10 November 2015Visiting Florence is a unique experience. The beautiful county seat of Tuscany developed on the side of the river Arno, it is one of the most admired and renowned cities in Italy and in the world. Home to some of the most famous artists and of the Italian language, its cultural, artistic and architectural wealth are unique and rare. Founded by the Romans under the name of Florentia around 59 B.C., it survived through wealth, decadence and famous battles for power, until in the 1300s it officially became the cradle of Italian culture. It is the Medici family who allow the rebirth of Florence through their love of art, and the city will flourish with new masterpieces of art, architecture, religious monuments and extraordinary museums that safeguard art works of inestimable value. The city transformes into an open air museum where the spiritual heart of the Florentine people resides in the Duomo, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, next to which Giotto’s bell tower stands in all its beauty, with its 414 steps lead to a spectacular view overlooking the city. Piazza della Signoria with the magnificent Old Palace, the Uffizzi Gallery with its Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci paintings are treasures renowned all over the world. But Florence is not only art and culture: it is universal beauty and aesthetics. In the heart of Tuscany we find elegant palazzos, scenic gardens, luxury houses, charming streets with elegant boutiques with refined and exclusive luxury Made in Italy articles, prestigious restaurants where one can appreciate the best of traditional Tuscan cuisine. The great gastronomic tradition in Florence is based on simple, natural ingredients that are transformed into precious, flavoursome dishes by the passion and tradition of centuries, perfectly complemented by locally produced wines and olive oil. Finally, across the spectacular Old Bridge, we find the heart of old Florence full of craft shops, goldsmiths and antique dealers. Florence spreads over a shell-shaped plane, and remains a timeless destination where all visitors are left totally enchanted. Outside the traditional itineraries in the city, the surrounding countryside is particularly beautiful, with charming villages and hamlets positioned on the soft, picturesque hills, which are the perfect setting for many luxury villas. The areas of Fiesole, Bellosguardo and Bagno a Ripoli are abundant with true dream houses, splendid castles, ancient towers and fortifications and many are known to be the residence of famous personalities that have rightly chosen this corner of the world to live or spend wonderful holidays. All aspects of this city are enchanting and mesmerizing, the intense beauty of every glimpse in each district and each street, of every picturesque hill, of every ancient palazzo.