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Weather & best time to visit

Monday, 24.02.2020
18:00 UTC

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Shopping in Florence

Travel etiquette
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Visa & Immigration

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    Florence – a brief overview

    Laden with World Heritage sights, world-class art and fabulous food, Florence really seems to have it all. The difficult bit is choosing what to see when, and navigating your fellow travellers who throng the city’s medieval centre keen to get a glimpse of the world’s most iconic Michelangelos, Botticellis and Brunelleschis.

    But while famous canvases and Renaissance churches and palaces certainly deserve your attention, be sure to make some time for a little unplanned la dolce vita: wander the dusty workshops of the Oltrarno, gaze on the glassy morning waters of the Arno and meander through cypress-line gardens for beautiful sunset views.


    Top 10 sights in Florence

    Florenz, Italien, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore

    Piazza del Duomo
    50122 Florence
    Tel: 055 230 2885
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0830-1820
    Sat 0830-1700

    The red-tiled dome of Brunelleschi’s iconic cathedral still soars above the medieval city centre and remains the largest masonry dome in the world. Scale its height up 463 steps to gaze upon its marble ribs, vibrant frescoes and panoramic city views.

    Galleria degli Uffizi

    Piazzale degli Uffizi 6
    50122 Florence
    Tel: 055 238 8651
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0815-1850

    Giorgio Vasari’s light-filled gallery brims with the priceless legacy of Florence’s Medici princes. Quite simply, the 1,500 works of art spread over 50 rooms represent the finest collection of Renaissance art in the world.

    Cappelle Medicee

    Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini 6
    50123 Florence
    Tel: 055 238 8602
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0815-1800

    Sumptuously decorated with coloured marble, semi-precious stones and Michelangelo’s most beautiful sculptures, the Medici chapel is a fitting resting place for Florence’s greatest princes.

    Mercato Centrale

    Piazza del Mercato Centrale
    50123 Florence
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0700-1400
    Sat 0700-1400 and 1600-1900

    Florence’s oldest food market is housed in an elegant 19th-century, iron-and-glass structure and is crammed with stalls selling artisanal salumi, cheese, meat, fresh pasta, olive oil and more. It’s a big, noisy, smelly slice of Florentine life.

    Galleria dell’Accademia

    Via Ricasoli 60
    50122 Florence
    Tel: 055 238 8612
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0815-1850

    Built to house the terrible genius of Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture, the David, the Galleria attracts swarms of visitors. Nevertheless his sinewy form, perfect proportions and fierce gaze still stun them into silence.

    Museo di San Marco

    Piazza San Marco 3
    50121 Florence
    Tel: 055 238 8608
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0815-1350
    Sat-Sun 0815-1650

    This former Dominican monastery was once home to spiritually inspired Renaissance painter Fra’Angelico and sharp-tongued Inquisitor Savonarola. Its 44 cramped monastic cells are vividly brought to life by Fra’Angelico’s heavenly frescoes.


    Show on map

    In an age of mass production, the studio workshops of Florence’s Left Bank neighbourhood are a joy to behold. Welders, goldsmiths, cobblers and bookbinders sand, sweat and sew beautiful books, belts and garments which make for unique souvenirs.

    Giardino di Bardini

    Via dei Bardi 1
    50125 Florence
    Tel: 055 290 112
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0815-1630 (Nov-Feb)
    0815-1730 (Mar)
    0815-1830 (Apr-May and Sep-Oct)
    0815-1930 (Jun-Aug)
    closed first and last Mon of each month

    The Bardini garden is a manicured wonder with a baroque stairway and classical statuary amid blooming English-style gardens.

    Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

    Via delle Porte Sante 34
    50125 Florence
    Tel: 055 234 2731
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0700-1300 and 1530-1900

    Follow the Via Monte alle Croci south through hillside orchards up winding lanes to reach the marble chapel of San Miniato. Aside from its marble façade and Byzantine-style mosaic floor the sunset views over Florence are fantastic.

    Ponte Vecchio

    Show on map

    This 14th-century bridge lined with glittering goldsmiths shops is undoubtedly Florence’s most famous landmark and sunset views over the liquid gold Arno can’t be beaten.

    Good to know

    Italy / Country Information

    Country overview

    Italy is an extremely popular tourist destination. Its stunning landscapes, fascinating cities and unique cultural heritage are internationally renowned. But it would be impossible to explore the entire country on a single trip. It’s better to concentrate on a few highlights and enjoy the hospitality, style and spirit of the region you choose to visit.

