What to pack for Florence

  • What to Pack
    by brendareed
  • My guide book in Florence
    My guide book in Florence
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • What to Pack
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey

Most Viewed What to Pack in Florence

  • brendareed's Profile Photo

    Books, maps, and audio tours

    by brendareed Written Jun 10, 2014

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    Miscellaneous: You are ready to head to Florence– you’ve confirmed the hotel, got the e-tickets for the flight, and made reservations for the dog at the kennel. But wait! Have you forgotten something? Other than the obvious logistical details of the trip, it is worth spending time reading up on this city and the amazing things you will see BEFORE you ever leave home. If you try to do it all while in Florence (besides fighting your jet lag) – you will miss a good bit. Spend a month or more reading about the history of the city, the types of architecture you will see, and the various artists and art within the city. You will appreciate what you are seeing so much more and maybe will be able to impress your family and friends with your new-found expertise!

    While you can get a free map at your hotel, take some time to look over the maps online – you can easily create your own Google map with your trip highlights on it. I did this and it allowed me to realistically plan each day out so I wasn’t cramming too much in only to be disappointed. You can get directions from one place to another – while I didn’t use these directions once in Florence, the initial prep stage allowed me to see how far it would take to walk from one place to another. And I was surprised at how close most things were to each other!

    Besides looking through the Virtual Tourist pages on Florence, invest in a good guide book or two. For general planning, we like the Eyewitness books with their colorful pictures. But for in-depth tours and details about the architecture and the art, the must-have guide is The Blue Guide – Florence, which cannot be beat for its information. It contains floorplans for most of the churches as well as tours of the museums. This book paid for itself so many times, especially in many places with little detailed signage.

    Audio tours are in many of the top tourist attractions and you can easily spend €5 or more per guide. We found the Rick Steves’ audio tours (and tour maps) on iTunes for FREE. Most of these tours are 30-45 minutes long and give you very good details on where to walk, look, etc. You can start and stop as you wish and the entire family can download them to their own iPods so you don’t have to share earphones to save money (something I saw many people doing with the audio guides rented at the sites). The audio tours are informative and provide just enough historical background for the average non-historian to absorb while providing some fun-facts and humor along the way. Audio tours are available for a Renaissance walk of the city, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Accademia, along downloadable maps of the tour.

    As a history major with an interest in art history, I had done a good bit of study before our trip. One book that I highly recommend is Ross King’s 'Brunelleschi's Dome, which is the story of how Brunelleschi built the dome and the equipment needed to do it. It is an easy read but has enough technical details that you will come away educated and understanding that dome so much better than if you just stand under it and look up unaware of what you are really looking at (it also helped me appreciate the climb up to the top!).

    So get your tickets and hotel reservations lined up, then take some time to research this wonderful city before you get here – you’ll be thankful that you took the time to do it and will enjoy it so much more.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    My guide books in Florence

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 16, 2012

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    Miscellaneous: Here are my guide books that provided me details about a geographic location, tourist attractions, or most interesting itineraries inFlorence.
    Casa Editrice Bonechi – Italy. “The Golden Book”. Florence. 1996, 128 pages.
    Around the World. Italy. Second edition. Publisher "Around the World", 2005, 520 pages, 150cities, 370 churches and cathedrals, 120 museums, 29maps, 200 illustrations.
    Italy. Le Petit Fute. Michel Strogoff & Ass., City-Guides, Country-Guides, Paris-Luxemburg-Moscow. 1999, 206 pages

    My guide book in Florence

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  • Bunsch's Profile Photo

    Some like it hot

    by Bunsch Written Jun 2, 2011

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    Miscellaneous: Although things tend to cool off at night, if you're an American and used to air conditioning, you may find that it is well worth your while to bring a small battery-powered fan with you, or to purchase a slightly larger fan which has the appropriate plug for Italian current. I brought two of the former and we never did get around to buying the latter -- but we certainly would have been much more comfortable had we done so, and at minimal cost.

