Travel Resources

Before you embark on your Florentine adventure, consider these valuable resources:

  • Flights: Find affordable options to Florence using our flight search tool.
  • Travel Insurance: Ensure peace of mind with comprehensive coverage for your trip.
  • Car Rental: Explore Florence and the Tuscan countryside at your own pace.
  • Tours: Discover the best experiences with trusted local operators.
  • Packing Checklist: Don’t forget essentials like comfortable shoes and a travel adapter.

Some History First

Florence’s history is a tapestry of art, politics, and innovation. Founded by Julius Caesar in 59 BCE as a settlement for veteran soldiers, Florence grew into a powerful city-state during the Middle Ages. The city reached its golden age during the Renaissance (14th-17th centuries), when it became a center of art, finance, and humanism under the patronage of the Medici family. Florence was the birthplace of iconic figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Dante Alighieri, who shaped Western art and literature. The city’s rich history is evident in its architecture, from medieval towers to Renaissance palaces, making it a living testament to human creativity and ambition.

Florence Today

Today, Florence seamlessly blends its historic charm with a vibrant contemporary culture. With a population of about 380,000, Florence is the most populous city in Tuscany and a major economic center, known for its fashion industry, artisanal crafts, and tourism. The city continues to be a hub for art and culture, hosting numerous festivals, exhibitions, and events throughout the year. While preserving its Renaissance heritage, Florence also embraces modernity with cutting-edge restaurants, boutique hotels, and a thriving university scene, making it a dynamic destination that appeals to history buffs and trendsetters alike.

Is Florence Safe?

Florence is generally considered a safe city for tourists and residents. The city has a lower crime rate compared to many other major European tourist destinations. However, as with any popular tourist spot, it’s important to stay vigilant. Be aware of pickpocketing in crowded areas, especially around major attractions and on public transportation. It’s advisable to take standard precautions such as keeping valuables secure and being aware of your surroundings. The city center is well-lit and patrolled, making it safe to explore even in the evening.

Where is Florence?

Florence is strategically located in the heart of ItalySituated in the Tuscany region, Florence lies in a basin surrounded by hills and mountains, with the Arno River flowing through the city. It is approximately 230 km (145 miles) northwest of Rome and 280 km (175 miles) southeast of MilanFlorence serves as the capital of the Tuscany region and is often considered the gateway to exploring the picturesque Tuscan countryside, famous for its rolling hills, vineyards, and medieval hill towns.

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What is the Best Time to Visit Florence?

Florence can be enjoyed year-round, but certain seasons offer distinct advantages:

  • Spring (April to June)Ideal weather for sightseeing with mild temperatures and blooming gardens. Easter can bring crowds and higher prices.
  • Fall (September to October)Pleasant temperatures and fewer tourists make this a great time for exploring the city and enjoying seasonal foods and wines.
  • Summer (July to August): Hot weather and peak tourist season mean crowded attractions and higher prices, but it’s perfect for enjoying outdoor cafes and evening strolls.
  • Winter (November to March)Cooler temperatures and fewer tourists allow for a more relaxed visit, with the chance to experience Christmas markets and New Year celebrations.

How to Get to Florence & Around

Florence is well-connected and easily accessible:

  • By AirFlorence Airport (FLR) serves domestic and European flights, while larger Pisa International Airport (PSA) offers more international connections.
  • By Train: High-speed trains connect Florence to major Italian cities like Rome, Milan, and Venice.
  • By Bus: Long-distance buses offer budget-friendly options from various Italian and European cities.

Getting around Florence:

  • WalkingThe historic center is compact and pedestrian-friendly, making walking the best way to explore the main attractions.
  • Buses: The ATAF bus network covers the entire city and suburbs.
  • Taxis: Available but can be expensive. Use official white taxis from designated stands.
  • Bicycles: Bike rentals are popular for exploring the city and nearby areas.

Things to Do in Florence

Florence offers an incredible array of attractions and activities:

  • Uffizi GalleryHome to masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, one of the world’s premier art museums.
  • Florence Cathedral (Duomo): Climb Brunelleschi’s iconic dome for panoramic city views.
  • Accademia Gallery: See Michelangelo’s famous David sculpture.
  • Ponte VecchioThe iconic medieval bridge lined with jewelry shops.
  • Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens: Explore the former Medici residence and its beautiful gardens.
  • Piazzale Michelangelo: Enjoy stunning panoramic views of Florence.
  • San Lorenzo Market: Shop for leather goods, souvenirs, and local foods.
  • Basilica of Santa Croce: Visit the final resting place of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.

Where To Stay In Florence

Florence offers a wide range of accommodation options:

  • Historic Center (Duomo area)Central location with easy access to main attractions, but can be noisy and more expensive.
  • Santa Maria Novella: Convenient for train travelers, with a mix of hotels for all budgets.
  • OltrarnoA more authentic neighborhood with charming boutique hotels and B&Bs.
  • Santa Croce: Lively area with many restaurants and bars, popular with younger travelers.
  • Fiesole: Hill town just outside Florence, offering peaceful stays with panoramic views.

Book well in advance, especially during peak season (June-August) and for popular events like Pitti Uomo fashion week.

What To Eat In Florence

Florentine cuisine is a highlight of any visit:

  • Bistecca alla Fiorentina: The famous T-bone steak, a must-try for meat lovers.
  • Ribollita: Hearty bread and vegetable soup, perfect for cooler months.
  • Crostini: Toasted bread with various toppings, often served as appetizers.
  • Lampredotto: Traditional Florentine street food made from tripe.
  • Gelato: Florence is known for its high-quality artisanal gelato.
  • Chianti Wine: Sample the renowned local wine from the nearby Chianti region.
  • Cantucci and Vin Santo: Almond biscuits served with sweet dessert wine.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the Central Market (Mercato Centrale) for fresh produce and local specialties.

Entry & Exit Requirements

As part of Italy and the Schengen Area, Florence follows common EU border policies:

  • EU citizens: Can enter with a valid ID card or passport.
  • Non-EU citizens: Generally need a valid passport and may require a Schengen visa. Check specific requirements based on your nationality.
  • Stays longer than 90 days: May require a long-stay visa or residence permit.

Always check the latest entry requirements before your trip, as they can change.

What To Pack For Your Trip

Consider these essentials when packing for Florence:

  • Comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city’s cobblestone streets
  • Modest clothing for visiting churches (shoulders and knees should be covered)
  • Travel adapter for European outlets
  • Reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and refill at public fountains
  • Italian phrasebook or language app
  • Sun protection, including sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, especially in summer
  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings, even in summer

Remember to pack any necessary medications and a copy of your travel insurance.


The official currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR).

While Italian is the official language, many locals in tourist areas speak English. Learning basic Italian phrases can enhance your experience.

Yes, major credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments in Florence.

Explore nearby destinations such as Siena, Pisa, and the Chianti wine region for a memorable day trip from Florence.