Florence was very much the epicentre of the Italian Renaissance and remains one of the world's top attractions for lovers of art--as such, it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Located in the heart of Tuscany, a stunning province of hills and mountains, the Renaissance capital of the world, with famous sons like Leonardo, Dante, Machiavelli and Michelangelo, is a sight not to be missed.
The world-famous Duomo with the Brunelleschi cupola and the marble clad baptistry are simply stupendous, but not all the monuments are like this. The streets of the historic town centre are often narrow and dark, the palaces robust and intimidating. But have a look at the squares - wonderful Mediterranean places where you will like spending hours sitting down, having a coffee and just watching people passing by.
However, Florence is a city of incomparable pleasure concerning churches, monasteries, museums, galleries and palaces. Among the things you can't afford to miss are the Uffizi Galleries, one of the best art museums in the world, the Duomo, the Santo Spirito church and the Ponte Vecchio. To get a great overview of the city, you have plenty of choices: climb the "Cupolone" of the Duomo or the Giotto Tower, head for Piazzale Michelangelo in Oltrarno (other side of river Arno) or farther up to the church of San Miniato.
The airport is  (code FLR). It has good connections to the center of the city, which can be reached in about fifteen minutes by taxi. The Ataf-Sita "Vola in Bus" ("Fly by bus") service costs €4 one way, and makes the circuit between the airport and the central train station about every half an hour from 5:30AM to 8:30PM, then once an hour afterwards.
Much cheaper flights to destinations throughout Europe can be found at Pisa airport (only a €5.40 train journey from the centre of Florence). Low-cost airlines which fly to Pisa include Thomsonfly, Easyjet, Ryanair, Transavia and HLX.
Local trains from other parts of Italy and express trains from around Europe arrive in Florence. The main station is Firenze Santa Maria Novella, on the edge of the historic old town. Other small stations are Firenze Campo Marte (near Florence Stadium) and Firenze Rifredi. If you take an Intercity train to Florence, you may need to change at Rifredi for another train to Firenze S.M.N.
The train to Vienna takes about 12 hours and costs €70.
Florence is connected by good highways to the rest of Italy. Cars aren't allowed in the small old town centre, so plan on parking your car and leaving it for a while.
Parking is expensive. There's a cheap open air parking between the "Fortezza da basso" and "Santa Maria Novella" railway station. On Sundays it's free!
Bus stops have clear, schematic labelling of the routes and are all named according to the street name or major landmark nearby. They do not always give an indication of bus times, however, so it is sometimes difficult to figure out how long it may take till the next bus arrives. Tickets must be bought in advance from Tobacconists or newspaper sellers, and are usually valid for one hour over the whole network, so that you can just hop on and off at will. They cost €1.20 for 60 minutes, and multiple day tickets are also available. Tickets are also available on the bus, sold by the driver, at an increased price of €2 (therefore, no more excuses in case of ticket control!).
Most of the major tourist sights in Florence are within easy walking distance of each other. Walking is not only an easy way to get around, it also offers the chance to 'take in' much more of the city life.
Much of the town centre is blocked off to cars and anyway moving around in the city centre by car is definitely useless and not advised. Parking is also almost impossible in the city centre. A car can be useful only to reach some destinations just outside the city centre, like Fiesole or Settignano, which are however also connected by bus service. Be advised that at many tourist destinations parking can be difficult and at least expensive. Firenze and surroundings were not built for cars...
Motor-bikes and bicycles are common; pay attention to them since they tend to behave in an apparently disorganised but efficient way, which can put the unsuspecting car driver into trouble.
Some of the hotels actually provide their guest with free bicycles as well.
There is also a bike rental service organised by the city. Bikes can be hired at several points in the city (and returned to the same place), among which the most convenient for tourists is located at SMN station (other locations are at all railway stations, but often with restricted opening hours). Bike shops also rent bikes and some of them organise guided bike tours in the countryside.
Taxis are available, but it's best if you have your hotel or the restaurant you are eating at call ahead. Taxis can be called by phone and the nearest is sent to you through the company's radio system. There is apparently a waiting list, so it is difficult and uncommon to flag them down on the street.
The Uffizi is the most famous, but Florence also has other amazing museums a short walk away with world class artistic treasures.
The Galleria degli Uffizi - Piazzale degli Uffizi, 50122. Tel. 055 294883.  Tu-Sun, 8.15 am - 6.50 pm. Justly one of the world's most famous fine art museums. The collections of Renaissance paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity are superb. There are often long lines (several hours' wait is not uncommon) since even before the doors are open. Useful tip: you can call and make a reservation in advance and walk right in, or buy reserved tickets at the door. This is strongly recommended. The restaurant/caffè has a large balcony overlooking the main piazza with good views of the Palazzo Vecchio. It is a great place to take a break for art lovers making a non-rushed visit to this fantastic collection. This cafe is rather expensive however. Street performers are often seen outside the Uffizi. Admission €10.00.
Bargello. Officially The National Museum of the Bargello, this museum houses one of the best examples of Renaissance and Mannerist sculpture. The works of many great Renaissance sculpters are on display here, including Michelangelo, Donatello, Ammannati, Bandinelli, Andrea and Jacopo Sansovino, Desiderio da Settignano, Giambologna, and Antonio Rossellino. The museum is located near Piazza della Signoria and can be seen in a few hours. Admission is €4.
Accademia. More sculpture, highlights are Michelangelo's David and the unfinished Slaves. The David was recently cleaned in a controversial project. No photography is allowed inside. Wait times can be under one hour in the off-season. It is possible to reserve at the academia in advance and save yourself the long line. Admission is €6.50 (advance booking: €3).
Pitti Palace. On the quieter south bank of the Arno. The former Medici family palace contains galleries of their art and treasures. The Boboli gardens behind the palazzo offer wonderful walks and excellent views of the city and the countryside south of the city.
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo - the Cathedral Museum, with artworks formerly in the Duomo and surrounding religious buildings, including sculptures by Donatello and the losing entries in the contest to design the doors of the Baptistery. Models and drawings of the Cathedral. Worthy.
Institute and Museum of the History of Science. This museum shows the evolution of the instruments used in various scientific fields such as Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy. The room of Galileo Galilei shows some of his original instruments as well as models from his drawings. The room of Spheres and Globes houses an excellent cartographic collection.
For those making longer stays in Florence, the city also has an interesting archaeological museum (the Etruscan art collection is particularly good), a Contemporary Art gallery, and other collections.
