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City map Florence

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    Good to know

    Florence – a brief overview

    Laden with World Heritage sights, world-class art and fabulous food, Florence really seems to have it all. The difficult bit is choosing what to see when, and navigating your fellow travellers who throng the city’s medieval centre keen to get a glimpse of the world’s most iconic Michelangelos, Botticellis and Brunelleschis.

    But while famous canvases and Renaissance churches and palaces certainly deserve your attention, be sure to make some time for a little unplanned la dolce vita: wander the dusty workshops of the Oltrarno, gaze on the glassy morning waters of the Arno and meander through cypress-line gardens for beautiful sunset views.

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    Top 10 sights in Florence

    ListMap
    Florenz, Italien, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Duomo

    Piazza del Duomo
    50122 Florence
    Italy
    Tel: 055 230 2885
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0830-1820
    Sat 0830-1700

    The red-tiled dome of Brunelleschi’s iconic cathedral still soars above the medieval city centre and remains the largest masonry dome in the world. Scale its height up 463 steps to gaze upon it marble ribs, vibrant frescoes and panoramic city views.

    Galleria degli Uffizi

    Piazzale degli Uffizi 6
    50122 Florence
    Italy
    Tel: 055 238 8651
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0815-1850

    Giorgio Vasari’s light-filled gallery brims with the priceless legacy of Florence’s Medici princes. Quite simply, the 1,500 works of art spread over 50 rooms represent the finest collection of Renaissance art in the world.

    Cappelle Medicee

    Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini 6
    50123 Florence
    Italy
    Tel: 055 238 8602
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0815-1800

    Sumptuously decorated with coloured marble, semi-precious stones and Michelangelo’s most beautiful sculptures, the Medici chapel is a fitting resting place for Florence’s greatest princes.

    Mercato Centrale

    Piazza del Mercato Centrale
    50123 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0700-1400
    Sat 0700-1400 and 1600-1900

    Florence’s oldest food market is housed in an elegant 19th-century, iron-and-glass structure and is crammed with stalls selling artisanal salumi, cheese, meat, fresh pasta, olive oil and more. It’s a big, noisy, smelly slice of Florentine life.

    Galleria dell’Accademia

    Via Ricasoli 60
    50122 Florence
    Italy
    Tel: 055 238 8612
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0815-1850

    Built to house the terrible genius of Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture, the David, the Galleria attracts swarms of visitors. Nevertheless his sinewy form, perfect proportions and fierce gaze still stun them into silence.

    Museo di San Marco

    Piazza San Marco 3
    50121 Florence
    Italy
    Tel: 055 238 8608
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0815-1350
    Sat-Sun 0815-1650

    This former Dominican monastery was once home to spiritually inspired Renaissance painter Fra’Angelico and sharp-tongued Inquisitor Savonarola. Its 44 cramped monastic cells are vividly brought to life by Fra’Angelico’s heavenly frescoes.

    Oltrarno

    Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    In an age of mass production, the studio workshops of Florence’s Left Bank neighbourhood are a joy to behold. Welders, goldsmiths, cobblers and bookbinders sand, sweat and sew beautiful books, belts and garments which make for unique souvenirs.

    Giardino di Bardini

    Via dei Bardi 1
    50125 Florence
    Italy
    Tel: 055 290 112
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0815-1630 (Nov-Feb)
    0815-1730 (Mar)
    0815-1830 (Apr-May and Sep-Oct)
    0815-1930 (Jun-Aug)
    closed first and last Mon of each month

    The Bardini garden is a manicured wonder with a baroque stairway and classical statuary amid blooming English-style gardens.

    Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

    Via delle Porte Sante 34
    50125 Florence
    Italy
    Tel: 055 234 2731
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0700-1300 and 1530-1900

    Follow the Via Monte alle Croci south through hillside orchards up winding lanes to reach the marble chapel of San Miniato. Aside from its marble façade and Byzantine-style mosaic floor the sunset views over Florence are fantastic.

    Ponte Vecchio

    Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    This 14th-century bridge lined with glittering goldsmiths shops is undoubtedly Florence’s most famous landmark and sunset views over the liquid gold Arno can’t be beaten.

