For all its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Florence can seem impenetrable to the first-time visitor: a city of cramped traffic, swarms of tourists, street-hawkers and markets selling enormous quantities of belts and aprons decorated with the anatomy of Michelangelo’s David. But it’s a city that people come back to. There’s good Tuscan food and wine (if you know where to look), beautiful countryside all around and a history that includes the birth of the Renaissance. But it’s the art and architecture that, rightly, are most celebrated. From Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Venus to the marginally less well known but no less impressive cloisters in Santa Croce and frescos in Santa Maria Novella, Florence has it all. And, if you need a new belt, there are few better places.
Florence sits mostly on the northern bank of the river Arno. Many arrive in the city at Santa Maria Novella, the city’s train station and main transport hub. The city centre spreads out southeast beyond it. To the immediate east, the area of San Lorenzo has streets crowded with market stalls. Just northeast of here is the Galleria dell’Accademia, home to many of Florence’s statues. The Duomo, Florence’s biggest landmark, lies a little further south, below which a regular grid of streets stretch towards the river and make up the heart of the antique district. At the western edge of this grid, Palazzo Strozzi is a hulking Renaissance building, while to the south Piazza della Signoria competes with the Duomo to be the city’s centre point; it’s surrounded by grand buildings including the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi, Florence’s great art gallery. Nearby, the Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s oldest bridge, leads to the enormous Palazzo Pitti and elegant Giardino di Boboli. Also here are the churches of Santo Spirito and, up a steep hill, San Miniato al Monte. Back on the northern bank of the Arno, to the east of Piazza della Signoria, is the spectacular Gothic basilica of Santa Croce and an area of interesting narrow streets and considerably fewer visitors.
Spend a nice romantic day with your dream Escort Lady in Florence: Start with a coffee and a pastry from a café and allow a little time to wander across the Ponte Vecchio before the crowds descend. You can also stop off in Piazza della Signoria for the obligatory photo of Michelangelo’s David. The Galleria dell’Accademia, Bargello or museums and galleries of the Pitti Palace will give you and you charming Escort Lady a taste of Renaissance art. An abundance of good quality fresh products lie at the heart of Tuscan cuisine and Florence’s restaurants. Find a restaurant in the Oltrarno, on the other side of the river, for a nice lunch for you and your enchanting Escort and follow it up with a stroll in the Giardino di Boboli. In the late afternoon, visit the spectacular Duomo and the Battistero and climb together with your Escort Girl to the top of either the Campanile or the Cupola and survey the city from above, ideally with the sunshine glowing off the rooftops. Head to Santa Croce in the evening and sit a while on the steps watching people gather for aperitivi before drinking one together with your lady. There are some good eating options around here, too, and you shouldn’t miss an ice cream from Vivoli. If you want to keep going into the night, bars around Piazza Santa Croce are a good place to start, followed by nearby club in which you can dance together with your beautiful Escort Lady until dawn.