Florence Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by brendareed
  • Local Customs
    by brendareed
  • Local Customs
    by brendareed

Best Rated Local Customs in Florence

  • BoccaLupo's Profile Photo

    Restaurant Customs

    by BoccaLupo Written Jan 11, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Eating in restaurants - throughout most of Italy not just Florence - is very different (excluding tourist traps) than in the U.S.
    Just because you aren't lavished with attention doesn't mean they don't care. Italians tend to be laid back about almost everything (except calcio maybe!). You may wait 5 or even 10 minutes (if it's very busy) for your waiter to arrive. Use this time to pick out an antipasto & wine!
    Also, they typically don't check back to see how your food is. They will usually be nearby or pass by though, so if there is an issue just politely flag them down/call them over. Please don't call Waiter! (in any language!) or (heaven forbid) snap your fingers to do so. Usually eye contact and a nod will do, although a friendly "per favore" will do the trick too.

    They won't rush you, as dining in Italy is an experience, and it is not unusual to take 2 or 3 hours to dine. When you're ready for the check, you'll need to ask for it. Be sure to ask if the "servizio" is included. While we found that in Florence it usually was (not the same thing as the coperto), in Venice it often wasn't.

    Most places are very helpful, just bring a phrasebook with you to be sure you're understood (especially if you have food allergies or sensitivities). Don't be rude and assume they speak your language - at least attempt to speak Italian. Even if you aren't very good at it or only know a little, that little bit will go a long way. Cin Cin!

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Bambino anyone!

    by sue_stone Written Nov 24, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    local wheels
    1 more image

    Everywhere you go in Florence (and Italy) you will see very cute little cars!!

    And not only are they cute, they are sensible too - particularly in a city like Florence that has narrow streets and limited parking - the smaller the car the easier your day to day motoring is.

    Now, just make sure you don't do too much shopping though....

    ; ))

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mariocibelli's Profile Photo

    Museum Tickets in Floville

    by mariocibelli Written Jun 21, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Avoid the two-hour peak-season midday wait by making a telephone reservation. It's easy, slick, and costs only €3 (in addition to the €9.50 admission fee). Dial 055-294-883 during office hours (Mon-Fri 8:30-18:30, Sat 8:30-12:30, closed Sun) at least a day before your visit and ideally at least a few days in advance for a better selection. With the help of an English-speaking operator, you'll get an entry slot (15-min window) and a six-digit confirmation number. Off-season, it can be possible to get a same-day reservation. Using the same phone number, you can reserve in advance for the Accademia, Bargello, Medici Chapels, and Pitti Palace; of these, the Accademia has the worst lines.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Marpessa's Profile Photo

    Italiano

    by Marpessa Written Nov 3, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Phrase book

    When traveling in a country where english is not the main language I try to make an effort to speak the local language. Italian is a beautiful language and it isn't very hard to pick up the basics. I got a phrase book and a CD, which I put on my i-Pod, to help me learn some phrases. And while I was shy about trying to speak the language at first, by the end of my 2 weeks there I was ordering meals and ice-cream (gelato) all in Italian!

    So here are some helpful phrases to get you started!

    Hello/Goodbye (informal): Ciao
    Good Morning: Buongiorno
    Good Afternoon/Evening: Buonasera
    Good Night: Buonanotte
    Yes/No: Si/No
    Please: per favore
    Thank you: grazie
    That's fine: Va bene
    How Are You?: Come sta?
    Open/Closed: aperto/chiuso
    Entrance/Exit: entrata/uscita
    Where is...?: Dov'e...?

    and...
    I didn't understand: non ho capito
    Do you speak English?: Parla Inglese?

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mydreamquest's Profile Photo

    Perfect Coffee for next to Nothing

    by mydreamquest Written Sep 19, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Me at Bar anna e Piero in Mercato Central near San

    You have to check out Mercato Centrale for many reasons. Aside from the excellent types of fresh foods, I found the coffee there to be a steal! In San Francisco, for about $2 Euro, you'll be able to purchase a cup of coffee. In most places in the busy touristy parts of Firenze, a cup of coffee can be as much as $2-3 Euro as well.

    However, here at Bar anna e Piero, whilst standing at the cafe bar I was able to purchase a cappucino and espresso for a miniscule $1.40 Euro!!! If you can hold on to your caffeine rush, begin your morning coffee drinks here. It was the best coffee price I found in Firenze and was the best tasting coffee in terms of "awakeness factor" and taste.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • fgfi's Profile Photo

    Caffe degli artigiani

    by fgfi Updated Apr 10, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is 100% local customs tip.
    It is located in a small lovely square that doesn't even exist on the city plan!
    Have a coffee or a glass of wine there. Not hip, but very charming and laid-back rustic-chic cafe.