American Cemetery of Florence: Arlington-like United States WWII military cemetery. Expansive and beautiful, 6,000 United States soliders laid to rest, fallen in the campaign to liberate Italy from fascism. 20 minute bus ride from the Sita Station, just ask agent (get a return ticket) no cost to enter.
In the old town center:
Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo di Firenze is the city's beautiful cathedral, the symbol of the city. Brunelleschi's huge dome was an engineering feat of the rennaissance. A statue of Brunelleschi is sited in the piazza, with his figure looking upwards towards his dome.
Giotto's Tower - adjacent to the Duomo, you can climb the tower for a magnificent 360-degree view of the Duomo, Florence, and the surrounding area.€6 entrance fee, and requires some tenacity to climb 414 steps.
Baptistery famous for the Paradise door and beautiful interior.
Palazzo Vecchio - old city palace/city hall, adorned with fine art. The replica of Michelangelo's "David" is placed outside the main door in the original location of the statue, which is a symbol of the Comune of Florence.
Ponte Vecchio the oldest and most famous bridge over the Arno; the only Florentine bridge to survive WW2. The Ponte Vecchio (literally "old bridge") is lined with shops, traditionally mostly jewellers since the days of the Medici. Vasari's elevated walkway crosses the Armo over the Ponte Vecchio, connecting the Uffizi to the old Medici palace.
Santa Croce church contains the monumental tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Dante, and many other notables in addition to artistic decorations. There is also great artwork in the church. And when you're done seeing that, a separate charge will gain you admission to the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce, where you can see a flood-damaged but still beautiful Crucifix by Cimabue (Giotto's teacher), which has become both the symbol of the flooding of Firenze in 1966 and of its recovery from that disaster. The Pazzi Chapel, a perfectly symmetrical example of sublime neo-Classic Renaissance architecture is also worth visiting.
Santa Maria Novella, near the train station, is a beautiful church and contains great artwork, including a recently restored Trinity by Masaccio. Also, the Chiostre Verde, to your left when facing the front entrance of the church, contains frescos by Paolo Uccello which are quite unusual in style and well worth seeing, if the separate entrance is open. Off of the church's cloister is the wonderful Spanish Chapel which is covered in early Renaissance frescoes.
Orsanmichele the beautiful old church of the Medici, converted from it's original purpose as a grainery.
San Lorenzo the facade of this church was never completed, giving it a striking, rustic appearence. Inside the church is pure Renaissance neo-classical splendor. If you go around the back of the church, there is a separate entrance to the Medici chapels. Be sure to check out the stunning burial chapel of the princes and the sacristy down the corridor. The small sacristy is blessed with the presence of nine Michelangelo sculptures.
San Marco Convent (1436) houses frescoes by Fra Angelico and Fra Bartolomeo in a series of dormitory cells in which the Dominican monks lived.
On the south bank of the Arno:
A statue at the Boboli Gardens
Boboli Gardens, elaborately landscaped and with many interesting sculptures, behind the Pitti Palace. Wonderful city views.
Santa Maria del Carmine has famous frescos (Masaccio’s Adam and Eve Banished From the Garden and others by Lippi and Masolino) in the Brancacci Chapel
Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo square) plaza on a hilltop with a great view of the city (go there by bus) or climb the stairs and paths from the Lungarno della Zecca.
San Miniato al Monte, uphill from Piazzale Michelangelo, contains a chapel with frescoes by Spinello Aretino. On the cemetry near this church there are graves of famous people of Florence, including Carlo Lorenzi (Collodi) - author of the famous Pinocchio.
Santa Trinita, on the Oltrarno side of the Ponte Vecchio, contains frescos by the brilliant and weird mannerist painter, Pontormo, which are to your immediate right when entering.
See art, eat, drink, see more art, hear music, shop, take a day trip into the Tuscan countryside, people watch, climb to the top of the Duomo or Campanile, see more art, eagerly plan for your return visit.
Take a stroll in the Boboli gardens, stop in the hilltop cafe, grab a drink and a seat outside and enjoy the view!
Go to the "Piazzale Michelangelo" and enjoy the really nice view. It's a big square on hill, but somewhat distant from the traditional tourist sites. It's easy to reach it even on foot using the stairs called "Rampe di San Niccolò". They are on the side of the Arno river just in front of the national library. Do this thing during the summer and during the night to admire Florence's lights.
Get a bike and get out of Firenze. There are magnificent places to ride around the city. Unfortunately, the landscape of the places worth a ride are usually hilly or even mountainous, therefore you need a little of training and stamina most of the times (but effort is not always strenuous and if the road goes too much uphill, you can take it easy or even dismount).
Best destinations are in the Chianti area, where you can fully enjoy the hills and the elegance of the landscape surrounding you, which has been taken care of endlessly through centuries. Strong scents can be enjoyed in Spring. The warm temperatures and usually stable weather in the good seasons can make the ride even more enjoyable.
If you feel more energetic, ascents to Vallombrosa from Pontassieve through Tosi can be very enjoyable. You start from the Arno river plain and you end up in a thick, shady, fresh forest.
In all cases, avoid the hottest hours in Summer and be aware of the traffic, which can be heavy and not cyclist-savvy, until you get in secondary or less populated roads.
The Cultural Center for Foreigners at the University of Florence offers 5 to 10 week courses in Italian language and culture. The preparatory course is suitable for people with no previous knowledge of Italian. The courses are taught entirely in Italian, i.e., they are totally immersive. The staff can help you find student accomodation.
Souvenirs related to art and Florence's sights can be found everywhere. Shops that are not located in the very centre of the city are significantly cheaper.
Books, leather goods, art handcrafted journals, frames, pencils etc. in that gorgeous Florentine paper with swirls of color and gold.
Beware: If the police catch you buying a knock-off version of something with a brand from a street vendor, you can be fined up to €10,000. You'll see plenty of people on the street selling imitation Gucci sunglasses, Rolex watches, and Prada purses for dirt cheap. It's okay if the item doesn't have a real brand on it, but buying a knock-off is illegal.
Madova, 1R Via Guicciardini, ☎ +39 055 239 6526, . A classic for Italian gloves.
Remember that restaurants have separate prices for food to go or eaten standing up versus sit down service; don't try to sit at a table after paying for food or coffee from the restaurant's to go booth. Also ask always beforehand for the price if you want to sit at a table. Otherwise you might be uncomfortably surprised. Cappuccino al banco i.e. standing up might cost €1-3; but at a table €4.
