Florence Tourist Traps

  • The
    The "replacement" statue of David
    by GrumpyDiver
  • The
    The "replacement" statue of David
    by GrumpyDiver
  • Uffuzi Gallery
    Uffuzi Gallery
    by GrumpyDiver

Most Recent Tourist Traps in Florence

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    The Accademia

    by GrumpyDiver Updated Mar 25, 2012

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    Statue of David - you can't get too close
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    The Academia is really a second rate museum; other than Michelangelo's David, it really does not have a lot to offer. There are rooms of sculpture (really plaster casts), some Florentine icons, some musical instruments, including a number of pieces by the famed Cremona instrument makers, like Stradivarius.

    Unique Suggestions: The statue of David is really the only thing worth seeing here (and yes, it is worth it). The rest of the exhibits are generally rather second rate.

    David used be outside on the street and they moved the stature indoors to protect it, and it is really the only piece worth seeing here.

    Thankfully, when they moved the original indoors, they commissioned an exact replica, which was left outside at the Piazza della Signoria, outside the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio museum.

    Fun Alternatives: Pitti Palace; home of the Medici's is well worth the visit. Much more interesting and better art.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Archeology

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    Uffizi Gallery

    by GrumpyDiver Updated Mar 24, 2012

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    Uffuzi Gallery

    Many will consider the Uffizi one of the greatest art galleries in the world. I personally would suggest it is the most over-rated art gallery in the world. Give me the Tate, the Met or the Alte Pinakothek any day.

    The Uffizi, not surprisingly contains Italian religious art. In my view, this has got to be some of the most boring art in the world. I had been looking forward to this highly rated art museum and came away totally disappointed. This gallery simply cannot compare to the other great art museums in the wold as it simply exhibits some of the most boring set of painting and sculptures I have ever seen in one place. The Medicis may have been great collectors of art, but their unbridled enthusiasms for the "local boys" really resulted in a rather one-sided and boring collection that really should be missed.

    The only work in the gallery that I really enjoyed was Botticelli's "Birth of Venus". Pretty well everything else (with the exception of El Greco's "St John the Evangelist and Francis" are truly second rate. Yes, they do have a few minor pieces of some of the great Flemish, Dutch and German artists, but these are really rather token.

    Unique Suggestions: Skip the Uffuzi; it really is a major disappointment,

    Fun Alternatives: Skip it and the Academia and head to the Pitti Palace.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Sit down Cafe's around Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio

    by FQ1 Written Jul 25, 2011

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    Sat down with wife and ordered two soft drinks, 11 euros, fly men, avoid.

    Unique Suggestions: go into a shop and buy a can instead for 1-2 euros. sit down on a bench and drink it.

    Fun Alternatives: Don't go to Florence, whole city is geared up towards fleecing tourists from the tourist tax you pay when checking into your hotel, to the extremely expensive museum admission fees to the ridiculous cafe prices, rent an apartment in rural tuscany and see the real country and spend a day in Florence at most.

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  • Around the city

    by mariflo Written May 4, 2011

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    How not to love a beatiful city like Florence? It is a romantic place, full of history and art with his incredible museums and old building especially in the city centre. Florence is situated in Tuscany and it is a important University centre and historical heritage; it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Tourists from all over the world are fascinated by little streets in the city centre, by arts and by architecture. You can visit the Cathedral and near you can look the paintings of Renaissance artists in the IUffizi Gallery. The thare are Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Pitti.

    I sleep in bed and breakfast Riverbanks, in city centre located, near the major museums and discopub. It is very nice and very cheap. You can meet funny people and the staff is very kind, help you in all situations. The rooms have the bathroom and the tv, also wi-fi. If you want book in this bedandbreakfast Riverbanks visit the website: www.riverbankshotels.com and look the prices.

