An art-lover’s dream city, Florence, Italy boasts over a million works from Renaissance times. Artists and sculptors such as Botticelli and Michelangelo have works housed here. Iconic fashion names, such as Gucci and Cavalli, were born here. The Ferragamos, known for their sagacity in the fashion arena, have transformed the town’s previously stodgy lodging into hip hotels.
Florence’s city center, known as centro storico, is rather small and quite walkable. In fact, many areas have been renovated strictly for pedestrians. There is a system of tiny buses for those who don’t wish to walk, and the system is quite efficient as well. The buses are rather tiny, as they were designed for the navigation of Florence’s narrow avenues, but they are quite comfortable and are completely electric, meaning no emissions. Ride rates are affordable; a 24-hour bus pass costs just five euros. If you’d rather travel by taxi, those are available also but must be hailed at taxi stands or called in advance, as they do not continuously drive in an effort once again to maintain their forward-thinking emissions standards.
Depending on which attractions you would like to see and the time of year in which you are visiting, it’s a good idea to purchase your tickets ahead of time for places like the Uffizi or Accademia, otherwise you may wait hours in line. You can also buy a Firenze card which will grant access to all Florence museums for a discounted price and no waiting.
If you’re planning your stay based on weather, keep in mind that July and August are the hottest months of the year and, at times, unbearably humid. In fact, many locals and shopkeepers will leave or close down during August for this very reason. Spring and fall the weather is much more pleasant, but the crowds can be quite sizable. If you’re less worried about weather and simply want a more leisurely stay, you can avoid the influx of tourists by visiting near the end of November through February. You’ll just need warmer clothing, sunglasses, and an umbrella for occasional showers.
All of this against the backdrop of the rolling, lush green hills of Tuscany will make for a getaway that will remain forever etched in memory.