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  • paoseo's Profile Photo

    June and July are veery hot

    by paoseo Written Sep 8, 2006

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I went to Florence in August and while it is hot during the day, the air is cooler in the night.
    I was told that in June and July day and nights are very hot.
    So best way to wander around would be with top but having with you always a big scarf or something with long sleeves because you can't ntry in churches whit arms and legs naked.
    About trousers, maybe don't put on shorts..maybe it's better skirts or trousers taht arrive at half of the calf

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    Bring Art & Architecture Book

    by Hopkid Written Mar 10, 2005

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    Miscellaneous: Florence: Art & Architecture is a great resource when you're visiting Florence's many museums. This invaluable book contains great descriptions of may works of art and architecture in the city. Often times this was the only available English explanation of what we were looking at. Definitely work taking and carrying around. The book is authored by Rolf Wirtz and Clemente Maneti.

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Pack light!

    by sue_stone Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    Luggage and bags: My best advice when travelling to Florence is to pack light - you never know how much shopping you may do whilst there!!

    Also, cobble stones don't make it easy to drag luggage from the train station to your hotel....

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Make sure you bring comfortable shoes - you will walk and walk and walk in Florence.

    I never bother with heels when travelling in Italy - too many cobble stones to contend with.

    Photo Equipment: Never leave home without your camera, and plenty of spare batteries, cf cards/films etc.

    There are so many great photo opportunities in Florence.

    Miscellaneous: Another good reason to pack light - imagine if you ended up with a hire car like this one!!!

    Florence motor
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  • bpwillet's Profile Photo

    Be prepared

    by bpwillet Written Feb 24, 2004

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    Luggage and bags: I didn't stay very long so I didn't need a lot of bags. You can always have a taxi or bus take you somewhere else around town but if you plan on walking from your arrival point to your hotel/destination it would be best to pack light. The roads are extremely narrow and people walk on both sides to and from.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good pair of walking shoes and all weather gear. Not the extreme cold stuff obviously. I went in the winter time and I was comfortable with a jacket and long sleeves. It can get quite hot in the summer though. It also rained a bit.

    Photo Equipment: LOTS OF FILM! You will see why when you get there. Also if you are into using filters the light hits some of the buildings in really interesting ways.

    Florence from the Duomo Dome
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  • mariocibelli's Profile Photo

    Bringing a laptop? Need an adaptor?

    by mariocibelli Written Dec 25, 2003

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In the summer it is hot as hell and the city goes ultra-casual,so just leave the ugly white tennis shoes at home. Florence is very laid back in the summer.

    Miscellaneous: Very easy to find all types of adaptors for foreign plugs at the Esselunga Supermarket, there is a whole display of adaptors for the plugs and they are dirt cheap, about 2 Euros, I paid 11$ at Radio Shack for an American adaptor and several pounds too many for a UK one.

    Those cheap converters never seem to work and have the habit of blowing out the electricity in the whole building.

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  • CandS's Profile Photo

    Packing...

    by CandS Written Sep 27, 2003

    Luggage and bags: Take a comfortable backpack and a daypack too...you will probably need to carry a bottle of water, camera etc so it's handy to have a small pack...

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good walking shoes are a must because you will walk a lot!

    Our gear...

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  • SinglDiver's Profile Photo

    Ear Plugs!

    by SinglDiver Written Jan 2, 2003

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    Miscellaneous: Florence is a charming city of narrow streets and stone pavements -- all make sound echo. If staying in the city, bring earplugs to help you sleep through all the noise of motorscooters, cars, people walking, and talking, and oh yes, all those church bells!

    Charming and NOISY!

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  • Patricialuv's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by Patricialuv Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Study Abroad

    Miscellaneous: I just wanted to mention that if you want to get this type of view of the Florence Duomo, go to the Palazzo Vecchio, all the way to the top, day or nightime (before 10 p.m.) and it is an incredible view!

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    Packing List

    by Patricialuv Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Study Abroad

    Miscellaneous: I really like this picture...the building you see closest to the picture is the Uffizzi Gallery, one the most famous art galleries in the world. Then you see the high tower of the Palazzo della Signoria and way back you can see the top of the Duomo!

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  • fgfi's Profile Photo

    Firenze spettacolo

    by fgfi Written Jul 28, 2005

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    Miscellaneous: Firenze Spettacolo is a monthly magazine listing concerts, exhibitions, new clubs, and discotheques. The magazine is in Italian with only a small portion in English.

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by acemj Written Sep 12, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you forget to pack something, there's always great shopping in Florence. Prada can sell you a $200 keychain if you're interested!

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