 10-minute walk from the lovely Piazza Santo Spirito, with its weekday market. Although renovated throughout, but including the original frescoes, the apartment has been furnished in a vintage 1950s style with parquet flooring and beautiful fabrics and curtains. The sleeping area is located to the back of the apartment away from the road, while the spacious living area benefits from windows overlooking the Arno River. The owners of the luxury villa to rent in Florence can also arrange cooking classes here on request, or arrange dinners for guests.
Apartment Bellini – 4 bedrooms, 12 guestsThis spacious 4-bedroom apartment is located within a beautiful 16th century building directly opposite the historic Piazza Pitti and just steps from the Ponte Vecchio. Several of the windows have impressive views of the Palazzo Pitti, a magnificent palace that the Medici’s called home during the Renaissance and which now houses a huge collection of important art. Beautiful 16th and 17th century frescoes decorate the walls and ceilings, and the bedrooms are adorned with luxury fabrics and original pieces of furniture dating back to the art deco period. The apartment offers superb cooking facilities as well as an office with printer/scanner. There are LCD Smart TVs in each room, high spec sound system and air conditioning throughout. Bespoke cooking classes can be arranged at this apartment.
Signoria Palazzo- 5 bedrooms, 12 guestsIdeal for a larger group, this apartment is in a historic family-owned Palazzo, conveniently right in the centre of Florence, just a few steps from the Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio. The entrance to the building is into an impressive 17th century hall with its original columns and statues, and the apartment is on the fourth floor of the palazzo (there is a lift in the building). The interiors have been renovated and decorated by an internationally renowned interior designer. From the living room, there are views of the Church of Santo Stefano beyond the apartment’s terrace and, on the opposite side, views of the tower of Palazzo Vecchio. The spacious living/dining room, with stunning beamed high ceilings, has French doors that lead to a furnished terrace. This property is also very suitable for special events, such as a weddings or other celebrations. A private garage with storage facilities is also at guests’ disposal.
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