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Most Viewed Favorites in Florence

  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    ATM Machine for Bank of America customers

    by GracesTrips Updated Mar 29, 2015

    Favorite thing: As a Bank of America customer (just in case I need more cash while I'm in Italy), I would look for a BNP Paribas automated teller machine. I have found this is the best conversion for foreign currency.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Ponte Vecchio

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 6, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Ponte Vecchio is the only bridge to have survived WWII intact, while all the others were destroyed by the German army in 1944. The bridges were purposefully bombed by the Germans in order to impede Allied troops from crossing the Arno.
    Even Ponte Vecchio has been planned to be destroyed but was preserved with most of the credit going to the German consul of occupied Florence. His name was Gerhard Wolf.

    Fondest memory: The mere fact that in the mind of military strategists there is an idea to demolish everything that in any way can slow down the enemy is confirmation that with their heads something is very wrong.
    The big question is on what would today resembled the world's cultural heritage if these maniacs have realized all their ideas about the destruction?

    Ponte Vecchio Ponte Vecchio Ponte Vecchio Ponte Vecchio Ponte Vecchio

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Piazza della Repubblica

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 4, 2014

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    Favorite thing: Originally, it was the site of the Forum, the heart of Florence in the Roman period of the town. Later, in the medieval times aswell, when the Mercato Vecchio was established here, conserving the mercantile vocation of the old Roman site. Today, it is Piazza della Reppublica, the biggest open space in the old core of the town, known also as Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, which was the former name of the square.

    Fondest memory: Today's Piazza della Reppublica is where once used to be the city old ghetto, which was swept away during during the city improvement works initiated during the brief period when Florence was the capital of reunited Italy (1865-1871).
    In the 16th century here was Mercato Vecchio (the old market), long and low building with an overhanging roof to shelter the customers and the stalls placed on either side. Here used to stand Vassari's Loggia del Pesce (fish market), which was moved to Piazza Ciompi.
    The triumphal arch, called Arcone, dominates the square with the inscription: "The ancient centre of the city restored from age-old squalor to new life".

    Piazza della Reppublica Piazza della Reppublica Piazza della Reppublica

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Firenze Card

    by rexvaughan Written Sep 12, 2014

    Favorite thing: This is a great card if you use it enough, but you need to figure out whether it makes economic sense for you to buy it. It costs 72€ (as of 2014) and is good for 72 hours from the time you first use it. We decided that, even at about $100, it was worth it for us. In addition to admission to some 67 museums, galleries, etc., you get priority access without a reservation, a pass for public transportation for that time and they give you a card with a password for free wi-fi and a nice little map of Florence. We actually used the buses on several occasions, including a trip to Fiesole. We were there in September and the lines were not long, but in the high season, bypassing them would be nice.

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  • brendareed's Profile Photo

    where to go if you are feeling ill

    by brendareed Written Jun 9, 2014

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    Favorite thing: While in Florence, should you find yourself getting sick and needing some medication, stop in at the Farmacias (pharmacies) which can be found all around town. Inside you will find over the counter medications and assistance from the clerks for what you may need to help you feel better. This would also be the place to come if you need contact lens solution or other toiletry needs that are not found in the grocers.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors
    • Disabilities

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  • brendareed's Profile Photo

    world’s best gelato

    by brendareed Written Jun 9, 2014

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    Favorite thing: World’s best gelato – can’t count how many times I’ve heard that said! And you can find gelato everywhere in Florence, although it seemed there were more places to buy it when I was there in the summer than my trip in the winter. No real place stands out to me as better than the other (although San Gimignano has the shop that holds the world’s record for best gelato).

    I just love the presentation of the gelato – they don’t just plop the gelato containers in the display case, but rather they pile it up and top it with fruits or other things to show you what kind it is.

    You really can’t pass these shops by – I think my husband was on a quest to try all of them!

