Tuscany is a gorgeous area of Italy in the hills countryside with over 120 nature reserves. You drive through green and tree lined backroads in beauty. There are red vast poppy fields as well as huge sunflower fields. On the way to Tuscany area from Rome you must stop in at least one local flower field they are breathtaking! This are is a more restful local visit rather than a rushed and packed city. They are known for their wine, artisan crafts and beautiful markets in the villages. Florence is also the art capital with amazing museums and opportunities to see the most famous italian artists in history firsthand.
How to get there
The Peretola Florence Airport is 30 minutes northeast of the city. This is the smaller local airport. Really mostly this area is serviced by the Pisa airport and sometimes the ticket may even say Florecne when really you fly into Pisa airport. Be sure to check this detail since Pisa is an hour drive out of Florence city. Make sure when you choose an airport you choose the Peretola Florence airport to actually land outside Florence City. This is also a great way however to see a bit of Pisa and the famous leaning tower on your trip before moving on to Florence for the longer stay. Pisa can be an easy day trip after landing before heading to Florence.
Florence has a new T2 tram route, that opened to the public at 2:30pm on 11 February 2019. The new line goes between piazza dell’Unità Italiana (main railway station – SMN) and Florence Airport – free rides until 24 February and 1.50 euro thereafter. This is an amazing new fast and budget option that is hands down the way to go! If you are traveling post 2019 this is your best option!
Florence airport is only 4 km from the city centre and the orange ATAF Volainbus bus shuttle takes about 20 minutes, runs every half an hour and costs about 5 euros. It leaves from the SITA bus station near the SMN railway station and from near the taxi rank at the station itself. Departures from city centre are every 30 min from 5.30 am to 8.00 pm, then after every hour up until 11.00 pm. The full timetables can be checked here for your trip.
A metered taxi has a fixed price for trips to the airport (currently 20 euros), takes 15 minutes and is obviously a good choice if you are 3 or 4 people and/or want to leave from your hotel. 1 Euro for each piece of luggage (maximum 5 Euros). There is also a 2 Euro addition for Sunday use and a 3.20 Euro addition for night use (22:00 to 6:00). This option is best for this option is 3 or 4 passengers traveling together.
Pisa Airport to Florence
The airport has the new and fast PisaMover light rail. This light rail runs from the Pisa Airport to Pisa Central Railway Station every 5/8 minutes every day, from 6 a.m. to midnight, and it takes 5 minutes. The airport stop is in via Pier Giorgio Ballini, 40 m from the Passenger Terminal, and it arrives at platform 14 in the Pisa railway station. It has an intermediate stop at San Giusto/Aurelia station, where you’ll find two parking areas with about 1,400 spaces, open 24 hours a day, every day.
Sky Bus lines is the best bet for catching the bus into the city of Florence. The bus goes to the Florence airport where you can quickly and easily get into the city. Since the 15 of June 2016 a daily shuttle service operates between the airports of Pisa and Florence (Via Autostrada A11) with intermediate stops at Montecatini Terme, Pistoia, Prato. Tickets can be purchased on the on-line website www.caronnatour.com or at the ticket office of the Pisa airport. Reservations need to be made in advance. Children under the age of 6 travel free. It appears there are three main bus times a day at 11 am, 2 pm, and 5:30 pm. Book tickets here.
|From Pisa Airport||For Montecatini Terme € 15.00 |
For Pistoia € 17.00
For Prato € 17.00
For Florence Airport € 20.00
|From Florence Airport||For Pistoia € 10.00 |
For Montecatini Terme € 15.00
For Pisa Airport € 20.00
A metered taxi will cost you about 150 euros or more because you have to pay the driver to return empty (that’s included in the meter reading – the driver doesn’t double the displayed price). There are also fixed-fare NCC minibuses you can reserve in advance. Reserved minibuses costs the same as a taxi base rate but is a better option normally if you have many people, and a lot of luggage and will be staying in the country. They know the area well and shouldn’t get lost getting you to your stay. People and baggage will cost extra with a taxi. NCC drivers can be booked for times when trains, buses and rental car offices are not available.
Getting to Florence from Rome
The Express train between Rome and Florence costs around $42USD per person and takes about 1.5 hours. This is a beautiful way to see the Tuscany countryside and flower fields while still choosing a more budget friendly option. The public transit in Europe is high quality and a good experience. There are two kinds of trains, express and local. This is a way to choose a more budget trip for a longer train that will be slower. The local train will take around 3-5 hours depending on the number of stops and delays. This train makes many stops but is also less than half the price with tickets around $15USD/person. The Italia Rail timetable and tickets can be booked here.
