Florence Travel Guide

  • Ponte Vecchio at night
    Ponte Vecchio at night
    by GrumpyDiver
  • View of Florence from the roof of the Duomo
    View of Florence from the roof of the...
    by GrumpyDiver
  • Wall of Pinocchio masks
    Wall of Pinocchio masks
    by GrumpyDiver

Florence Things to Do

  • Il Duomo - Santa Maria del Fiore

    Work on the new cathedral, begun in 1296, was interrupted in 1302 when Arnolfo di Cambio died. His place as masterbuilder was taken by Giotto, in 1334. Due to a social situation and certain natural calamities, the construction of the cathedral slowed down. After Giotto's death, in 1337, Andrea Pisano, Francesco Talenti and Giovanni di Lapo Ghini...

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  • Ponte Vecchio

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    one of the most famous Bridge around the world can be found in Florence along the banks of the Arno River. Ponte Vecchio is one of the three old bridges along the Arno River (the other ones nearby are Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie. This bridge is famous for having Medieval Retail Shops built in the bridge which still exist today....

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  • Piazzale Michelangelo

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    part two of my tips with more panoramic pictures of Florence from the Plaza for the most stunning and panoramic view of Florence, you must head to the Piazzale Michaelangelo, located on the southbank of the Arno River along a hillside in the Oltrarno district. This huge Plaza was made in 1869 by by architect Giuseppe Poggi during the time that...

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Florence Hotels

See all 1313 Hotels in Florence
  • Hotel David

    We have stayed with this establishment many times. Initially, it was because they have free parking...

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  • Hotel Spadai

    My first advice is to avoid Yahoo! Maps for this hotel. We printed one before our trip and went the...

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  • The St. Regis Florence

    We didn't have to pay because we were using Frequent Travelor points. This was a 5-star hotel, and...

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Florence Restaurants

  • Trattoria ZaZa

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    I first visited Florence in 2006 and ate at Za/'Za because, according to my guidebook, this trattoria was one of the best for value. And I have to say I agreed. I always passed it on my way back to my hotel, and every time I did so it was full of both visitors and (more importantly) Italians. The latter is my point-of-judgement; if the locals use...

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  • Local Eating

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    In Italy, you do not really leave a tip. If you choose to do so, it's a matter of rounding up a euro or two at the most. Most restaurants basically collect a "tip" in their cover charge which could be a "using table" charge or by charging you for the bread they bring to the table. Some restaurants flat out have a convenience charge of €5.00.

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  • Il Latini

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    We were advised by several folks that "you have to go to I'll Latino" but after hearing about the 'mob scene' at dinner time even with a reservation we opted to try out their lunch. The consists of two dining rooms of tightly arranged rows so our table of two adjacent to the next table with no privacy and heaven help you got stuck next to a cranky...

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Florence Nightlife

See all 168 Nightlife in Florence
  • Ideas

    During Christmas time it's a good choice to go to the Santa Croce church, and visit the piazza there. Sitting outside in december maybe doesn't sounds like a great idea, but the beer carousel at the piazza is really fun! It's not like an amusment park carousel, as it goes around much slower, but it gives you plenty of time to look around at...

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  • Astor Cafe

    Astor is a great place to go at night because it has a good mix of Americans and Italians. Also, there's almost always a really cheap drink deal till at least 12, and they make great drinks! The DJs are usually playing great music too. We go a lot because it's right next to the Duomo and really easy to get to. Their burgers and coffee during the...

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  • Maracana Grill

    This is according to me the hottest place in the whole Florence. At least on Sundays. Or, at least it was... But lets take it from the beginning. Maracana is located in the central parts of Florence. A restaurant/nightclub that has its best evenings on Sundays. Open all week long, except Mondays, but during the week the atmosphere is worse, and...

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Florence Transportation

  • Buses

    Take the SITA bus (the bus station is located across the street from Santa Maria Novella train station). 1.20 hours to Piazza Garibaldi which is a easy walk to any of the city's attractions (if you take the train you will have a much longer walk to the center of Siena).

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  • Trains

    Florence is one of the few Italian cities where the train station is located in the city center. The train station is called Santa Maria Novella (SMN) and was named after the famous Florentine church, which is located opposite the station. Station is spacious, has eight platforms which are used for international, intercity and regional transport...