Florence's food can be as much of a treat to the palate as the art is a treat to the eye! There is good food for any price range, from fine restaurants to take out food from window stands. The best price/quality ratio you will find outside the historical center where normal Italians go to eat. The worst ratio is probably in the neighbourhood of Mercato di San Lorenzo where there are a lot of tourist restaurants, while many of the best restaurants in the city are found in the Santa Croce district.
Typical Tuscan courses include Bistecca alla fiorentina which is huge t-bone steak weighing from 500 to 900 grams. It has always price given per 100 grams e.g. 3,5€ etto (etto is "hecto" pronounced in Italian). Crostini toscani are crostini with tuscan liver paté.
There are many gelato (Italian ice cream) stands; some connoisseurs consider the better Florentine gelato the finest in the world. Many times gelato is made in the bar where you buy it. Because of this there are many exotic tastes of ice cream like watermelon, spumante or garlic.
Tuscany is also the wellspring of cantuccini, also called biscotti di Prato. (Please note that in Italian, the singular of biscotti is un biscotto.) It's traditional to enjoy them after a meal by dipping them in Vin Santo ("Holy Wine"), a concentrated wine made from late-harvested grapes, but you can also buy bags of them in stores throughout the city and eat them however you like.
There are numerous caffè and pasticcerie where you can find excellent sandwiches.
Pizza sold by weight is an equally excellent solution for budget dining, as is any caffè displaying a "Primi" card in its window where you'll find pastas and other dishes at low reasonable prices. The delis (rosticcerie) are very affordable (and the food is often quite good), and some also have dining tables if you don't want to take away.
A general rule: the closer you are to the historic old town, the higher the price.
I fratellini, Via dei Cimatori, 38R. Nothing but the essentials: panini and wine from a tiny hole in the wall.
Oil Shoppe, Via S. Egidio 22r; Tel 0552001092, . This quaint deli has affordable (€3-4) hot and cold sandwiches made with a variety of meats, sauces and fresh vegetables. It is open from 10.30 in the morning to whenever the bread (white, wheat and sub rolls) runs out, which is usually between 6 and 7 in the evening. During the peak period of February to June, it can get very crowded in the day with students, but their love for the sandwiches there is apparent in their loyalty. A good mid-day meal to take with you on the go as you explore Florence, Via S. Egidio is not too far off the beaten track. The Oil Shoppe also sells its own extra virgin olive oil, which they generously use in their sandwiches.
Marios The restaurant opens for lunch and they sit you with other people walking into the restaurant. There is a menu on the wall and the food is great and if you can, save room for a secondi (meat plate).
Trattoria da Garibaldi, Piazza del Mercato Centrale 38r ; Tel. 055 21 22 67.
Trattoria Anita, Via del Parlascio, 2r; Tel. 055 218698
"Il Latini" Restaurant, Via dei Palchetti, 6r, 055-210-916. You actually are seated at a table with other people and that is the fun of the restaurant. The owner visits each table and everyone is in a great mood. It is the combination of all that is mentioned above plus the personalities of the waiters make it a fun place to eat, visit and enjoy the whole Florentine experience. At 7:30PM when it opens, you will see a crowd outside the restaurant trying to be first in line - even with reservations! Don't panic. The restaurant is bigger than it looks. Even if you do wait, they bring you wine and cheese to those in line. The line is worth it. You might try and ask the owner if you could see the cellar because that is where there is a small private dining area for wine lovers (group party) and the wine is stored there.
"Palle d'Oro", Via S. Antonino, 43/45R, Tel. 055 288383. Three generations of the same family have managed the restaurant, started as a wine seller (they have also been producing wine). They specialize in Tuscany traditional food. Quality of food is excellent, since they not only are good cookers, but also use very good quality ingredients.
Restaurant Terrazza Brunelleschi Piazza Unità Italiana, 6 - 50123 Florence. Ph. +39.055.23580 - Fax +39.055.23588895. . From the Panoramic "Terrazza Brunelleschi" Restaurant you can catch all of Florence in a glimpse: the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore designed by Brunelleschi and Giotto's famous campanile, the roofs of the age-old buildings of the historical center and the green hills that surround the city on the horizon.
Enoteca Pinchiorri Via Ghibellina, 87 - 50122 Florence. Ph. +39 055 242777 . Situated in the center, near Santa Croce, perhaps the most expensive and exclusive winery and restaurant in Florence. You will choose from a selection of the best Italian wines. Expect to spend more than €100 each, but according to your wine taste, it can easily reach much higher prices. You will be presented with separate bills for the food and for the wine.
Il Cibreo Via Dei Macci, 118/R - 50122 Florence, Ph. +39 055 234 11 00 - Fax +39 055 244 966. In the center near Santa Croce. Vast and great choice of Tuscan food, with highly selected ingredients. €50-100 each.
Gelateria dei Neri, Via dei Neri 20r. Ice cream in many flavors, some experimental, all excellent.
Vivoli, Via Isole delle Stinche, 7/R; Tel 055 292 334. Close to Piazza Santa Croce. Widely considered the best gelato in Florence, but has become a little touristy.
Tap water is obviously safe and the taste is now good enough (it got really nasty right after the flooding and stayed so for many years), but those who still prefer bottled water will find it plentiful. Sample the excellent wines of the region.
Uffizi Museum The bar at this museum offers an amazing view overlooking la Piazza della Signoria, but it's only accessible through the museum, so you'll have to buy a ticket.
Irish Pub Piazza Santa Maria Novella
Rivoire Piazza della Signoria. Founded in 1872 this terrace facing the Palazzo Vecchio is a Florentine institution.
Paszkowski or Gilli. Situated on the Piazza Republica, next to the hotel Savoy. Note that the terrasses on the other side of the piazza are equally pricy.
As elsewhere the price of hotels in Florence has been climbing quickly in the last few years. The golden rule here is if you want something cheap you'll have to stay outside of the historic center. The area around the train station is cheaper, but not as safe, especially for women travelers at night. If you are looking at big chain hotels you should be aware that they are usually quite a ways out indeed, the Novotel for instance is almost at the airport.
Certain hotels, particularly those oriented toward business travelers offer special reduced rates during the weekend (eg. Starhotel Michelangelo) or during slow weeks like Baglioni. Sometimes you can also get a substantial discount by reserving online. In the train station there is a tourist information office which also offers hotel reservations; you can often get good deals through them at the very last minute, but it's not guaranteed.
