Things we love:

Gelato, gelato, gelato. Canal-side drinking, of course. Almost a third of the world’s art treasures reside in Florence, so come get cultured. Awesome vintage shopping, if that's up your street. Tea with Mussolini, A Room with a View, The Stendhal Syndrome and Hannibal were all filmed here. Bangin' espresso everywhere you go. You're just a short train ride away from living out your Under the Tuscan Sun fantasy. Aperitivo culture, natch. 

Things we wish we’d known:

Be wary of bars right by the Duomo: yes, they have a great view, but they're usually overpriced and full of drunk American students. If you go in the summer, booking somewhere with A/C is essential. Specialities of Florentine cuisine include tripe and - if innards ain't your thang - bistecca alla Fiorentina, a mammoth, char-grilled T-bone steak. The Ponte Vecchio, the bridge occupied by jewellery goldsmith shops, was the only bridge on the River Arno that Hitler didn't destroy in WWII.