Make the most out of your stay in Florence, discover the city's most famous and unforgettable locations and surrounding areas. Savour the "Tuscan experience" and immerse yourself in the region's internationally renowned Renaissance culture. Here are 6 tours for you to discover and experience Florence's artistic and cultural beauty. But there's more, the city also offers an array of leisure and outdoor activities!
You will fall in love with its unique landscapes and original flavours: unforgettable experiences for your holidays or city break in Florence:
Between David and the Uffizi with the "ART & CULTURE" route: discover all the secrets of the cradle of Renaissance.
The most famous haute couture names for a spot of exclusive SHOPPING in Florence.
A visit to Florence and the Tuscan hills, a journey of discovery of local FOOD & WINES ?
Something for the KIDS? Florence is a truly child-friendly city, discover some of our tips for a fantastic stay with all the family!
Calling all SPORTS enthusiasts and anyone looking for an adrenalin rush: this is the perfect route for you
Discover FLORENCE'S SURROUNDING AREA with the soft rolling Chianti hills or a visit to the San Giminiano tower, after a relaxing stay at the renowned beaches of Versilia.
Art & culture
This journey through Tuscan art and culture begins with a rich and revitalising Breakfast at the Bernini Palace Parliament Hall. Once a venue for parliament and senate sessions during the Kingdom of Italy, the hall features a splendid frescoed ceiling.
Upon exiting the Hotel, your journey through the beauties of Florence continues with a visit to Piazza della Signoria, cradle of the Renaissance and heart of modern Florence. Here you can visit 14th century Palazzo Vecchio (now home to the Town Hall), with a copy of the famous David by Michelangelo, the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi. Stop to admire the Neptune Fountain in Carrara marble, along with the equestrian statue of Cosimo I. This is the square richest in history and monuments and boasts a truly unique past. It is said that during Medieval times it was part of Florence, rich in Ghibelline houses and towers, until the Guelfs seized control of the city and resolved to raze their enemy's houses to the ground in 1260, resulting in modern-day Piazza della Signoria.
You'll catch a glimpse of the world-famous Uffizi as the tour continues. To date it still contains an inestimable and rich artistic-cultural heritage, with works by famous artists such as Caravaggio, Donatello, Botticelli, Giotto, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. One of the most famous works at the Uffizi, David, boasts a truly unique history. Historians recount that the masterpiece was actually carved from a block of marble recovered from scrap belonging to the Florence Cathedral, forgotten for over 70 years!
Upon exiting the Uffizi, at the end of the Vasariano Corridor, stop to admire one of Italy's and Florence's most famous bridges: Ponte Vecchio. During the 16th century, Cosimo I de' Medici transformed it into the home of the city's finest jeweller's and goldsmiths. Over time it also became the meeting place par excellence for noble Florentines. Upon crossing the Ponte Vecchio and the banks of the Arno river which flow beneath its bridge arches, the Renaissance atmosphere which revolutionised the city's appearance becomes more palpable. Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens are examples of this. This part of the city is cloaked in an endless array of anecdote and legend. Many believe that Palazzo Pitti already existed underground, as material quarries already constituted its foundations, and that it was only a matter of 'lifting' it up to the surface. If we stop to admire the façade, you'll notice two particular stones: the first, over ten metres in length, and the second, barely 30 cm long. Both were commissioned by Luca Pitti as a testimonial of his strength compared to other Florentine families of the time. Despite this show of great strength, Pitti lost the Palazzo to Piero de' Medici, who constructed a corridor to link Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti which to date bears the name of its constructor, Giorgio Vasari, although only the part inside the Uffizi remains.
After a relaxing break in the Boboli Gardens which "embrace" Palazzo Pitti, our tour of Florence will end in another symbolic part of the city: the Cathedral, with its dome by Brunelleschi,the tiles of Giotto's Bell Tower, and the adjacent Baptistery of Saint John, with its octagonal structure celebrating the eight day after the seventh terrestrial day, a sign of our eternal salvation. The structure welcomes tourists for all-round views and a chance to stare up in admiration at its mosaics on a golden background, exuding light and majesty.
What better way to conclude a tour of Florentine art and culture, than taking a moment to relax and sip an excellent aperitif at the Bernini Palace Lounge Bar, one of the city's renowned places of aggregation.
Florence is home to the most famous Italian designer brands, as well as a wide range of artisan products, such as gold jewellery, leather and hide clothing and accessories, making it renowned throughout the world for its arts and trades.
After a restorative night's sleep in one of the rooms at the Bernini Palace, let our day of Shopping in Florence begin! First we'll head towards Piazza della Signoria, a few metres away from the Hotel, across Piazza del Duomo, past Giotto's Bell Tower towards Via de’ Tornabuoni, home to Florence's haute couture boutiques. It is impossible not to succumb to the temptation of purchasing a few fine fabric garments, a haute couture suite or a leather keepsake to take back home with us. We'll be able to relive the unique and suggestive experience of our stay in Florence. At the bottom of this street, our shopping tour continues with a suggestive walk along Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli (taking us past Palazzo Spini-Feroni, home to Salvatore Ferragamo's company and museum), leading us to Ponte Vecchio in just a few minutes. This bridge is home to many of the city's most exclusive gold smithery brands, a truly striking location, considered to be the oldest part of the city, where all the shops conserve a style and soul dating back to seven centuries ago.
After a dive into the heart and past of Florence's historic centre, your haute couture journey will bring you to an opportunity you can't refuse. The perfect place for those in search of excellence is located a short distance away from Florence, immersed in the splendid Tuscan hills. "The Mall" is a luxury outlet centre, featuring all major Italian and international designer brands.