There are quite a number of one or two-star alberghi within a short distance of the station.
Young women can find accommodation with certain convents at very low prices, and usually in historic locations. On the other hand, you'll have to forget about any late-night Tuscan crazyness.
Camping Michelangelo has a scenic location on the hillside close to Piazza Michelangelo. Usually it is very crowded. It has "house tents" available, which are tents for two people with bunk beds inside.
Hostel Archi Rossi - Via Faenza, 94r. Tel. 055 290804 - Fax. 055.2302601  - Never mind the renaissance-kitsch walls. This hostel is close to the SM Novella train station and not far from the city's main attractions. More importantly: rooms are clean and rates include breakfast and round the clock internet access. Rates from €18 (dorm)
Hostel dei 7 Santi - Viale Dei Mille, 11 Tel. 055.5048452 - Fax 055.5057085  - A recently converted 19th century convent in the Campo di Marte area, 10 min from the center by bus. Rooms are clean and quiet - no earplugs necessary! Rooms start at €15 (dorm)
Bed and Breakfast
Accademia House bed & brakfast of florence, Via san gallo 61, ☎ +39 055 484879 (fax: +39 055 484879). In the heart of the historical centre of Florence, on the first floor of a 1.500 D.C. building
Alloro B&B, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The Alloro bed and breakfast in Florence is located in the city centre and is the ideal budget accommodation for those travellers on a low or medium budget
B&B La Mongolfiera, Via Guido Guinizzelli, 1, ☎ +39 055 5535141 - 333 4024584 - 348 8442384 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055 632090), . Residence la Mongolfiera in the historical center. The Bed & Breakfast La Mongolfiera is the ideal place to stay when visiting Florence and its surroundings
Giulia Residence, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The Residenza Giulia or Julia's residence is located in the Porta al Prato area of Florence only 15 minutes walk from the main square. Run by the lovely Anna and her son David the warmth and hospitality of this charming florentine family will make you feel at home from the moment you set foot in the door! Double rooms start from €60 in low season.
Quartopiano bed and breakfast, ☎ +39 3293149042, .
San Giovanni bed and Breakfast, Via Cerretani 2, ☎ +39 055 288385 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055 213580), . 20 metres from the main square of Piazza San Giovanni€65.
The Relais dell’ Ussero at the Villa di Corliano or at the Ussero Palace are two historical fifteenth century mansions. Villa di Corliano it is very conveniently located only 2 Km along the road from the health spa of San Giuliano Terme (Pisa) and Ussero Palace is in the historical centre of Pisa. Both are near the cities of Lucca and Livorno (a 15 minute drive to both). Florence is only an hour away and Siena an hour and a half.
Airone, Via P.Toselli, 147, . The Airone offers cheap and cheerful accommodation at rooms for as little as €70 a double room. Located 15 minutes from the city centre the Airone is the perfect budget hotel for travellers on a tight budget.
Alba Hotel, Via della Scala, 22, ☎ +39 055.282610 - (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +39 055.212370), . The Alba Hotel is a lovely little three star hotel located in the immediate vicinity of the train station Santa Mara Novella.
Andrea Hotel Piazza Indipendenza, 19,. tel. +39.055.483890 - Fax +39.055.461489. . In the center of Florence, at 5 minutes from Fortezza da Basso and Palazzo dei Congressi and only a few steps from Santa Maria Novella. Doubles starting from €70.
Arizona Hotel Hotel Arizona Florence | Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 2, P. IVA: 04083580482 - Tel. (+39) 055.24.53.21 – Fax (+39) 055.23.46.130 . This three star hotel is located in the historical center of Florence a stone's throw from the only synagogue in Florence. Rooms start from €70.
Ascot Hotel Hotel Ascot Florence via Nazionale, 8/a, 50123 Florence, Italy tel 0039 55 284171 fax 0039 55 212976 . owned and managed by the same family as the Hotel Airone the budget hotel Ascot in Florence is a favourite with young travelers due to it's location right next to the San Lorenzo flea market and some thriving Florentine nightlife. Doubles starting from €70.
Budget Hotel Panorama Via Cavour, 60 - 50129 Florence. Ph. +39.055.2382043 - Fax +39.055.264404. . This family-run hotel is centrally located, just one block away from the Accademia Art Gallery and close to all the main points of interest (all within walking distance). From the breakfast room on the 4th level guests can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
Convitto della Calza Piazza Della Calza, 6 | 50125, Ph. +39 055.222287 | Fax +39 055.223912. . The Convitto della Calza is located in the center of Florence and, in addition to hotel de charme, combines a 16th-century cloister and frescoed rooms with a modern conference center. Rooms from €60.
Hotel Axial, Via dei Calzaiuoli, 11, ☎ +39 055 218984 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055 211733), . Budget hotel enjoying a unique central position, in the main pedestrian street between piazza Duomo, where the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Battistero and Giotto's Bell tower are found, and Piazza della Signoria, represented by Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizzi Gallery.
Hotel Casci Via Cavour, 13 - 50129 Florence. Ph. +39.055.211686 - Fax +39.055.2116461. . This small hotel is very centrally located in a fifteenth century palace and boasts some original fresco ceilings: the building was house and property of the famous composer Gioacchino Rossini during the 19th century. Only 150 yards from Florence Cathedral and 500 yards from the main train station, with the Gallery of the Accademia (David), the Gallery of the Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio and all sights, museums and monuments just a few steps away. Doubles starting from €60.
Hotel Castri Piazza Indipendenza 7, 50129, Florence, . 3 Star Hotel Castri occupies 2 historical buildings right on the edge of the ancient city walls, standing today near the Fortezza da Basso Congress Centre and the enchanting Santa Maria Novella. The Castri also has a 1000m² garden for guests' relaxation and enjoyment.
Hotel Derby Via Nazionale 35, 50123 Florence, Italy T +39 055 2193308 F +39 055 285839 PIVA 05265000488. . Small family run hotel located on the fifth floor of a 6th floor building. All the rooms contain private facilities and the location is convenient for those arriving in Florence by train. Doubles starting from €60.
Hotel Fiorita, Via Fiume, 20 - Ph. +39.055.283189/055.283693/055.2654376, fax +39.0552728153.  (Toll free number from Italy 800.280722), An elegant building in the center of Florence, elegant surroundings and quality services. Rooms have air conditioning, a minibar, direct telephone line, satellite TV and a safety deposit box. Some rooms also have modem sockets. Singles starting from €65.
