With the outstanding beauty of the city providing a historic backdrop, Florence is the perfect location for a romantic escape. From opera to original sculptures and intimate Tuscan dining experiences, here is The Florentine‘s guide to Valentine’s Day in Florence.
You don’t need to escape the city to find peace and relaxation. Relax Firenze (via degli Strozzi 2, Florence) is offering specially designed packages for couples. Choose from treatments including Love Potion, an oriental essence couples massage, time in the Himalayan salt room, and strawberries and cream (260 euro per couple) and Be My Valentine personalised his and hers massages (180 euro per couple). For five-star luxury, unwind at The Spa at Four Seasons Florence (borgo Pinti 99, Florence) during a spa suite shared with your significant other (or all to yourself – 580 euro) before indulging in a Michelin-star meal at the hotel’s Il Palagio Restaurant. The eight-course set menu on February 14 costs 140 euro per person and features decadent dishes such as black truffle and cheese risotto with cream of artichokes.
Night views from the Torre di Arnolfo
Climb the Torre di Arnolfo at the Palazzo Vecchio with your loved one or best friend to survey the city in all its splendour. The 17.50 euro price tag includes unforgettable nocturnal views and a drink. Booking required: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel. 055 2768224 or 055 2768558. Discover Florence’s love stories during a Valentine’s Day digital treasure hunt organized by Tre Passi per Firenze. You’ll need a smartphone and an internet connection. Romantic rooftop drinks are up for grabs for the winners. (10 euro. email@example.com / 328 8245277)
Young conductor Eduardo Strausser comes to Florence’s Teatro Verdi
Music has always regarded as the food of love, so there is nothing more romantic than an evening of classical music. Pietro Mascagni’s one-act opera Cavalleria rusticana takes the stage at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. (Tickets start at 30 euro / www.maggiofiorentino.com) Alternatively, Teatro Verdi is hosting a night of Beethoven, featuring young talents Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki and Brazilian conductor Eduardo Strausser (Tickets start at 15 euro / www.teatroverdifirenze.it)
Sweets and sculptures
Nothing says Valentine’s Day like chocolate. The annual Fiera del Cioccolato will be returning to piazza Santa Croce from February 8 to 17. Watch artisans craft chocolate into delicacies using complex and creative methods before buying sweet treats for loved ones. Check out an armoured heart in the gardens of Chalet Fontana (viale Galileo 7, Florence). The literary café along viale Galileo is hosting Alessandro Reggioli’s Safety Heart Armour, a 700-kilogram bronze sculpture that explores the relationship between the heart and the mind. After admiring the artwork, eat in the restful restaurant whose organic ethos inspires a reconnection with the environment. Experience the solitude of modern love at Kristina Grancaric‘s exhibition in the female-focused co-working space Via del Porcellana 59rosso. The Japanese calligraphy drawings, collages and digital techniques focus on how relationships have changed in the age of social media. Free entrance.
Fundraising dinner Valentine’s Day for ANT will be held on February 14 at the ornate Palazzo Borghese (via Ghibellina 110, Florence). All monies will go to Fondazione ANT Italia Onlus to help cancer sufferers in their own homes and to cancer research. The evening begins with welcome drinks and dinner accompanied by live music, followed by dancing. (Minimum donation 50 euro / 055 5000210)
Check out Destination Florence’s dedicated Valentine’s Day section for original ideas this Valentine’s Day. From spa treats to rooftop dining experiences, there’s something for everyone.
Where to eat
Hotel Brunelleschi is serving a specially crafted menu by chef Rocco de Santis. Dinner includes a glass of prosecco, followed by dinner served in the Salone delle Feste. Marinated tuna, roasted octopus and popcorn are all on the menu. For those choosing to celebrate their love at the weekend, celebrations continue on the Saturday where another menu will be served.
(54 euro per person / 055 27370 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Set in the Hotel Porta Rossa, thought to be the oldest hotel in Italy, truffle lovers will be enamoured by Restaurant Savini Tartufi, where a plentiful three course menu is sure to impress. Select the menu with black or white truffles, which features cod carpaccio, squid ink bread, Sicilian red prawns and Vin Santo crème caramel.
(150 euro per person / 055 3995913 / email@example.com)
The Grand Hotel Minerva has devised a special tasting menu based on the idea of interactive love. At La Buona Novella Restaurant, talented chef Tommaso Calonaci proffers a shared dining experience as dishes are prepared and presented for two. The menu features two types of spaghetti, gyoza dumplings, finishing with “the chocolate box”, all among romantic lighting and candles.
(55 euro per person / 055 27230 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chef Gentian Shehi has created an exclusive dining experience at The Winter Garden by Caino where you and your loved one can indulge in an expertly crafted menu. The evening starts with a glass of Champagne and continues on a gastronomic journey that includes oysters with gin-tonic jelly and caviar, sea scallops on melon cream, homemade gnocchi and a dessert of chocolate and passionfruit.
(120 euro per person / 05527163770 / email@example.com)
Expect passion and dancing at the Hotel Savoy. With a menu that features spiced seared tuna on Himalayan salt with raspberry and orange sauce, homemade garganelli pasta with saffron, calamari and marinated scallops, and a dessert of Bavarian cream with candied violets, chocolate and strawberries, loved ones are sure to be dazzled by the luxurious atmosphere.
(65 euro per person / 055 2735891 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Head to Trattoria Da Benvenuto for traditional specialities this Valentine’s Day. Wooden beams and stone walls set the scene for love as the chef cooks up ham and fried pizza dough, wild boar tortelli and bistecca alla Fiorentina steak.
(30/40 euro with a bottle of Chianti per couple / 055 214833)
Check out Osteria de’Cicalini for a relaxed dining experience with four courses and paired wines. Start with salmon marinated in Moscato, sesame butter, red grapefruit and edamame, and move to paccheri pesto pasta with prawns and Sicilian oranges, followed by calamari. End with a romantic tribute, indulging in a Banksy-inspired dessert, of cream and chocolate fondant.
(45 euro per person / 055 2052610)