Via dei Vagellai, 18/R, Uffizi
It’s not easy to come by vegan food in Italy, and it’s basically impossible to come by good vegan food. Libreria Brac is the exception to the rule. A restaurant-meets-bookstore-meets-bar, it’s run by a group of young Italians looking to modernize the city’s cuisine (if just a little). Have a glass of wine as you browse through the selection of design and culinary books or head straight to the restaurant for dishes like a zucchini and cashew cheese galette, hearty soups and salads, and delicious vegan pastas.
Via della Ninna 5, Uffizi
A secret passage spanning close to a mile across Florence, the Vasari Corridor was built by Cosimo de Medici to traverse the city—and the Arno river—from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti safely and secretly. Enter from the Uffizi, which feels like passing into Narnia. The narrow corridor is filled with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century artworks and self-portraits by several artists, including Andrea del Sarto, Marc Chagall, and Delacroix. Don’t forget to look out the windows as you cross the Ponte Vecchio—yes, it will be packed with tourists, but yes, it will be worth it—to see the most beautiful parts of the city, as intended by the architect, Giorgio Vasari.
Piazzale degli Uffizi 6, Uffizi
Take your time at the Uffizi. Either go early in the summertime or in the winter months to beat the crowds and amble at your leisure across the two horseshoe-shaped floors of galleries and staterooms with their breathtaking collection of Renaissance masterpieces. There is nothing like seeing Botticelli’s dreamy Birth of Venus or Artemisia Gentileschi’s grizzly Judith Beheading Holofernes in person. Book online in advance to jump the line and get the combination ticket for the Uffizi, Boboli Gardens, and Pitti Palace to save a ton of time.
St. Regis Florence
Piazza Ognissanti 1, Uffizi
Occupying a fifteenth-century, Brunelleschi-designed Renaissance palace, the St. Regis is, like the Four Seasons, a sumptuous historical experience. Rooms are worthy of the architecture, with plenty of velvet and silk accents; many have views of the Arno. Take full advantage of the hotel’s knowledgeable concierge and services, which include tours of the city and countryside in the St. Regis Bentley, as well as tours of Florence’s galleries and museums with the hotel’s own in-house curator.
Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli 4, Uffizi
The heavenly scented Ferragamo personal-care products in the bathroom are one of the few discreet hints as to who owns this sublime thirty-seven suite hotel.
Piazza Pitti, 1, Uffizi
During the Renaissance, landscaping was considered just as important as the architecture. Behind the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens are a maze of grottos, fountains, and tree tunnels that set the tone for an Italianate style rapidly adopted by the palaces of Europe. Don’t miss the cerchiate grande—a long avenue of trees planted in 1612 that have grown into each other, forming the loveliest tunnel of shade.
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