Hotel Gioia, Via Cavour, 25, 50129 tel +39 3293149042, Ph. +39-055-2398997, . Hotel Gioia is located in Via Cavour, of the historic streets of Florence's old town center, just a stone's throw from the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria. Doubles from €65
Hotel Masaccio, Via Masaccio, 228, ☎ +39 055 578153 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +39 055 578153), . small and budget-friendly hotel housed in a villa built that dates from the beginning of the century.
Hotel Meridiana, Viale Don Minzoni, 25, . Recently renovated 3 Star hotel near Fortezza da Basso Congress Centre offering comfortable and affordable accommodation. Ideal for business clients.
Hotel Pagnini, Via Montebello, 40, ☎ +39 055 2381238 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055 216685), . Hotel Pagnini is a warm and welcoming 3 star hotel, managed by the Cinelli's family putting particular attention on detail in decor with florentine and floral style on prints,antiques,fabrics,ceramics
Hotel Por Santa Maria, Via Calimaruzza, 3, ☎ +39 055 216370 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Right in the center of Florence near Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi gallery, offers comfortable and economical lodgings. * Hotel Rex, Via Faenza 6, Firenze , 50123, ☎ 055/210453 (fax: 055/2382390), . 3 Star near all of the great Renaissance Capital's most valuable jewels. Affordable accommodation in the heart of the city allowing guests to make the most of Florence even on a budget.
Hotel Rosary Garden Florence, Via di Ripoli, 169 - 50126 Firenze - Tel. +39 055 6800136 / Fax +39 055 6800458  - Small 3 star hotel in a residential area of Florence, 10 minutes from the historical center yet near Tuscan countryside. Rooms reflect a British country house elegance, smartly decorated with floral patterns and frescos representing views of Tuscany and Florence. Hotel location is very convenient for those who travel by car, near the exit Firenze South of the Highway A1 (Milan-Rome).
Albergo San Giovanni, Via Cerretani 2, 50123 tel +39 055 288385, fax +39 055 213580,. A characteristic old worldly Florentine pensione located right on the corner of Piazza San Giovanni (the cathedral square). You will enjoy the amazing view from your window of one the world's most beautiful piazzas.
Hotel Ungherese, Via G.B. Amici, 8, ☎ +39 055 573474 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055 571409), . Hotel Ungherese, a typical Tuscan villa, is situated at the picturesque foothills of Fiesole and immersed within the peaceful residential neighbourhood of San Gervasio, yet only minutes from the historical City Centre. The large and comfortable rooms of Florence Hotel Ungherese, of which some overlook a picturesque garden terrace, are distinguished by their typical Tuscan style. The hotel can be easily reached by car where ample parking is available.
Pensione Ferretti Via delle Belle Donne, 17 Italy T +39 055 238 1328 F +39 055 219 288 PIVA 05265000488. . Delightful family run Bed & Breakfast in the city centre. Low cost budget accommodation with authentic Florentine hospitality.
Hotel Alba, Via della Scala, 22/38r, ☎ +39 055.282.610 - 055.211.469 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +39 055.288.358), . Adjacent to the cloisters of Santa Maria Novella in the historical center of Florence, the three antique buildings surrounding the covered courtyard, now our breakfast room.
Hotel Bigallo, Vicolo degli Adimari, 2, 50122 Florence,, ☎ +39 055.216 086 - 055.5216 086, . Moments off the stunning Piazza del Duomo, the affordable priced 3 Star Hotel Bigallo offers that personal touch with only 17 much sought after guest rooms and great views of the Duomo.
Hotel D'Annunzio, Via G. D'Annunzio 141a-b, ☎ +39 055 602960 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055 6193113), . Hotel Villa Gabriele D'Annunzio, a new and prestigious receptive-structure, is placed in a suggestive site in Florence, amongst lots of green, a few minutes from the city centre.
Relais Piazza Signoria, Via Vacchereccia 3, 50123. Tel. +39.055.3987239 Fax +39.055.286306, firstname.lastname@example.org, . Its location allows you to enjoy the treasures of the historic center in complete relaxation. All the principal artistic and cultural attractions can be visited with a simple walk.
Hotel Alamanni, Via Alamanni 35, . In the heart of Florence, just a walking distance from all city sights. Charming and newly first class hotel, The Alamanni Hotel is located at the second floor of a modern palace to the borders of the historical centre.
Hotel Balestri, Piazza Mentana, 7, 50122, Florence, Italy . Charming 3 star hotel founded in the late 19th century offering 46 air conditioned, spacious guest rooms. Located just by Ponte Vecchio, this delightful accommodation is an ideal option for a romantic getaway.
HotelVilla Stanley, Only 20 minutes by car from the historical center of Florence, easy accessible by the hotel's free shuttle bus or by public transport. The architectural beauty of the fourteenth century building, set in a peaceful park, ensures a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere. The hotel also offers a swimming pool and tennis court. The "La Limonaia di Villa Stanley" Restaurant serves excellent Tuscan and Italian cuisine. Spacious parking.
Calzaiuoli Hotel Florence, via Calzaiuoli 6, ☎ +39 055 212 456 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055 268310), . The Calzaiuoli Hotel Florence is located in the very heart of Florence, on the Calzaiuoli street which connects Palazzo Vecchio square to Florence Dome (S. Maria del Fiore Church by Brunelleschi).€99-230 (double).
Club Hotel Florence, via San Caterina di Sienna 11R, 50123 Florence, ☎ +39 055 217707 (fax: +39 055 284872), . This stunning little Florentine Albergo rises well above its station as an affordable 3 Star hotel in Florence. Near its sister hotel, the 4 Star Hotel Santa Maria Novella, on the piazza of the same name, this delightful accommodation offers luxury, comfort and excellent value for money. * Colomba Hotel Florence, via Cavour, 21 - 50129 Florence. Phone: +39.055.289139 Fax: +39.055.284323 firstname.lastname@example.org . Hotel Colomba in Florence has the best of modern comforts and traditional Tuscan hospitality in a 3 star hotel in the heart of the historical city center. * Florence Hotel Sempione, via Nazionale 15, +39 055 21 24 62. Located in the historical center of Florence,  is just 100 meters far from Santa Maria Novella train station, the Congress Palace, Fortezza da Basso (main exhibitions center) and just a few steps from the cathedral and the most important Florentine museums and churches. *Galileo Hotel, Via Nazionale, 22/a, Ph.: +39 055.496645 - Fax: +39 055.496447 . An elegant nineteenth-century building furnished with style in the best of Tuscan tradition, in the heart of Florence. Average prices: single rooms €80, doubles €120, superiors €150. * Hotel Alessandra, Borgo SS. Apostoli, 17, ☎ +39.055.283438 (email@example.com, fax: +39.055.210619), . Situated in Borgo SS. Apostoli, one of the museum-streets of the city centre.
