By Courtney Singer
Florence
Italy
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Florence, capitol city of the Tuscany region, is one of the most important and influential cities in the history of Italy. Cradle of the Italian Renaissance, the architecture and art of the region has permanently shaped the evolution of Italian culture. EscapeWizard.com invites you to visit the “Jewel of the Renaissance.”
   
EscapeWizard.com invites you to acquaint yourself with this old and majestic metropolis. The city can be accessed easily by airplane through the Florence International Airport (FLR), but it only has one runway and consequently flights are limited. It is also possible to fly into the Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA) in Pisa, about an hour by train outside of Florence. You can purchase your tickets through EscapeWizard.com by following this link (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php). When booking hotel accommodations, please use our top selections of hotels within Florence to find detailed information. Then book with EscapeWizard.com with the simple click of your mouse (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
   
Upon entering Florence, you will be unable to miss the towering Duomo and Campanile. The Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo, is the grandiose domed cathedral which was built by Filippo Brunelleschi and sits squarely in the historic center. Next to the Duomo stand the Campanile, or bell tower, and Baptistery. All are open to the public and offer excellent views of the city. 
   
For a more academic turn, EscapeWizard.com suggests you visit one of Florence’s many museums, like the Museo Archeologico, Bargello, Pitti Palalce, and the Accademia dell’Arte del Disegno (home of the famous David by Michelangelo), to name just a few. But the highlight of them all is the Uffizi, one of the world‘s great art museums. Located in a mammoth horseshoe shaped building on the edge of the river Arno, the Uffizi were once the head offices for the Medici; Uffizi means “office” in Italian. 
   
After you are done roaming around the historic city center, head towards the river to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge. At one point, the Ponte Vecchio was the central location for the city’s butchers and meat markets. But the Medici family took offence to the stench that accompanied the trade, and consequently evicted the meat vendors. The family invited goldsmiths and jewelers to take up residence instead, and they are still there today! Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio during the day to admire the merchandise, but make sure to visit at night for a chance to see the medieval storefronts and locks. 
   
For one of the best views of Florence, make your way to the Piazzele Michelangelo. Sitting on a hill above the city, the Piazzale was designed to commemorate the works of Michelangelo; hence the replicas of the master’s works scattered around the Piazza. Even higher than the Piazza sits the Basilica de San Miniato al Monte; construction of the Basilica began in 1013 and has been remodeled several times over the proceeding centuries. It still serves as an active monastery today; if you are able, stay until 5:30 pm (4:30 pm in the winter) to hear the Monks sing evening Mass. 
   
Besides the cultural attractions, Florence is an active city with a lively nightlife. There are dozens of restaurants and bars within the city limits; recommended fare is the Bistecca Fiorentina (an antiquated named for Florence) or Florentine steak, paired with a nice Chianti. Tuscany is the most famous Chianti growing region in the world; come and have a taste of time-tested perfection!   
   
Florence is one of Italy’s premier cities and a popular tourist destination for travelers across the globe. Between the architecture, museums, theaters, and fine dining, there is a little something for everyone. EscapeWizard.com warns you not to miss this extraordinary example of renaissance genius!  Just click the link above and book your next vacation with EscapeWizard.com.    
Hotels in Florence
By Shaina Amienyi
Hilton Florence Metropole Hotel
Via del Cavallaccio, 36, Florence, Italy
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The Hilton Florence Metropole Hotel, situated 4km (2.5mi) from Amerigo Vespucci International Airport (FLR), can be your gateway to the captivating city of Florence. With the free shuttle provided by the hotel, getting to the city's top attractions, such as the Cattedrale del Duomo and Uffizi Art Gallery, is simple.

After guests check in at 2pm, they can access their rooms, all of which have views of the city or Duomo. Guests must check out of their rooms by 12pm on the day of their departure.

The rooms are large—standard, deluxe, and executive rooms are 25m2/269 sq. ft. and suites are 50m2/538 sq. ft.—and include one kind bed or two twin beds. Guestrooms feature soundproofed windows, a trouser press, a mini bar, and an LCD flat screen television that comes with movies and video games.

The elegantly designed marble bathroom has a bidet, and guests are provided with bath slippers. Guests in junior suites are also supplied with bath robes. Suites feature a seating area with a sofa bed as well as a separate bathtub and shower in the bathroom.

Stay in an Executive room and you will have access to the Executive Lounge where you can sample snacks and refreshments. Guests can order room service 24 hours a day and even have the option of ordering vegetarian dishes. The hotel serves breakfast from 7am to 10am in the breakfast room and Tuscan lunch and dinner items in Luci Della Città, the hotel's restaurant. The Lounge Bar, where guests can have a snack or sip a cocktail while watching the plasma TVs, is also open for lunch and dinner.

