Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Florence. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Florence and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Florence insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Meet a Local Host®
Born in Holland, with a passion for art history, fashion, and Italy, Florence was a natural draw for Helma. She now has several years of local tourism experience, and is a licensed guide. She is very happy to welcome Monograms guests to the Cradle of the Renaissance.
Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato a Monte
Enjoy a sensational view over the "cradle of the Renaissance" from Florence's most panoramic square. Climb to one of the highest points of the city, where the Benedictines erected a church in honor of St. Mennas.
Piazza della Repubblica and Ponte Vecchio
Walk through the commercial heart of town—from the elegant and lively cafés of Piazza della Repubblica to the picturesque Old Bridge which crosses the narrowest point of the river Arno. Admire the patient and precious work of the local artisans and goldsmiths. Ask your Local Host about this and other walks to see the best of Florence.
Cathedral Dome and Museum
Climb the interior staircase of the city's most dominant architectural feature—constructed between 1418 and 1436 on a base of approximately 150 feet in diameter and 330 feet high—by the genius of Filippo Brunelleschi. The Cathedral museum contains the major original artifacts and the original panels of the Baptistery, known as the "Gates of Paradise."
Church of San Lorenzo
See Brunelleschi's early-Renaissance masterpiece and the mausoleum of the Medici family, built by Michelangelo, in the New Sacristy.
Florence's best food market is located in the middle of the picturesque street market of San Lorenzo; see displays of olive oil, pastas, herbs, and red wine.
Church of Santa Croce
Erected towards the end of the 13th century by the great architect Arnolfo di Cambio, this Franciscan basilica is a highlight of the specifically Italian architecture of the Gothic style. Wander along the three wide naves enriched by Galileo's and Michelangelo's tombs, and admire works of the Early Florentine School from Giotto and his followers in the transept chapels.
Santa Maria Novella
Enjoy the harmony of this medieval architectural jewel. Built in 1246 by the Dominicans, its beautiful arcades and its incredible vaults preserve works by many Renaissance artists.
Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
The pharmacy displays the results of more than 800 years of work by Dominican monks. Following centuries-old formulas, the officina sells ancient remedies and tonics alongside hand-molded soaps and perfumed powders.
Florentine Fashion and Shopping
If you love Italian fashion, a visit to the designer houses of Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, or Ferragamo will make your day. Florentine leatherwork, gold jewelry, Italian craftwork, and art books are also good buys and great presents to take home.
Tuscan Food Specialties
Specialties to try include succulent 'bistecca fiorentina,' Florentine steaks; 'pappa al pomodoro,' a local bread and tomato soup; ribollita, a cabbage and bean soup; and 'biscottini di Prato con vin Santo,' the special biscuit and wine tradition to finish off a meal. Sip Chianti wine, Brunello di Montepulciano, or the Super Tuscans.