7 romantic things to do in Florence

7 romantic things to do in Florence

For a classic romantic retreat, head to Florence this Valentine's Day. Morwenna Evans shares her tips on uncover the city's most enchanting spots.

1. Fall in love with the Uffizi Gallery

Start your visit to Florence by exploring the city's most famous museum, the Uffizi Gallery. Overflowing with spectacular Renaissance art, this is the perfect place to lose yourselves surrounded by all things beautiful. Avoid the morning rush and visit at lunchtime for a more private encounter.

Make sure you head to the Gallerina dell' Accademia too for a glimpse of the archetypal Renaissance man, Michelangelo's iconic statue of David. Book your tickets online in advance to save queuing.

2. Heart-melting gelato.

Share a cone of Florence's most indulgent treat: gelato. Vivoli is unimpressive from the outside, but don't be fooled, this little gem is home to the ultimate in ice-cream. You'll find it tucked away just off the Via Guiseppe Verdi on Via dell'isola delle Stinche. It's a taste of pure dolce vita, but it's probably best to sample a few more parlours just to be sure...

3. If music be the food of love...

Ramp up the romance, don your glad rags and savour an opera performance at the Teatro della Pergola. Time your visit for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino opera festival - performances also take place at the historic Teatro Comunale. (Websites both in Italian; ask your hotel for help booking performances.)

4. Climb the Duomo's bell tower

A labour of love itself, the city's cathedral took over five hundred years to complete, but it was certainly worth the wait. Prepare to be awed by the remarkable Duomo. Spectacularly set in the heart of the city, this astonishing feat of architecture is sure to have you in raptures. Climb the labyrinthine staircase to the top of the bell tower for a picture-perfect moment across the Florentine skyline. 

5. Picnic in Pitti Palace.

Now a treasure trove of Renaissance romance, the Pitti Palace was formerly the official residence of the Grand Dukes of Italy. This magnificent palace is home numerous important museums, and also boasts one of Italy's earliest formal gardens. Explore the statues, grottoes and cascading fountains before finding a shady nook to indulge in an Italian picnic for two.

6. Dine in style.

As day turns to dusk, enjoy a candlelit dinner in one of the many romantic restaurants scattered along the banks of the river Arno. Linger over a bottle of Chianti, and enjoy the city's world famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a Florentine steak. Watch the gold and silver sellers' wares sparkle and fade, as the sun goes down and city's oldest bridge, the Ponte Veccio, is silhouetted by the moonlight.

7. Take a romantic bicycle ride.

When you are feeling suitably energised, rent a couple of bicycles and explore the city. Meander through Florence's cobbled streets before setting forth on a journey further afield to take in the spectacular skyline from above. A short cycle (and a slightly longer climb up some steep steps) will bring you to the beautiful Piazzale Michelangelo, a vast square dedicated to Michaelangelo and his works. Here you can catch breathtaking panoramic views of Florence and its verdant surrounding landscape. 

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