Dave Probert always organises so well
Another easy, hassle free trip. The hotel recommendation was just perfect for our needs. Thanks Eric and the DialAFlight team.
I am always pleased with the wonderful service
The whole trip went well - very happy with your work and organising
Tara was amazingly helpful all the way through. Great experience. So a big thank you to her.
Nicole is brilliant.
As always, a great service with competitive prices. Good customer service. Would not book on the net as DialAFlight took all the stress out and were cheaper!
Three different airports in one day was daunting but thanks to DialAFlight and Gino Lamonby it was painless. Very happy
Jarvis excellent as always.
We found Hotel Mascagni in Rome near the Rome Termini train station an excellent recommendation. Would stay there again
Thanks to you, our trip to Rome and Venice was memorable for all the right reasons. Rest assured, we have no intention to use any other company because you think of everything.
Orlando is a star.
Another well executed holiday ran smoothly.
Felt that we were really looked after by our rep. We had emails and a phone call checking we had successfully completed API and check-in.
Used you for the first time and you delivered what you promised .
Very good communication. Have used DialAFlight before and will definitely use them again.
My advisor even phoned to see if I had managed to check in online! Very kind
Excellent service, and bacon butty on board was so good
Other than the initial glitch with the check in link everything worked wonderfully plus excellent communication.
Michelle Dooler continues to deliver our dream holidays, total legend
The past 3 years have been difficult but Brody at DialAFlight went above and beyond in helping us to get through an unusual time. We had 2 cancelled cruises, through no fault of our own but we managed to get a few days break in Rome and a hotel recommendation which was superb. I would highly recommend this company and particularly Brody (I am sure all your advisors are great) and we will certainly be back to book another holiday.
Everything ran smoothly. Sorrento was excellent but I wouldn't recommend Naples
You delivered again which is good to see.
Very helpful personalised service.
Amelia is fantastically helpful and most professional. She is one in a million
As always, great, friendly service. I always recommend you to friends.
Very helpful nat all times - have always provided us with what we need for our trips
Absolutely brilliant selection of hotels selected by Trevor. Thank you.
An excellent holiday, with good liaison with Philippa. Lovely hotel in Florence in a super location. If hiring a car, please ask if we want automatic or manual. I was expecting an automatic!
Florence is a feast for the eyes, with art and wonders at every turn. And when your brain is full of amazing images, you can find dozens of brilliant places to fill your stomach...
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Opening a new gallery in Florence is a bit like adding an extra dish to a banquet. But the Museum of the Opera del Duomo (it opened in October) contains a real wonder. It's the actual-size reconstruction of the original facade of Florence Cathedral. They put back its original statues, in storage for centuries, following details on a 16th Century drawing. The facade was part of architect Arnolfo di Cambio's first, 1294, vision for the cathedral. Never properly finished, it was removed in 1587.
Michelangelo sculpted the 14ft-high statue of biblical hero David between 1501 and 1504, while in his 20s. It is a supreme creation of the human mind, and hand. The plan had been to set the white marble statue high on the roofline of the cathedral, alongside other figures. Too massive to be lifted there, the colossus stood in Piazza della Signoria for 300 years, before being moved into the Galleria dell'Accademia in 1873 (a copy replaced it). It was restored in 2004.
Mercato Centrale, on the first floor of the iron and glass market built in 1874, is the city's liveliest place to eat. Walk there through the stalls of leather goods traders (Via dell'Ariento), and head to the first floor. Mercato Centrale opened in 2014 to revive this ancient quarter, as one big dining space. There are 12 sections, each serving a speciality Tuscan dish made with ingredients sourced from the market stalls below.
It's almost worth walking around the Uffizi at random, for that extra shiver of thrill when you unexpectedly come across Botticelli's Birth Of Venus and Leonardo's Annunciation. The other, equally majestic collection is in the vast Pitti Palace, on the south side of the Arno. There are many sublime paintings by Raphael, Titian, Lippi, Caravaggio and Rubens. You could spend a day in each.
We crossed the Arno over the Ponte Vecchio, for the quietest walk in the city. Heading up the Via di San Leonardo, we saw no other pedestrians. After a coffee at the top of the hill, we circled back, down Viale Galileo, to a famous viewpoint of the city that we had all to ourselves. We curled around the Abbazia di San Miniato and the Chiesa di San Salvatore. Only then did we meet other people, puffing up the hill to the Piazzale Michelangelo, with its bronze replica of David.
WHEN TO GO
Florence can be crowded, although new pedestrianisation schemes make walking the central squares much easier. (To avoid the crowds, October to March is a great time to visit.) Fancy a coffee to start the day in Piazza di Santa Maria Novella? Order at a cafe's counter for the lowest prices - pay when you leave.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - April 2016
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