Fêted as one of the world’s most enchanting and beautiful cities, Florence was the jewel of the Renaissance, famed for its abundance of architectural masterpieces and breath-taking works of art.
The foundation of Florence dates back to Roman times, yet it rose to remarkable prominence in the fifteenth century as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.
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The Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance & A Muse for Creative Arts
The foundation of Florence dates back to Roman times, yet it rose to remarkable prominence in the fifteenth century as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Established as a wealthy centre of trade and finance in the medieval age, literature, sciences, arts and humanities flourished in Florence from the fifteenth century as the city stood at the forefront of a golden period in European culture and intellect. Ruled from 1469 by patron of the arts Lorenzo de’ Medici, it was Lorenzo’s commitment to advancing the arts along with the influence of Greek and Roman antiquities which sparked the rise of a new creative spirit in the city.
As man became increasingly fervent for knowledge, set on affirming his dominion over surrounding nature and preceding history, a number of illustrious inventive personalities such as Dante, Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo sculpted Florence into a city of sublime architectural and artistic beauty, which changed forever the way we see the world.
Florence’s rich Renaissance history is engrained in the exquisite architecture of its churches, cathedrals, museums and galleries, and the Duomo cathedral is one of the most distinctive and significant historical landmarks in the city. Officially known as the Basilica di Santa Maria del Foire, designed initially by Arnolfo di Cambio, construction of the Duomo began at the end of the thirteenth century and symbolized Florence’s growing power, wealth and artistic excellence. The magnificent dome which dominates the exterior of the building was added in the fifteenth century, and designed by renowned architect, goldsmith and sculptor Brunelleschi, it remains a feat of ingenious architectural design.
Renowned as the cultural capital of Europe and famed for exceptional museums and world-class musical events, Florence is a muse for creative arts. With so many outstanding architectural masterpieces, art galleries and museums to explore in Florence, cultural attractions are infinite. However, to marvel at the world’s greatest collection of Renaissance art, a visit to the Uffizi gallery is a must. As one of the oldest and most prestigious art galleries in the world, the Uffizi Gallery contains Botticelli’s famous paintings the Birth of Venus (1485) and Primavera (1478), as well as legendary works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian and Caravaggio. The Palazzo Pitti is also a temple of Renaissance art, featuring magnificent works by Tintoretto and Raphael within its grand Galeria del Palatina.
Music has played an important role in shaping the culture of Florence since the first opera was created in the city at the end of the sixteenth century. The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is one of the oldest and most esteemed music festivals and takes place in Florence every year. Attracting the greatest opera, ballet and contemporary musical artists in the world, the annual event celebrates the long-standing musical tradition of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which now resides in the modern Nuovo Teatro dell Opera, an extraordinarily contemporary geometric structure boasting first-rate acoustics. For chamber music, the Amici della Musica concert season is among the most prestigious in the world. Held in the ornate seventeenth century surrounds of the Teatro della Pergola, Amici della Musica represents one of Italy’s most lively and historic cultural traditions.
As a city of romantic Italian culture, Florence’s nightlife exudes an air of passion and love. For the ultimate romantic night-time setting, the Golden View Open Bar encapsulates one of the most sophisticated atmospheres in Florence. The soft lighting, mellow music and scenic view add to an intimate feel, making for a magical evening.
Fusion Bar is characterised by sleek interior design and inventive cocktails which make it a popular night-spot for fashionable Florentines. Overlooking the River Arno, the vibrant bar is an elegant retreat encapsulating an artistic ambience.
Authentic Tuscan Gastronomy
Florentine cuisine is defined by authentic Tuscan fare, which draws on the principles of simplicity and abundance to satisfy the most discerning of diners. Francesco Vini Firenze specializes in refined Tuscan dishes served above the ruins of a roman amphitheatre in one of the most beautiful restaurants in the historical city centre. Known for elegance, tradition and quality, Francesco Vini offers an extensive wine list of more than one hundred Tuscan wines which will delight connoisseurs and wine lovers and complement any dish on the menu.
Ristorante Ora D’Aria blends a unique mix of tradition, innovation and elegance to provide quality Italian cuisine with a belief in continuous evolution. The name of the restaurant meaning ‘Hour of the Air’ is inspired by the passing of time, and the culinary mastery of Tuscan chef Marco Stabile guarantees the most memorable dining experience will define your time at the restaurant.
Located at the Brunelleschi Hotel in the heart of Florence, the Santa Elisabetta Restaurant serves traditional Tuscan gastronomy made using the finest seasonal ingredients. With local produce inspired by the land and the seas, Santa Elisabetta invites you to taste the pure flavours of Tuscany through the excellent art of Chef Bertaccini.
Hotels in Florence occupy some of the most beautiful historic buildings in the world, allowing you to relax, dine and celebrate in the most luxurious surroundings. Set in eleven acres of picturesque gardens with a large outdoor heated swimming pool and first-rate spa, the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze is an idyllic relaxing retreat and a top choice for the rich and famous. Every room includes a spacious marble bathroom, and whilst the hotel is steeped in captivating history, the opulent Empire-period style interior is lush with modern amenities.
Hotel Il Salviatino is an imposing Renaissance villa perfectly restored to encompass the epitome of twenty-first century decadence. With inspirational views of Florence and the rolling Tuscan landscape, Hotel Il Salviatino provides two restaurants, a bar and a spa, and attracts a sophisticated crowd of jetsetters seeking sumptuous comfort in the grandest of settings.