The flight is ironically not the fastest option in a sense because of airports, security and the process of boarding and deplaning. Alitalia Airlines offers regular flights from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to the Florence Airport (FLR). This is the most expensive option as well by far. You can get flights as cheap as $95 per person to around $130 is average per person. This is the most expensive option but if you do not want to rent a car or deal with the train this is your choice.
Rent a car
Really unless you are traveling between several cities in Italy this option probably will not make sense on your trip or be worth the money that you spend. Local drivers are expensive to use but there is lots of public transportation that is cheap and convenient. It will take you just as long to drive there yourself as the express train as well as be at least $200 more than what you pay to take the train. You can rent cars from the airport at the easiest convenience. The average cost of renting a car in Europe is around $300 for a week trip. This does not include the insurance you need, toll costs, gas, and other taxes the company does not list. There is a great article layout on Eurocar about the exact end cost of renting a car in Europe you can read here. The average car rental ends up being around $900 by the end of all the insurance, toll costs, gas and more.
Things to Do
Visit the Duomo (The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore)
This is a 1200s landmark cathedral known for its red tiled dome like all the neighboring house roofs in the views of the city. The basilica has a marble facade and a Giotto bell tower. The church is the third in the world and the largest in Europe in the 15th century. You can visit mass in the Duomo as a guest visitor. This is a powerful experience for when you are visiting Italy. This is a huge part of the faith and culture of the country. The Duomo has 4 parts. They include the cathedral, bell tower, baptistry and the cathedral complex (courtyard).
Bell tower (Giotto’s Companille)
The belltower is the best view of the city. You can climb up 414 of stairs in a narrow winding stone staircase to see the best view of the city from above. This is one of 4 components to the Duomo. There are no elevators and no other way up but a steep climb to the top. This is the best place to see the city and all the red rooftops from above and get amazing city view pictures.
There is one ticket that is an entrance fee that counts for most of the components of seeing the Duomo. The cathedral itself is free to enter. The cost of one ticket per person is 18 euros. More Duomo complex information, tickets and booking here.
|Cathedral||10: 00-16: 30||details|
|Dome||08: 30-17: 00||details|
|Baptistry||08: 15-19: 30||details|
|Bell Tower||08: 15-19: 00||details|
|crypt||10: 00-16: 30||details|
|Museum||09: 00-19: 00|
- ✤ The single ticket allows a single entry to all the sites of the Great Museum of the Duomo – Monumental Complex of Santa Maria del Fiore – composed of: Museum of the Opera of Santa Maria del Fiore, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Baptistery of San Giovanni and Crypt of Santa Reparata.
- ✤ Please note: payment of a pre-sale fee of € 2.00 per person is required.
- ✤ Warning : access to the cathedral itself is free, not bookable; it is not part of the Single Ticket.
- ✤ The reservation for Brunelleschi’s Dome can not be changed, transferred, canceled or refunded.
- ✤ The ticket is valid for 30 days from the date selected by the calendar; the Dome can only be visited on the date and time booked at the time of ticket purchase
- ✤ Can be used for 72h from the first entrance
- ✤ One entrance for each monument
- ✤ Caution! The hourly reservation for entry to the Dome is mandatory and nominative, and must be done simultaneously with the purchase of tickets. Visitors must present themselves at the entrance 20 minutes before the time of the visit for security checks
- ✤ Complimentary tickets do not allow online Dome reservations. It is necessary to go to the automatic ticket machines
- ✤ Notice: the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo will be closed from 4 to 22 November 2019.
- women need to have covered shoulders and legs when entering the church
The Duomo Complex: Cathedral, Duomo, bell tower,
Bell Tower Views
The Baptistry of St. John
This is the octagonal basilica with marble, bronze doors and beautiful mosaic ceiling. This is a part of the Duomo complex and included in that entrance ticket. This is a beauitful masterpiece to behold inside and a restful spot away from the city crowds outside. There are bible stories depicted on the Dome.
Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Lederle’s clock, & art museum
This is a Palazzo a 10 minute walk from the Dumo with the art museum and iconic clock. This is a 13th cecntury fortified palace house and courtyard that is lavishly decorated. This is where the replica of the statue of David stands outside the museum. The museum is only 4 euros to enter! Ticket booking information here.
