Florence Travel Tips and Insider's GuidesExplore Florence: Read our expert advice and book travel to Florence.
Florence Article Categories:
- Celebrations and Events (2 articles)
- Eating and Drinking (3 articles)
- Hotels and Lodging (2 articles)
- Insider's Florence Guide (2 articles)
- Museums and Culture (1 articles)
- Nearby Attractions (3 articles)
- Shopping and Markets (4 articles)
- Sights and Landmarks (8 articles)
Starting out early in Florence allows you plenty of time for exploring quieter areas as well as the busy central core section. Purchase picnic makings at one of the many food markets—bread, salami, cheese, fruit and a bottle of wine. Tuscan food is simple but very tasty. Also, plan dinner later in the evening where the locals dine; you’ll find the tastiest entrees in these eateries even though the tab is pricier. Many stores and attractions in Florence close all afternoon, and reopen around 4:30 p.m.
Enjoy balmy evenings along the scenic Arno River with its Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) lined with goldsmiths and jeweler’s shops since 1593. All shops close around 8:30 p.m. but restaurants stay open much later. The pedestrian friendly central core also offers most of Florence’s main attractions including both Pucci and Gucci designer-label shops as well as other boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and markets. One of the largest markets, Mercate San Lorenzo, offers great browsing. And if you wish, most shops will ship purchases to your home address.
For pleasant excursions outside Florence plan short treks to Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano and the Chianti wine country area. You can reach these by tour bus or public transportation. Summer visits can include cultural festivals such as Estate Fiesolana or the Maggio Musicale Florentino, which run from May through August. You’ll find much to see and do for several days in Florence and its environs.