Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you’ve really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We’re taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors’ recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
The Duomo and the Baptistery
Architect Filippo Brunelleschi used some of his era's most innovative engineering techniques to create what was, when it was built in 1436, the largest dome in the world: 300 feet high and 150 feet wide. The cathedral's other standout sights are the campanile (bell tower) and the Museo dell'Opera, housing sculptures by Donatello and Michelangelo-plus Ghiberti's gilded bronze panels from the Gates of Paradise.
Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
This antique pharmacy-located in a frescoed side-chapel of the Santa Maria Novella church-is a feast for the senses. Founded by Dominican friars in 1612, its 17th-century cabinets house a mix of balms, tinctures, liqueurs, teas, infusions, and powders, including "Virgin's Milk Skin Cream." Don't leave without a hand-molded soap made with mint, pomegranate, or milk and aged for 60 days.
Welcome to the definitive collection of Renaissance art. This relatively small gallery, occupying the sumptuously decorated halls commissioned in 1560 by Cosimo I de' Medici, is filled with iconic works, from the Gothic great Giotto's Maestà to Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Allegory of Spring to Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation. You'll see works by the likes of Michelangelo, Raphael, Dürer, Caravaggio, Titian, and just about any other old master you can think of.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.