Florence Guide

Florence

The birthplace of the Renaissance. Florence is a vibrant living museum that celebrates the works of the world's greatest artists such as Michelangelo, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli.

Florence hosts the world's most celebrated storehouse of Renaissance art and architecture, and is often referred to as being one enormous art museum, with more important art treasures per square meter than any other city in the world.

City Breaks: Florence is nestled amongst the idyllic green hills of Tuscany and has become one of Europe's most popular year-round city break destinations. Florence is relatively compact which helps it retain a sense of intimacy and romance, but still manages to offer a remarkable selection of museums, sculptures, galleries and great cuisine all of which are guaranteed to impress.

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Visitor information

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Compare Cheap Flight Ticket Deals to Florence FLR & Pisa PSA direct from the following UK airports:

British Airways - London Gatwick LGW & City Airports to Florence
Iberia - London Gatwick LGW to Florence.
Swiss Air - London Heathrow stop/via Zurich ZRH (cheapest) to Florence
Easyjet - London Gatwick to Pisa PSA
British Airways - London Heathrow to Pisa PSA

Short City Break: Start planning you Florence short stay adventure now and you'll soon be enjoying the rich culture & exciting cuisine that Florence has to offer.

Florence River Arno

Sights and Attractions: Easily enjoyed on foot and set on the banks of the Arno below the wooded foothills of the Appennines, this beautiful city encourages discovery. Visit the palaces, museums and galleries or simply be drawn in amongst the lavish architecture that crowds the narrow streets. Stroll around the elegant buildings and piazzas and you'll quickly understand why Florence inspired so many great artists.

Visit the Uffizi Gallery the oldest gallery in the world located in the former palace next to the Palazzo Vecchio. Collections include the greatest works of the Renaissance commissioned largely by the Medici family, works include Botticelli's (Birth of Venus). The Uffizi is often sold out so book your tickets in advance. Also visit the Galleria Dell' Accademia which contains Michelangelo's original David.

Florence Santa Maria del Fiore

The Duomo of Florence (Santa Maria del Fiore) is a famous landmark that most associate with Florence. This magnificent Cathedral dominates the city with stunning views from its 115-meter cupola and Giotto's Bell Tower.

Take a stroll across the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, Florence's most famous bridge over the Arno. The bridge is best known for its shops which are located along the bridge. Across the Arno you'll find the Pitti Palace & Galleria Palatina, the former palace is now a art and clothes museum, the lovely & relaxing Boboli Gardens are located directly behind the palace. For the best views of the city visit Piazzale Michelangelo and then onto San Miniato al Monte to visit one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Italy.

Sightseeing saving tips: If you're visiting the above sights consider purchasing the Florence Pass. The pass will give you access to Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery and the Florence Duomo, all in one ticket! The pass also gives you accessto Brunelleschi's Dome. The Florence Pass includes a downloadable audio guide app with commentary as you pass famous landmarks in Florence, with commentary triggered as you pass each landmark.

Eating out in Florence: Florence has many restaurants serving Tuscan and international cuisine. Some of the best are the small friendly trattoria around the Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Top Tip: Try a Florentine Steak served chargrilled and rubbed with fresh garlic & Italian herbs, washed down with a good local Tuscan (Chianti) wine.

Climate: Florence and the Italian region of Tuscany, is generally mild with a transitional Mediterranean climate, with relatively mild winters and hot, sunny summers.

Florence Palazzo Vecchio

Florence Public Transport: Florence is relatively compact so is best discovered on foot. However there are reliable bus, tram or train services, with the 'City Line' providing bus routes through the city and past most of the main tourist attractions. Bus services also include the Hop-on & Hop-off double decker 'open top bus' that also serves the main tourist hot spots.

The Florence public bus network is divided into two segments, with the city centre network called 'Le City Line de Firenze" which is a small network of 4 routes servicing a small area around the historic centre. You should buy your bus tickets in advance from authorised sales points (coffee shops, tobacconists, newsagents etc) as buying direct from the driver is more expensive and often change will not be given. To activate your ticket you need to validate it by inserting your pre-purchased ticket into the validating machine (after you have boarded the bus), the date and time will then be printed on the ticket.

The Florence City Tour: This is a good tour to start with and will help you get your bearings. The tour takes just 1 hour with buses departing most of the year. The route is 16km long and snakes through the city centre with 15 stops on the way, from Santa Maria Novella station to Piazzale Michelangelo.

Popular Tours away from Florence:
(1) The Pisa Afternoon tour. This tour includes a trip to the site of Italy's famous leaning tower. Plus Piazza dei Cavalieri, Piazza dei Miracoli and the Cathedral and Baptistry.
(2) The San Gimignano and Siena tour: This tour consists of a full day excursion lasting approximately 9 hours which takes you through the picturesque Tuscan countryside to the mediaeval hilltop village of San Gimignano, then onto Siena, the venue for the Palio horse race.
(3) Chianti Wine Tour: A popular tour visiting the Chianti countryside with a visit to a castle farm for wine tasting and a snack.

Shopping in Florence: Italian fashion can be found at the Via della Vigna Nuova. Try the flea market of Piazza Ciompi for bargains, also visit the large street market at San Lorenzo. The medieval Ponte Vecchio is famous for hand-crafted jewellery and traditional goldsmiths.

Florence Amerigo Vespucci International Airport (IATA: FLR). The airport is situated on the north-west outskirts of Florence, just 4 miles (8km) from the city centre.

Pisa Airport Galileo Galilei (IATA: PSA). The airport is located 85km (50miles) from Florence.

Airport Transport and Shuttle Services:
Florence Airport: The Tram is the public transport of choice, the shuttle tram runs from the airport to the center of Firenze. This new tram service, the T2, runs from the airport to the Unita stop close to the central station. The shuttle tram runs every five to ten minutes and ticket prices start at € 1.50 per person.

The Florence AirportBus Shuttle is called Volainbus and operates approximately every 30 minutes between the Airport and a bus stop close to Santa Maria Novella train station, located just outside the city centre.

Pisa Airport Monorail and train, the shuttle monorail departs Pisa airport for Pisa central, from Pisa central train station you catch a direct train to Florence.

The Pisa Airport Bus Shuttle is called Caronnatour and is a direct service into Florence. The journey time is approximately 1 hour and runs 10 times a day, the arrival point in Florence is at the Guidoni tram stop and at night at Santa Maria Novella. From the Guidoni stop you can take the T2 tram to the center of Florence.

Taxis's are available but it is advisable pre-book in advance, however the 85km taxi journey can be quite expensive.

Car Hire: All major car rental companies are represented at Florence & Pisa airports, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.

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