The perfect weekend in Florence!

Dominique de Merteuil By Dominique de Merteuil6 min read

Last updated on November 24th, 2022 at 07:16 pm

The perfect weekend in Florence!

Tips for the perfect weekend in Florence. In this article, you will learn about;

  • The best time of the year to go to Florence for the perfect weekend
  • The budget-friendly option to get to Florence
  • Best hotels to stay at for the perfect weekend in Florence
  • What to see in Florence and how to avoid the queues
  • Top attractions in Florence
  • The best perfume shop in Florence and beyond

Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, was an obvious choice for Mr de Merteuil’s birthday. To quote him ” Some people go out for drinks on their Birthday, on mine, I drink art.” And what better place to get intoxicated with art than the Uffizi Gallery, home to La Primavera, The Birth of Venus and countless other paintings, that can never leave the walls of the grand museum!

All our city breaks are planned by Mr de Merteuil with fastidious care and are therefore absolutely stress-free for me. I would like to share with you all some insights into where to stay, eat, and drink not only art and what to see in the beautiful city of Florence.

Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus by Botticelli in the Uffizi Gallery
La Primavera by Botticelli
La Primavera by Botticelli in the Uffizi Gallery

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When to go to Florence

I find, that the best time to fly to Florence or any other Italian city is autumn when it’s warm enough to enjoy a delicious meal and cocktails al fresco and not have to cover the vintage ensemble with a coat. I experienced Rome in June, and Venice in April and the heat was unbearable both times!

The perfect weekend in Florence

Getting to Florence

I find it much cheaper to fly to Milan and take the very comfortable Italo express train to Florence (the journey takes 1h40minutes and gets you to Florence’s main Firenze Santa Maria Novella station), rather than flying directly to the Amerigo Vespucci airport.

You can find all the details and prices on italotreno.it

Hotels in Florence

If you have the budget to splurge on a 5-star hotel head straight to The St. Regis Florence, a historic palace designed by Brunelleschi, located on Piazza Ognissanti 1. Or… At least stop for the best cocktails in town, I highly recommend the Banana Cream Pie, in the Winter Garden bar located inside the hotel!

The Winter Garden Bar in Florence

I’m enjoying my delicious Banana Cream Pie cocktail, made by the lovely Andrea, at The Winter Garden Bar in The St. Regis Florence hotel.

Andrea (in the picture behind me) making his famous Banana Cream Pie cocktail at The Winter Garden Bar in The St. Regis Florence hotel.

St Regis Florence Winter Garden Bar
St Regis Florence Winter Garden Florence

Thank you Andrea for the delicious Banana Cream Pie cocktail and the best Manhattan in the world!

Book Your Dream Hotel in Florence!

What I Wore in Florence

  • 1940s dress
  • late 1940s purse
  • Blossom tights from Wolford
  • Wittchen brogues
  • Versace reading glasses
The perfect weekend in Florence

On the way to The Winer Garden Bar at St. Regis Florence.

In the picture, I’m wearing a 1940s dress paired with a vintage bag, Wittchen brogues and Blossom tights from Wolford. Big thank you to Sidonie G Communications!

The perfect weekend in Florence.

The perfect weekend in Florence

If your exquisite taste is not matched with a Swiss bank account but you still want the best of the best such as; the top location, a few steps from the Duomo di Firenze, and great, clean accommodation,  I highly recommend staying at the Art Apartment Giotto Suite, you can book via Airbnb.

Art Apartment Giotto Suite

Art Apartment Giotto Suite in Florence.

A Coffee at Caffe Gilli

The place with the best tiramisu I’ve ever tasted, a mouth-watering selection of pastries and a darn good cappuccino is none other than the famous Caffe Gilli,  which has sat at the edge of the Piazza Della Repubblica since 1733.

If you prefer something a little less touristy and favoured by the locals, head to Piazza S. Spirito where you will find many lovely restaurants such as Trattoria La Casalinga with real homely food.

Caffe Gilli Florence
Enjoying the best Tiramisu at Caffe Gilli.

