Things to know before traveling to Florence

A jewel of stunning Italian Renaissance architecture. full of charm history and culture sweet life From every Renaissance stone and statue

The choices of things to see and do in Florence are plentiful. as well as tourist groups Despite the city’s modest size and thriving atmosphere, it’s confidently safe.

Careful planning in advance is key to getting the most out of your visit to the Tuscan capital, and to avoid disappointment too: book too late (or not at all) and you might miss out on meeting the charming nude male warriors of the Tuscan capital. Michelangelo in “flesh,” or wave over the majestic cityscape displayed on the Duomo’s iconic dome. Here’s what you need to know before visiting Florence.

Book tickets before your visit to guarantee time in front of Michelangelo’s David © Reed Kaestner/Getty Images

Plan a trip to Florence

Are you a museum lover or a festival fan?

before you arrive Think carefully about what you hope to get out of your Florence trip. And make sure your travel goals are in line with the season. Florence has something to offer world explorers every month of the year. Each season is different and interesting.

For example, those who wish to visit museums, galleries and the extraordinary historical monuments of the city. It’s best to plan a winter trip when the museum is at its most empty. while festival-goers dance the night away in parks or public plazas. late spring or summer

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Think of your travel budget and lifestyle.

Florence is compact. This makes it easy to travel from A to B no matter where you are. Each neighborhood has its idiosyncrasies, quirks, practical advantages – and prices. when the crowd uncomfortably crammed the historic center to the point of explosion Choosing the right location is extremely important. Instead of the tourist-heavy streets around the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria, choose the quiet San Marco, hip Oltrarno across the river. or suburban area

Cut Carbon and Arrived by Train

Most visitors fly to Florence or Pisa airports. Although both are far from the city. (Florence Airport, connected by tram in 20 minutes to the city center, is close to both airports), but Stazione di Santa Maria Novella’s train hub is central and the most convenient. Traveling from Venice, Milan, Rome, etc.

Look up at the frescoes by Masaccio, Masolino and Filippo Lippi in the Brancacci Church.
Frescoes of Masaccio, Masolino and Filippo Lippi in the dazzling Brancacci Church – be sure to book in advance © photogolfer/Shutterstock

Book tickets for popular festivals and attractions in advance.

Tickets to Italy’s oldest art festival, Maggio Musical Fiorentino, are gold dust. So be sure to buy your tickets online at least two or three months in advance. Buying tickets for Philharmonic and Opera concerts at the theater of the same name also requires advance planning. The same goes for the temporary blockbuster art exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi.

one month before departure Log in to buy tickets online for Florence’s most sought-after museums and galleries: Uffizi, Galleria dell’Accademia. and the iconic Renaissance-era dome that crowns the Duomo. You also won’t have to waste time queuing for tickets.

Book a guided tour backstage discovery and practical workshops

This incredible, low-capacity, and extremely popular sights are only accessible by guided tours and must be booked in advance, including the Cappella Brancacci, Capella dei Magi, the Duomo’s rooftop terrace, and the Vasari Corridor since the late 1960s. . 2022 Lots of great activities for families. backstage tour and events organized by MUS.E in museums and medieval towers around the city. Best to get online reservations before leaving home.

abandoned car

Don’t even think about coming to Florence by car. Parking is a nightmare. and most of the historic center is inaccessible to non-residents.

Reserve a table at one of the city’s most popular restaurants.

Reserve a table a few days or two weeks in advance. depending on the season Featured in Florence’s most sought-after restaurants: the manicured La Leggenda dei Frati in the garden, Essenziale, the three-Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri and the two-star Santa Elisabetta among the crowd. other

Etiquette in Florence

A woman withdraws euros to buy several colorful leather handbags in Florence.
Expect to pay in cash at Florence’s many boutiques, markets, restaurants and bars | © Innocenti / Getty Images

Always have cash on hand

Many restaurants and hotels offer cash only. So make sure you always have a few euros in your wallet in this little family-run shop. Instead, check what types of payments are acceptable before you sit down. Look for a handwritten sign. Perhaps it appears in the window.

Do not attend mass or picnic on the church steps.

Florence’s history is littered with old churches and Renaissance churches at every turn. Most of them still hold mass every day. While some churches cannot be visited when services are available. But some allow curious visitors to enter if they remain at the back of the church, not wandering and behaving in a respectful and non-intrusive manner.