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Behaviour in churches.

    by leics Written Apr 23, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    S. M. Novella

    Although extremely old in many cases, Florentine churches are still regularly used by local people. Exposed shoulders and shorts/ mini-skirts may not be acceptable. In some, women may be asked to cover their heads (although I didn't come across this), so carry a headscarf just in case.

    It is expected that you will be quiet in churches (there are often people praying) and many do not allow the use of flash photography (some do not allow photography at all, such as S. Spirito).

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • EllenH's Profile Photo

    Locks on the Ponte Vecchio

    by EllenH Written Nov 24, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    lovers locks

    I only knew about the locks on Ponte vecchio from Virtual tourist. I had read about the lovers attaching the locks and throwing the key into the arno river to forever seal their love. So when I was there I specifically looked for them and I overheard an English speaking tour guide tell her group that it was not an Italian tradition at all but rather an American one. I don't know if that is true or not but I thought it was pretty funny.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • fgfi's Profile Photo

    Italian Breakfast - Cappuccino and croissant

    by fgfi Written Apr 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the most common habits in Italy and in Florence too is having brakfast at the bar. Cappuccino (remember Italians never order cappuccino after a meal) and croissant. Here is a list of my favourite bars (in terms of quality of breakfast):

    Pasticceria Gualtieri Via Senese 18 r (Porta Romana) 0039 055 221771 Closed on sundays afternoon and Mondays

    Giacosa Roberto Cavalli Via della Spada 10r (S. Maria Novella) 0039 055 2776328

    Pasticceria Curtatone. Borgo Ognissanti, 167r. 0039 055 210772 (Ognissanti square)

    Pasticceria Piccioli B.go Ognissanti 118 r 0039 055 295086 (Ognissanti square)

    Was this review helpful?

  • fgfi's Profile Photo

    Panino con il lampredotto

    by fgfi Updated Aug 5, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lampredotto

    I think only in Florence you can taste a lampredotto sandwich. Lampredotto is the final part of the cow's stomach and has a dark brown colour. I know it sounds not very attractive, but is really one of the most interesting thing to experience in Florence. I started eating lampredotto just a few years ago ( before I thought it was simply disgusting) and I can assure you it's delicious. If you prefer you can ask for a Sbucciato wich is the lampredotto withouth the white skin (which is the fatty part ). The bread is dipped in the broth and the sandwich is served with a hot red chili sauce or a a green parsley sauce.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • craic's Profile Photo

    Charming custom

    by craic Written Nov 22, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    Just before you get to the Ponte Vecchio you can see these padlocks with two names written on them. Lovers up to their tricks to keep their love safe and secure. No idea who started this trend but I think it may be of fairly recent origin.
    On the bridge itself, there is a sign on the railing around the statue of Cellini warning that any padlocks will be removed. And that wouldn't be a good omen for your eternal love.

    Was this review helpful?

  • fgfi's Profile Photo

    La Pescaia

    by fgfi Updated Aug 5, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pescaia Santa Rosa Florence

    The dam that crosses the river between San Frediano and the far side of Ponte Vespucci is the Pescaia di Santa Rosa, one of several spillways designed to guarantee a supply of water to mills (which have since been removed) during periods of drought
    There you can often see people getting suntan during summer, even if it's a very hot place and it doesn't smell that good. It's located beneath the Santa Rosa Tower, a remnant of the ancient city walls.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • School Holidays

    Was this review helpful?

  • alfa338's Profile Photo

    Coffe in every variant...

    by alfa338 Written Dec 28, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cappucini is a part of the breakfast.. If you order it after 12 O'clock you are a tourist ;-)
    Esspresso is STRONG, macciato has a bit of milk, lungho is with a bit more water...
    It is good to know a bit about it, spend some time on wikipedia or any other source of information in the matter...

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • craic's Profile Photo

    Crumbs

    by craic Written Nov 23, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Feeding the birds.
    1 more image

    I saw two gypsy women in Firenze begging. I had taken this woman's photo - she was munching on a dry bun and the birds were pecking at the crumbs - so I gave her some of the crumbs from my purse. She started the whining and demanding so I just walked away.
    After Roma, when I nearly started lashing out as 15 umbrella sellers importuned me from all sides and a red headed begger from the south asked for a cigarette - I found Firenze quite peaceful.
    It wasn't until Sunday - the big day for the market - that I saw any African bag sellers. They set up on sheets in front of the Duomo. I don't know where they are the rest of the time.

    Was this review helpful?

  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    San Firenze

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 16, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    San Firenze
    3 more images

    The monumental church of San Firenze is one of the rare examples of the 17th century Baroque architecture in the town of Florence. It is, however, transformed into the palace and now it houses The Tribunal of Firenze. The building is situated on ononymous square, right behind the Palazzo Vecchio and in close vicinity to Bargello.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Florence

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

79 travelers online now

Comments

Florence Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Florence local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Florence sightseeing.

View all Florence hotels