Florence, the capital city of the Tuscan region and birthplace of the Renaissance, is located on the banks of the river Arno. It is a lovely mid-sized city known for its stunning architecture, intriguing history, beautiful scenery, and superb cuisine and wine. Since the Middle Ages, Florence has been a dominant historic and cultural area, but its people remain humble and genuine. Though it has contributed greatly to the artistic development of Europe, the city retains a small-town, pleasant atmosphere. Regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Florence’s piazzas, palaces, and parks display the architecture and art that set the city apart from everyplace else on earth. The Renaissance is evident throughout the city, and can be seen from miles away in its elaborate domes and elegant skyline.
Florence houses some of the world’s best galleries and collections, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia. Michelangelo and Dante lived and created their masterpieces here, and Michelangelo’s David is among the many must-see attractions in Florence. Other prime sights include the Piazza della Signoria and its Fountain of Neptune, Pitti Palace, the Bargello Museum, and the magnificent cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, known as the Duomo.
Food and drink are an important part of Florence’s past and present, and the Montalcino estates produce some of the finest vintages, including the famed Brunello wine. The Chianti region lies just outside Florence, and its Sangiovese grapes create the crisp, delicious Chianti Classico. Florentine food relies heavily on meat, and pâté and steak are traditional favorites. Steak is often served rare on a bed of arugula lettuce seasoned with olive oil.