Holidays outside of the UK haven’t been easy this year, with restrictions remaining in many countries due to the pandemic.
But, that hasn’t stopped us from dreaming of the day we can step on a plane and visit our favourite places once more. The good news is that day might come sooner instead of later.
Recently, the restrictions have been changing and the Welsh Government has been updating its website with the latest guidelines. For example, the latest Government travel advice is that people who are fully vaccinated don’t need to isolate upon arrival in Italy.
However, visitors do need to fill out the passenger locator form and must show a negative PCR or antigen test, taken within 48 hours prior to entering Italy.
There are also rules for travellers returning to Wales, so before booking a holiday remember to read all the applicable UK Government Italy Advice and follow the rules for foreign travel to and from Wales on the Welsh Government website.
With this in mind, travellers can start to plan future city breaks in Italy and one destination might be top of the list.
Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany vicinity, is known all over the world for its historical centre surrounded by dramatically Tuscan countryside. It has always been popular for short breaks, due to its incredible history, art, culture and delicious cuisine.
How can I get there?
You can fly direct to Florence from London Gatwick Airport and London City Airport. Alternatively, more UK airports fly to Pisa and then it’s a aim or bus ride to Florence which takes around one hour.
Where can I stay?
There are many beautiful places to stay in Florence, but if you want to treat yourself check into Villa Cora. It has magnificent gardens, spectacular views of the city and there are spa packages obtainable so you can truly relax after a long day exploring.
Alternatively, experience the exclusive and perfected spaces of the Relais Santa Croce in the historic centre of Florence in an 18th-century palazzo. It’ll average you wake up every morning surrounded by true art.
What can I do?
Florence has something for everyone, so you’ll be spoilt for choice with things to do. Start at the unmissable Piazza del Duomo, which has been described as the ‘beating heart of Florence’. surprise at its magnificence from the outside and then climb its stairs for an unforgettable view of the city. Then, take a 10-minute stroll to the Uffizi Gallery which is one of the most important museums in the world, hosting works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and numerous other iconic artists.
Walking around Florence is advised as you might stumble across a hidden gem, as each neighbourhood has something different to offer. For example, if you visit the Oltrarno quarter you’ll encounter the scenographic piazza that gives way to Palazzo Pitti, a luxurious palace.
The Pitti also boasts a wondrous park, the glorious Boboli Gardens, which are an exemplar of Italian garden landscaping. Also in the Oltrarno neighbourhood, the panoramic Piazzale Michelangelo, which has become a favourite tourist haunt, due to its gorgeous view of Florence and the surrounding hills.
Where should I eat?
Many bars and pastry shops in Florence are recognised as historical activities both for their longevity and for their role in the history of the 1900’s, so it’s definitely worth visiting one of its historic cafés. Try the very first of its kind, Caffè Gilli, which began in 1773 when the Swiss Gilli family opened La Bottega dei Pani Dolci in Florence. It quickly became famous among the Florentine nobles who came every day, appreciating its fine confectionery.
Once you’ve ticked that one off your list, head to the mythical Rivoire café in Piazza Della Signoria with its delicious artisan chocolate. Overlooking the Palazzo Vecchio, this gem began its activity in 1872 and always offers luxurious flavours.
In terms of restaurants, walk by the streets of downtown Florence, where you’ll have countless chances to try traditional dishes. Many historic restaurants continue to serve house specialities and typical dishes, including Lampredotto, Pappa al Pomodoro, Florentine steak and Ribollita.
You can also find out more information about travelling to Italy by visiting Italy’s official tourism website.
Plus, if you need holiday inspiration analyze Italy via this interactive map and answer the questions in this quiz to find out which destination suits you.
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