Hotel Botticelli Florence, Via Taddea, 8, 50123, Florence, Italy, Tel: +39 055290905, Fax: +39 055294322, , . 3 Star hotel in the historical heart of Florence located close to all of the most important cultural attractions.
Hotel Carolus, . Via XXVII Aprile, 3 - 50129 Florence - Ph.(0039) 055 2645539, Fax.(0039) 055 2645550 - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The Carolus Hotel, in Florence, is situated in a beautiful neo-classical palazzo built, between the Dominican convent of San Marco and the Fortezza da Basso, near the Orti di Barbano. Located in the historic city center of Florence, close to the Accademia and the Duomo, provides magnificent hospitality for leisure tourists. But also who comes to Florence on business will find the Carolus Hotel an ideal base, conveniently close to the Palazzo dei Congressi, the railway station Florence Santa Maria Novella, and the ring-road giving access to the motorways and the airport. The hotel rooms overlook some of the most celebrated and best-loved churches and monuments of Florence and the hills of Fiesole.
Hotel Corona d'Italia, Via Nazionale 14, Ph.: +39-055 261 501 - Fax: +39-055 288 639 . In the heart of Florence's San Lorenzo district, the hotel is very convenient to the Santa Maria Novella train station. Average prices: single rooms €90, doubles €100, triples €140, quadruples €160.
Hotel Donatello, Piazza Indipendenza, 23, 50129 Florence Ph.: +39 055 4633477 - Fax: +39 055 4625064 . 19th century hotel on Piazza della Indipendenza on the northern side of the city centre. Reasonably priced 3 star accommodation, walking distance to all of the major tourist attractions and in a vibrant yet tranquil zone of restaurants and bars.
Hotel Crocini, Corso Italia 28 - Ph: +39.055.212905 - Fax: +39.055.210171 . In the center of Florence, just steps from the Theater for Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Hotel Crocini welcomes you with a typically Tuscan spirit. Average prices: twin (without private bathroom) €40, triple (without private bathroom) €50, single (with private bathroom) €40, twin (with private bathroom) €50, triple (with private bathroom) €60.
Hotel delle Nazioni Florence, Via Luigi Alamanni 15, 50123, Florence, Italy, Tel: +39 055 283575 Fax: +39 055 283579, , . 3 star hotel in the centre of Florence to the east of the central train station. The location provides excellent access to the main tourist attractions, shopping areas and to the conference centre.
Hotel Executive Florence, Palazzo Storico, Via Curtatone, 5, 50123, Florence, Italy, Tel: +39 055 268346 Fax: +39 055 217451, , . 4 star hotel located in downtown Florence and only a short walk away from most of the main tourist attractions and galleries in Florence.
Hotel Il Guelfo Bianco, Via Cavour 29, 50129 Florence - Ph: +39.055.288330 - Fax: +39.055.295203, . Hotel Il Guelfo Bianco, on historic Via Cavour, in the center of Florence, where past and present blend in comfort. It is in the heart of the city, near the most famous tourist sites and monuments: in 5 minutes by foot you can easily reach Piazza San Giovanni, the Duomo and the baptistery, the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the San Marco Museum and much more. To get to the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery, takes around ten minutes on foot. Prices starting from: Single €105 - Double €130 - Apartments €270
Hotel La Gioconda, Via Panzani 2, 50123, Florence - Ph. +39-055.211023, Fax +39-055.213136,  This 3 star hotel is located in the historic heart of Florence, only a few steps from Santa Maria Novella, at 3 minutes from elegant Via Tornabuoni. Doubles from €85
Hotel La Residenza, Via Tornabuoni, 8 50123 Florence - Ph: 055.2340650 - Fax: 055.240863, . Overlooking the prestigious via Tornabuoni, the Hotel La Residenza hosts travelers in a historical and classically Florentine setting, enhanced with facilities of the highest quality. The luxury of its roof garden with a charming view, makes the Residenza one of the most fascinating hotels in the heart of Florence. Prices: Single from €78 - Double from €110 - Triple from €145
Hotel Paris, Via Dei Banchi 2 - 50123 - Florence - . This elegant 3 star hotel in the deep heart of Florence is a historical building in every sense of the word. Designed and built in the 16th Century by the master architect Bernardo Bontalenti, who spent his life under the service of the Medici Family, the Hotel Paris is unquestionably an integral part of the history in which this legendary city is steeped.
Hotel La Selva, Via di Barberino, 221 - Florence Calenzano - Ph: +39 055. 8876824 - Fax: +39 055. 8876806, . Located on the Tuscany hills, Hotel La Selva distinguishes itself as one of the 3-star hotels in Florence that have opted to incorporate during its remodeling the principles of bioarchitecture. Average prices: Single €40 - Double €55
Hotel Malaspina, Piazza Indipendenza, 24 - Florence - Ph: +39 055 489869 - Fax: +39 055 474809, . Hotel Malaspina, a charming late 19th century residence, enriched with modern comforts for the most pleasant stay possible in Florence. It is close to Fortezza da Basso (5 minute walk), the most important trade show center of the city, Palazzo dei Congressi and Palazzo degli Affari. To get to the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery, takes around ten minutes on foot. Average prices: Single €90 - Double €110.
Hotel Mario's, Via Faenza 89, Ph. +39 055 216.801 Fax +39 055 212.039 . Romantic hotel in the heart of Florence, Hotel Mario's welcomes you in an ambiance of noble Florentine tradition. The hotel is the ideal place from which to comfortably discover on foot the city, the traditional tourist spots and even the less frequented places that are nonetheless just as charming, as well as the famous historical and artistic landmarks, the museums and suggestive areas that have made Florence famous the world over. Average prices: Single €67 - Double €82.
Hotel Mia Cara, Via Faenza, 90 (red) 50100 Florence - Ph: +39.055.216053 - Fax: +39.055.2302727, . The Hotel Mia Cara is a small-scale, simple yet elegant hotel in the center of Florence situated just a short walk from Santa Maria Novella and the Duomo. Prices: Single from €35 - Double from €50 - Triple from €75 - Quadruple from €80.