This famous art museum is outside San Marco square. This art musuem houses the famous David Statue by Michaelangelo as well as many other paintings of his as well as Renaissance paintings and Russian icons. This is one of my favorite art museums in Italy. The David statue is an amazing work of art. There are no pictures allowed inside but below is pictured a replica in a public square. More information and ticket booking at the museum can be found here.
From Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15 to 18.50
Closing: every Monday, 1 January, 25 December
Normal price ticket is 12 euros per person. The price was just changed for young people between the ages of 18 and 25 the entry to the special rate of 2 euros, starting from February 28, 2019, instead of the 6 euros of the reduced rate currently in force.
Free Visit! (NEW 2019)
There are 20 gratuity days , valid for access to the museum throughout the opening hours and all visitors. In particular, as happened during the first Sunday Sundays of January and February, it will be possible to visit the Accademia Gallery free of charge according to the following schedule:
– Sunday March 3
March 5 to 10 (Museum Week) – Sunday 6 October
– Sunday, November 3
November 5th to November 10th – Friday November 22nd
– Sunday December 1st
– Sunday December 8th
Uffizi Galleries Art Museum
This is a 16the century building holding a storehouse of Renaissance paintings and masterpieces by some of the most known men Leonardo, Raphael , and Michelangelo. These two art museums are the top two known and visited in Florence. The Uffizi Galleries includes the Pitti Palace and Boboli gardens. There are entry tickets that include all the sites and can help you save money. There are also free museum days to check below.
- A single entry ticket per person is 20 euros.
- There are annual subscriptions to all of the Uffizi galleries for a single costing 70euros a year or families 100 euros a year. All tickets and booking can be found here.
- There is a cumulative ticket that includes all of the Uffizi galleries one entrance to each over 3 days. This is the best for your money as a one time foreign traveler.
- From March to October
- € 38 whole
- From November to February
- 18 € whole
- Minors 18 years
- It is necessary to show a valid identity document. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
- People with disabilities
- People with disabilities are entitled by law to free priority access for themselves and for a family member or other companion who demonstrates their membership in social-health care services.
- School groups and teachers
- Tourist guides and tourist interpreters
- Scholars; university professors and students
- Italian and foreign journalists registered in the national register of journalists, upon presentation of the membership card to the Order of Journalists bearing the annual stamp affixed by the Order of Journalists or the related “stamp”, referring to the current year.
- Operators of voluntary associations operating through agreements at the peripheral branches of the Ministry.
- Staff of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities.
- Members of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
Reduced admission fee (€ 2)
Citizens of the European Union and Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein from 18 to 25 years inclusive.It is necessary to show a valid identity document.
Free 2019 calendar days !!!!!!
For the full list of free days information listed below and how to enter on free days check this article here.
For all the museums belonging to the Uffizi Galleries (Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti, Boboli Gardens):
- Museum Week from 5 to 10 March 2019.
- First Sundays of the month between October 2019 and March 2020 : 6 OCTOBER 2019; 3 NOVEMBER 2019; 1 DECEMBER 2019; 5 JANUARY 2020; 2 FEBRUARY 2020; 1 MARCH 2020.
- MARCH 24: Florentine New Year’s Eve and the birth of Francesco I de ‘Medici who exhibited the first nucleus of the grand-ducal collection at the Uffizi (25 March 1541) * .
- 23 JUNE: San Giovanni patron of Florence (June 24th) * .
- OCTOBER 11: Arrival in Florence of Vittoria della Rovere (1623), future Grand Duchess of Tuscany who brought masterpieces such as Titian and Raphael.
- OCTOBER 31: Family Pact (1737) with which the last Medici, Anna Maria Luisa, tied the family legacy to the city of Florence.
For the Uffizi:
- May 26: Commemoration of the Georgofili Massacre (May 27, 1993) *.
- 2 JUNE: Feast of the Italian Republic.
- AUGUST 11: Commemorating the Fire of the Uffizi (12 August 1762) *.
- NOVEMBER 6: Birth of Leopoldo de ‘Medici (1617), great collector of the grand-ducal family.
For Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens
- 17 MARCH: Unity of Italy, celebrated in Palazzo Pitti, the Savoy palace in the period of Florence capital (1865-1871).
- AUGUST 4: Commemoration of the Night of the Bridges, destroyed during the Nazi retreat between 3 and 4 August 1944.
