Chiselled ... sculptures outside the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence

A date with David

Inspired by the marble masterpieces of Florence, Gabriella le Breton tries her hand at sculpting.

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When in room ... and from Hotel Le Continental, Bordeaux.

Keys to the cities

A Bordeaux bolthole for $120 a night? A riverside retreat in Lisbon for the same? Here's our guide to some of Europe's best-value hotels and guesthouses this season.

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Florence. Piazza Della Signoria, The Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi Museum.

Guide to ... Florence

With sweeping views and Tuscan flavour, this city's charm could leave you breathless, writes Shaney Hudson.

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Florence artisan.

Precious mettle

Shaney Hudson expores the artisan tradition found in a maze of workshops in a quiet part of Florence.

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