What to see and where to go in Florence
Florence is an open-air museum, a Renaissance wonder, the city has great restaurants, fascinating tours and a fantastic atmosphere in Florence.
Sunny Florence is located in the heart of Italy. The picturesque hills of Tuscany have long been a popular tourist destination. There are several reasons for this: a mild climate, healing thermae, rich nature and, of course, the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Travelers admit that even a short vacation in Florence gives a sea of wonderful memories: aesthetic enjoyment of works of art, amazing shopping, great cuisine.
The main points about the city
Where does Florence begin, sights, accommodations and adventures…
Florence welcomes tourists with its usual hospitality, and every day the Peretola International Airport receives hundreds of guests worried about how to get to the city and where to stay.
There are municipal buses, Florence public transport runs from 6 am to 23:30 at night.
A cab service is available around the clock. Transfer, like a hotel, is best booked in advance.
Respectable and expensive hotels in Florence, as a rule, get good reviews from grateful guests. Cheap hotels offer the appropriate service.
At the same time, inexpensive accommodation in Florence for students is difficult to find: hostels are constantly overcrowded, you need to book in advance. But would a burned out bulb in the lobby or paid Wi-Fi can spoil the mood, if the window is Florentine streets, all leading to the Duomo Square.
Renting private accommodation in Florence is easy, as you can find offers from owners on the Internet.
In the city of Florence there are apartments and rooms for rent, but not everyone can afford it.
For this reason, the main attractions of Florence have become part of the bus routes. Tour operators have done everything possible so that people with little money have the opportunity to visit the Uffizi and Pitti Galleries, to see the paintings of the great masters of the Renaissance, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the statue of David sculpted by Michelangelo, the church, where Beatrice is buried.
Beautiful Florence, its main attractions, as well as free time for photos and market visits are organically woven into the programs of many bus tours.
How do Rome, Florence and a vacation at sea come together in one itinerary?
Italy is a country with excellent roads. Traveling by rented car you can visit several cities and then stay for a couple of weeks in Viareggio or Rimini to enjoy swimming and sunbathing.
Routes to get to the city
You can start your acquaintance with the capital. There are many ways to get from Rome to Florence:
- By plane (ticket price €40, flight duration 1 hour and 20 minutes);
- by bus with a connection in Siena;
- independently by rented car (~350 km).
The fascination of the city comes at first sight. Let’s start with the fact that Florence is located in a magnificent place with a mild climate, lots of sun and greenery. Except that the Arno river sometimes overflows, and then there are floods, which happens ~ once every 100 years.
In 1966, the water rose to 6 meters, then affected the national library, killing 37 people. The rest of the time Florence is beautiful and fresh, a sightseeing tour on foot at any time of the year delivers only positive emotions.
Where to go in the city
One day to fully explore the city of arts is not enough. The best way to see the most interesting things is to take a group tour, in which you usually realize that Florence deserves more attention.
In addition to museums and sculptures there are many cozy corners, where Michelangelo nurtured creative plans and suffered from love Dante Alighieri. Not unimportant and the fact that you can devote a few days shopping, and you can buy everything in Florence, from gold and brand clothes to antiques.
After spending all your money, go to the beach. The Adriatic and Ligurian coast are the places for “lazy” pastime. Another thing – the thermal spas of Tuscany. The picturesque province has become for European intellectuals something like a holiday village, something akin to Voloshin’s Koktebel.
Americans have gone even further: they rent houses for several years and “dissolve” in provincial life.
Comfortable hotels and sanatoriums in the surroundings of Florence allow getting a full course of treatment. Tuscan Baths offer recovery procedures, cosmetic programs, massage, and much more.
This pleasure is expensive, but the effect of stay at the resort is tremendous. Therefore tickets and tours to Florence should be booked in advance.
Classic budget combined tours are designed for a week of beach vacation plus a bus trip around the country. The route usually includes Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa and a beach holiday in Rimini.
What to see in Florence in 1 day
How to see all the sights of Florence in one day and one night?
Travelling on your own in a rental car gives you more freedom of action. You can do a lot in a day, especially if you arrive in the city at dawn. The best time to visit the architectural monuments is early in the morning, when the streets are not yet crowded with tourists.
If you’re well prepared and have a map, you can easily find the sights of Florence on your own and visit the museums. Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi Gallery open early, at 8:30 you can get in almost no queue.
Afternoons are best spent exploring the cathedrals and squares, best with a guide.
You can book tours of Florence in advance via the Internet, the local guide’s story in Russian is usually informative and useful.
The heart of the city is the cathedral square. From morning until dark here crowds of tourists, street artists are working, musicians play, sellers offer to buy souvenirs.