Food & Wines
Flavour reigns supreme on this sensory journey of discovery through the aromas of Tuscan cuisine. From Florence to Chianti: every single part of the region is brimming with delicious discoveries of flavour and tradition.
The food and wine tour begins in Florence at Mercato Centrale, in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood, near the Medici Chapel and Michelangelo's tomb. In this picturesque and chaotic market you'll discover the secrets of typical Tuscan recipes: crostini, ribollita, pappa al pomodoro, tripe and lampredotto. After a tasting of local products, our food and wine tour continues towards the hills surrounding the city. The Bernini Palace Concierge will be happy to organise transfers by car with driver, to guarantee maximum comfort.
The gently rolling Tuscan hills are the perfect setting for nature and vineyards. Tuscany is renowned as the birth place of world-acclaimed wines such as Chianti, the famous Brunello di Montalcino, Sangiovese and Morellino, to name but a few. Savour the inebriating perfume of must and breathtaking views of spectacular greenery, with hills covered by vineyards and olive groves for as far as the eye can see, dotted by Medieval hamlets. The Food & Wine tour will then take us to Greve, considered to be the gate to Chianti, the first of numerous Medieval hamlets and villages where you can discover and experience wine making history and traditions.
Here you can savour one of Italy's most famous wines. In "Viticcio" you'll be taken on a veritable journey through the world of Chianti. You will be accompanied by a member of the family on a visit to their cellar and a chance to taste the excellent wine produced. The tour will then take us further south, beyond Sienna, to an important area of Italian wine production: Montalcino. Brunello is produced in this small town, be sure to visit its enchanting Medieval centre.
The tour finale takes us back to Florence, for a chance to taste some costata alla Fiorentina. Art and a profound knowledge of meat seamlessly combine to exalt the flavour of this delicious local speciality.
A day in the great outdoors, in contact with nature, just what you need to relax with your children. Why not visit an actual farm? This route, designed for children, offers the chance for you to discover Fattoria di Maiano, just 5 km from the centre of Florence.
Here you can stroll through olive groves and admire numerous animals close up: ducks, geese, goats, ostriches, Amiata donkeys and limousine cows. Children will have the chance to visit the beautiful Colonne Lake as part of a laboratory-route, once a quarry, where they can reconnect with nature. Cypress trees, holms and oaks offer the perfect setting for precious time spent with our children, who will marvel at these beautiful natural surroundings.
Older visitors can discover the farm's most hidden corners, offering breathtaking views of Florence, a chance to admire the wildlife populating the park or taste local products during scenographic sunsets over the city.
A holiday dedicated to sport and entertainment: Bernini Palace is the perfect starting point and Florence the ideal venue! There is no shortage of leisure opportunities in the Tuscan capital, a perfect destination for all sports enthusiasts..
Your adrenaline rush is just around the corner! The splendid Medieval town Scarperia is home to a magical place for motorbike enthusiasts: the Mugello International Circuit. Venue of the MotoGp Italian Grand Prix, visitors can organise a free car or motorbike trial session, alone or accompanied by a qualified instructor.
Here you will be taken aback by the beautiful surroundings: Tuscan greenery, a feast for the eyes, dotted with hills, olive groves and woods for as far as the eye can see. The area is also home to two of Italy's most famous golf courses: Golf Ugolino and Poggio dei Medici, which is also one of Italy's few golf courses with a Footgolf course, similar to golf but played using a football which players must kick into holes.
Sports enthusiasts who do not wish to leave the city can try their hand at two fascinating activities on the Arno river. The Società Canottieri Firenze offers water sports opportunities for beginners, with expert guidance and advice. More laid back visitors can go on a private cruise down the river in a gondola, guided by an expert boatman, on journey of discovery offering unforgettable moments of relaxation.
When organising a visit to Florence, it is impossible not to include surrounding Medieval towns, suggestive and relaxing settings where we can stop to discover greenery and ancient artisan workshops brimming with terracotta, ceramic and glass products.
There are countless locations waiting to be discovered beyond the city, we recommend you being your tour of discovery with the Medieval town Fiesole. Renowned throughout the world as a summer destination for noble families and celebrities, Fiesole offers visitors unique panoramic views over the entire Florence area. The city is surrounded by countless Medieval towns and it is well worth stopping off to observe different nuances and lifestyles: Certaldo, Vinci (birth place of Leonardo Da Vinci) and Castelfalfi will steal your heart, in all their magnificent beauty.
A few kilometres away from Florence, past the gently rolling Chianti hills, immerse yourself in the picturesque and medieval atmosphere of the city of Siena, renowned for its palio which enthuses children and adults alike. It is well worth experiencing the atmosphere and joy in the city on occasion of the two editions of the Palio di Siena (July and August), when all locals rally around their own district identities.
If we continue north, towards the coast and the sea, past San Miniato, we can admire unique Tuscan landscapes. The first city we come across is Pisa, an international icon for visitors of all cultures and origins. A city renowned for Piazza dei Miracoli and its extraordinary Leaning Tower, inclined 4 degrees, which continues to captivate tourists wishing to discover its history.
Just half an hour away from Pisa, we come across the first maritime city: Livorno is one of Tuscany's most modern cities, rich in naval history. Terrazza Mascagni is a habitual meeting place for locals and offers some of the region's most breathtaking views. If we continue north along the coastline we'll come across three of Tuscany's most famous and beautiful seaside destinations: Viareggio, Lido di Camaiore and Forte dei Marmi. Famous tourist locations, renowned for their exclusive beaches frequented by celebrities, all three destinations are perfect for those wishing to combine an artistic and cultural visit to Florence with a brief excursion to this famous coastline, for a relaxing vacation.