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Touring Florence With Car Hire

May 6, 2008
Europe's culture capital can only get better with car hire. Boasting more galleries and museums than you could shake a stick at, boredom in Florence is not an option. Unless of course, you don't like art. In that case, you can take to the scenic highways and byways of the surrounding countryside, exploring Tuscany's famous dolce vita to your heart's content, shopping and sampling tasty fare along the way. Whatever way you choose to spend your time in Florence, one thing's for sure, you'll be counting down the days until your next trip.

Florence International Airport Mini Guide:

Florence International Airport is situated 4km outside of the city of Florence and 80km from Pisa. If driving, the airport is accessible via the A1 and A11 super highway. The airport offers a good range of services and facilities for passengers including: a bank, Bureau de Change for last minute euros, cafés and bars. The airport is served by a number of international airlines including: Lufthansa, Swissair, Alitalia and Air France. If driving, the airport is accessible via the A1 and A11 super highway.

Things To See/Do in Florence:

Florence is one of Italy's most popular city break destinations and it's easy to see why. The city is home to some of the world's most beautiful and important cultural attractions. Here spectacular renaissance architecture, world-class art galleries and fascinating museums, vie for your undivided attention.

A walking tour is one way to get to grips with the volume of cultural attractions on offer. The piazza del Duomo in the centre of the city is a good place to start. It's here you'll find the city's famous 14th century Duomo cathedral, designed by renaissance architect Brunelleschi. Wandering further west of the square you'll come across the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, which houses historical treasures and masterpieces like Piet Bandini by Michaelangelo.

Florence's most famous tourist attractions and landmarks are to be found on Piazza della Signoria, where the 13th century Palazzo Vecchio boasts a copy of Michaelangelo's iconic David statue. Donatello's Marzocco and Ammanati's Neptune fountain are also to be found here. However, by far the most popular draw is the Uffizzi Gallery, where Boticelli's 'Birth of Venus', as well as works by Michaelangelo and Titian. The famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge is situated not far from the museum and is well worth a visit.

The surrounding Tuscan countryside is just waiting to be explored by hire car. Pretty towns and villages such as Siena, Arezzo, Lucca and Pisa are just an hour's drive from the city. Meanwhile, the nearby Chianti region, with its sprawling vineyards and charming medieval castles, also offers plenty of scope for touring.

Eating Out/Nightlife/Accommodation in Florence:

Eating out in Florence offers a treat for every palate and budget. Fine Italian cuisine can be enjoyed at top-notch restaurants such as Targa on lungarno C Colombo, while good old-fashioned Trattorias like Da Ruggiero on ViaSenese serve up simple local classics like taglierini with lobster, risotto dishes and roast pork and prunes. Those dining out on a thrifty budget will find cheap eats at family-run trattorias like Salumeria on via Ghibellina.

Florence has a relaxed, laid back nightlife. As darkness falls, locals like to take it easy at café bars on the main piazzas. The liveliest area for young people is the Oltrarno area of the city, where many bars remain open until 3am. Popular nightclubs in Florence include: Be Bop on Via dei Servi, Central Park on Via Fosso Macinante and Universale on Via Pisana.

Accommodation in Florence tends to be pricey, wherever you decide to stay. However, good value and cheap rates are available to those on a thrifty budget at establishments like Dali on via dell'Oriuolo and Istituto Gould on via dei Serragli. If money's no object, you'll find plenty of choice in terms of luxury accommodation in Florence. Gallery Hotel Art offers premium suites at rates starting at €320 per night, while JK Place offers equally lavish rooms complete with roof terraces from €315 per night.
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