Florence is small and immense and at the same time, is an open air museum grown more beautiful over the centuries; a treasure chest enclosed by ancient walls that safeguard grandiose masterworks of art and architecture so close that you can almost touch them.
From its magnificent position, the city sits at the feet of the Apennine Mountains in a valley that opens onto the Arno Plain. Its buildings and monuments tell stories of art, war and life. Its streets, today crowded with tourists, are the same ones through which Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante and many others of the most illustrious minds of all time, threaded their way.
Florence is a city rich in places to discover but its dimensions are actually quite small. If time is short, 2 or 3 days are enough to explore a large part of the city's marvels.
NaturArteTravel give you some tips and information about how to be a responsible tourist before and during your stay in Florence:
Planning your travel to Florence:
If you choose to fly, there are three airports serving in Florence and they vary according to which airline you use:
Florence airport “Amerigo Vespucci” (FLR) is located at 5 kms from the city center. It’s connected to all the major Italian cities as well as to numerous European destinations. Once on the airport we put at your disposition our pick up/ drop off transfer service from the airport of Florence to your apartment for only 50 euro one way. Just make your request and we will organize this service for you.
Another option: There’s public bus service connecting the airport to the center of town. (Volain Bus: www.aeroporto.firenze.it).
The airport most used by all of Europe is Pisa’s “Galileo Galilei (PSA), where almost all the “low cost” flights arrive. There’s a shuttle service that brings you to Florence in 70 minutes.
*** Important: Be careful however: traffic can be truly intense on the motorway between Florence and Pisa, creating the possibility of being late and missing your flight! We recommend you the best solution: reach Florence by train, using the airport station.
The 3rd airport is located in Bologna, about an hour’s drive away.
Florence is at the center of the major highway and rail junctions in Italy: the choice of arriving by train is without doubt the ideal one. For train schedule information, we suggest you utilize the Italian railroad website: www.trenitalia.com
If you arrive by car, it’s a good idea to book in advance your apartment with us; we will help you to organize your private parking service next to your apartment.
Florence traffic is horrendous, so we recommend you make your request in advance to help you to book your parking place in the historical center and them just walk to appreciate the beauties of the city.
When you plan your trip, keep in mind that, in the summer time, Florentine temperatures can reach 40° centigrade and in the winter they can drop below zero, even if snow is a fairly rare occurrence. From a climatic point of view, the months between March and September are the best.
If you only have a short time and the trip around the city needs to be essential, you can dedicate the first day to a long walk through the streets and piazzas and the second day to the Uffizi Gallery. Otherwise if you have more days to spend, you can take advantage of doing some sightseeing in the towns around Florence- choose according to your tastes; we invite you to take a look of the “Places to Visit” that we recommend for you from Fiesole to Vinci, Montepulciano, and Chianti until the East of Italy in the coast visiting Le Marche.
Arriving in Florence:
Once in Santa Maria Novella train station already means diving into art, just steps away from the beauties of the city center.
Florence can quite easily be visited on foot or by public transportation. We invite you to visit our space of “Information”.
The most important museums to visit are: Ufizzi Gallerys and Galleria della Academia( David original sculture of Michelangelo), The Duomo is amazing.
Important note: You’ll often to buy a ticket to enter many of Florence's churches. Access to the Duomo is free, while the Belltower, the Dome and the Baptistery have three different entry tickets. If you're courageous and want to try the hike, Giotto's Belltower and the 464 steps to Brunelleschi's Dome will test your athletic preparedness! It usually takes 10/15 minutes to get to the top and since the route is often a tight squeeze and dark, it's not exactly ideal for claustrophobics! But the stress and difficulty are soon only a memory and you'll be well rewarded by the exceptional view from above!
Besides the traditional tours and museums, there are other fascinating things to do, like the "Secret Paths" visit inside Palazzo Vecchio four times a day with the possibility of seeing rooms that are normally "off limits" to the public: entrance to the Palazzo is included in the ticket and, naturally, should be booked in advance.
Sleeping in Florence:
Finding a good place to stay in Florence is easy: Visit “our apartments” that we put at your disposition 100% ensure comfort, fully equipped spaces and personalized service, all with the best location in the city center.
Dining in Florence:
Vacationing in Florence also means enjoying the local products: the wines, the bread, the olive oil; it can truly be a taste adventure discovering new flavors and experimenting with the endless number of local dishes, accompanied by a vast choice of famous Tuscan wines. If you're looking for excellent "value for money", don't forget visit our recommendations: “Gastronomy” you will find the best recommendations of where to eat the best quality of local Tuscan food.