Renaissance magnificance

Photo Credit: Paul Lee-Maynard

  • Florence


When French writer Stendhal visited Florence in 1817 he felt queasy and was overcome with emotion seeing so many works of art in one place. Still to this day, some tourists suffering from dizzy spells and disorientation after admiring the statue of David, the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other treasures of the Tuscan city - so much that it is a recognised affection - the ‘Stendhal Syndrome’. And that’s no wonder: there’s probably no place in the whole world with more works of art per square metre than Florence. And when you’re finished with art and architecture you will find yourself in the midst of one of the most iconic regions in the world for superb food and wines.

Gaytway Guide to Florence

  • Part of the Gaytway purpose is to connect LGBT+ travellers with people, places and experiences. Our specially curated guides introduce you to what's on offer in each destination; where to stay and rest tired weary travellers feet and rejuvinate in between exploring sights and wonders, as well as where you can eat, drink and while the days and night away.

    And because we too love travelling and exploring, and know you can never know everything about somewhere, we would love to hear from you about that great place to stay, the new and hip bar or club in town or ways to meet and connect with the local LGBT+ community. That's why we make it easy for you to send us your own personal recommendations!

  • Got a favourite place to stay?

    Tell us about it and we'll feature it here.

    • The Duomo
    • Towering over the entire city, the extraordinary Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with the adjacent Giotto’s Campanile and the Baptistery are stunning jewels recognised the world over. Brunelleschi’s dome is an architectural wonder in its own right; for many centuries it remained the largest in the world and still today it’s the biggest brick dome ever built.

    • Piazza della Signoria
    • For countless centuries this beautiful square has been the heart of Florentine life. Dominated by the Palazzo della Signoria and its tall medieval tower, it is a place that witnessed innumerable historical events and a veritable gallery of fine arts, including the world-famous David of Michelangelo - although the one here is a copy; the original is in the Accademia Gallery.

    • Ponte Vecchio
    • For a very long time - in fact since Roman times, this was the only bridge across the river Arno. The one we see today dates back to 1345 and it is as romantic and beautiful as ever, with its shops and sellers who have graced it since its construction. Today it’s mostly jewellery and art that’s sold here though once it was mostly meat and other foods.

    • The Uffizi
    • It is alleged that this is the very place where the effects of the Stendhal Syndrome are the most pronounced. And perhaps this is not so strange considered the immense number of Renaissance masterpieces held in these rooms, from Leonardo to Raphael, Botticelli to Caravaggio and countless more. Book online to avoid the also legendary queues.

    • Santa Croce, San Lorenzo and Santa Maria Novella
    • Of all the churches in Florence, these three should be on every itinerary. The first is the place of burial for such names as Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo, plus many others. Ancient San Lorenzo was the Medici’s family church and Santa Maria Novella’s pure Renaissance façade is simply amazing.

    • Galleria dell’Accademia
    • If you want to glimpse at the original David, you’ll find it here. But apart from this iconic statue there’s plenty more in this museum, including a large selection of fine Renaissance paintings. As for the Uffizi, it does pay to book in advance, especially during the peak season. Or, better still, book a guided tour and skip the queues!

    • Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens
    • Situated on the left bank of the Arno River (Oltrarno), this stunning Renaissance Palazzo is in itself an amazing sight, but it also contains over 500 paintings, which were once part of the Medici and their successors' private art collection. Behind the Palazzo are the Boboli Gardens, where sculptures dating from the 16th through the 18th centuries and some Roman antiquities can be found.

  • PIccolo Café

    A very small & intimate bar very close to Sant Croce church. At the weekend a resident DJ will entertain patrons with mainstream tunes.
  • Fairy Gold c/o TwentyOne

    For almost a decade, one of the most populat LGBT nights in Florence. Held on Saturday nights.

    Mamamia @ Viper Theatre

    Mamamia, famous organisers of events in Torre del Lago, organises monthly events in Florence during the winter season, at the Viper Theatre.

  • Community organisation or group?

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Gaytway Map of Florence

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