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  • Driving

    Driving into and parking in Florence is very difficult at best and comes with the risk of a heavy fine. The roads around the city center are a restricted driving area (ZTL) and, if entered without a special permit, you will be fined. There are parking areas around Florence outside the ZTL, but they are expensive the closer to the city. The ones...

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Florence Shopping

See all 270 Shopping in Florence
  • Leather

    Not only is Florence famous for the Cradle of the Renaissance Movement but also as the Leather Capital of Italy as The City was a famous Trade and Commerce Center since the Middle ages and since then, the leather artisans of Florence have perfected their craft and now turn up the finest leather products in Italy like really lightweight leather...

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  • San Lorenzo Market

    Stay Away from this Store. They give you a 50 % discount to attract buyers but you can get the same product at other stores for 30 % Lower than what they sell it to you for. They falsely claim that the products are made in their factory, But you can find the same stuff in other stores. The store will also claim that you can return the products you...

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  • Outlet Mall

    I think that both the Mall and Barberino Designer Outlet deserve to be visited since the shops you find are different. The Mall is located in Leccio, about 20 km south of Florence heading to Valdarno-Arezzo. Here you can find several famous fashion outlets such as Prada, Gucci, Armani Jeans, Bottega Veneta, Roberto Cavalli, Valentino, Tod's and...

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Florence Local Customs

  • Gold Leaf Embossing on Leather Products

    if you buy various leather from the big name leather brands in Florence such as Misuri, Casini,Giorgio 1966, Davide Cerasi, Massiomo, etc. you can have your leather product embossed with your name or nickname (up to 5 characters maximum) whether it is a belt, bag, man bag, wallet, leather jacket, tablet holder, smartphone holder, etc. and this...

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  • Paintings and Street Painters and...

    being a famous Rennaisance City, do not be surprised to see that many attractions in Florence have not only souvenir shops and leather good stores but also enterprising street painters who sell various paintings such as reproductions of the famous works of art of the Rennaisance Masters, street art paintings done in canvass, caricatures of famous...

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  • The Invention of Bankruptcy

    YES. That is the World Famous Ponte Vecchio. Possibly the most famous and photographed bridge in the world. And NO. No, they are not going Bankrupt in this lifetime. They have thousands of Tourists loaded with cash and credit cards here every day. Mostly the businesses are Jewellers and I have to admit all way beyond my budget, but you don’t have...

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Florence Warnings and Dangers

  • Pickpockets

    Having just returned from two week holiday there I’m hoping it might be useful to others for me to recount and hopefully advise. Although I have visited Italy many times over the years I must admit on this occasion to feeling somewhat apprehensive. The reason for this is solely down to reading the reviews of others on the net. My last visit 10...

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  • Shopping

    I don't really know what happened; my Italian isn't good enough, and the shopkeeper couldn't/wouldn't speak English. But is was a most unpleasant experience, and possibly worth relating as a warning. I had purchased a pack of 100 cigarettes (a present) from a small 'Tabacchi' (on Via Cavour, very near Piazza S. Marco). Paid cash, got change, no...

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  • Traffic

    Everywhere! Lots of people, surrounding buildings, mixing with spread statues, filling your photos. I was there in winter, so... I may imagine what happens in summer. It's "forbidden" to make a picture without a multitude of heads and backs.

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Florence Tourist Traps

  • Leather Shops Orientation Tours

    I have included this in my tourist traps as if you are booked in a walking tour of Florence, you will be herded to one or two leather stores wherein the stores will show you the various fine leather collections that they sell of which includes actual wearing of leather jackets and other leather wear and trying the leather bags or belts and other...

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  • 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...

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  • The Accademia

    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. The statue of David is really the only...

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Florence What to Pack

  • General Packing Tips

    We went on July and it was very hot about 32 degrees, so all on our luggage was summer cloth, confortable shoes because you will walk a lot. If you go on winter well take all jumper, trousers, hats, etc is very very cold. Viajamos en Julio en pleno verano y hacía mucha calor sobre 32 grados, así ke toda la ropa de verano que echamos a veces no era...

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  • Comfortable Shoes

    you must wear comfortable walking shoes or lightweight rubber shoes while going on a jaunt here in the fabled Renaissance City of Florence and you can even use a walking cane is you need it to walk around as the area is quite packed full of hordes of tourists like me and most of the attractions can only be accessed by walking as the hop on hop on...