The hotel's amenities include free wireless internet in all public areas and a 24 hour business center. Active guests will be pleased that the hotel offers a fitness center and can arrange sightseeing tours.

Choose the Hilton Florence Metropole Hotel and you can enjoy the city views and have quick access to popular attractions. EscapeWizard.com encourages you to click on the link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to book your stay at the Hilton Florence.
Hotels in Florence
By Shaina Amienyi
Italiana Hotel
Viale Europa 205, Florence, Italy
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The Italiana Hotel (formally the Holiday Inn Florence) provides vacationers with a stylish, comfortable place to stay in the beautiful city of Florence. The staff can accommodate travelers from numerous countries as they are fluent in Italian, German, Spanish, French, English, and Croatian. Guests can check in at 2pm and must check out by 12pm on their departure day.

Each of the 92 standard guest rooms features two double beds, a mini-refrigerator, and a coffee maker with free coffee and tea. Satellite television, pay-per-view movies, and video checkout are available in selected guest rooms.

Book an Executive Club Level room and you can relax in one of the leather chairs in your room. Bathrooms include upgraded toiletries, bath robes, and a scale. The mini-fridges in Executive rooms are stocked with complimentary bottled water. Guests in these rooms can also enjoy pay-per-view movies, video rental, a VCR, and video checkout.

The hotel provides complimentary wireless internet in its 5 meeting rooms. Guests have the luxury of parking their cars in the hotel's car park and the exploring the city on foot or by public transportation. The hotel is in walking distance of major attractions such as Michelangelo's Square, which is 2km (1.2mi) away.

If you are looking to exercise while in Italy, take advantage of the fitness center, accessible to all guests free of charge. The hotel also has a swimming pool, open from June to mid-September.

Guests traveling with their children will want to participate in the Kids Eat Free program. Children under 13 staying with parents can eat for free when dining with parents. The hotel's dining options include the elegant La Tegolaia Restaurant where vacationers can enjoy Tuscan or international cuisine while taking in the views of the pool. In the mornings, the restaurant serves a hot American breakfast bar. The hotel has a bar and lounge, La Interna, open from 3:30pm to 10:30pm.

When visiting the beautiful historic city of Florence, the Italiana Hotel is an ideal option for those seeking a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. Book your stay at this hotel by clicking on the link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to EscapeWizard.com.
Hotels in Florence
By Jessica Howell
St. Regis Florence
Piazza Ognissanti 1, Florence, Italy
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Believed by many historians to be the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, Italy has a reputation for being a hub for cultural movements, inventive ideas and aesthetic beauty.  At the St. Regis, all those elements are represented to reflect Florence's rich heritage.  Each of the 81 spacious guest rooms and 19 distinctive suites, have been carefully outfitted with rich colors, custom frescos, sparkling crystal chandeliers and antique décor to create an atmosphere of opulence and elegance.  If you are planning on visiting the birthplace of modern ideals and aesthetic appreciation, The St. Regis Florence is the only place to stay.  EscapeWizard.com invites you to book your accommodations at this prestigious hotel today. 

Every guest room at The St. Regis Florence is so beautifully decorated and opulent, you will think you have stepped out of your hotel and into one of the city's awe inspiring museums.  Guests can begin checking into their rooms at 3 pm and check out is promptly at noon on the day of your departure.  Encompassing the second and third floor of the hotel, spacious Deluxe Rooms welcome guests with 15th century Florentine, Medici, or Renaissance-themed décor.  All Deluxe Rooms feature either a plush king - or two twin-size beds - or, in single rooms, a French St. Regis bed.  Each bed is layered with exclusive 250-thread-count pure cotton linens and luxurious comforters.  At the St. Regis, the bathrooms leave nothing to be desired.  Elegant marble décor, a deep soaking tub, signature bath amenities, bathrobes, slippers and other exciting features make the bathrooms at the St. Regis some of the nicest you will ever step foot in.  Superior rooms at the St. Regis feature similar amenities, but also include a number of additional features for an elevated price.  Please see the hotels website for more details.

All guests can benefit from the hotels state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center, relaxing Iridium Spa and tantalizing wine tastings from the hotels very own exclusive wine cellar.

One thing is obvious at The St. Regis Florence:  No detail has been overlooked and no amenity has been spared.  If you are ready to enjoy impeccably decorated rooms, unsurpassed service in one of the world’s most interesting cities, EscapeWizard.com recommends you book your stay at The St. Regis Florence today:  (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).