Hotel Monica, Via Faenza 66 - Ph: +39 055.283804, Fax: +39 055.281706, . Elegance and sophistication just a short walk from Fortezza da Basso and from the Santa Maria Novella Station. The Hotel Monica is the ideal solution for a holiday concentrated on art and culture or for a business trip, thanks to the fact that it is close to the Fortezza da Basso, the enormous international conference center.
Hotel Palazzo Vecchio, Via Cennini 4, 50123, Ph. +39.055.212182 Fax +39.055.216445. . The rooms in the 3 star Hotel Palazzo Vecchio are in the wing of an elegant building from the 1920's in a typical Florentine architectural style.
Hotel Park Palace, ☎ +39 055.222431 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055.220517), . Admire the unique view from your own balcony or bedroom window, have a glass of cool white wine on the terrace, and enjoy the Park Palace, your Florentine Villa.
Hotel Porta Faenza Florence, Via Faenza 77n - 50123, Florence, . Beautiful family run 3 Star hotel by the Fortezza da Basso. Mother tongue English staff.
Hotel Porta Rossa Florence, Via Porta Rossa, 19, 50123, Florence, Italy, Tel: 0039 055 287551 Fax: 0039 055 282179, , . The oldest hotel in Florence centrally located allowing easy access to the main attractions in Florence.
Hotel San Giorgio and Olimpic, Via S. Antonino, 3, Tel: 0039055284344 Fax: 0039055283580, , . Three star family run hotel just a few minutes walk from many of Florences attractions including the Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelos David and the Duomo.
Hotel Villa Carlotta, Via Michele di Lando, 3, Tel: +39 0552336134 Fax: +39 0552336147, , . The 4 Star Hotel Villa Carlotta Villa Carlotta is located in the wooded avenues surrounding Piazzale Michelangelo. It is near to the Pitti Palace and Ponte Vecchio.
Residenza Belli Florence, Via Nazionale, 35, Tel: +39 055 2654648 Fax: +39 055 2654648, , . Residenza Belli Florence is located near the centre in Via Nazionale 35. It is close to the Santa Maria Novella train station and most of of the main attractions in Florence.
Ville sull’Arno, Lungarno C. Colombo, 1/3/5, ☎ +39 055 670971/2/3 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +39 055 678244), . One of the few hotels in the city center of Florence with a swimming pool, Ville Sull Arno's charming group of villas offer a welcoming atmosphere with the combination of old world Florentine charm.
Hotel Ambasciatori, Via Luigi Alimanni 3, 50123, Florence, ☎ +39 055 287 421 (fax: +39 055 214 456), . Hotel Ambasciatori is one of Florence’s premier 4 Star hotels. Located by Santa Maria Novella, this superior 4 Star hotel is ideal for business guests as well as those wanting to enjoy this fantastic city to the max.
Albergotto, Via dé Tornabuoni,13 - 50123 Firenze - ITALIA Tel.: +39 055 2396464 Fax: +39 055 2398108 - email@example.com. . The Albergotto Hotel is situated in the heart of Florence, on the elegant via de' Tornabuoni. Its windows overlook the marvellous Palazzo Strozzi.Recently the Albergotto hotel has been carefully restructured and restored. Guests will find rooms equipped with every modern comfort, elegantly furnished with antique furniture each one different from all the others, quiet and with delightful views. The hotel is within easy walking-distance from historical buildings, churches, museums, shops and boutiques for which Florence is world-famous.
Grand Hotel Minerva, Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 16 - 50123 - Florence - Italy, . Grand Hotel Minerva, situated on Piazza Santa Maria Novella, offers 4 star luxury with classical Florentine décor and a traditional interior design. Ideal for access to all parts of the city and just a short walk from the Duomo.
Hotel Athenaeum, Via Cavour, 88, ☎ +39 055 589456 (fax: +39 055 589456), . The Athenaeum Personal Hotel enjoys a great location in the historical centre of Florence near the Galleria dell'Accademia, exhibiting a blend of classical and modern Florentine design.
Hotel Anglo-American, Via Garibaldi, 9 50123 Florence Italy, ☎ +39 055 282114 (fax: +39 055 268513), . Superior class 4 Star hotel dating back to 1792 offer 114 spacious guestrooms by the banks of the River Arno in the buzzing historical centre of Florence.
Hotel Brunelleschi, Via Santa Elisabetta 3,, ☎ +39 055 27370 (fax: +39 055 219653), . Hote Brunellechi Florence is one of the city's best known 4 star hotels, not least because it occupies the oldest tower in Florence in which there is a private museum.
Hotel Certosa, Via di Colle Ramole, 2, ☎ +39 055.2047171 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +39 055.268575), . The Hotel Relais Certosa is located on 15 acres of a park-like setting surrounded by olive trees, cypresses, pines and oak trees.
De Rose Palace, ia Solferino, 5, 50123, Florence, Italy, ☎ +184.108.40.206.818 (fax: +39.055.26.82.49), . In a former stately home, the sublime Hotel De Rose Palace offers 4 star luxury from the picturesque banks of the River Arno.
Hotel Fenice Palace, Via de' Martelli, 10 - 50129 Florence, ☎ (+39) 055.289942 (fax: (+39) 055.210087), . Luxury 4 Star located seconds away from the Duomo on Via de'Martelli, La Fenice Palace al Duomo offers luxury and the personal touch in one of the world's most romantic cities.
Hotel Diplomat, Via Luigi Alimanni 9, 50123 Florence, Ph: +39.055.2608400, Fax: +39.055.2646525 . One of the newest and most exclusive 4 Star hotels in the city of Florence. Located near Santa Maria Novella, this luxury 4 Star accommodation is just a few minutes from the heart of the historical centre, the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria.
Grand Hotel Cavour, Via del Proconsolo, 3 - 50122 Florence, Ph: +39 055.266271, Fax: + 39 055.218955 . 4 Star luxury hotel in the historical city of Florence, occupying the medieval former noble residence of the Strozzi-Ridolfi families - powerful Florentine families whose history is intertwined with that of the legendary Medici dynasty as well as the Republic of Florence itself.
Jolly Hotel Carlton, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 4/a 50123 Firenze,  Luxury 4 Star hotel just 10 minutes from the heart of the historical centre. Offering value for money at 4 star quality, this welcoming and atmospheric hotel is the ideal choice for a family holiday or weekend getaway.