    Good to know

    Country Information

    Country overview

    Despite incessant praise, travelling in Italy remains one of those rare experiences in life – like a perfect spring day or the power of first love – that cannot be overrated. In few places do history, art, fashion, food and la dolce vita (the good life) intermingle so effortlessly.

    There are sunny isles and electric blue surf, glacial northern lakes and fiery southern volcanoes, rolling vineyards and an urban landscape that harbours more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country in the world. Few places offer such variety and few visitors leave without a fervent desire to return.

    Geography

    Italy is situated in Europe, with a long coastline of approximately 7,600km (4,720 miles) stretching into the Mediterranean Sea and a mountainous northern border adjoining France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. This northern Alpine region contains some of the highest peaks in Europe and is a good area for winter sports.

    In central Italy, Tuscany has a diverse landscape composed of fertile rolling hills, lush river valleys, minor mountain ranges and a long sandy coastline. To the east is Umbria, known as the ‘green heart of Italy’; hilly with broad plains, olive groves and pines, and Le Marche – a region of gentle mountains, rivers and small fertile plains.

    Further south lies Rome, Italy’s capital city. Within its precincts is the Vatican City. The south of the country is hotter, wilder and much, much drier than the north, characterised by dry sierras, rocky mountain ranges and volcanic outcrops, including three of Europe’s most active volcanoes: Vesuvius, Etna and Stromboli. Puglia, the ‘heel of the boot’, is a mixed landscape of fertile plateaus, expansive olive groves and flat, ochre-coloured plains. The islands of Sicily and Sardinia lie offshore to the southwest and west respectively.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Area: 301,340 sq km (116,348 sq miles).

    Population: 61.5 million (2013).

    Population density: 204.0 per sq km.

    Capital: Rome.

    Government: Independent kingdom of Italy declared in 1861. Republic since 1946.

    Language

    Italian is the official language. Dialects are spoken in different regions. German is spoken in the South Tyrol region (bordering Austria). French is spoken in all the border areas from the Riviera to the area north of Milan (border with France and Switzerland). English, French and German are also spoken in the biggest cities and in tourism and business circles.

    Currency

    Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

    Standard time zone

    UTC/GMT +1 hour

    Electricity

    230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are of the two round-pin type.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0900-1700.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2014 period.

    Public holiday note:
    In addition, local feast days are held in honour of town patron saints, generally without closure of shops and offices. These include:

    Turin/Genoa/Florence: 24 Jun (St John the Baptist)
    Milan: 7 Dec (St Ambrose)
    Siena: 2 Jul and 16 Aug, Palio horserace
    Venice: 25 Apr (St Mark)
    Bologna: 4 Oct (St Petronius)
    Naples: 19 Sep (St Gennaro)
    Bari: 6 Dec (St Nichola)
    Palermo: 15 Jul (St Rosalia)

    Rome: 29 Jun (St Peter)
    Trieste: 3 Nov (St Giusto)

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 1 January 2014
    Epiphany: 6 January 2014
    Easter Monday: 21 April 2014
    Liberation Day: 25 April 2014
    Labour Day: 1 May 2014
    Republic Day: 2 June 2014
    Assumption: 15 August 2014
    All Saints’ Day: 25 October 2014
    Immaculate Conception: 8 December 2014
    Christmas Day: 25 December 2014
    St Stephen’s Day: 26 December 2014

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Florence

    ListMap

    With a large student population, Florence’s nightlife scene is split between cafés (that transform into bars in the evening) and trendy enoteche (wine bars) often offering lavish apertivi

    (predinner drinks with free snacks). Clubs don’t get going until midnight and many are outside city centre.

    Coquinarius

    Via delle Oche, 11R
    50122 Firenze
    Italy
    Show on map

    A stone-vaulted interior and a long wine list of Tuscan greats.

    YAB

    Via dei Sassetti, 16
    Firenze
    Italy
    Show on map

    The favourite disco for Florence’s students; over-30s should aim for Thursday night.

    La Cité

    Borgo San Frediano, 20
    50124 Firenze
    Italy
    Show on map

    A bookshop-cum-café-cum-live music den, La Cité attracts the intellectual set.

    Teatro della Pergola

    Via della Pergola 18
    50121 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    From October to April, catch classical music concerts at Florence’s prettiest theatre.

