A weekend getaway is a perfect way for me to just relax and let the stress of work and life at home wash away. It’s how I make the bridge between Christmas and Easter vacation. I’m often asked though, where can we go for just two or three days? The answer is easy – Tuscany. Florence is just a short flight from London. If you plan it right, you can finish up work on Friday afternoon, zip down to the airport, and be relaxing at a nice Italian restaurant enjoying your late dinner.
Where can I go in Tuscany?
Tuscany covers quite a large area of western Italy, stretching from Massa on the coast north of Pisa across to Florence, and south to Orbetello north of Rome. With Tuscany covering such a vast area, picking an easy weekend getaway destination can be tough. My suggestion is to keep it simple, aim for one of the cities and use that as your base for the weekend. The easiest city to get to from London is probably the city of Florence – you can’t really go wrong with a trip to Florence.
Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance, and the importance of this city in the years from the late 1200s to the early 1500s has left an indelible mark on this city. The people here financed the work that brought Europe out of the Dark Ages, influenced architecture across the continent, and provided the seed that started the European exploration of the Earth. No matter what street you walk down in the central part of the city, you are confronted with this incredible legacy. The hotels, the restaurants, the cathedrals all speak of the history and they ooze charm at every turn. Can you tell this is one of my favourite European cities?
Picking a place to stay
Picking a hotel is sometimes a bit of a challenge. There are so many to choose from. I’ve got a couple favourites that I or friends have stayed in over the years. The first one is the Cosmopolitan located out near the airport. It’s a new hotel, so it doesn’t have that old-world European charm and character, but it makes up for it in quality and modern facilities. For that old-world feel, I like to point people at the Art Atelier located right in the heart of the old city, not far from the train station. The rooms are really amazing – you have to see them to believe it.
So tell me, do you have a favourite place in Florence, a café that’s stuck with you, or a hotel that is a must-stay?