- 27 AUGUST: Birth of the Grand Duchy under Cosimo I de ‘Medici, commissioner of the construction of the Uffizi and creator of modernization in the field of urban planning and the Florentine administration.
- NOVEMBER 30: Tuscany Day.
The palace is an art museum that is a gallery filled with Renaissance gallery in royal palace housing as well as Italian and European masters art collection. The sculptures and paintings are beautiful and are in the most exquisite setting in the old palace.
Cost: 16 euros single entry ticket per person
The Boboli gardens are public gardens from the 15th-16th centuries with renaissance statues and huge ornate fountains.
Cost: 25 euros single entry ticket per person
Enjoy the Street Musicians and Live Free Concerts at night
The piazza and square gatherings in the cities full of cobble stone and open space transform at night as live musicians come out and set up shows performing beautiful songs and music. sit out and eat dinner closeby, have a drink and enjoy the music, atmosphere and site of the historical architecture beauties around you in the evening light.
This is such a beautiful spot in the city to hang out and enjoy a sunset or sunrise overlooking the city and water under the bridge. This is a great picture of the city on this picturesque bridge. There are also lots of live musicians that come and perform on this bridge as crowds gather at night to listen for free. Also this bridge Italians leave a lock for their love on this bridge. Join the crowds and leave your lock at the bridge!
Piazzale Michelangelo (City lookout point)
This is the most killer lookout point over the city from across the river and vieco bridge about a 20 minute driver or so away. There was a driver who showed us this secret spot who was so kind. This is such a beauitful spot to lookout over the city.
Siena/ San Gimignano Day trip in Tuscany
Siena is another neighborhing Tuscany city that is close by Florence. THis is the smaller village that is surrounded by flower fields, homemade beautiful pottery, markets and more.
Where to eat
This is a local budget pizza place that is located conveniently central in the city. The pizza here is called,” pizza al taglio,” which is basically means big square pizzas cut to whichever size you would like. The crust is whole wheat and is healthy and fresh ingredients. They have lots of wine options and are known for their organic and fresh pizzas by locals.
Hours: 12pm-5pm daily
This is a locals quick street food style place with seating. They serve Artisan sandwiches filled with salami Tuscan dishes, cutting boards and croutons. They sell exclusively Tuscan wine, organic oil of the territory, jams and honey from small local producers. This place is great because of the budget friendly options as well like the most delicious porcetta sandwich ever, for 5 euro no less. This is why this restaurant is ranked number 2 in Florence even though it is a “mere sandwich shop.”
Cost: $3 – $11
Hours: 11:30 am-9pm, Saturday and Sundays open until 10pm
La Schiaccia della Signoria
This place is known for its killer paninis. They have big thick sandwhiches full of meat and toppings in quality homemade bread. They have budget meals and wine and are a locals secret. The sandwiches can be split with two people if you are not super hungry. The lines get long and do not move very fast. Panini Toscani is another great panini and sandwich shop to check out as well however it is more expensive than this place which is why I listed the first.
Cost: $11, 5 euros panini, 2.5 euros glass of wine
Hours: Not listed
Da Angelo Gelateria
This is the best rated Gelato spot in Florence city. It is located across the river by the Vechio bridge and is a great pit stop while you tour that part of the city. People have said they tried up to 6 gelato places in Florence and this is the best. This is good priced for two big scoops. They are known for their hazelnut flavor as well as persimmons and salted caramel.
Hours: 11am-12am daily
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Photo doesn’t look like much and you can’t taste it either. But this is one of the best gelato found in Florence; from Gelateria Artigiannale Da Angelo and there’s also Gelateria Artigianale La Strega Nocciola. Rule of thumb if the gelato is hidden in bain Marie like tubs, that’s where the gold is hidden. For Sydney there is @rivarenogelatoaus and in Bologna we found #cremeriafunivia . #daangelogelateria #lastreganocciola #onweroam #italy #florence #firenze #gelato#bologna
Where to stay
Wow Florence Hostel
This is the most budget stay available in the city. The hostel is a 6-minute walk from the Galleria dell’Accademia art museum, and is a 12 minutes’ walk from Florence Cathedral and 2 km from the Uffizi Gallery. The hosetl is colorful and modern with dorm beds of 4-8 people and shared bathrooms or private rooms with private bathrooms available. There is a killer roof bar wtih a terrace and views over the city. Some of the other best budget hotels in the city are, Milu hotel, also there is a great list of budget hotels in the $40-$80 range in the city listed here.
