Travel + Leisure
February 24, 2010


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.CULTURE/ARTS

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 Museum—reserve in advance to see it.)RESTAURANTS/FOOD

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.PEOPLE

In their stylish clothes and scruffy Fiats, Florentines exude poise—a result, perhaps, of living in a city at the heart of Italian culture.SHOPPING

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.VALUE

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.

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