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  • Arms must be covered in Churches

    Florence is a city you can take a suitcase to. The route from the train station to the Duomo area is all sidewalk, with a little cobblestoned areas, but easily travelled. Plus, it is walking distance. If you intend to visit the Duomo, or other churches while visiting, bring a shawl with which to cover your bare arms and shoulders. Or, better still,...

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Florence Off The Beaten Path

  • Architecture

    The Medici were a wealthy banker family that ruled Florence in the 1400-1700s. Much of the town, its buildings, and art have their symbols some place in them letting you know that they were the patrons who commissioned the work. How do you know if this is a Medici commission or not? Here are some of the symbols used – if you look closely (and some...

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  • Local Life

    The original Adventures of Pinocchio was written by Carlo Collodi, who was from Florence. The story of the little wooden puppet carved by Geppetto is set in a little Italian village. The little puppet dreams of becoming a real boy and gets into trouble and is known for telling lies. The story was made famous by Disney with their animated movie...

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  • Daytrip - Fiesole

    The open top buses in Florence have two lines, A and B. A does the center and the real tourist tops in Florence. However with the same 20 Euro ticket you can go on line B. This goes out of florence to a small tow Fiesole. You get to see the lovely Tuscan countryside (sit on the right of the bus facing front to get the best picture opportunities)...

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Florence Sports & Outdoors

  • Swimming pools

    There are various swimming pools in Florence which are very crowded during summer. Here is a link for the most popular ones. During winter pools work on a booked time slot basis.

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  • Firenze Marathon

    The Florence Marathon usually takes place at the end of November. People from all over the world come to Florence to enjoy a run which starts from the Piazzale Michelangelo going through the old part of the town and the Cascine park.

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  • Calcio Fiorentino

    Calcio Storico Fiorentino, or Ancient Florentine Football (sometimes called Costume Football) is an ancient game that is a combination of soccer, football, and boxing. It is one of the most brutal sporting events in the world. Once a way that soldiers prepared for war, it remains as a game for only the very tried and tested. Each team has 27...

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Florence General

See all 471 General in Florence
  • Cities Not to Miss Near Florence

    Siena is a well preserved Medieval town located 30 miles south of Florence. It is set on three hills. One of the main area in this town is piazza del Campo; a large scallop shaped square. It is divided in 9 segments representing the Concil of the Nine that ruled Medieval Siena. In piazza del Campo a historical bareback horse race called “Palio” is...

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  • Where to find Great Views

    OK, so I haven't made a dime on this shot but it has been seen by millions of Minnesotans and anyone who has cruised the VT "Top 10" lists. We were doing our Sunday session with the newspaper awhile back and The Husband said, "Oh look; Florence! Golly, that sure looks a lot like the shot you took of Ponte Vecchio." By golly, it WAS my shot....

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  • How to avoid waiting in lines

    Would you like to see the David without any crowds? Would you want to visit the David and uffzi in 3 hours? We did it. It was one of the magical and surreal sights. Turning right and viewing the David for the first time. The whole place was empty.(The usual stewards were sitting near the walls and pillars out of sight) It was an amazing sight and...

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Top 10 Multi-Generational Destinations: Florence

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

In addition to being the center of Renaissance culture and one of Europe's most beautiful cities, Florence provides a compact, easily-walkable destination for families of all ages. One great thing about Florence is that even if some family members have already visited the city, there are always more things to see, and many of the city's masterpieces are just as thrilling on the second or third visit. Architectural landmarks include the Duomo, topped by Brunelleschi's dome, and the Bapistry, with its exquisite gold doors. No trip to Florence is complete with a visit to the Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria della Accademia, which houses Michaelangelo's David. VirtualTourist members suggest getting timed tickets for both of these museums in advance of your trip; otherwise, the line can be quite atrocious! Women of all ages will enjoy strolling the Ponte Vecchio, the bridge over the Arno River that is lined with gold jewelry shops, and VT members also noted that the Palazzo Medici and the Chapel of the Magi, though not a usual tour stop, is definitely worth the extra few Euros. For those who'd like to explore other Tuscan towns, Lucca, San Gimignano, and Siena are all picturesque and very different from the bustle of Florence.

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Comments (5)

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2015 at 5:35 PM

    Very sad news for fans of the Friends of the Uffizi (Amici degli Uffizi) pass. Effective 6/15/2015, all pass holders are eligible for free priority entry to the Uffizi Galley ONLY: no free entry to the rest of the museums which the pass previously covered. See the website for details:

    amicidegliuffizi.it/diventa_...

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2015 at 6:07 AM

    Coming to Florence between April 30th and May 3rd? Don't miss Gelato Fest! This year's event will be at Piazzale Michelangelo daily from noon to midnight. Buy a tasting card either online or at the fest that allows you 5 generous samples of the varieties in this year's hot competition: vote on your favorite. The card allows you to attend gelato-making workshops and other fun stuff too!
    http://www.gelatofestival.it

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2015 at 3:53 AM

    A local writes on her blog that there may be big changes to the Friends of the Uffizi card this year. The current list of museums the card covers is only guaranteed until April 1, 2015, and some of the institutions may not be included after that date. I'll update this post as more information becomes available but it may be wise for travelers who are considering pre-purchasing the card for trips after 4/1 to hold off until the roster of participating museums has been determined.

  • EugeneM's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    If you're in Florence this summer and want some cool ideas for ways to spend your evenings, check out FirenzEstate http://www.firenzestate.it/en/ - Jazz, pop, rock and classical concerts, opera, theater, dance parties, open-air movies, kids' activities... everything to make your Florentine nights as much fun as your Florentine days!

  • EugeneM's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    25 June, 2013
    IMPORTANT NEWS for visitors to the state museums of Florence (Uffizi, Accademia, Pitti Palace, Bargello, San Marco, etc.):

    The Polo Museale Fiorentino has announced that there'll be a strike of its museum staff on Friday, June 28 from 8:30 until 10:30am. According to the announcement, entrance to the museums during those hours may be limited at best. This is a eufemism for, GONE FISHIN'! If you have a reservation for any of the state museums for the morning of the 28th and don't want to miss seeing all the truly extraordinary things to see in them, my advice is to get there anyway and hope that either they've called off the strike (happens all the time), or that the strike is on but they're still letting in limited numbers of visitors, or that the strike is on and no one's getting in but at least you're near the front of the line of reserved ticket holders when they do open up the gates.

    It's events like this that invite us to turn lemons into limoncello. What would a visit to Italy be without the chance to participate in one of its most beloved rituals - the SCIOPERO!

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Jun 25, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      Bravo, Eugene! And a SCIOPERO is something I'm intimately acquainted with from our last visit to Firenze!

      All the more reason to go eat some more gelato...

 
Explore Deeper into Florence
Mercato Centrale
Shopping
Gucci Outlet
Shopping
Gold Shopping
Shopping
Climbing The Duomo
Things to Do
David Statue
Things to Do
Uffizi Gallery - Galleria Degli Uffizi
Things to Do
Basilica Di Santa Croce
Things to Do
Pitti Palace - Palazzo Pitti
Things to Do
Ponte Vecchio
Shopping
Palazzo Vecchio
Things to Do
Prada Outlet
Shopping
Shoes
Shopping
Where to find Great Shopping
General
Where to find Great Works of Art
General
In General...
General
Public Restrooms
Warnings and Dangers
Where to find Great Architecture
General
Taxis
Warnings and Dangers
Oltrano District
Off The Beaten Path
Food & Drink
Off The Beaten Path
Walking
Transportation
La Giostra
Restaurants
Acqua al 2
Restaurants
City Gates - Porta
Off The Beaten Path
Daytrip - Siena
Off The Beaten Path
Piazzale Michelangelo
Off The Beaten Path
Boboli Gardens
Off The Beaten Path
Ciro And Sons
Restaurants
Don't Forget...
General
Jazz Club Firenze
Nightlife
Al Trebbio
Restaurants
Street Performers...or Beggars?
General
Trattoria La Casalinga
Restaurants
Cabiria Lounge Bar
Nightlife
Maps
Transportation
Da Nerbone
Restaurants
Cycling
Transportation
Golden View Open Bar
Nightlife
Joshua Tree Pub
Nightlife
La Dolce Vita
Nightlife

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