    Italy’s diversity is a big part of what makes it attractive to visitors. Loud, lively Naples; the gently rolling hills of Tuscany; the Renaissance treasures of Florence – the country has an irresistible allure. And let’s not forget Italian cuisine!


    Italy is divided into the Italian Alps, the northern Italian lowlands, the actual Apennine Peninsula, and numerous islands. The most famous islands include Sicily, Sardinia, Elba, Ischia and Capri. The Alps are located in northern Italy and form a natural border with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The country borders the Mediterranean Sea to the south, southwest, and southeast. The Apennines, with their tallest peak of 2,910 meters, stretch across the entire peninsula.

    Northern Italy is home to the Alps, the fertile, densely populated Po Valley, and the Ligurian-Etruscan region of the Apennines. The Piedmont and Aosta Valley regions include some of Europe’s tallest mountains and most beautiful skiing areas. Numerous rivers have their source here; they flow through the Po Valley and the Italian lake district. Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, and Lake Garda are located here. The Po, Italy’s largest river, flows into the Adriatic Sea in the east.

    Central Italy is actually located in the north of the Italian peninsula. Tuscany boasts diverse and beautiful landscapes. Mountains, meadows, and hills await visitors to this region, as do sandy beaches and numerous islands.

    The region of Marche, between the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea, is a mountainous area full of rivers and small, fertile plains. The mountainous regioni (administrative districts) of Abruzzo border Marche to the north. Molise, located south of Abruzzo, borders Puglia to the south. Lazio and Campania are situated on the Tyrrhenian Sea and comprise the western border. Umbria, the “green heart of Italy,” is full of hills and expansive plains.

    Southern Italy extends from Baia Domizia to the Gulf of Naples. Campania is hilly, with flat coastal regions. The southern Italian Apennines are lower than the northern mountains, and the Appennino Neapolitano gently merges into the softly rolling hills surrounding Sorrento. The islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida in the Tyrrhenian Sea also belong to Campania. In Puglia, volcanic hills and secluded moors characterize the landscape. And there are still active volcanoes in southern Italy: Mount Vesuvius to the east of Naples is one of the largest volcanoes in Europe. Calabria, the “toe” of Italy’s “boot,” is sparsely populated and heavily forested.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Area: 301340 sq km (116348 sq miles).

    Population: 60.5 million (2015).

    Population density: 204.0 per sq km.

    Capital: Rome.


    The state language is Italian. South Tyrol is officially a bilingual province, where German is the language mainly spoken. In Trentino, Ladin is taught in some schools.


    Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.


    230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are of the two round-pin type.

    Public holidays

    In addition to public holidays, local feast days are held in honour of town patron saints, generally without closure of shops and offices.

    The public holidays for the period January 2020 to December 2021 are listed below.


    Capodanno (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2020
    Epifania (Epiphany): 6 January 2020
    Pasqua (Easter Sunday): 12 April 2020
    Lunedì dell’Angelo (Easter Monday): 13 April 2020
    Festa della Liberazione (Liberation Day): 25 April 2020
    Festa del Lavoro (Labour Day): 1 May 2020
    Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day): 2 June 2020
    Assunzione di Maria Vergine (Assumption): 15 August 2020
    Tutti i santi (All Saints’ Day): 1 November 2020
    Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception): 8 December 2020
    Natale (Christmas Day): 25 December 2020
    Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day): 26 December 2020


    Capodanno (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2021
    Epifania (Epiphany): 6 January 2021
    Pasqua (Easter Sunday): 4 April 2021
    Lunedì dell’Angelo (Easter Monday): 5 April 2021
    Festa della Liberazione (Liberation Day): 25 April 2021
    Festa del Lavoro (Labour Day): 1 May 2021
    Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day): 2 June 2021
    Assunzione di Maria Vergine (Assumption): 15 August 2021
    Tutti i santi (All Saints’ Day): 1 November 2021
    Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception): 8 December 2021
    Natale (Christmas Day): 25 December 2021
    Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day): 26 December 2021

    All information subject to change.


    Nightlife in Florence


    With a large student population, Florence’s nightlife scene is split between cafés (that transform into bars in the evening) and trendy enoteche (wine bars) often offering lavish apertivi

    (predinner drinks with free snacks). Clubs don’t get going until midnight and many are outside city centre.


    Via delle Oche, 11R
    50122 Firenze
    Show on map

    A stone-vaulted interior and a long wine list of Tuscan greats.


