Italian Art and Gorgeous Gardens: An Alternative Florence Getaway
Enjoy four days in Florence on this luxury Big Short Break and step away from the beaten path to explore some of the city's lesser seen sights.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Delve deep into the Uffizi Gallery's unparalleled collection with a private art historian guide
- Jump the queues to take a closer look at the iconic Duomo (technically Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore)
- Head south of the river to meet the artisans stubbornly resisting gentrification
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When To Travel
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Day 1: International Flight
Depending on which direct flight we have booked for you from the UK, you will arrive in Florence between early afternoon and early evening. Once you have collected your bags, one of our team on the ground will meet you for a half an hour private transfer to your hotel on the south bank of the River Arno.
The rest of the day is yours to explore, so head out and wander the streets of Florence. For dinner tonight give our impeccable local Concierge a call and they will recommend and book you a table at one of the city's finest restaurants or trattorias, so you can get your bistecca alla Fiorentina (steak) and Chianti fix.
Day 2: A Morning at the Office
This morning you will visit the Uffizi (literally 'offices') Gallery with an expert guide. The Uffizi is renowned the world over for the breadth and quality of its collection of Italian art dating from the Middle Ages to the Baroque era.
To gain a broad overview, you will focus on a select few pieces and take a deeper look into the style and period they were created in, using the art as a way of exploring how the city of Florence developed. Stendhal Syndrome (where visitors to galleries feel an intense emotional reaction to works of art) is hunger-inducing stuff, so make sure you check with our Concierge where best to get lunch on the northern banks of the Arno.
After lunch, make the most of your queue-jumping tickets for the Grand Museum of the Duomo this afternoon. You will be able to swan past the queues of people waiting (not that British, we know, but necessary here) to get into Brunelleschi's Duomo, Giotto's bell tower and the church's museum.
Day 3: South of the Arno
Today you will explore the Oltrarno, the southern bank of the river which divides Florence in two. Often referred to as the 'real' Florence, it is an area of the city which has been eyed-up by gentrification for years, but the people who live and work here aren't budging.
Beginning with the Torrigiani Gardens, you will explore some of Florence's green space and learn how the gardens came to be a repository for plants brought back to the city by explorers in the golden age of discovery.
Moving on to the artisanal workshops of the area, you will meet craftspeople whose workshops have been producing jewellery and leather goods for kings, queens, nobles and merchants for centuries. After your tour, our Concierge has arranged a private tasting of local wines, accompanied by some local cheeses and meats, in one of their favourite bars.
Day 4: International Flight
Depending on which flight we've booked for you, you will have some free time to explore Florence before a private transfer back to the airport in good time for your afternoon flight back to the UK.
Harriet and Kate L are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.