    Unique Suggestions: Florence is a little city, so you can visit quickly in one or two day. The city has a good organizzation for the tourists with hotels, guest house, bed and breakfast and many other solutions for all family. Specialized staff will help you everywhere, in museums, in the historical buildings. In Florence there is also a lot of fun, in Santa Croce, with pub, discopub, disco and places to drink some cocktail.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Public transports:automatic vending machines

    by tan1415 Updated Feb 18, 2011

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    Hi All,

    Public transport in Italy is very cheap and very good. While in florence we made use of this. Esspecially the new trams.
    We bought our tickets from a vending machine. Real simple and worked as a charm. Till we wanted our money back after the machine cancelled a purchase.(Wanted to buy more than 1 ticket and machine got stuck)
    These machines doesnt return ANY money back. Instead you get vouchers that you must exchange for money at the trainstation.
    These machines do not refund money on cancellation , but it doesn't return any change either. Instead of change...you get another voucher.

    Of course when we wanted to get our refund the office was close. So we end up with almost 10€ worth of vouchers.

    Well lets face it...as tourists we get screwed when using public transport everywhere. But this must be the worse.

    I would almost call this a scam. It's so weird to me that a machine wont return teh money you just put in or return change.
    Hopefully other machines in Italy arent like this.

    Unique Suggestions: Anyway my advice...the public transport is great. Just watch out when buying tickets from these machines. Or use exact change when buying.

    And if you do get these vouchers. The office is at SMN. Just be warned they arent open 7 days a week. Its not the same as where they sell traintickets etc.
    You can ask the ticketsellers booth in SMN where this office is.

    Also be carefull buying more than 1 ticket. The machine couldnt handle it and froze up...with our money still in it. It cancelled the transaction and we didnt get our money back.

    Fun Alternatives: Like I said...dont worry using the public transport. You can buy tiuckets from the newspopaerstands instead.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Queues

    by Redang Updated Sep 11, 2010

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    Museo Casa di Dante (Florence, Italy)

    Something I want you to know (and many visitors of Florence have the same opinion), is that Galleria della Accademia and especially Galleria degli Uffizi but not the case of Museo Casa di Dante (pic) have long queues. It's bad to waste a lot of time just for a few euros, no to mention if you have to wait in the sun or under the rain and in cold weather.

    Book in advance, it lets you go there at a given time; you can even choose it when booking. The reservations are made by phone, and if you don't have a good command of italian (although I suppose there are many languages to choose from, I don't know), ask your hotel to book for you. The museums charge 3 euros (Sep. '07), but it is wortwhile, believe me!

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  • Gelato Scam in Ponte Vechio Via Por Santa Maria

    by ovniologo Written Aug 3, 2010

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    Went to gelateria/yogurteria between #3 and #5 on Via Por Santa Maria just right after leaving the Ponte Vechio Bridge to the north going Via Por Santa Maria the first one in the left side. Of course they don't have a Web Site because this is a scam business I asked how much, they answer me, "do you want the small one then?, which flavor?". I did not ask again we order 5 gelatos and they charge us 9 Euro each. This is another way of being a thief, period.

    Unique Suggestions: Ask, Ask, Ask for price, please these people are expert arguing with all the people that they scam they are very smart thieves.

    Fun Alternatives: Just ask the price they don't display prices.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Loooong lines at the Uffizi and Accademia!

    by Jefie Updated Jul 1, 2010

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    People waiting in line at the Accademia
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    It's possible to skip the line at some of Florence's museums by booking tickets on line at http://www.firenzemusei.it/. It costs an additionnal 4 Euros to make the reservation, and you must pick a date and time. This system, though it must be great for those whose prime reason for visiting Florence is to see the Uffizi or Accademia, also has for side effect that it's nearly impossible to get in without a reservation! The lines are ridiculously long and if like me you don't like to be tied down to a schedule when you travel and would rather not book tickets in advance, then chances are you'll have to choose between wasting precious hours of your time in Florence by waiting in line or skipping the Uffizi and Accademia galleries all together. We ended up picking the second option. We only had 3 days to spend in Florence and with so many things to see and do, we decided to leave the Uffizi and Accademia for another time.