In the picture I’m wearing:

1940s jacket

Prada skirt

Antique brooch

Couture socks from Fiori Couture

The perfect weekend in Florence
In the picture, I’m wearing a 1940s jacket, Prada skirt and the most beautiful couture socks from Fiori Couture!
Fiori Couture
Details of my beautiful couture socks from Fiori Couture.

What to See in Florence

The main purpose of our trip to Florence was for Mr de Merteuil and I to see very particular paintings at the Galleria degli Uffizi and Pitti Palace, everything else was an added bonus.

I strongly recommend that you decide beforehand what is it exactly you want to see in beautiful Florence as you will be spoiled for choice and a weekend will not be enough to see it all without having to rush from one place to another.

*Tips for buying museum tickets in Florence

  1. Don’t waste valuable time standing in the queue for tickets and book everything in advance!
  2. Book tickets for Uffizi for the 8.15 am slot (go 15 minutes earlier to collect your tickets) and you will avoid all the crowds! We were the first ones in the museum and had 10 minutes alone with La Primavera!!!
  3. Allow 2-3hours for Uffizi
  4. Go straight from the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace and if you aim for 11 am you will once again avoid the crowds!
  5. Don’t try to see everything on the first day, or you will not have the strength left to continue your Florence adventure the next morning.
  6. Stroll around town with no particular destination in mind and enjoy the city and its magnificent architecture. It’s a small town so there’s very little chance that you’ll get lost.
The perfect weekend in Florence
The perfect weekend in Florence! Pitti Palace.
Pitti Palace Costume Gallery for the perfect weekend in Florence
Pitti Palace – Costume Gallery. The perfect weekend in Florence.
The perfect weekend in Florence
The beautiful streets of Florence.
The perfect weekend in Florence 2022
The perfect weekend in Florence 2022. What to see in Florence.
1950s dress

In the picture, I’m wearing a 1950s day dress, paired with pink brogues from Wittchen.

1950s dress for the perfect weekend in Florence 2022
I’m wearing a 1950s day dress paired with Wittchen brogues.

Other Florence Attractions:

  1. Duomo designed by Filippo Brunelleschi (Piazza Duomo)
  2. Palazzo Vecchio (Piazza della Signoria)
  3. Ponte Vecchio ( For that postcard-perfect-photograph)
  4. Giardino di Boboli ( Breathtaking garden at the back of Pitti palace)
  5. Casa di Dante (Via Santa Margherita)
  6. Basilica di Santa Croce (Piazza di Santa Croce)
  7. Santa Maria Novella (Piazza di Santa Maria Novella)
  8. Palazzo Medici Riccardi (Via Camillo Cavour)
  9. Galleria dell’ Accademia – home of Michelangelo’s David (Via Ricasoli)
  10. Cappella Brancacci (Piazza del Carmine)
  11. Ponte S. Trinita (Another perfect spot for that postcard-perfect-photograph)
  12. Palazzo Corsini (Via del Parione)

Shopping in Florence

My favourite shop in Florence and arguably, the whole of Europe, is without doubt Aquaflor which was opened in 2011 by perfumer extraordinaire Sileno Cheloni and is located at Borgo Santa Croce 6.

It’s a temple for the most beautiful perfumes and home fragrances in the world. I knew from the first whiff and a few steps into this glorious boutique, that I will not leave empty-handed and the only question that crossed my mind was, how on earth would I take back all that liquid in my hand luggage!

Fortunately the super friendly and helpful staff, a special thank you to the lovely Juliette,  offered to ship my purchase, which was actually delivered to my home in two days!

As someone utterly obsessed with the scent of Neroli I can say with all honesty, that the one by Aquaflor is the best I’ve ever found and will cherish my discovery forever!

Aquaflor Florence
At the Aquaflor boutique in Florence. On the right, picture of the beautiful bottle with Neroli home fragrance I bought during my last trip to Italy.
Aquaflor Florence for the perfect weekend in Florence
Delicious looking soaps at Aquaflor in Florence.
Aquaflor Florence
Aquaflor Florence for the perfect weekend in Florence

What are Your favourite places in Florence?


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2 Comments
  • Laura
    May 11, 2022

    Super useful post, Dominique! I followed your advice and bought the tickets to Uffizi in advance. You were right, if you go first thing in the morning, you avoid all the crowds.