World-class art, architecture and gourmet cuisine collide in Florence, Tuscany's capital. The Renaissance city is small enough to allow visitors to walk from one treasure to the other yet large enough to offer plenty to see, do and eat.
Uffizi houses some of the world's finest Renaissance art. The horseshoe-shaped art museum is located next to the Piazza della Signoria and isn't only one of Italy's most important but also most visited art museums. Get there early to miss the crowds.
Another must-see is the spectacular Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo di Firenze as it was originally called. Famous for its enormous dome, the Gothic-style cathedral is Florence's main church and has an interior equally as impressive as its exterior. 463 steps and some tight spaces will result in a breathtaking view of the city from the lantern; the highest point in central Florence.
Visit Mercato Centrale in the San Lorenzo district for a taste of Florence's best cuisine. Selling everything from bread to fresh fish, meats, and cheeses, the vibrant market gives centre stage to food artisans. The market spans two floors and prices are surprisingly affordable.
It goes without saying that Italy produces some of the world's best red wines. Head to Le Volpi e l'Uva, a great wine bar near the Ponte Vecchio, to indulge in some vino from small Italian producers. The spot has a small selection of delicious snacks too.
If the heat becomes a little too much, drop by Piscina Comunale Costoli. The 50m long pool is one of the city's most impressive and has separate pools for kiddies. The admission fee is reduced after 3pm.