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What You Need To Know

Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and birthplace of the Renaissance, is home to masterpieces of art and architecture. One of its most iconic sites is the Florence Cathedral, with its terra-cotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and bell tower designed by Giotto. The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David,” while the Uffizi Gallery exhibits preeminent works such as Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”

Florence originated as a Roman city, and later, after a long period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune, it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically, economically, and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th to 16th centuries.

Area: 39.54 mi²
Population: 361,679 (2012)

Currency

The Euro is the official currency of Italy.

Climate

  • Weather in Florence and Tuscany is generally pretty mild but Florence’s location in a valley makes temperatures vary from other areas in Tuscany.
  • The warmest months are generally July and August, while June and September are both nice with warm weather without it being too hot.
  • The coolest months are December and January, with January being a bit cooler.
  • November is the month with the most precipitation on average but October, December, March and April also generally have a good amount of rain.

Language

The Florentine language or Florentine dialect is the language spoken in the Italian city of Florence.

Getting around

The bus system in Florence is fairly simple to navigate. ATAF is the main bus company, while SITA and LAZZI focus more on the outskirts of the city. You can buy a ticket  which costs 1.20 at any local tabacchi (look for the blue T), newsstands, or even with your cell phone by sending a sms with “ataf” in the subject to 4880105 which is the easiest way!

You can buy a ticket on-board from the bus driver but it costs two euros and the bus drivers can be evil. If you are going to be in town for a bit and riding the bus often, I recommend buying the handy “carta agile” for either 10 or 20 euros which you just scan on the bus each trip and which doesn’t expire.

Emergency numbers:

  • Carabinieri – 112
  • Police – 113
  • Fire department – 115 (in theory you can call them if you get locked out of your house and have no where else to turn).
  • Ambulance 118

Information offices in Florence:

  • Information Office – Piazza Stazione 4, in front of the Firenze Santa Maria Novella Train station. Open Monday through Saturday 8:30am – 7pm. Sunday 8:30am – 2pm. Tel +39 055 290/832
  • Information Office – Piazza Duomo (look under the arches) you will see it! (very new).
  • Information Office – Borgo S. Croce 29/r, (behind Piazza Santa Croce). March until October, Monday through Saturday 9am – 7pm. Sunday 9am-2pm. From November until February, Monday through Saturday 9am – 5pm. Sunday 9am – 2pm. Tel 055 234/0444.
  • Agenzia per il turismo, via cavour 1/r. Monday through Saturday 8:30am-6:30pm. Sunday 8:30am-1:30am. Tel 055 290/0832.