    Unique Suggestions: If your heart is set on visiting the Uffizi and Accademia, make sure to book your tickets at http://www.firenzemusei.it/. Tickets are available for the Uffizi, Accademia, Palazzo Pitti, Bargello and Medici Chapel, but unless you're traveling during peak tourist season you really only need to book in advance for the Uffizi and Accademia. You can also try getting up REALLY early and go stand in line first thing in the morning.

    Fun Alternatives: There are several other museums in Florence that are less popular but still worth visiting, especially the Bargello and Palazzo Pitti. Art lovers will also discover many masterpieces hidden in the churches of Florence.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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    Careful buying ticket at Palazzo Pitti

    by LostBoyPN Written May 28, 2010

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    The Botticelli was one of the few highlights
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    When you get to the ticket office for the Palazzo Pitti you've got a couple of options. One is for 8.50 Euro which will get you into the Royal Apartments and other rooms of the Palazzo. The 10 Euro ticket only gets you into a couple of rooms in the palace (not worthwhile) and the Boboli Gardens. To see all of it? Do the math. It's expensive.

    It's quite ridiculous to be in the palace and have employees refuse entrance 'cause you don't have the right ticket. It's good for some rooms/floors but not others. Why don't they have one ticket for the Palazzo and one ticket for the Gardens? Dumb.

    Unique Suggestions: If you want to see the main parts of the palace, buy the 8.50 Euro ticket. For outdoor Boboli Gardens, the 10.

    Fun Alternatives: There are a ton of other museumes in Florence. Go to one of them instead.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • Restaurant Traps In Florence

    by plasma800 Updated Jan 17, 2010

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    The restaurants in Florance play some funny games to get a little more money from you. Be careful of items added to your bill you didn't order, or items brought to you table you did not order.

    Also watch the receipts for the words Servicio Incluso or NOT Incluso. Sometimes even with the tip added, they will cover that up with their hand hoping you tip them anyway.

    Keep a running count of the items you ordered (2 coffees, 2 entrees, 1 desert, 4 wines = totals 9 items) When you DO see the receipt, the itemized one you almost have to beg for, count the items. Some receipts do not say anything more than ITEM 6,50 ITEM 7,60 ITEM 3,00, so knowing the count helps when there are 14 items on the tab.

    Fun Alternatives: If your budget isn't so tight then tip them any way. You will find in Florance that there is just a small tight group of restaurants so you will probably be back at the same place if you stay there for days. If you can tip them again, they love you when you come back, invite you in, find you a great table, drinks come fast.

    If you are on a super budget, mind your receipt, remember BE NICE about it. You represent up all while there so be polite but it's ok to be to the point. Make them fix your bill and then give them a tip and tell them how much you enjoyed your time and food there. Event then, when you go back, they will welcome you in.

    If someone else drops something off at your table that you didn't order and you do no want to pay for it (which you will if you choose to leave it on your table) POLITELY but firmly get the attention of the person that dropped it off STRAIGHT away and put it right back on the tray. this is usually done by someone other than your waiter and will probably include items that you DID order. It's possible that they maybe though they bring you something good like an espresso or some orange liquor, you might just wanna consider keeping it .. think fast though. No matter what, don't get up tight about it all, you're there to enjoy your time in such a beautiful city with beautiful restaurants and scenes. Don't let a lousy 8 euro ruin your day. If you're that worried about 10 bucks you might should stay home in the first place. Italy is not a place to under budget.

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

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  • JoostvandenVondel's Profile Photo

    The Accademia : Sorry, a bit of a trap.

    by JoostvandenVondel Updated Aug 7, 2009

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    Guess Who?
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    Ok. So this may even be the main site for tourists when they are in Florence. The Accademia (or Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze) is of course the home of Michelangelo's David, located in a rotunda, called the Tribuna, built especially for its display.

