Florence is world renowned for its Renaissance art, including paintings and sculptures from the most famous artists of the time including Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci and many many more! This is, of course, the allure of coming to Florence to see the majority of the Renaissance art and to hear the stories of the conniving families and dramas that existed at that time, Florence is full of secrets and mysteries.
The must see spots for culture is the Accademia museum where you can see the real David of Michelangelo (there are several throughout town so don't be fooled by immitations!) as well as other paintings and sculptures from lesser known Renaissance artists. The Uffizzi which is four floors and has the most famous paintings such as Botticelli's "The birth of Venus" and works by Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and more............
Obviously, you must see the Duomo cathedral, a main attraction in Florence however with the lines being up to several hours long in high season you may want to skip it and climb the tower instead if you are not afraid of tight spaces and heights. I must warn you there is no turning back once you begin, you will have a full stairwell of people behind you so if you have a weak heart I suggest you visit one of the rooftop bars (I can give you suggestion) and enjoy the view with a nice spritz at sunset, that's my personal preference:)
In addition to that would be the Pitti Palace in Palazzo Pitti where the famous Medici family once resided. You can enjoy the 12 salons of the Medici where the family lived and they are quite elaborate and of course the beautiful geometric gardens with another nice view of Florence, you can even bring a panini and a bottle of wine and have a picnic. Of course, the best tour guide in town is Aniko of "Florence and Chianti tours" if you want to enter further into the history and intrigue, she is so fun and entertaining;)
When you think of fashion you may think of Milan, seeing that it is up there with Paris and New York in regards to being one of the fashion hot spots internationally, of course, hosting its own fashion week as well.
However, Florence has some great museums that you can visit to get some of your fashion fix if you cannot make it to Milan. As well as some great shopping, if you want to know the hot spots, were the local fashionista's go you must contact Jana owner of "shop in Florence" and fellow colleague at Salvatore Ferragamo, she will have you looking like a super chic European in a day!
I recently visited the Gucci museum with these two fantastic ladies and it was gorgeous! You have a combination of vintage pieces, sketches, themed rooms and visual art. The shop next to the Gucci restaurant you can enter for free and they have all one of a kind piece form Furnishings to shoes, to jewelry and more, truly spectacular.
Being that I work for Salvatore Ferragamo I can't forget about the Ferragamo museum in Pallazo Feroni just behind the store. You can learn the history of Salvatore while seeing some of his early designs form 1920,s, including shoes and clothing design. You can also see some paintings and sculptures from that period. For instance, just recently we went with the kids for Carnivale, which is big here for the kiddo's and they get to wear their Halloween costume again ( helps us moms feel like we're getting our money out of those overpriced costumes too...it's a win-win!)
Ferragamo museum hosts an educational tour for the kids all dressed up in costume with the project making in the end.
Honestly, I thought my son would send me to ...you know where when he found out I was taking him to see women's shoes and make fashion but he loved it!!!
When visiting the Pitti palace you can also check out the fashions that they are displaying for a prolonged period, the exhibits tend to change regularly so catch it while you can!
The best fashion week to come to Florence is during Pitti Uomo which happens twice a year and it is a convention where all the designers get together to show there new upcoming collections and the town is filled with hot ticket parties (this is where fashion friends are handy) and aperitivo at local boutiques with people flowing onto the streets all over town. The best part is finding a spot on some steps and people watching the fashions and style are crazy fun and fantastic!
For more fun tips of what to do around Florence, Tuscany or all of Italy, contact me at www.wineclubitaly.com!
Hope to see you soon...ciao for now;)