Romantic Vacation in Florence
Florence is a romantic European city, ideal for honeymooners, and with a reason. Smaller and more intimate than Rome, Florence has its own unique character that cannot be found in any other city in the world. In addition to historic attractions, unique museums and great shopping, Florence is home to one-of-a-kind hotels where you can get a romantic room with a view and relax on your romantic getaway. Top hotels include: Hotel Savoy in Florence, Bernini Palace Hotel, J.K. Place, Grand Hotel Villa Medici, UNA Hotel Vittoria, Hotel Lungarno, Hotel Cellai, Continentale Hotel and Gallery Hotel Art. Romantic and other types of packages are often available, letting you save on vacation.
1. Ponte Vecchio
After the sun sets, Ponte Vecchio transforms into a meeting place for locals and tourists alike, often alive with music and laughter. During the day, browse boutique jewelery stores along the bridge for their perfect gift for your loved one.
2. Ponte Santa Trinita at Night
3. The boar
This boar, located in Mercato Novo, is the Florentine version of the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Anybody who rubs the boar's snout is supposed to return to Florence. You can also balance a coin on the boar's snout and let it fall into the water below while making a wish. This statue is located within walking distance of The Florence Cathedral.
4. Uffizi Gallery near Piazza Signoria
You will probably not want to miss the Uffizi Gallery which houses numerous masterpieces, including the Birth of Venus by Botticelli, Michelangelo's Holy Family, and Titian's Venus of Urbino. Just be sure to call and reserve your tickets ahead of time to avoid the long wait at the gallery. The Uffizi is connected with The Pitti Palace via a long walkway. Read our tips for visiting Florentine museums. Read more about Piazza della Signoria and Michelangelo's David.
5. Rose Garden, Boboli
One of the best spots in the city for a romantic walk are the green Boboli gardens. Located next to the Pitti Palace, the gardens were built by the Medici family in the 16th century. There are numerous pathways, renaissance fountains, and interesting statues. Since the gardens rise above the city, they also provide great views of Florence. Stroll through manicured gardens, rare trees, fountains and beautiful views. Towering above the Boboli gardens is the Forte di Belvedere, a scenic point with views of the city of Florence, that will complete your romantic getaway.
6. The San Lorenzo Street Market and Mercato Centrale
The area around San Lorenzo is probably the busiest in Florence and well-worth a visit. During the day, street vendors sell anything from t-shirts to leather goods. The Central Market (Mercato Centrale) is housed inside a large two-story building designed in the 19th century.
On the ground floor of the Central Market, vendors sell meats, fish and a variety of cheeses. If you are in the area at lunchtime, you can try one of the already prepared Tuscan take-out foods. On the first floor of the market one can purchase fresh fruit, vegetables as well as dried fruit, nuts, honey, homemade pasta, wine, herbs, and other produce. Browse more fun ideas for kids in the City of Florence.
7. Santa Maria Novella
The gothic church of Santa Maria Novella is located close to the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. The present church was completed in the 14th century and its imposing facade was completed in the 15th century.
Santa Maria Novella houses numerous important works from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. There is Vasari's Madonna of the Rosary, Masaccio's Trinity, the Miracle of Jesus by Bronzino, and frescoes by Ghirlandaio. The gothic cloisters attached to Santa Maria Novella also holds notable paintings and frescoes.
8. The San Lorenzo Church in Florence, Italy
San Lorenzo, the oldest church in Florence, Italy, dating back to the 4th century, was rebuilt in the beginning of the 15th century by Brunelleschi in Renaissance style. The church has a bare facade because the original designs by Michelangelo were never completed.
San Lorenzo houses several important works, including a set of Donatello's Pulpits, Martyrdom of St. Lawrence by Bronzino and the Wedding of the Virgin by Rosso Fiorentino. Admission fee is 2.5 euro per person. Attached to San Lorenzo is the Canons' Cloister and the Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana. The cloister was added to San Lorenzo in the 15th century and designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. Works on the cloister began around 1420. The cloister has an open-air garden with lemon trees and other plants. On the walls, one finds plaques commemorating various events.
The Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana holds ancient manuscripts collected by Cosimo the Elder. The staircase to the entrance of the Biblioteca was designed by Michelangelo. Walls of the entrance room are divided into three sections decorated with double columns. The stairs by Michelangelo can be seen by the public from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. free of charge. Sundays, one can join a free guided tour from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
9. Shopping Ideas in Florence
If you are looking for great stores on your romantic getaway to Florence, designer shops, including Versace, Gucci, Ferragamo, Prada and Bulgari are located along Via Tornabuoni and Via Vigna Nuova. Shops in Florence are usually open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Mondays, stores are usually open only in the afternoon.
Florentine shops and markets offer a great selection of leather products, such as handmade hand bags, jackets, wallets, briefcases and shoes. Some of the leather goods are produced in local Florentine shops. The widest range of leather products can be found in the area around Santa Croce and San Lorenzo. Leather enthusiasts can even visit a leather school and learn more about the art of working with leather. The Leather School of Santa Croce is located near Santa Croce - one of the entrances is through the church. Visitors can tour several showrooms, observe work in progress, and do some shopping.
Most antique shops are located in the area around Santo Spirito. You can find anything from wooden tables, chairs, vases, chandeliers and frames. Many antique and other small shops in Florence are closed during the month of August. If you are looking for unique jewelery on your romantic getaway, take a look in the shops on Ponte Vecchio.
If you can, plan a real shopping spree when the sale is on. Sales usually take place in January, and during the month of July.