Hotel Kraft, Via Solferino, 2, ☎ +39 055 28 4273 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055 239 8267), . Enjoy a dramatic view of Brunelleschi's dome or Giotto's Tower while relaxing in the Florence Hotel Kraft's terrace swimming pool (from June to September).
Hotel Santa Maria Novella,  Piazza Santa Maria Novella 1 - 50123 Florence, Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Ph: +39 055.271840, Fax: + 39 055.27184199 located on the by the famous Basilica Santa Maria Novella, is one of the finest 4 Star hotels in Florence. Only a short walk to the Palazzo Vecchio and the rest of the historical centre, this Firenze 4 Star combines luxury with convenience.
Hotel Monna Lisa Florence,, Borgo Pinti, 27 – 50121 Florence . Picturesque 4 Star in the heart of the Tuscan capital, this 14th century building allows guests the possibility to relax in the luxury of a genuine and authentic Florentine noble palace restored to its former glory. Also featuring gym facilities, sun terrace and meeting rooms.
Hotel MarignolleVia di San Quirichino a Marignolle 16, 50124, Florence Tel. +39 055 2286910 Fax +39 055 2047396, . The relais is surrounded by the typical scenery of the Florentine hills, with cypresses and cane-apple trees, broom bushes and pine trees, amongst the scents of lavender, rosemary, time and catmint. A pool with a large solarium, presenting deck chairs and sunning beds, is at guests’ disposal from May to October. Double rooms from €165
Hotel Mediterraneo, Lungarno del Tempio, 44, ☎ +39 055 660241 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +39 055 679560), . The Mediterraneo Grand Hotel Florence is situated in an enchanting and peaceful position on the banks of the Arno River just a short distance away from the city center of Florence in a central.
Hotel Mirage , Via Francesco Baracca, 231 (interno 18) - Ph. +39 055 352011 - Fax +39 055 374096 . An elegant, exclusive and comfortable four star hotel a few minutes from the center. Single rooms from €110, doubles from €140 and triples from €160; apartments from €300 per week.
Hotel Orto dei Medici, Via S. Gallo, 30, ☎ +39 055.483427 (email@example.com, fax: +39 055.461276), . Hotel Orto de' Medici is located in a peaceful position in the city centre just a few steps away from the Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery.
Hotel Pierre, VVia de' Lamberti, 5, ☎ 0039 055 216 218 (fax: 0039055 2396573), . Exclusive 4 star hotel in the centre near Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio, this luxury hotel occupies a 13th century historical building.
Hotel Raffaello, Via Morgagni 19, . Large 4 Star hotel completely refurbished in 2002. Ideal for special events and conferences.
Relais Piazza Signoria, Via Vacchereccia, 3 50122 Florence, Ph: +39.055.3987239, Fax: +39.055.286306, . Relais Piazza Signoria Florence is the perfect solution to experience the historic center of the city to the fullest and to admire its cultural and artistic treasures. Apartments are available in a variety of types that meet the needs of singles, families, as well as those of business travelers.
Relais Santa Croce, Via Ghibellina, 87 50122, Ph: +39 055.2342230, Fax: +39 055.2341195. An age-old noble palace with luxury and refinement in the heart of Florence, between Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo. Relais Santa Croce has two large meeting rooms capable of hosting up to 70 people each and offers all the necessary equipment, from video-conferencing to overhead projectors for multimedia presentations and a hostess and interpretation service.
Westin Excelsior, Piazza Ognissanti 3 Firenze,Italy Ph: +39 055 637710, Fax: +39 055 63771600. In Bagno di Ripoli, a very short distance from the heart of Florence, an age-old country estate; Villa Olmi Resort is an exclusive example of good living offering rare comforts, innovative services, gourmet restaurant, wine bar...
YourTuscany, Florence, Italy Ph: +39 06 68809301, Fax: +39 06 6892771. Luxury villas in Tuscany for rent: enjoy your private Tuscany villa rental for your luxurious accommodation to create your own holiday experience. We propose exclusives Tuscan accommodation: quality villas in Tuscany, Italy and elegant farmhouses for rent.
Since there are a large number of tourists around, the center of Florence is brimming with webcafés and telephone call centers. Most evenings there are long lines for access to the phone-booths.
You can also buy a pre-paid card which will give you a steep discount on international calls by dialing a special number.
Florence is generally safe, but take precautions against the opportunistic thieves common to major tourist attractions - pickpockets and purse snatchers. Savvy thieves congregate in crowds, particularly around Santa Maria Novella train station. If you have a pocketbook with a classy, noiseless zipper, it will be opened.
Also exercise caution on buses: pickpockets can be active on crowded ones and, as everywhere, they preferably target tourists.
Occasionally, some type of beggars can be too much insisting and also hide a thief second nature. Again, nothing new to major tourist spots.
Beware of Stendhal syndrome, namely, dizziness caused by being overwhelmed by Florence's fantastic art. Yes, it's a real syndrome, named after 19th-century French author Stendhal, who suffered from it during his stay in Florence. If you get overwhelmed, rest your eyes and legs, get some food (remember gelato?), and save the rest of Florence for tomorrow.
Florence is a great starting point and base for a tour of Tuscany. Attractive day trips include Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Fiesole and Siena, and of course the wine zone of Chianti. Greve in Chianti is the market town of the Chianti zone and it is in the hills surrounding Greve that you can rent a B&B room or a small apartment on a working vineyard for less than a hotel in Florence. The SITA Pullman buses take you to Greve and Panzano in about an hour. From then on you see few cars and many cypress and olive trees.
If you are to visit one place in Florence, it has to be the Piazzale Michelangelo. It offers an amazing view of the city. There is a lovely walking trail and even a large church, San Miniato, at the top of the mountain. It is a MUST SEE!!!
Fiesole is located in the hills above Florence, only a short bus ride away from the center. It offers a beautiful view of the sunset, and a small museum located on ancient Roman and Etruscan ruins of a temple and an ampitheater.
World War II Florence American Cemetery and Memorial: 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of Florence on the west side of Via Cassia. The Rome-Milan highway passes near the cemetery. Open daily except for December 25 and January 1; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American military dead lost during after the capture of Rome and the battle for the Apennines. A monument is inscribed with the names of 1,409 Americans whose remains were never found or identified. The atrium of the chapel contains marble maps of World War II Italy campaign. Free.
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