    And you can't leave Tuscany without trying the gelato!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Food and Dining

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  • brendareed's Profile Photo

    Tourist Information Centers

    by brendareed Written Jun 9, 2014

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    Favorite thing: Be sure to look into the Tourist Information Centers around town – the busiest one is probably the TI next to the train station, but there are three others in Florence (at the airport, near the Medici Palace, and near the Baptistry). Here is a wealth of information about the city, maps, permanent and temporary exhibitions, and guidance.

    It is a good idea to check out the current exhibitions at the TI – there may be exhibits that pull art from other museums and you may miss seeing that piece you had on your list because it is on display somewhere else. (While we were there, we missed seeing Verrocchio’s David at the Bargello, but were able to see it in a temporary exhibit at the Palazzo Pitti.)

    Medici Palace:
    Via Cavour 1 Rosso – 50129 Firenze
    Tel +39 055 290832/ 055 290833
    Monday to Saturday 8.30 am- 6.30 pm

    Airport:
    Via del Termine 1 -
    Tel/Fax +39 055 315874
    Every day: 8.30 am – 8.30 pm

    Train Station:
    Piazza Stazione, 4 – 50123 Firenze
    Tel +39 055 212245
    Monday to Saturday: 8.30 am-7.00 pm; Sunday and holidays 8.30 am-2.00 pm

    Bapistry:
    Info Point Bigallo, piazza San Giovanni – 50129 Firenze
    Tel +39 055 288496
    Monday to Saturday 9.00 am-7.00 pm; Sunday and holidays 9 am- 2 pm

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
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  • brendareed's Profile Photo

    Free water for your water bottles

    by brendareed Written Jun 9, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: What could be better on a hot day in Italy than filling up your water bottle with fresh water for free?!? Florence has thought of this and came up with a wonderful solution.

    Next to the Palazzo Vecchio (the town hall next to the Uffizi Gallery), just behind the statue of Neptune – if you are looking straight ahead at the town hall, Neptune is on the left side – is a water bottle refilling station. This small building at first looks like a popular food vendor, especially in the summer months when there is a line. But in actuality, it is a place to refill your water bottle for free. Simply step up with your container, push once for a glass and twice for a bottle, and fill ‘er up! That easy.

    To make it easy to find, one of my photos has a large arrow pointing to where it is located behind Neptune.

    Now if Florence could just solve the problem of bathrooms so that you have no problem with the effects of the water. :-)

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Arno - the second river after Tiber

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 17, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The Arno is a river in the Tuscany region of Italy. It is the most important river of central Italy after the Tiber.
    It crosses Florence, where it passes below the Ponte Vecchio and the Santa Trìnita bridge, passes Empoli and Pisa, flowing into the Tyrrhenian Sea at Marina di Pisa.

    Arno Arno Arno

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    A "book club meeting" in Florence

    by Jefie Updated Jul 1, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory: Next to traveling, literature is my biggest passion so it should come as no surprise that I've been a long-time member of an online book club. Just like VT, the members of my book club come from all over the world, and when I mentioned that I would be traveling to Italy, Lucia, who is from Parma, suggested we get together for lunch in Florence. Although I've met several VTers over the years, it was the first time I got to meet someone from my book club and it turned out to be one of my fondest memories from the days we spent in Florence! We shared a great meal together and wandered around the city for a while, talking about books, food, Italy... I can now only hope that I get to return the favour if Lucia ever makes it to Canada!

    Lucia and I in front of Palazzo Rucellai

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  • cmcard2's Profile Photo

    Take the Florentine Walk

    by cmcard2 Written Apr 25, 2010

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    Favorite thing: Florence is such a walkable city. Starting at the Dome, where one can always call home, as in base, is the best way to begin. Go inside the church, or clime either the dome or the Bell Tower of Giotto. See the Golden Doors of the Baptistry. From there walk to Oransmichele Church, which at one time was a granary. See the statues of significant saints done by Renaissance artists. From there walk to the Piazza della Signora, see the Palazzo Vecchio,and take in where the statue of David use to stand in front of the Medici Palace, find the spot where the monk Savoronala was burned. Take in the statues in front of you that are both gaudy but appealing at the Loggia dei Lanza. "Perseus with the Head of Medusa" is one that was fashioned by Cellini. One cannot miss the statue Hercules and Cacus, and the fountain of Neptune

    Walk past the Uffizi to the Arno River. Cross the street, and see the view of the rowers on the Arno, and the shope of the Ponte Vecchio, which use to be apartments. Cross the Ponte Vecchio, and stop and see the statue of Cellini in the middle of the bridge. Crossing the river you can walk straight to Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.