    Via dei Sassetti, 16
    Show on map

    The favourite disco for Florence’s students; over-30s should aim for Thursday night.

    Libreria Café La Cité

    Borgo San Frediano, 20
    50124 Firenze
    Show on map

    A bookshop-cum-café-cum-live music den, La Cité attracts the intellectual set.

    Teatro della Pergola

    Via della Pergola 18
    50121 Florence
    Show on map

    From October to April, catch classical music concerts at Florence’s prettiest theatre.

    Full Up Club

    Via della Vigna Vecchia, 23-25

    50122 Firenze
    Show on map

    This cool club in the historic district is one of the oldest in Florence. It opened in the late 1970s. Today it provides place for about 500 visitors.


    Restaurants in Florence


    Tuscany’s passion for earthy, seasonal ingredients is justly famous. Here the classics (such as bean and bread soup and bistecca alla fiorentina) reign supreme.

    As the Tuscan proverb goes, ‘To cook like your mother is good, to cook like your grandmother is better.’

    iO Osteria Personale

    Borgo San Frediano 167r
    50124 Florence
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Seasonal products, organic ingredients and fabulously creative cooking.

    La Cucina del Garga

    Via San Zanobi 33r
    50129 Florence
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    New York chef Alessandro Gargani revives legendary Garga with rich Tuscan classics.

    Caffè Gilli

    Via Roma 1r
    50123 Florence
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Florence’s most historic art nouveau café is located on the old Roman forum.

    Osteria Il Buongustai

    Via dei Cerchi 15r
    50122 Florence
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    No frills, shared tables and lots of tasty Tuscan home cooking.

    Trattoria Mario

    Via Rosina 2
    50123 Florence
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    A busy, noisy, brilliant trattoria going strong for over 50 years.


    Calendar of events

    Florence Carnival

    February 20 – 23, 2020

    Venue: Piazza Dante

    Lively pre-Lenten procession held in the week of Shrove Tuesday, which includes a street festival.

    Scoppio del Carro (The Explosion of The Cart)

    April 12, 2020

    Venue: Florence

    On Easter Sunday, a large wagon is pulled by white oxen in front of Florence’s cathedral to commemorate the knight Pazzo de ‘Pazzi, who planted the banner of the Cross on the battlements of Jerusalem during the first Crusade of 1096. As a gift he received some fragments of the Holy Sepulchre. Upon his return to Florence the stones were used to start the Sacred Fire of Holy Saturday, and were paraded through the city as homage to it in a richly decorated chariot.

    Festa del Grillo (Festival of the Cricket)

    May 2020

    Venue: Parco delle Cascine

    On Ascension Day in Florence, locals gather in Cascine Park along the banks of the River Arno to celebrate Festa del Grillo, or the Cricket Festival, as a chirping cricket traditionally symbolises the arrival of spring. A multitude of stalls sell cricket-related paraphernalia whilst musical entertainment is organised throughout the day. Synthetic crickets are available in vibrantly coloured wood, cane or wire cages, where they are kept with a large lettuce leaf to sustain them; some have electronic mechanisms to imitate the chirping sound, which is believed will bring good luck.

    Festa di San Giovanni (St John's Day)

    June 2020

    Venue: Piazzale Michelangelo, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo

    Another aspect of celebrations for the saint’s day, involving a ceremonial procession from Palazzo Vecchio, while there are large fireworks displays at night over the Arno river. A popular activity while watching the fireworks is eating gelato, which is similar to ice cream.

    La Rificolona (Festival of the Lanterns)

    September 2020

    Venue: Throughout Florence

    A torchlight procession dating back to the days of religious pilgrimage to celebrate the Virgin’s nativity, with children carrying lanterns all over the city. In Florence, the large basilica of Santissima Annunziata marks her birthday, which is a day of celebration. Today, a market is still held in the square in the form of a huge fair of organic produce preceding the festival. It is very common for most lanterns to be burned by the end of the night.

    Firenze Marathon (Florence Marathon)

    November 29, 2020

    Venue: From Piazzale Michelangelo to Piazza San Croce

    Annual Florence marathon through the city centre, with over 8,000 runners taking part. Highlights along the route include the Dumo, Ponte Vecchio bridge, Porta Romana and Stadia Comunale.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.


    Hotels in Florence


    Sleeping well in central Florence is a competitive sport. Prices are high and the city gets booked solid during long weekends, summer holidays and religious events like Easter and

    Christmas. There’s plenty of choice however, but book well ahead for the best deals.

