Florence, Tuscany, Italy
The birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is an art historian's paradise. The city has over 80 museums, many of them home to great works of art, including Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Michelangelo's David. The city itself is characterized by cobblestone streets, red rooftops, and sweeping views of the nearby Tuscany hills. The Duomo, the magnificent church in the center of the historic area, is the city's best-known piece of architecture. Some of Florence's best hotels have grown out of the city's historical and cultural landmarks, with family-run establishments and hotel chains alike housed in gorgeous Renaissance-era Florentine homes. Here, we've collected some of our favorites: Housed in the former residences of the Bertolini princes, the Grand Hotel Baglioni lives up to the grand images of Florence's Renaissance past. The hotel is filled with heavy-handed regal touches and ornate decor from top to bottom. The rooms are very spacious (not often the case in a historic building), and feel luxurious, decked out with classic Italian furnishings, large leaded windows, gorgeous dark wood, and equally spacious dazzling white bathrooms. Both the rooftop garden and Terrazza Brunelleschi restaurant offer stunning views of Florence.