Cost: $49 USD/night , Book here
This is a cool artsy and creative asthetic that is really modern, clean and nice for being suhc a budget stay at $70 a night. Check out more booking info here.
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When you think you book a room in just a nice hotel but suddenly find yourself in an absolutely incredible space of contemporary Israeli and Italian art, where Art takes on lots of different forms — video, performance, installation — and you plunge into the kaleidoscope of ideas as if you bring many strands of thought into a space and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric; you plunge into the space where you can feel deeply how contemporary artworks focus on the effect on, and experience of, an artwork’s viewer. YOU make the artwork what it is. You become art. . #WHPinspired #WorduuupGoesToItaly . 📍@milu_hotel, Florence, Italy
This boutique hotel is the coolest mx of Resaissance art, vaulted celings and paintings as well as modern touches and decor. The rooms are all vintage and different. The hotel is elegant, beautiful and artistics. Camera di Betty’ (no. 11) room is known to be the most romantic with a clawfoot bathtub. The printer’s room number 14 is known for the ancient wooden type from a former print shop.
Cost: $141/night , book here
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@editionposhette collaborated with us @soprarnosuites for their ‘Paper Room’ number 25, and we are thrilled to be part of their new Paper Poetry book out now. Bravissime! . . . #florence #soprarnosuites #boutiquebedandbreakfast #hotel @smithhotels @tablethotels @hip_hotels @cntraveler @condenasttraveller #interiordesign #designhotel #interiordetails #matteoperduca #architect @maestrellif #mytinyatlas @vogueliving #oltrarno #firenze #wheretostayinflorence #becreative #acreativelife #florentine @igers_firenze #theotherflorence #yourflorence @wallpaperguides #sisterhotel @adastraflorence #paperpoetrybook #heleneandsimonebendix #editionposhette @cuccoligiacomo
This boutqieu hotel is an elegant mansion that overlooks the Torrigiani gardens. This is a chic hotel that vintage design and is 13 minutes’ walk from the medieval Ponte Vecchio and 2 km from Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station. Some rooms have garden views, loft sitting areas, and/or balconies or terraces. Continental breakfast is served on a terrace with views of the garden. There’s a guest lounge with ceiling frescoes and bar service.
Cost: $140 USD/night, book here
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Repost from @parkavenue_classicbathroom – The fascination of Park Avenue Collection is perfect to decore this charming and unique Hôtel particulier in the heart of Florence @adastraflorence * * * #taps#tap#bathroom#bathroomproject#bathroomdesign#bathroomdecor#ceramic#sanitaryware#marble#vanityunit#luxury#luxurydesign#luxurylifestyle#luxurylife#luxurystyle#luxuryhome#luxuryhotel#luxuryfurniture#design#designer#tailormade#wallpaper#italianstyle#artdeco#interiordecor#exclusivecollection#parkavenueclassicbathroom
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Repost from @novo_design – Another shot from @adastraflorence! Such a great lounge space with a help your self honesty bar and amazing art selection. • • • • • #interiors #interior #decor #florence #firenze #homedecor #hotel #italia #hotels #resort #homedesign #designer #interiorstyling #furniture #instadesign #interior123 #interiordesigner #matteoperduca #hotellife #graphicdesign #interiorinspo
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Reflections @adastraflorence * * #adastra #boutiquebedandbreakfast #hotel @smithhotels #matteoperduca #interiordesign #architect @maestrellif @perdukistan @bettysoldi #oltrarno #florence #firenze #light #wheretostayinflorence @brass_brothers_and_co @tablethotels @hip_hotels @cntraveler @cuccoligiacomo @condenasttraveller #interiordesign #exteriordesign #designhotel #thatsdarling #terracewithaview #wraparoundterrace #interiordetails #breakfastwithaview #becreative #acreativelife #florentine @igers_firenze #theotherflorence #yourflorence #mytinyatlas @wallpaperguides @giorgiobaroniph #photography @parkavenue_classicbathroom @editionposhette #styling
This is a beautiful luxary hotel with elegant rooms with traditional decor. The hotel is a 6-minute walk from Santa Maria Novella railway station, 7 minutes from Florence Cathedral and 10 minutes from Ponte Vecchio. Each room has a private mini bar and is more the space and feel of a small apartment. There are 4 post beds and couches. There is a restaurant, lounge, rooftop terrace and free breakfast.
Cost: $400-$500/night USD