    Twice Club

    Via Giuseppe Verdi, 57r
    50122 Firenze
    Italy
    Show on map

    Dress up for this trendy cocktail club or you won’t get past the bouncers.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Florence

    ListMap

    Tuscany’s passion for earthy, seasonal ingredients is justly famous. Here the classics (such as bean and bread soup and bistecca alla fiorentina) reign supreme.

    As the Tuscan proverb goes, ‘To cook like your mother is good, to cook like your grandmother is better.’

    iO Osteria Personale

    Borgo San Frediano 167r
    50124 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Seasonal products, organic ingredients and fabulously creative cooking.

    La Cucina del Garga

    Via San Zanobi 33r
    50129 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    New York chef Alessandro Gargani revives legendary Garga with rich Tuscan classics.

    Caffè Gilli

    Via Roma 1r
    50123 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Florence’s most historic art nouveau café is located on the old Roman forum.

    Osteria Il Buongustai

    Via dei Cerchi 15r
    50122 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    No frills, shared tables and lots of tasty Tuscan home cooking.

    Trattoria Mario

    Via Rosina 2
    50123 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    A busy, noisy, brilliant trattoria going strong for over 50 years.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Fiesole Summer Festival

    1 June – 31 August 2014
    Website

    Venue: Fiesole Roman theatre.

    Every summer, the Florence Dance Festival takes place at the Teatro Romano in Fiesole, as part of the wider Estate Fiesolana programme of music, poetry and cinema.

    La Rificolona (Festival of the Lanterns)

    7 September 2014

    Venue: Throughout Florence.

    A torchlight procession dating back to the days of religious pilgrimage to celebrate the Virgin’s nativity, with children carrying lanterns all over the city. In Florence, the large basilica of Santissima Annunziata marks her birthday, which is a day of celebration. Today, a market is still held in the square in the form of a huge fair of organic produce preceding the festival. It is very common for most lanterns to be burned by the end of the night.

    Firenze Marathon (Florence Marathon)

    30 November 2014
    Website

    Venue: From Piazzale Michelangelo to Piazza San Croce.

    Annual Florence marathon through the city centre, with over 8,000 runners taking part. Highlights along the route include the Dumo, Ponte Vecchio bridge, Porta Romana and Stadia Comunale.

    Florence Carnival

    17 February 2015

    Venue: Piazza Dante.

    Lively pre-Lenten procession held during the week of Shrove Tuesday, which includes a street festival.

    Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence Musical Festival)

    1 – 30 April 2015 (To be confirmed)
    Website

    Venue: Teatro Comunale, Piccolo Teatro and Teatro Goldoni.

    Along with Bayreuth and Salzburg, the Florence Music Festival ranks among the oldest and most important European music festivals. More than this, it incorporates annual concert, opera and ballet seasons. Today the festival resides at the centre of musical life in Florence, based in the 2,000-seat Teatro Comunale and neighbouring Piccolo Teatro, a small, modern theatre accommodating an audience of 600. Many great conductors – Vittorio Gui, Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Zubin Mehta, von Karajan and Muti – have graced the Comunale, as well as singers of such stature as the divine Maria Callas.

    Scoppio del Carro (The Explosion of The Cart)

    5 April 2015
    Website

    Venue: Florence

    On Easter Sunday, a large wagon is pulled by white oxen in front of Florence’s cathedral to commemorate the knight Pazzo de ‘Pazzi, who planted the banner of the Cross on the battlements of Jerusalem during the first Crusade of 1096. As a gift he received some fragments of the Holy Sepulchre. Upon his return to Florence the stones were used to start the Sacred Fire of Holy Saturday, and were paraded through the city as homage to it in a richly decorated chariot.

    Fabbrica Europa

    3 – 28 May 2015 (To be confirmed)
    Website

    Venue: Stazione Leopolda.

    Avant garde artists and performers create performances and artworks in a former station on the western edge of Florence’s historical centre.

    Festa del Grillo (Festival of the Cricket)

    17 May 2015 (To be confirmed)

    Venue: Parco delle Cascine.

