Who can argue that Florence is one of the most romantic cities on this planet? The City of Renaissance is, indeed, epitomizing unique and heavy loads of charm, exoticism, magnetism, amour, glam, and style. Its beautiful historic buildings with amazing frescoes, cobbled streets, fascinating history, Renaissance architecture, the gorgeous Arno River embellished with charming bridges, the distinctive (and quite dominant) Duomo with the world’s largest brickwork dome, and mind-blowing gardens are a few reasons to fall in love with this city. As for the best romantic things to do in Florence, below is an illustrative guide with the top 9!
1. Explore Florence by horse-drawn carriage
Strolling along the charming cobblestone alleys of Florence instantly charges your molecules with a romantic vibe. Bringing you several centuries back in time, idyllic Florence is full of beautiful piazzas, palazzos, duomos, and parks that revive the senses. An equally appealing, bond-strengthening and fulfilling way to explore this adorable city and its magnificent Renaissance landmarks is the old-fashioned way – the way people in the 1800s used to go around – a horse-drawn carriage!
Of course, there are also practical benefits of opting for a horse-drawn carriage tour. For starters, you don’t need to deal with the heavy city traffic and sacrifice time in it. Secondly, this type of vintage experience offers comfort and convenience, while combining elegance and tradition. Thirdly, you get to reach hidden gems and places less visited by tourists joining a walking tour or a bus tour.
Watch this to get a glimpse of how it will be:
So, besides the absolutely spellbinding monuments that have given Florence its glory and fame, such as Piazzale Michelangelo, the Arno River, and Piazza del Duomo, you will also be taken into the lesser-known parts of the city where you can share romantic moments with your partner with ravishing sunset vistas and panoramic views of this fairy-tale like dot on the map. Definitely one of the best romantic things to do in Florence!
2. Stay in a Palazzo
How would you feel if you could inject a sense of true royalty into your Italian ventures? Does living in a palace sound like a dream? You can now claim your fair share of what embodies VIP, luxury, exclusivity, romance, and grandness by choosing to stay in a former palace turned into a stylish hotel.
Several of the once glorious palaces in Florence have been beautifully restored and renovated, leaving as much of their original appeal intact, and are now converted into world-class accommodations. This includes the Four Seasons, which also dazzles with its stunning Renaissance art and amazing gardens. Expect extravagant decors, impressive interiors, ultimate pampering, and high ceilings, to name a few.
Other renovated palazzos also serving as stylish hotels with a lower price tag and a more homely feeling are Palazzo Alfieri Residenza d’Epoca and Palazzo Vecchietti – both conveniently situated close to major local attractions.
Watch this to get a glimpse of Palazzo Vecchietti:
3. Sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most scenic places to catch the last rays of the sun as it paints the beautiful facades of the Renaissance buildings adorning Florence. Sitting high above the city, it even features a replica of Michelangelo’s David (you can find the original at the Academic Gallery museum), a monument that is adored by thousands of tourists visiting Florence.
Built in the late 1800s, this spectacular hillside terrace over Florence will capture your heart with its astounding views and the Michelangelo-dedicated base that is home to bronze copies of the famous artist’s works.
As expected, this popular tourist attraction is almost never empty. So, be prepared for quite a lot of people also wanting a share of the romance and bliss this place exudes unless you visit the piazzale later in the evening. What can be more gratifying than toasting your significant other with a glass of the finest Tuscany wine as the sun slips behind the quaint Duomo or when the city lights up!
Watch the sunset in Florence:
4. Picnic on Boboli Gardens
One of the best romantic things to do in Florence is take a leisure stroll along the jaw-dropping Boboli Gardens just across the Arno River. Originally designed for the famous Italian family, the Medici family, the Boboli Gardens have been welcoming the public in their absolutely mind-blowing interiors since the 1700s (although its creation started in the 15th century!).
Nestled behind the scenic Pitti Palace, the gardens are, in reality, a vast expanse adorned with grottos, fountains, avenues flanked by cypresses, Mannerism sculptures, an outdoor museum, Renaissance and medieval times statues, 18th-century pavilions featuring Rococo architecture, and impressive venues, like the Lemon House. Prepare a basket with all the goodies you desire and a bottle of Chianti, and consider having a romantic picnic in a place inspired by the Versailles royal garden. You can thank us later!
Check out these wonderful gardens:
5. Sunsets on the Arno River
The entire Florentine history is wrapped around the Arno River, giving the water element in the leading role. Traveling for around 240 kilometers (150 miles), it surges from the heights of Falterona Mountain and almost reaches Arezzo to the south and Pisa to the west, after giving life to the Casentino Valley in Florence.
