Florence, the capital of the Tuscany region, is situated in the north west of Italy, surrounded by the wine-growing hills of Chianti. The streets are narrow and enclosed on either side by granite palaces. It seems every building holds a beautiful masterpiece demanding your attention, making city breaks in Florence a veritible feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.
The cultural and historic impact of Florence is overwhelming. Close up however, it is one of Italy's most atmospheric and pleasant cities, retaining a strong resemblance to the small late medieval centre that contributed so much to the cultural and political development of Europe.
During the Italian Renaissance, Florence acquired its palaces and squares, turning it into a living museum. Many squares, such as Piazzadella Signoria, exhibit famous statues and fountains. Florence's chapels, galleries and museums are an inexhaustible treasure, capturing the complex, often elusive spirit of the Renaissance more fully than any other place in Italy.
Today, Florence is a vibrant city evoking memories of the past. Winter can be surprisingly pleasant on these Italian city breaks, with crisp air and sunny days, however early autumn is said to be the best time to visit, as restaurants have anabundance of fine wild mushrooms and the air is filled with the scent of freshly pressed olive oil.