It's no secret that Europe is the hot spot for travel as soon as summer hits and nothing says summer travel like a trip to Italy. Travelers around the world long to spend their summer under the Tuscan sun – soaking up Italy's perfect weather from May to September. However, there's more to life than traveling in the high season, which is why we embarked on our journey to fall in love with Florence in the off-season.
Our opinion? Florence is just as fabulous in the fall or winter and Ashley and Jenna from our booking team are living proof of it.
Here's what they recommend from their trip that you should check out on your next off-season trip to The City of Lilies.
Two words: Perfect. Paninis.
This place hands-down has the best paninis in all of Florence. A MUST-TRY!
Did you even go to Italy if you didn't have gelato at least once? Or twice... or three times... we may have lost count.
Gelateria Edoardo was one of our favorite spots for a sweet treat, serving up organic gelato and handmade waffle cones.
We set out to fall in love with Florence, and of course, we found heart-shaped pizza along the way.
Gustapizza is a crowd favorite – you'll probably need to wait, but the wood-fired goodness is SO worth it. We opted for the classic options: Burrata & Margherita. It was love at first bite.
Ristorante Santa Elisabetta
Brunelleschi's Michelin Star restaurant is a bit more on the fancy side, but absolutely worth it.
Set in the heart of the historical centre, Ristorante Santa Elisabetta offers innovative Italian cuisine in a medieval tower venue.
Need we say more?
Two hotels are better than one! We couldn't decide on one hotel, but as members of the Well Traveled booking team, we're always scouting new hotels for our members anyway. And we're glad we parted ways for our hotel stay, because now we have two amazing hotels to recommend for you:
In our eyes, a hotel automatically gets an extra star when it has a rooftop pool with sweeping views.
Known for its iconic rooftop that has 360 views of the entire city of Florence, a stay at Hotel Plaza Lucchesi is a no-brainer (seriously, just look at that picture). Be sure to try for a room with a view of the Arno River!
What was once a Medieval tower is now Hotel Brunelleschi. Their stunning suites overlook the famous bell tower, and the hotel has a perfect location for exploring every part of the city. It was rated one of the finest four-star properties by Forbes Travel Guide and even has a Michelin Star restaurant!
And now for some fun under the Tuscan sun...
We had the best experiences with Florencetown Tours, from Vespa driving to wine-tasting and cooking classes.
Vespa in wine country
Professional Wine Tasting
Ride through the Tuscan countryside and make stops at local wineries.
Food market tour + cooking class with Florencetown:
Get ready to eat your way through the San Lorenzo market. Here you'll find local vendors with fresh produce, specialty shops that sell local olive oil, meats and cheeses, and even a gourmet food court (YUM!). Enjoy a cooking class after your tour with a local chef who will help you prepare a 3-course meal. At the end of your class, you'll get to go home with a cookbook souvenir.
Rooftop bar at the store La Rinascente
Head here to find a hidden gem! Enjoy Aperitivo time with incredible views of the city of Florence.
Go to a local soccer game
Locals love their futbol, so what better way is there to engage with the locals than going to a soccer game?
If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to us (Ashley or Jenna) on the booking team! We'd love to help you plan your trip and redeem any Well Traveled perks while we're at it.