    Admitedly, this iconic statue is an incredible sight to behold. It was sculpted by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504 and stands 5.17 metres (17 ft.). The great marble portraiture of the Old Testament king is unique in the fact that many 'Davids' are usually portrayed with the slain head of Goliath at his feet; however, Michelangelo seems to capture the moment just when David is about to strike his foe. The intenstity in his eyes is matched by the power etched into the portruding veins of his mammoth hands.

    The rest of the Accademia, although small, contains a collection of priceless Renaissance works, yet these seem to be almost completely overlooked by most visitors (I myself was the victim of my own curiosity and hurried over to see the King, ignoring most of what the rest of the collection has to display). To tell you the truth, it is the most impressive piece in the collection and your entry fee really goes to pay for a glimpse of this world recognised statue.

    Unique Suggestions: Reserve ahead of time by ringing up the museum. Once there, go to the main entrance and you will see where you need to collect your advance tickets.

    If you haven't booked, arrive very early, preferably on a Sunday morning. I was lucky to have arrived very early and waited a mere 15 minutes (and that was in August).

    Don't feel cheated by the visit. Linger around the David, walk around the statue and try and view him from each perspective. After, get out quickly and make time for something much more enriching, such as the Convento di San Marco, just a block west.

    Opening times from Tuesday to Sunday: 8:15-18:50 (often one day is extended into the evening hours, especially during the summer - check ahead of time).
    Closed: Mondays, Christmas, New Year's, 1 May
    Entry (adult): € 6,50
    Reduced entry: € 3,25
    Be careful, with special exhibitions the cost of a ticket can rise to €10.00

    Tel: 055 294883 (don't worry, they speak English)
    Cost of pre-booking : € 4,00

    Via Ricasoli 58-60, 50122 Florence

    http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/english/accademia

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

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    Online Booking for museums

    by jorgec25 Written Jun 16, 2009

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    Avoid buying an online ticket for the main museums like the Uffizzi or the Pitti. You pay for the ticket, plus the reservation, plus the online fee. In all , tickets can cost twice the usual price. They say that if you buy online you avoid the large queues at the ticket office, but there are alternatives.

    Unique Suggestions: If you want to buy a ticket in advance, you can get it the day before, for instance, at some ticket agencies. There's one at the Orsanmichelle church, near the Duomo. This way you don't pay the online fee.

    Fun Alternatives: Get to the museums about 20 min before opening time, and the queues are not long. At least in May, when i visited Florence.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

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    Beware of restauration works

    by jorgec25 Written Jun 9, 2009

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    Some of the smaller monuments are undergoing some major restauration works, but they still charge you a full price ticket, even though you cannot see most of the place.

    The Medici chapel for instance, is almost all covered up, and the entrance fee is very expensive.

    Unique Suggestions: Always find out if there are on going restauration works in the monuments before you purchase the ticket.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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    Beware of the Tourist Menus

    by jorgec25 Written Jun 9, 2009

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    When choosing a tourist menu at a restaurant, check if the price shown on the menu really includes everything (service, covert, taxes, etc.).

    Unique Suggestions: If you really want to order the fixed tourist menu, be advised that when you seat at the table the waiter will bring you a menu that does not have that option.
    You should ask for the fixed price menu, and he will bring you a different menu, so you can choose the available options.

    Fun Alternatives: Most of the times it’s better to choose an option from the menu and a glass of wine. You have a lot more choice, and the final price is about the same.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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    Not all leather is created equal

    by fishandchips Updated Jan 13, 2009

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    There is a lot of 'cheap' leather in Florence. Most of the shops have demonstrations of adding gold edging etc etc but please be aware of the leather that you are buying. Some of the cheap stuff is actually hide pulped and pressed into leather sheets - these sheets are used to make coats, bags & other items. The sheets can rip easily, unlike real leather, though this is not so easy to do when looking at something you like.

    My advice is to shop around and avoid the 'leather factory' places. If the price is too good to be true then it probably is - try to buy from reputable shops even if it is a bit more expensive! Having said this, Mum purchased a cheap and chearful leather wallet for Dad in 2003 from a stall and it's still in one piece!

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Florence Tourist Traps

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