To get an idea of what you can buy in Florence, just visit the central market near the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Hats and scarves, leather straps, wallets and purses, business cards and toys are represented here in huge quantities.
It is better to bargain in Italian or French, not everyone in Italy knows English, the Russian – a few.
For a change, you can just wander around the city, especially if you are traveling with children. Florence offers attractions for all ages. There are beautiful parks, viewpoints, and finally, delicious food.
What to eat and where to eat
The city has many food outlets with a variety of cuisines, from trendy regional to family-friendly.
A full meal at the restaurant consists of the first meat dish, pasta, cheese and “dolce” – dessert.
Vegetable salads, fruit, great cheeses – all fresh and of excellent quality.
Exquisite Florence owes its appeal to another attraction, a description of which can be found in the poems of poets and reviews of tourists. Tuscan wine is distinguished by its lightness, sunny bouquet and a special joy that fills the soul after the first sip.
The Chianti Valley is considered the wine capital. Guests of Florence have the opportunity to taste wine from grapes, lovingly grown in these places.
In the evening, stay up early to admire the sunset. Head to the Lungarno promenade, a favorite walking spot for Florentines. At Benvenuto Cellini Bridge after dark, listen to music and watch street performers.
The most interesting tours of Florence and its surroundings
Exhausted by the contemplation of high Renaissance art, tourists buy excursions from Florence to other Italian cities to see the romantic Venice, the legendary Pisa.
From Florence a little over an hour by bus to Siena (55 km), the same distance to San Gimigliano, where you must necessarily throw a coin into the well, to make the cherished wish come true.
Trains on the route Florence – Pisa are sent several times a day, so even if you do not have a car the question of how to get to the Leaning Tower, solved easily.
A complete Italian vacation is not limited to the masterpieces of great artists in Florence and wine tasting. A trip through the expanse of magnificent green Tuscany allows you to enjoy the quiet, pristine beauty.
Tidy vineyards, olive groves, green hills are good not only in summer, but even in December. Visiting medieval villages, small sleepy towns is a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle.
One of the favorite activities of Russians abroad is traditionally considered a rampant shopping. For shopping, you do not need public transportation, because in Florence all the main shopping points are concentrated in the center.
What to buy as a gift
Comments on what you can buy in Florence and how to distinguish a quality product from a cheap knockoff.
Sellers in stores and markets generously advertise locally produced goods, products of famous couturiers, as well as Chinese consumer goods.
The choice of location and seller depends on what you want to buy in Florence and how much you are willing to spend.
- Modest income of the budget tourist is probably enough only for souvenirs and a couple of bottles of cheap, but still delicious wine.
- Affluent gentlemen are more thorough in solving the problem. Forums on what to buy in Florence, reviews of happy owners of quality things indicate that the shopping here is above all praise. Brand goods from the world’s best manufacturers are sold in stores at reasonable prices.
- Florence, like Milan, is known for good taste. Italians themselves come here for clothes. Choosing what to buy, first of all pay attention to jackets, bags, gloves: leather goods in Florence are of high quality, as evidenced by reviews on the Internet.
- Gold is sold on the Ponte Vecchio bridge. The structure, built in the XIV century, has kept its original appearance, jewelry shops have turned into stores, and the bridge became known as the Golden Bridge.
- Antique and pseudo-antique stores are of great interest to collectors. You can distinguish the original from the kitsch by the price.
- The frivolous gourmets, when asked what they can buy in Florence, always answer unambiguously: olive oil, cheeses, wine, sweets.
A worthy souvenir would be the product of a modern master. Paintings depicting Florence and its attractions, as well as books containing photos and descriptions of cathedrals, squares and exhibitions, are ideal for gifts to friends.
Where to stay in the city
Not every oligarch can afford to buy an apartment in the city, which is called the “soul of Italy”. The happy owners of real estate available to all the joys of the world. Luxurious beaches of Florence are in a hundred kilometers from the city, Liguria or Viareggio can be reached in an hour by car.
If you have enough money, buy a house in Florence – you will not regret it!
What is the public transport of Florence and where to buy tickets?
Russians who are not used to walk long distances usually rent bikes, scooters and cabs. Urban public transportation in Florence is represented by buses and river streetcars.
Buses run according to a schedule, and almost all depart from the train station. Tickets are sold in kiosks, as well as in hotels and bars – wherever there is a bright “ATAF” sign. Tickets cost 1,20€ for 90 minutes, if bought inside the bus you pay 2€. Penalty for bus rides without a ticket is 45€.
Another way to travel around Florence is by bus with a guide who speaks Italian and Russian.
The Sky of Tuscany
Days spent under the skies of Tuscany can completely change the attitude towards life. An ordinary excursion from Rimini or from Rome to Florence becomes an unforgettable adventure.