Florence is the jewel of Tuscany, an immortal city so filled with art that fully one third of the recognized art treasures of the world are found here. Florence is also a city bustling with commerce and tourism. It has been so since the time of the Medicis who rose to power through business and banking. Florence or Firenze was once Florentia, the city of Flowers, a name that belies the historic military might of the Florentine Republic and the power it has exerted in trade and commerce.
The rise of the Florentine republic under the Medicis funded an unprecedented flowering of art, the Renaissance, which continues to grace the city with markets, shops, stores, and even discount shopping outlets for, some would say, the world's best and most beautiful selection of crafts, ceramics, leather, clothing, antiques, fashion, and works in wood.
The streets of Florence are filled with tourists all day long, all year. The shopping areas are cheerfully busy with shoppers from around the world. We believe that when you have been dealing with this busy city all day long, doing your job as a tourist, a student of art, history, or commerce, you need to retire to a place, an accommodation, all your own. You can avoid the four-walled confines of a hotel room and spread out in a two or three room vacation rental apartment.
If you are traveling with family or friends, people on different schedules (some kids never fully shift time zones), can go about their business in your rental apartment without disturbing everybody else. You can accommodate your own schedule by preparing meals in your kitchen, even if you want to simply have breakfast in your pajamas and your coffee on the terrace (see the Medici apartment) while every one else sleeps in. Dining pleasures abound in Florence, but it is also a wonderful and budget-friendly experience to shop for your own fresh Tuscan ingredients and prepare a simple, low-stress mean in your own apartment.