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This city has been named the best European destination for the 10th time in 11 years

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Alex Finnis
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Want your last minute summer holiday to really count? Then there’s only one place you should be booking flights to – Florence in northern Italy.

The capital of Tuscany is renowned for its fashion, art and music scene, and while Europe is littered with beautoful cities from east to west, it’s not all that surprising that Florence has been named the best destination for the 10th time in 11 years by Travel + Leisure Magazine.

“It’s the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. What more does a traveler need?” the magazine writes. “Of course you’ll want to go see classic sights like the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, and Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia. But there’s a modern Florence, too, full of enticing surprises — from the Mercato Centrale, a covered market showcasing Tuscany’s rich culinary bounty, to the sly street art of Clet Abraham, which has begun inspiring visitors to embark upon urban scavenger hunts through the ancient city.

“As one reader summed up quite brilliantly: ‘This is a city I can return to again and again, and still find new and interesting sites and activities.’”

Florence's cathedral lit up at night

The magazine has released a list of its top 15 European destinations, and Italy claims second spot too, thanks to Rome.

Barcelona and San Sebastian are third and fourth, which means Budapest in fifth is the highest-ranked destination outside of Italy and Spain.

San Sebastian in Spain takes the fourth spot on the list

Only one UK destination makes the cut – Edinburgh is 13th.

Here’s the top 15 in full:

  1. Florence, Italy
  2. Rome, Italy
  3. Barcelona, Spain
  4. San Sebastian, Spain
  5. Budapest, Hungary
  6. Siena, Italy
  7. Seville, Spain
  8. Krakow,Poland
  9. Porto, Portugal
  10. Lisbon, Portugal
  11. Prague, Czech Republic
  12. Venice, Italy
  13. Edinburgh, Scotland
  14. Istanbul, Turkey
  15. Madrid, Spain

Budapest was the highest ranked city outside of Italy and Spain

Among Florence’s highlights are the stunning skyline and the Uffizi Gallery – which is full of iconic Renaissance art you cannot see the likes of anywhere else in the world.

You can climb the 463 steps to the top of the cathedral – or Il Duomo di Firenze, as its better known, bustle through the city’s thriving street markets and cast your eyes over Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia.

You can still get return flights to Florence in August for less than £100 right now, so seriously, what are you waiting for. Make this your spontaneous summer getaway, even if its just for a weekend.