    Walk back to the Piazza della Signora and make a right to walk to the Church of Sante Croce. You will know you are there when you see the statue of Dante looming over the square. Make sure to visit inside to see the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi.

    Fondest memory: One never tires of this city. It is a place I visit each time I go to Italy.

    Golden Doors by Ghiberti Santa Maria del Fiore and the Massive Dome Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria Hercules and Cacus
    Related to:
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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Miscellaneous Tips...

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 5, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Meeting New People and Seeing New Places

    These tips are based on my last 8 weeks of traveling in Europe/Africa:

    1. Buy/pre-order as many museum/attraction tickets online as you can.
    2. Ask the taxi fare before taking off in a taxi, especially if it’s late at night or coming from an airport.
    3. Charge your camera batteries every night.
    4. If you have a Eurail pass and need to make reservation make them in Europe. It’s a lot less expensive.
    5. If you’re climbing a few hundred steps up a tower, monument, etc. go only a clear, sunny day.
    6. Learn at least Hello, Thank you, and Goodbye in the foreign language of the countries you are visiting.
    7. Turn your cell phones off inside churches, museums, etc. If it rings and you must take the call, do it outside!
    8. If there’s a running commentary (live or recorded), be polite and be quiet.
    9. Dress appropriately and be respectful in churches.
    10. If you’re traveling with children, don’t let them disrupt others around you. If they cry or throw a tantrum, take them outside.
    11. If you have a complaint, do it reasonably without yelling and cursing.
    12. Regarding pictures:
    a. If there are signs saying “No pictures”, don’t take pictures! There’s a reason for the signs. Do you really, really need that picture of Mona Lisa to prove you’ve seen it?
    b. Learn how to use your camera before the trip. If there are signs saying “No flash”, make sure you know how to use the camera without it.
    c. If you see a couple or family with one person taking pictures of the other(s), offer to take a picture of both/all of them. Maybe they’ll reciprocate.
    13. Check local holidays. Since many museums and stores will be closed, you’ll need to have other plans for the day. (Most stores throughout much of Europe are closed on Sunday.)
    14. Don’t try to do too much. Leave some open time to just explore.
    15. You’re on vacation so relax and have a good time!

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Changing/Getting Money

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 5, 2009

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    Favorite thing: You will usually get a better rate of exchange at a bank than at a bureau de change. Be careful of bureaus de change that offer "no commission" ; it usually means that the exchange rate will be higher. There may also be a fee for changing traveller's cheques.

    There are ATMs located around the city and these usually have the best echange rates but you should check with your bank to see if there are any international or additional fees. They can really add up! You should have no problem using a 4 digit or 6 digit pin. It may be a good idea to let your bank know that you will be travelling internationally so your card doesn't get temporarily blocked.

    Florence
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo

    Ponte Vecchio.

    by Maurizioago Updated Mar 4, 2009

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    Favorite thing: This bridge was built in 1345 as a replacement for a previous bridge swept away by a flood. The very first bridge existed here before XI century. Ponte Vecchio originally was filled with butchers' shops, blacksmiths and tanners. Because of the stench, Ferdinand I decided to forbid them to work on the bridge. Ponte Vecchio is the only bridge in Florence to survive World War II.

    Both edges of the bridge are lined with jewellery shops.

    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel

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  • halikowski's Profile Photo

    Bancomats - ATMS - cash dispensers

    by halikowski Written Nov 29, 2008

    Favorite thing: Note that Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze banks only allow a maximum daily withdrawal of 250 euros/day. However, if you go to the Deutsche Bank in town (one block away from Palazzo Strozzi) you can withdraw up to 500 without any problem.

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