Top Cities: Florence
Beauty abounds, from the Arno to the Pitti Palace. Often overlooked: the late-Baroque Brancacci Chapel at Santa Maria del Carmine, with its spectacular Masaccio frescoes. For a roam with an uncrowded view, start early.
No shortage of museums, and art on every corner. Our favorite is the sublime Fra Angelicos at the
Convent of San Marco. (For something completely different, there's even
the Salvatore Ferragamo
advance to see it.)
Whether it's traditional or inventive, Tuscan cooking is divine. Have the duck stuffed with sausage and Parmesan at Cibrèo,
then head to Piazza della
Signoria for delicious
hot chocolate at Rivoire.
In their stylish clothes and scruffy Fiats,
Florentines exude poise—a result, perhaps, of
living in a city at the heart of Italian culture.
Head to Cellerini for leather, Madova for gloves, Santa Maria Novella for fragrances, the Mercato Centrale for foodstuffs, and Tuesday's market in Cascine Park for the scene.
Lire always make you
feel rich ($10 buys almost 25,000), but it's more than an illusion. The
current exchange rate means that a Gucci bag that costs $700 at home goes for less than $400.