    Monna Lisa

    Borgo Pinti 27
    50121 Florence
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Richly decorated rooms in a Renaissance palazzo complete with a private Italianate garden.

    Relais Modern

    Via Alfonso La Marmora 22
    50121 Florence
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Cool white-on-beige contemporary décor with excellent modern amenities.

    Novella House

    Via dei Porcellana 53
    50123 Florence
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Quaint and quirky bed and breakfast with spectacular, historic ceiling frescoes.

    Hotel Emma

    Via Antonio Pacinotti 20
    50131 Florence
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Excellent-value rooms in an old palazzo with period detailing and a sunny roof terrace.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Monday, 24.02.2020 18:00 UTC




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    Climate & best time to visit Italy

    Italy is a great destination to visit year round, particularly if taking a city break, though for the warmest and most reliable weather April to June is the prime tourist season. Most Italians take their holiday in July and August so prices, and crowds, can soar during these months, which are also the hottest of the year. If you’re keen to avoid the main scrum of peak season but still bank on mild weather, late September to October is a good choice.


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    Feb21 °C-11 °C10 °C2 °C70 %66 mm74.7 h
    Mar25 °C-11 °C14 °C5 °C65 %65 mm84.9 h
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    Good to know

    Telephone & Internet

    Country code: +39

    Mobile telephony and Internet
    Since June 2017, EU citizens traveling within the EU, and also in Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein have been able to use their cell phones and surf the Net without incurring any extra charges: In other words, customers pay the same price for phone calls, text messages and data volume as they do at home. Restrictions do apply to the constant use of SIM cards abroad, however, and caps may be set on data packages. For full details, contact your mobile telephony provider in your country. Travelers using a SIM card from a non-EU state do not benefit from the new arrangement.

    Free Internet access via Wi-Fi is possible in many busy tourist spots. When using public Wi-Fi networks, it is a wise precaution to ensure encryption of all passwords, credit card details and banking TANs entered. Use of a VPN app or security software to check the safety of a hotspot is recommended.


    Shopping in Florence

    Key Areas

    Via de’Tornabuoni has long been Florence’s fashion thoroughfare, lined with luxury brands and smart shops. For one-of-a-kind artisanal creations head to the Oltrarno, Borgo San Jacopo and Via Santo Spirito. Antique stores lurk along Via Maggio in the Oltrarno while jewellers and silversmiths cluster along the Ponte Vecchio and in central San Marco.


    Florence’s Mercato Centrale houses a feast of food stalls with the finer purveyors up on the mezzanine. At the other end of the spectrum, the outdoor stalls in the same location sell fresh veg and lots of cheap clothes, leather goods and souvenirs.

    Shopping Centres

    Other than the small-scale Coin department store you’ll have to head 25 to 30km outside of Florence for outlet malls such as Prada (in Montevarchi), Barberino Designer Outlet (in Berberino di Mugello) and The Mall (in Leccio). Outlet shuttle buses depart from Piazza della Stazione in Florence.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social conventions

    The Roman Catholic church still plays an important role in Italy and has a strong influence on the country’s social structures. Family ties tend to be much stronger here than in many other European countries.

    Casual clothing is common, but beachwear belongs on the beach. Appropriate clothing is expected when entering a church. Written invitations generally indicate whether a suit or a tuxedo/evening gown is required.

    Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings and on public transportation in Italy, as well as in movie theaters, restaurants and bars. Bars and restaurants are permitted to set up smoking areas, however.

    Tipping is not common in restaurants. Service charges, VAT and tourist tax are included in hotel bills. However, a tip of around €5 per week for chambermaids is customary. Restaurant bills generally include a standard charge for the tableware and bread (pane e coperto). Particularly satisfied customers are welcome to leave an additional tip on the table. Tipping is not expected in taxis, either.

    Formal wear is usually indicated on invitations. Smoking is prohibited in public buildings, transport and cinemas. When visiting an Italian home for dinner, bring a small gift of sweets or chocolate, and dress well. Let your host lead when sitting and starting the meal. Take a small portion of what’s on offer as you will surely be cajoled into having another helping. If you do not want more wine, leave your glass full so it cannot be refilled.

    Good to know


    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    Tap water is generally safe to drink. Bottled water is available. The inscription ‘Acqua Non Potabile’ means water is not drinkable. Milk is generally pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Past outbreaks of brucellosis in southern regions means unpasteurised buffalo mozzarella is best avoided. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are considered safe to eat.

    Other Risks

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) also recommends vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, polio and hepatitis B.

    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre