Tips & Suggestions for Visiting Florence, Italy

 

TIPS & TRICKS ____________________________________

 

General Tips

  • When looking for reviews in Italy, you will find Trip Advisor to be a better source than Yelp, which is less used.
  • For less tourists and more authentic Italian neighborhoods, you may prefer staying across the Arno river, noted on maps as Oltr'Arno

Safety and Security

  • Only use ATMs and bank machines that are INSIDE a glass door of a bank building (not fully exposed on the street)
  • Do not buy street art, you can be ticketed by the police. Also, some of those monies are funneled to organizations you may not wish to support.
  • While Florence is generally safe at all hours, avoid the main train station at night and, of course, don't walk alone late at night down dark alleys
  • Pick pockets will be in the touristy areas:
    • Use bags that zip up
    • Keep the bag's opening in front of you
    • Do not count your money on the street
    • Do not hang your bag on your chair unless it is covered by a coat or nestled against a wall

Etiquette:

  • When using a small sidewalk, allow older people and people walking with the traffic to stay closest to the wall (ie you step into the street)
  • Store owners prefer correct change -- or at least close.  If you don't want to get the stink eye, don't try and use a 20 Euro bill for a 2 Euro coffee & brioche.
  • Bathrooms are generally available to customers only, so purchase a small item before asking to use it.

 

ACTIVITIES ___________________________

For a list of the main attractions in Florence, please visit Trip Advisor:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g187895-Activities-Florence_Tuscany.html

For things to do beyond the more popular stops, such as the Uffizi and L' Accademia):

Oltr'Arno Side (Across the Arno River from the Duomo):

  • San Spirito: Simply designed church designed by Brunellesci with beautiful wooden sculpture of the crucifix by Michelangelo
  • Sunset with a bottle of wine at Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Carmine Church: San Freddiano church of Maria Novella, Carmine  (rent the headphones),
    Visit the small room with a film next to the gift shop to watch the free film and see a version of the last supper
  • Palazzo Pitti & Boboli Garden (10 EU): Palazzo Pitti:  There are several Palazzo Pitti museums, best ones are: Palatina Gallery, Boboli Apartments, and Costume Museum (these can take up to 2 hours); Boboli Gardens can easily take 2 hours; From the top of Boboli Gardens you can exit and quickly enter Fort Belvedere for a view (closed Mondays)
  • Fort Belvedere: Fort atop Florence with art exhibits and spectacular view

Shopping Local:

Cool little shops off the beaten path:

Blogger's lists of Specialty Shops:

 

FOOD _____________________________________________

Meals & Snacks

Happy Hours:

Cool Aperitivos: