FLORENCE, ITALY : FACTS, FIGURES AND TOURIST INFORMATION :
Region: Toscana (Tuscany)
Population: Around half a million
Area code: 05
Most scheduled and charter flights go in to Pisa’s Galileo Galilei airport. Florence’s Peretola is smaller, with a 20-minute bus or cab ride to city centre. Alternatively Bologna.
From Pisa airport, frequent direct trains take one hour; on return you can check bags in at Santa Maria Novella rail terminus in Florence. From Florence airport take a bus, taxi. From Bologna airport, shuttle buses run to Bologna’s main rail station (25 mins), thence to Santa Maria Novella in Florence.
|Santa Maria Novella, two blocks from the cathedral
(Duomo) in the city centre.
|Florence is compact, with most of the tourist
sights within minutes of the Duomo. Combined with limits on car driving
within the city, it makes walking the easiest and pleasantest option. ATAF
buses get you quickly round the city, and four electric buses serve the
main central routes. Taxis are white-and-yellow; get them from the ranks
rather than hailing on the street; all are metered, so you’ll know
what you’re paying.
|Main tourist office at Via Cavour 1r; open
8.30-6.30 Mon-Sat, and 8.30-1.30 Sun, tel 055.290.832.
EMBASSIES / CONSULATES:
|UK: Lungarno Corsini 2 50123 Firenze, Tel:
USA: Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci 38, Tel: 055 266951
Germany: Lungarno Vespucci, 30, Tel: 055 294722
France: Piazza Ognissanti, 2, Tel: 055 2302556
Netherlands: Via Cavour, 8, Tel: 055 475249
HOSPITAL / EMERGENCY:
|Pharmacists (farmacia) are qualified
to give advice on minor ailments and to dispense prescriptions. There will
always be a 24-hour one 'on turn', and the one at the railway station is
usually open 24 hours. Dial 112 anywhere in the EU to reach the emergency
services. Additional local
Hospital: Ospedale S. Maria Nuova, Piazza S. Maria Nuova, 1 Tel: 055 27581
|The Duomo, San Marco, San Lorenzo, the Bargello,
Capella Brancacci, Palazzo Pitti, Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo
Vecchio, San Miniato al Monte, Piazza Santissima Annunziata, Piazza della
Signoria, Piazza della Repubblica, Orsanmichele, Dante’s District,
Neptune Fountain, Palazzo Davanzati, Palazzo Strozzi, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi,
Piazza Santa Croce, Forte di Belvedere, Cascine (public park).
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES:
|Galleria degli Uffizi, the Accademia, Museo
dell’Opera del Duomo, Museo del Bigallo, Museo dei Ragazzi, Museo
di Storia della Scienza, Museo di Firenze com’era, Museo Marino Marini,
Museo di Santa Maria Novella, Museo di San Marco, Museo Archeologico, Museo
Horne, Museo Bardine.
|Lots of live music and theatre, clubs and gay
and lesbian venues – see the tourist office at Via Cavour (details
above). Also Box Office at Via Almanni 39 and Chiasso dei Soldaneri 8r,
and the monthly Firenze Spettacolo magazine.
PLACES OF WORSHIP:
|Hundreds of churches of course, but following
are also architecturally or historically very interesting: Duomo, San Lorenzo,
Santo Spirito, Capella dei Pazzi, Santa Maria del Carmine, Badia Fiorentina,
Santa Trinita, Santa Maria Novella, Ognissanti, San Marco, Santa Maria
Maddalena dei Pazzi, Santa Croce, Santa Felicita, San Miniato al Monte.
Synagogue, Via L. C. Farini 4
Mosque, Via Ghibellina, 66-68/r.
Russian Orthodox Church, Via Leone X, 8.
Church of England, Via Maggio, 16.
Methodist Church, Via de' Benci, 9
Evangelical Baptist Church, Borgognissanti, 4.
Christian Adventist Church, Via Guelfa, 12.
Evangelical Lutheran Church, (Pitti area), Lungarno Torrigiani, 11.
American Episcopal Church St. James, (Santa Maria Novella), Via B. Rucellai, 9.
CUISINE & WHERE TO EAT:
|Florentine cuisine is of a very high level,
majoring on the simple preparation of good, fresh and basic ingredients.
Expect to see steak, white beans, spinach, tripe and liver featuring large.
Grilling (alla Fiorentina) is a favoured mode of preparation. Eating out
isn’t cheap, but look around the station and San Lorenzo for good
food, reasonably priced. Prepare your own picnic by shopping at the brilliant
Mercato Centrale. Hundreds of cafes, bars, wine bars and pubs, and a few
of the traditional vinaii stand-up wine bars. Good ‘local’ wines
of course include Chianti.
BANKS & PAYMENT:
|Banking hours are usually 0830-1330 and 1530-1930
Mon. to Fri. MasterCard; Visa and Diners Club are all widely accepted.
ATM availability is very good.
|Via de’Tornabuoni (Gucci, Armani, Prada,
Versace etc, leather goods, and hub of Florence’s shopping streets);
San Lorenzo street market for clothes; Mercato Centrale (Europe’s
largest indoor food market); Mercato delle Pulci (flea market); Mercato
di Sant’Ambrogio (food market); Ponte Vecchio (jewellers).
AVERAGE min/max TEMPERATURES:
January: 1 - 10°C
February: 3 - 12
March: 4 - 15
April: 7 - 18
May: 11 - 23
June: 14 - 27
July: 17 - 31
August: 18 - 32
September: 14 - 26
October: 10 - 21
November: 5 - 14
December: 2 - 10
EVENTS & DATES:
|Scoppio del Carro on Easter Sunday, and dating
back to the Crusades. A wagon full of fireworks is pulled by six white
oxen to the Duomo; Festa del Grillo, 40 days after Easter (mass release
of crickets in Cascine Park); 24 June, St John’s Day sees the Calcio
Storico, an all-in football game with a calf-roasting at its end; Festa
delle Rificolone, on 7 September, sees children marking the Virgin’s
birthday with a lantern-lit procession; Festa dell’Unita is a big
celebration organised by Communist Party.
|When sending mail underline the destined country
and write the person's surname in capitals.
General Post Office, Piazza della Repubblica, 6
NEARBY PLACES TO VISIT:
|Certaldo, Pistoia, Prato, Chianti, the Medici
Villas, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Fiesole, the Mugello region, Montecatini Terme,
|*All our information is correct at time of
writing, however knowital.com and/or Ginestra Internet cannot be held responsible
for any changes, omissions or errors of fact. We strongly advise you to
of before you begin your holiday.