    On Ascension Day in Florence, locals gather in Cascine Park along the banks of the River Arno to celebrate Festa del Grillo, or the Cricket Festival, as a chirping cricket traditionally symbolises the arrival of spring. A multitude of stalls sell cricket-related paraphernalia whilst musical entertainment is organised throughout the day. Synthetic crickets are available in vibrantly coloured wood, cane or wire cages, where they are kept with a large lettuce leaf to sustain them; some have electronic mechanisms to imitate the chirping sound, which is believed will bring good luck.

    Calcio Storico (Historical Soccer Tournament)

    24 June 2015 (To be confirmed)
    Website

    Venue: Piazza Santa Croce.

    More gladiatorial than sporting, the precursor of the ‘beautiful game’ in Italy was a ruthless brawl, designed to keep soldiers fit in between battles. The tradition began in the 15th century – although its earliest origins may have been in Roman times – and was revived in the 1930s. Nowadays, three matches are played in Piazza Santa Croce, by teams drawn from Florence’s four major neighbourhoods, each wearing the representative colours of the district. A parade arrives, headed by the district nobles on horseback. Each game begins to cries of ‘Viva Firenze!’ and continues for a full hour of continuous struggling and scuffling among players dressed in 15th-century costumes before the magnificent Franciscan church of Santa Croce. The ball is in there somewhere.

    Festa di San Giovanni (St John's Day)

    24 June 2015

    Venue: Piazzale Michelangelo, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo.

    Another aspect of celebrations for the saint’s day, involving a ceremonial procession from Palazzo Vecchio, while there are large fireworks displays at night over the Arno river. A popular activity while watching the fireworks is eating gelato, which is similar to ice cream.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Florence

    ListMap

    Sleeping well in central Florence is a competitive sport. Prices are high and the city gets booked solid during long weekends, summer holidays and religious events like Easter and

    Christmas. There’s plenty of choice however, but book well ahead for the best deals.

    Monna Lisa

    Borgo Pinti 27
    50121 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Richly decorated rooms in a Renaissance palazzo complete with a private Italianate garden.

    Relais Modern

    Via Alfonso La Marmora 22
    50121 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Cool white-on-beige contemporary décor with excellent modern amenities.

    Novella House

    Via dei Porcellana 53
    50123 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Quaint and quirky bed and breakfast with spectacular, historic ceiling frescoes.

    Hotel Emma

    Via Antonio Pacinotti 20
    50131 Florence
    Italy
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Excellent-value rooms in an old palazzo with period detailing and a sunny roof terrace.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Saturday, 20.12.2014 05:00

    fog

    temperature


    9°C


    48°F

    wind direction

    wind speed

    1.875 mph

    humidity

    93%

    7 days forecast

    Sunday

    21.12.2014

    16°C / 3°C

    61°F / 37°F

    Monday

    22.12.2014

    12°C / 1°C

    54°F / 34°F

    Tuesday

    23.12.2014

    14°C / 6°C

    57°F / 43°F

    Wednesday

    24.12.2014

    14°C / 6°C

    57°F / 43°F

    Thursday

    25.12.2014

    13°C / 6°C

    55°F / 43°F

    Friday

    26.12.2014

    9°C / 5°C

    48°F / 41°F

    Saturday

    27.12.2014

    9°C / 3°C

    48°F / 37°F

    Climate & best time to visit Italy

    Italy is a great destination to visit year round, particularly if taking a city break, though for the warmest and most reliable weather April to June is the prime tourist season. Most Italians take their holiday in July and August so prices, and crowds, can soar during these months, which are also the hottest of the year. If you’re keen to avoid the main scrum of peak season but still bank on mild weather, late September to October is a good choice.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    18 °C

