Italian Men are always trying...
Italian Men are always trying to charm you, so be forewarned. :) Especially if you sit down on the steps of the Duomo.
Be careful with the gypsies, especially in the buses and trains. Usually they have their children with them, and they tend to send the kid over to anybody in particular to distract them while the mother slyly gets anything of value.
Also:Make sure you don't get ripped off in those stores or in the Piazza Mercato. Always bargain in the Mercato for whatever reason. I even bargained for a better percentage rate when I exchanged my money!
Florence is the PLACE for...
Florence is the PLACE for bargaining;
but don't be fooled....while negotiating, walk away from the vendor. They will most likely go after you (ours did, with a bicycle!) and give you a lower price.
and REMEMBER: start with a really LOW price and work your way up to the price you were willing to spend anyhow!
good luck, and good shopping! :)
The most dramatic sculpture at...
The most dramatic sculpture at the Ufizzi are the articles OUTSIDE the Ufizzi. There were 3+ hour long lines to get in, and once in, much Madonna & Child art, and old man sculptures (ie, busts of old men, not young beefy war gods or anything). If you miss the Ufizzi, take pics outside, and you'll have the best dramatic pieces from the whole place.
Beware of Helpful Strangers
It was our 1st trip to Europe. At the train station in Florence a very nice elderly man offered to help walk our bags to a taxi and to recommend a hotel. We were never mugged or taken advantage of, but taken to a dumpy hotel were there was construction going on next door and across the street. We stayed ther for one night and took off first thing in the morning to find a better hotel.
Fake designer handbags
In many parts of downtown Florence, people will set up displays of "designer" handbags and wallets and try to sell them. DO NOT purchase these because they are obviously not real and they are also on the expensive side. Of course they are much cheaper than a real designer bag, but there are still much better things to spend one or two hundred euros on in Florence.
Unique Suggestions: Just politely ignore the sellers and walk past.
Fun Alternatives: If you must have an authentic designer bag, then take the train or drive about 30 minutes to the town of Montevarchi, where the Prada outlet is located. It's not cheap, but at least you know everything is authentic. If you just want a nice leather bag, then search in one of Florence's many leather stores or even the Mercato Nuovo.
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The biggest waste of money I...
The biggest waste of money I encountered was the Santa Maria Novella museum. Almost everything is being renovated now so I paid my entry fee and saw almost nothing. I would skip this unless you can confirm at entry that renovations are completed.
Flyers are handed out to young...
Flyers are handed out to young people (18-28yrs), promising free entrance at clubs. This is formally correct, but the first drink you pay for will cost you 5 euro extra. (There are special checkboxes for this 'first drink rate' below your drink tab.)
If you are here to shop this is not the place to do it. They are SO overpriced because it is strictly for the tourists.
Ponte Vecchio Shops. I was...
Ponte Vecchio Shops. I was told by some locals that the jewelery sold here is too expensive and that there are other places in Florence that offer equivalent jewels at better prices.
Watch out for paying to much...
Watch out for paying to much for your drinks at Piazza della Signorina. The terrace with the best prices here is 'David'. The others are worse priced. Also at Piazza Repubblica you will pay too much.
The Huge lines at some of the...
The Huge lines at some of the museums. The museums themselves are definately worth seeing and are definately Not tourist traps. Just be patient and be prepared to wait, It really is worth it!
When you overlook at the scene...
When you overlook at the scene of country side at the top of the mountain in the national park, you will get a good feeling... ...
Don't bother buying a ticket...
Don't bother buying a ticket to see the Crypt underneath the Duomo. It is not worth the price of admission. Instead climb to the top of the Duomo or the tower for some great views of the city.
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