One of the best romantic things to do in Florence that involves the Arno River is a leisure cruise that will allow you to float along its banks. In doing so, you will find several old boats (some even date back to the 1800s) that have been restored to give you a time travel that is simply hypnotizing.
Such riverboat tours will enable you to see the beauty of Florence from another angle as you pass by the palazzos and bridges that fringe the river, featuring imposing towers, the magnificent Ponde Vecchio, and the mind-blowing Uffizi in the background. And, although no time is a bad time for such an experience, we strongly suggest planning it around sunset. Everything will feel even more magical!
6. Visit a 600-year-old perfume shop
Florence is home to probably the oldest pharmacy and cosmetic shop in the world in an unassuming building with no inkling of the treasures hiding within that you may easily miss as you go down that road. We are talking about the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella that holds dearly ancient recipes featuring spices and flowers which create its modern-day skin care products and perfumes.
Once inside, everything shifts, as you are greeted with an upscale appearance dotted with 18th-century furniture, rich drapes, intricate chandeliers, highly polished shelves with liqueurs, creams, soaps, and colognes, and ambient lighting. Some of the elixirs and liqueurs made here come from recipes handed down by monks who used to mix spices and herbs to make medicines.
Watch this to get a glimpse of this place:
Even the story behind the pharmacy is enticing and somewhat romantic! As already mentioned previously, the Medici was one of the most powerful families of Renaissance Florence in the early 16th century. When the daughter of the family, Catherine de Medici, got married to the future king of France, Henry II, at the age of 14, the Santa Maria Novella monks created a perfume specifically for her.
They named it the Water of the Queen (Acqua Della Regina), which is still available (under the name of Acqua di Santa Maria Novella) and awakens all senses with its aromatic spices and unique bergamot scent! And, we have not even started to describe the 14th-century frescoes!
7. Bring a flower to Dante’s muse Beatrice
A romance that was never given the chance to bloom and flourish is that of Dante Alighieri and Beatrice, his true and unrequited love. These two first met when Dante was nine years old, a year older than Beatrice for whom he felt instantly smitten. Ever since that meeting, he could never stop thinking of her. However, she was, for some reason, a forbidden fruit. So, he had to settle with loving her from afar for the rest of his life.
Dante married another woman, had four children with her, and Beatrice died at the age of 24, without ever having the slightest idea of Dante’s passion or the depth of his love for her. Today, many couples leave flowers at the plaque that’s dedicated to Beatrice (at the small chapel of Santa Margherita di Cerchi) and make a wish for eternal love.
8. Visit Villa Bardini Garden
Hands down, Villa Bardini is one of the most spellbinding points in Florence and one of the most beloved for its absolutely wowing gardens. Holding special events and temporary exhibitions, the 16th-century villa is also home to the Pietro Annigoni Museum and was originally built for the nobility of Florence.
After it was purchased by Stefano Bardini in 1913, it was converted into an open-to-the-public exhibition centre that is surrounded by a 2-hectare garden (part of the Boboli Garden). Expect to be amazed by things like a beautiful 17th-century Baroque staircase featuring a wisteria tunnel leading to a terraced garden overlooking the city, an English-style garden to the west, and pieces of land where numerous varieties of flowers bloom, including Bengal roses, camellias, hydrangea, azaleas, and irises, and gardens with a wide collection of fruit trees.
Fountains adorned with mosaics, statues sitting amidst decorative plants, an Anglo-Chinese garden, and a dragon canal also come to complete the picture.
Watch this video to see how it looks:
9. Share a candlelit dinner with arresting views of Ponte Vecchio
What better way to close a day’s chapter during your Italy explorations than with a romantic dinner under the moonlight or at a stylish restaurant with ravishing views of the city moments before twilight!
One of the most sublime and elegant venues that are ideal for exquisite dining ventures is Signorvino Restaurant. Besides the delicious dishes featuring local cuisine, it also provides majestic views of Ponte Vecchio, the Old Bridge, and the Renaissance City.
Of course, you may opt for an even more private and intimate dining experience at the comfort of your luxurious Tuscany villa. Your private chef will prepare a mouth-watering dinner for two as your private butler pours the finest Tuscany wine into your glasses. Trust us, nothing can truly prepare you for the explosion of affection and fondness that is about to be experienced during your Tuscany getaways.