    64.4 °F

    -10 °C

    14 °F

    21 °C

    69.8 °F

    -11 °C

    12.2 °F

    25 °C

    77 °F

    -11 °C

    12.2 °F

    30 °C

    86 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    35 °C

    95 °F

    1 °C

    33.8 °F

    38 °C

    100.4 °F

    6 °C

    42.8 °F

    40 °C

    104 °F

    8 °C

    46.4 °F

    40 °C

    104 °F

    9 °C

    48.2 °F

    38 °C

    100.4 °F

    4 °C

    39.2 °F

    30 °C

    86 °F

    0 °C

    32 °F

    24 °C

    75.2 °F

    -5 °C

    23 °F

    19 °C

    66.2 °F

    -8 °C

    17.6 °F

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    69 mm

    66 mm

    65 mm

    66 mm

    73 mm

    55 mm

    24 mm

    38 mm

    75 mm

    116 mm

    109 mm

    84 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    4 h

    4 h

    4 h

    6 h

    9 h

    10 h

    11 h

    10 h

    7 h

    5 h

    3 h

    3 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    75 %

    70 %

    65 %

    61 %

    59 %

    56 %

    50 %

    53 %

    60 %

    70 %

    74 %

    76 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan18 °C-10 °C8 °C2 °C75 %69 mm94.3 h
    Feb21 °C-11 °C10 °C2 °C70 %66 mm74.7 h
    Mar25 °C-11 °C14 °C5 °C65 %65 mm84.9 h
    Apr30 °C-2 °C18 °C9 °C61 %66 mm86.8 h
    May35 °C1 °C22 °C12 °C59 %73 mm99.7 h
    Jun38 °C6 °C27 °C16 °C56 %55 mm610.2 h
    Jul40 °C8 °C30 °C18 °C50 %24 mm311.2 h
    Aug40 °C9 °C29 °C18 °C53 %38 mm410.4 h
    Sep38 °C4 °C25 °C16 °C60 %75 mm67.3 h
    Oct30 °C0 °C19 °C11 °C70 %116 mm95.7 h
    Nov24 °C-5 °C13 °C7 °C74 %109 mm113.2 h
    Dec19 °C-8 °C9 °C3 °C76 %84 mm93.1 h
    year40 °C-11 °C19 °C10 °C64 %840 mm896.8 h
    Good to know

    Telephone & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile phones

    International dialling code: +39

    Telephone

    Telephone kiosks only accept phonecards, which can be purchased at post offices, tobacconists and some newsagents.

    Mobile phone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good.

    Internet

    Rome, Venice, Milan and Bologna have now instituted city-wide Wi-Fi hotspots, and the majority of hotels, B&Bs and even farm stays now offer free internet access. In most towns, internet cafés also offer access at €2 to €6 per hour.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Florence

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Via de’Tornabuoni has long been Florence’s fashion thoroughfare, lined with luxury brands and smart shops. For one-of-a-kind artisanal creations head to the Oltrarno, Borgo San Jacopo and Via Santo Spirito. Antique stores lurk along Via Maggio in the Oltrarno while jewellers and silversmiths cluster along the Ponte Vecchio and in central San Marco.

    Markets

    Florence’s Mercato Centrale houses a feast of food stalls with the finer purveyors up on the mezzanine. At the other end of the spectrum, the outdoor stalls in the same location sell fresh veg and lots of cheap clothes, leather goods and souvenirs.

    Shopping Centres

    Other than the small-scale Coin department store you’ll have to head 25 to 30km outside of Florence for outlet malls such as Prada (in Montevarchi), Barberino Designer Outlet (in Berberino di Mugello) and The Mall (in Leccio). Outlet shuttle buses depart from Piazza della Stazione in Florence.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social conventions

    The social structure is heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church and, generally speaking, family ties are stronger than in most other countries in Western Europe. Normal social courtesies should be observed. Dress is casual but smart in most places, and beachwear should be confined to the beach. Conservative clothes are expected when visiting religious buildings and smaller, traditional communities.

    Formal wear is usually indicated on invitations. Smoking is prohibited in public buildings, transport and cinemas. When visiting an Italian home for dinner, bring a small gift of sweets or chocolate, and dress well. Let your host lead when sitting and starting the meal. Take a small portion of what’s on offer as you will surely be cajoled into having another helping. If you do not want more wine, leave your glass full so it cannot be refilled.

    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    Tap water is generally safe to drink. Bottled water is available. The inscription ‘Acqua Non Potabile’ means water is not drinkable. Milk is generally pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Past outbreaks of brucellosis in southern regions means unpasteurised buffalo mozzarella is best avoided. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are considered safe to eat.

    Other Risks

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) also recommends vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, polio and hepatitis B.

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