Florence Tourist Information: Advices from Rentals Florence
Tourist information for vacation rentals in Florence
If you plan a holiday in Florence you might want to read this tourist guide for Florence touring, here we give you advices on how o get the best from your holiday in Florence.
During your trip to Florence one of the first tings you have to plan for a pleasant stay in Florence is accommodation: whether you choose a hotel for lodging in Florence or an apartment to rent, accommodation in Florence is a very important part of your travel in Italy.
If you choose hotel accommodation in Florence you will benefit of all the services a hotel can offer, on the other hand apartments in Florence are cheaper than hotels and offer great intimacy and comforts, a home in Florence is a good solution if you are traveling to Florence with your whole family and you want a quiet and convenient accommodation in the historical center of Florence.
Florence touring guide for holidays in Florence
Florence is one of the most important cities of Italy, it has a long history and its artistic masterpieces are known worldwide, therefore is almost impossible to visit all the monuments of Florence, you have to choose what to visit in Florence and you'd better carefully plan your Florence touring so you can have the best tour of Florence. This guide of Florence is not intended as an exhaustive travel guide to Florence, it's more like a sort of friendly advices on what to see in Florence and what to do during your holiday; obviously you choose what you prefer to visit: Florence museums and the artistic beauties are all located in the historical center of Florence so if you rented an apartment in the center of Florence, everything is within a walking distance from your house.
Florence Tourist Information
If you are staying one week or less you have to choose the things you prefer, of course you cannot visit all, but you have to select the most important things.
Your first day will be half a day: probably you arrive in the earl afternoon, you accommodate in your apartment in Florence and then you go out and have a look in the neighborhood.
I suggest a first tour from the Duomo (cathedral), the baptistery and Giotto bell tower, these monument are the religious center of the town and Piazza della Signoria which is the civic center.
When you are in piazza della Signoria have a stop at the box office of Uffizi Gallery and if your program include a visit to this important museum and you don’t have a reservation, reserve an entrance for the day you prefer, you will save some hours on a long line. Reservation and information about the Florentine museums are provided in the Florence Museums section where you can also reserve the entrance to Academia Museum.
You need one hour to visit the cathedral: ask for a free tour inside the church, it is really free, made by volunteers and very interesting. (form 3 p. to 5 p.m.) Then you can climb on the dome, the line is on the left side. There are 645 steps and, of course, no elevator, but when you are on the top you can have a wonderful panorama outside, and inside you can admire the frescoes of the dome. Also the visit to the Baptistery is recommended.
If you have time take via Calzaioli and go to Piazza della Signoria. Do not miss a look at Orsanmichele (on your right) before arriving in the square and then walk around in the square and look the equestrian monument, the Neptune fountain, the Palace and the Loggia dei Lanzi with its famous monuments, most of all the “Perseus” by Cellini.
The second and the third day you can follow your visit including the old bridge (Ponte Vecchio) Pitti palace and Boboli garden, as you are “Oltrarno” you can also visit the splendid church by Brunelleschi: Santo Spirito and also to the Carmine Church and the Brancacci Chapel painted by Masaccio and Masolino. Come back by the ponte a Santa Trìnita (Santa Trìnita bridge) if you are in a shopping mood, here is your paradise! The most famous fashion shops are here in Via Tornabuoni. At the end of Via Tornabuoni keep your left and go to visit one of the most famous churches in Florence: Santa Maria Novella. A treasure full of treasures: first the outside with the Leon Battista Alberti façade and the “avelli” ancient tombs under pointed arches, as in this part of the ancient Florence, there was a cemetery outside the city walls. You need one hour ore more to visit the church, the Chapel and the cloister, do not miss the ancient pharmacy of the monastery (via della Scala 16) where you can buy some natural products, which may be good souvenirs for your friends.
You can spend half a day in visiting San Lorenzo (the church by Brunelleschi, the Medici Chapels by Michelangelo, the Laurenziana library) and walking around in San Lorenzo market, where you can find a big choice of all. From San Lorenzo, go to Via Cavour and visit Palazzo Medici Riccardi with its famous frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli (this is a short visit but very beautiful and interesting) then proceed to Piazza San Marco and the Academia Museum and at least visit Santissima Annunziata Square (by Brunelleschi) where you can admire the tondos by Della Robbia for the Innocenti Hospital, the ancient hospital for children with the wheel where unlucky babies where left. The two twin fountains by Pietro Tacca and now, go near the central equestrian monument, and try to count the flies of the basement without touching them but only looking at them!
From San Marco square you can take the bus nr 7 and go to Fiesole, this is a little town near Florence, you can arrive there in 15 minutes, you can visit the Duomo, the Palazzo Pretorio and the little church attached to it, the archaeological area with the amphitheater, the church of St.Alessandro, all these monuments are around or very close to the central Piazza Mino. Here you can also have a rest sitting in one of the bars or restaurants of the square. Between the Archbishop palace and the church of Sant’Alessandro there is a uphill road which climbs to San Francesco, go there (you can’t miss it) after a few minutes you can admire an amazing panorama of Florence, stop here sometime an then go up to the little church of San Francesco. On the right of the entrance of the church, there is the entrance to the monastery, the door is open, and you can enter, on your left there is a circular stair, go up. Here you can visit in quiet and peace the old cells where the monks lived in 1200 years.
Today you can visit Santa Croce Church, symmetric to Santa Maria Novella regarding the central axis, and equally famous. The Pazzi Chapel and the cloister. After the visit you can go to the near Corso dei Tintori and take the bus nr 13 which in a short time will take you to Piazzale Michelangelo (nobody can leave Florence before visiting it). After taken a lot of photos, go and visit the wonderful church of San Miniato, its façade, its floors, its pulpit and the frescoes of the sacristy will give you a strong sensation.
On the left of Piazzale Michelangelo you can take the road which goes down and, through narrows streets and panoramas, you’ll arrive in San Niccolò (good trattorie and nice places to rest) and from here to Ponte Vecchio.
These are the essential things you can see in Florence if you have more time you can decide to visit some museums: Uffizi and Academia are the most famous and you’d better reserve the entrance in advance by internet or by phone if you don’t like to stay two or three hours in a queue. There are also less famous museums but not less interesting as San Marco Museum an amazing panorama of Beato Angelico frescoes and paintings, or Medici Chapels (in San Lorenzo) with Michelangiolo’s sculptures.
You can also spend some days in one day tours.
There are many tour agencies which can take you to Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti tours etc. You can find them by the tourist information points in Florence, in many tourist depliants or brochures. If you’d rather go by yourself here is what you need to know.
One day tour to Siena and San Giminiano. The best way to get there is by bus, not by train. The bus is more rapid and drives along the beautiful hills of Chianti. There are busses every hour or half an hour and you can buy tickets the day before you decide to go. The bus terminal is in Via Santa Caterina da Siena, near Santa Maria Novella train Station.
Half a day tour to Pisa. The best to get there is the train, frequent trains from Santa maria Novella train Station, one hour length.
One day tour to Lucca and Pisa, Lucca is not far from Pisa so you can spend half a day in Lucca and half a day in Pisa. Of course if you have more time you can spend a whole day in each town.