All churches enforce strict dress code. The villagers are strictly respected. AND YOU SHOULD RESPECT: No shorts, miniskirts, sleeveless (the shoulders must be off) or plunging necklines.

There’s a good reason why the city closed church entrances several times a day in the past: dining on the church steps was not allowed. heading to the river bank Choose Florence’s gardens and parks, or have a picnic on the tree-shaded square instead.

Leave the selfie stick at home and turn off the “flash”.

Or stash it well in your bag and only pull it out when you’re alone. Intrusive selfie sticks are prohibited in the Uffizi, Galleria dell’Accademia. and other bustling Florentine Museums.

Smartphones are not illegal. But do the right thing and avoid showing your smartphone in front of others. Especially when they are trying to reflect on world-class art. Photography without flash is allowed in museums and art galleries.

Shop locally to support Florentine artists and artisans.

Tacky mass production souvenirs. (Think David packaging apron and boxer briefs) are omnipresent. Not least at the market in Mercato Nuovo, which is full of cheap handbags and other leather goods. Dreamed of getting a genuine leather jacket made in Italy? Ditch the tourist trap stalls for Benheart boutique’s hand-sewn leather crafts.

Shoppers eager to delve into the city that has been synonymous with handicrafts since the Middle Ages will find many workshops and boutiques in Oltrarno.

respect for public art

with outdoor Renaissance sculptures marble statue and ancient fountains that are decorated in abundance The center of Florence is a gigantic open-air museum. (and glorious) Don’t climb or climb these public works of art for attraction, either for photography or for play. and tell the children to do the same.

Health and safety in Florence

drink proper water

The tap water in Florence is safe to drink. Although the locals rarely drink it. in restaurants and restaurants You will be given options .Automatically mineral water (bottled water), natural (still) or bubble wine (sparkling). Requesting a pitcher or jug ​​of tap water is strictly prohibited.

Avoid walking around the city alone late at night.

If you are sensible and use common sense You should feel safe and comfortable in Florence. Still, we recommend that you avoid the late-night Santa Maria Novella area when alone. And in dark, narrow alleys, sticking to a well-lit main thoroughfare is always a better idea.

beware of pickpockets

Crowds always attract pickpockets. So be wary of overcrowded places like Piazza del Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and around the San Lorenzo Marketplace. Also, be on the lookout for crowded buses to Piazzale del Michelangelo, Fiesole and the airport.

Buy tickets only from ticket offices and official websites.

Outside of Uffizi and elsewhere in Florence, there is a lot of propaganda and vendors advertising “cross the line” tickets, don’t buy them. Only use official museum channels to buy tickets.

Don’t be intimidated by illegal street vendors – they are just humans!

Florence has its fair share of illegal street vendors beating knockout selfie sticks. Smartphone power bank and charger poncho and umbrella (The second it rains), water bottles, etc. are generally harmless. Usually a polite “no” is enough to dispel them.

Eat and Drink in Florence

A woman walks past a patron sipping coffee at Caffè Gilli in Florence.
Espresso drinkers are most welcome at famous cafés like Caffè Gilli – don’t wait too long © Juliet Coombe / Lonely Planet

Pay for coffee and cake before boarding the bar. You don’t have to wait long!

As elsewhere in Italy, drinking a coffee at a bar in Florence will cost you less than sitting at a table. In the city’s historic cafés like Caffè Rivoire and Caffè Gilli at Piazza della Signoria, pay for your order straight away at the cashier. Then show your receipt to the bar staff to collect your drink. Espresso is called for this reason: it makes your coffee stop short, crisp, and sweet standing at the bar.

eat rags

Invest the time to learn about Florentine cuisine and sample most of the local cuisine. There’s no better way to spice up Florence’s street culture than a panino dripping on a pea. green sauce Try the Trippaio Sergio Pollini at Piazza Sant’Ambrogio in Santa Croce or at the Old World Da Vinattieri, an alley beside the Chiesa di Santa Margherita (District). Dante’s parish)

Dress up to eat, drink, or dance after dark.

A sense of style is important to Tuscany. who takes pride in dress and appearance and for those who care beautiful figure (Making a good impression) is extremely important.

Avoid shorts, miniskirts and sandals. unless you are at the beach and always Dress up in restaurants, bars and clubs. Smart-casual outfits cover every situation. Sneakers tend to frown after dark.

Don’t order a cappuccino to finish the meal.

It doesn’t fly. A short, crisp espresso is your only self-respecting choice.

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