Many people are upset about the number of tourists vs locals, as the place remains busy all year long.
The place is always filled with foreigners, either short-term visitors or exchange students.
Florence is Best Explored on Foot
The historic center of Florence is pretty compact, so everything can be reached in 20 minutes or less.
Many visitors are afraid of visiting Florence because they expect high prices.
While the accommodation prices aren’t the lowest, food can surely be affordable if you avoid typical tourist traps such as eating next to Piazza del Duomo or Ponte Vecchio.
Florence is a city where the Renaissance has started, where the most famous artists lived and created some of their best works.
With 60% percent of the world’s most important artworks based in Italy, museums like the Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria dell’Accademia should deserve a prime spot on your Florence itinerary.
Since both of these places are located inside historic buildings, museum officials limit the number of visitors that can be inside at a given time. That said, it gets busy.
Florence is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, as well as the world.
It is famous for flavor rich Florence restaurants and it is the Renaissance capital of the world its celebrated sons are Leonardo DaVinci, Dante Alighieri, Machiavelli, Fra Angelico, and Michelangelo.
See art, eat, drink, see more art, hear music, shop, take a day trip into the Tuscan countryside, people watch, climb to the top of the Duomo or Campanile, see more art, eagerly plan for your return visit.
Take a stroll in the Boboli gardens, stop in the hilltop cafe, grab a drink and a seat outside and enjoy the view!
Go to the "Piazzale Michelangelo" and enjoy the really nice view. It's a big square on a hill, but somewhat distant from the traditional tourist sites. It's easy to reach it even on foot using the stairs called "Rampe di San Niccolò". They are on the side of the Arno river just in front of the national library. Do this thing during the summer and during the night to admire Florence's lights.
Get a bike and get out of Firenze. There are magnificent places to ride around the city. Unfortunately, the landscape of the places worth a ride are usually hilly or even mountainous, therefore you need a little of training and stamina most of the times (but effort is not always strenuous and if the road goes too much uphill, you can take it easy or even dismount).
Best destinations are in the Chianti area, where you can fully enjoy the hills and the elegance of the landscape surrounding you, which has been taken care of endlessly through centuries. Strong scents can be enjoyed in Spring. The warm temperatures and usually stable weather in the good seasons can make the ride even more enjoyable.
If you feel more energetic, ascents to Vallombrosa from Pontassieve through Tosi can be very enjoyable. You start from the Arno river plain and you end up in a thick, shady, fresh forest. In all cases, avoid the hottest hours in Summer and be aware of the traffic, which can be heavy and not cyclist-savvy, until you get in secondary or less populated roads.
Learn a few essential phrases in Italian before you go !
In Florence, people will probably speak English to you the second they detect an accent, but we still recommend learning a few words in Italian which many will appreciate.
Something along the lines of:
Hello and Good-day (formal) what you would say to people you don’t know well – “Buongiorno” and after 3pm in Florence “Buonasera” (good evening).
Hello and Bye (casual) – “Ciao” said like ‘chow.’ To people you have met several times.
Thank you – “grazie”
Please – “per favore”
Your Welcome – “Prego”
Do you speak English? (formal) – “Parla inglese”?
I don’t understand – “Non Capisco”
How much is it? – “Quanto costa?”
Florence's airport "Amerigo Vespucci" (FLR) is 5 kilometers from the city center.
It's connected to all the major Italian cities as well as to numerous European destinations.
There's public bus service connecting the airport to the center of town.
The airport most used by all of Europe is Pisa's "Galileo Galilei" (PSA), where almost all the "low cost" flights arrive.
There's a shuttle service that brings you to Florence in 70 minutes.
Be careful however: traffic can be truly intense on the motorway between Florence and Pisa thus creating the possibility of being late and missing your flight! Probably the best solution is to reach Florence by train, using the airport station.
Florence is at the center of the major highway and rail junctions in Italy: the choice of arriving by train is without doubt the ideal one.
For train schedule information, we suggest you utilize the italian railroad website: https://www.trenitalia.com/
If you arrive by car, it's a good idea to book in advance a hotel with a parking lot: Florence's traffic is horrendous, parking is difficult to say the least and you can't get into the historical center by car.
When you plan your trip, keep in mind that, in the summer, Florentine temperatures can reach 40° centigrade and in the winter, they can drop below zero, even if snow is a fairly rare occurence. From a climatic point of view, the months between March and September are the best, even though the city is overrun with tourists and schooltrips in that period.
Few cities are so compact in size or so packed with extraordinary art and architecture masterpieces at every turn.
The urban fabric of this small city, on the banks of the Arno river in northeastern Tuscany, has hardly changed since the Renaissance and its narrow cobbled streets are a cinematic feast of elegant 15th- and 16th-century palazzi (palaces), medieval candle-lit chapels, fresco-decorated churches, marble basilicas and world-class art museums brimming with paintings and sculptures by Botticcelli, Michelangelo et al. Unsurprisingly, the entire city centre is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Italy's fashion industry was born and bred here.
Homegrown designers Guccio Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo opened haute-couture boutiques in Florence in the 1920s and shopping in the Tuscan capital has been stylish ever since.
A-lister fashion houses lace Via de' Tornabuoni and a Pandora's box of specialist boutiques selling all manner of beautiful objects parade alongside family-run botteghe (workshops) in a glorious tangle of medieval backstreets.
Watch fourth-generation Florentine goldsmiths and shoemakers at work, buy artisan scents evocative of the Florentine countryside and Tuscan sea breeze, and know the tag 'Fiorentina' is one of the finest international labels going.
Da Vinci Museum - Leonardo da Vinci claimed that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but his art and inventions provide more than just a window into his entrepreneurial and innovative spirit.
The artist’s designs introduced new worlds beyond the canvas, and even furthered the study of the universe.
Located inside Palazzo Castellani, the Galileo Museum is home to one of the most important scientific collections in the world and is a scientific research centre for Italian and international scholars.
Established by the Medici family, the Boboli Gardens are something of a crossroads between nature, architecture and science.
Standing in front of Michelangelo’s famous David sculpture is an unforgettable experience. Visitors slowly circle to observe every angle of this masterpiece in marble, which is found at the Galleria Dell’Accademia and is 5.17 metres (17 feet) tall.
The massive marble slab that was used to create David remained untouched for 25 years before the statue was commissioned in 1501, when the artist was just 26 years of age.
Michelangelo’s David is depicted before his battle with Goliath, at the instance between choice and consequence.
Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo di Firenze) The shining crown of Florence, Santa Maria del Fiore is a civic centrepiece from the late 13th century that took 200 years to complete.
Built on the remains of a seventh-century church that is visible during a tour of the crypt, the exterior features emerald green and pink marble slabs, while the interiors exude a rather subdued aesthetic to allow the artworks to stand out. The Duomo includes frescoes of Giorgio Vasari’s Last Judgement (1572), scenes of Florence by Dante (1465) and mosaic works spread out like immense carpets.
The stately dome was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.
The Boboli Gardens Italian: Giardino di Boboli is a historical park of the city of Florence that was opened to the public in 1766. Originally designed for the Medici, it represents one of the first and most important examples of the "Italian Garden", which later served as inspiration for many European courts.
Websites about Firenze What to do in Florence?
Selected travel guides for your vacation in Florence and Tuscany
Accommodations Hotel B&B in Florence by booking.com and Welcometuscany.it
Hotel deals with great rates. Book your travels confidently in Florence