Coffee with Sergio from Hotel Brunelleschi

Florence is an amazing destination in Italy’s Tuscany region, home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. We sat down with Sergio, the Concierge from one of our preferred hotels, Hotel Brunelleschi – featured in our Florence City Break as well as Highlights of Italy North and the Ultimo tours – and gathered some insider tips on the city.

Why stay at the Brunelleschi Hotel?

The Brunelleschi has so much to offer, from design and luxury, to service and location – you will feel the history of Florence beating under your feet. Within a short walk you can reach all the most important sites, as well as enjoy a view of the Duomo from some of our guest balconies. A well-furnished room and someone who can give you good tips is always waiting for you at home. Find out more about the hotel here.

What’s the perfect 24 hours in your city?

We like to speak with our guests, to understand their special interests and preferences and plan a personalised itinerary.

No doubt that if you only have one day in Florence the best thing to do is to hire a guide and walk around without missing a visit to the Uffizi, the most visited place in Florence. From there you may view the town from the windows and understand the beauty and the power of the Renaissance in Florence.

What is a unique experience that visitors often overlook?

A very special place is the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, one of the oldest in town. The Saint who lived in Florence in 250AD. Legend has it he was beheaded and he took the head in his hands and walked up to the hill where now you may have a beautiful view over Florence. The Benedictine monks who live there pray with Gregorian chants every day around 5:30pm.

If you aren’t too tired, between 2:00am and 6:00am, take a walk in the centre. When streets are empty you will be able to see things, which are invisible in the day: the architecture of the buildings, the doors, the windows, the frescoes in the tabernacles on the streets corners….

Italy - Florence - Basilica of San Miniato al Monte

Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, Florence, Italy

What are some impressive restaurants you would recommend?

As an excellent restaurant, “Il Locale” is such a combination of an old historical building with a trendy place and a fine dining cuisine.

In summer “Villa San Michele” in Fiesole is a must for people who love beautiful things: the ambience, the food and the view are incomparable.

For a good traditional Tuscan restaurant “Buca Lapi” offers a typical menu in a characteristic ambience.

Italy - Florence - Villa San Michele view

View at the Villa San Michele

Where can a traveler find an authentic local experience in your city?

One must go shopping in the lively Via Gioberti. Note that the shops are closed here on Sundays.

What are the local customs that travelers should embrace?

Don’t miss the morning stop in at a bar for cappuccino with “un pezzo dolce” and after lunch for “un caffè”. A fast lunch by one of the markets with “panino col lampredotto”. Make sure to stand up while you drink – just as the locals do!



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