If you plan to travel to Florence, then you’ll probably want to either visit in the spring (March to June) or during the fall (September to early November). These times will give you a lovely mild climate instead of the crowded, hot days of July and August. Summer is anyway the best season to appreciate Tuscany seaside.
Winter (mid-November to February) is the least crowded time of the year, the ideal season to enjoy Florence museum and monuments without having to wait in long queues.
By Car - You can easily reach Florence downtown from the A1 motorway (Milan-Rome). Coming from Milan, take the exit “Firenze Nord”, coming from Rome take the exit “Firenze Sud”, then follow the signs for “CENTRO” (town centre).
By Train – Florence can be easily reached by train from Italy and Europe. You may want to come in on the Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station in Florence downtown.
By Plane - Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci airport is only a few miles away from downtown Florence. Florence airport and central train station are connected by a shuttle-bus that leaves every half an hour (until 11.30 PM). Whatever your destination, you can take a taxi in front of the airport.
If you are looking for transportation while you are in this city, there are several options that you can choose from. Trains are very popular for travel, especially if you are going longer distances or visiting Florence’s surroundings. There are also plenty of busses in the city as well that can help you get around town. Taxi cabs are also available (call +39-055-4242); however, most people find that it is easy to get around on by walking.
In some cases you may be able to purchase travel insurance that will cover medical help and other health related issues. Usually, this type of insurance is fairly inexpensive. However, in some cases you may also be able to get health insurance once you get to Florence as well by filling out the appropriate form. Cost is about Euro 40.00 at the post office and the insurance covers for a period of six months.
Once you’re in Italy, you’ll find that the common currency is the Euro, so you’ll want to make sure you have Euros with you when you arrive. There are many banks in the country, but they may not be able to help you unless you have an international ATM card and/or credit card. You can find ATM's (Bancomat) in almost any bank. You can also use international money orders and traveller’s checks to get the cash you need.
While you’re in Florence, you’ll find that calls to and from the country on cell phones and home phones can be very expensive for you. However, you may be able to rent a cell phone within the country. Also, another choice you may have is a pre-paid card, which will help you if you want to make phone calls on pay phones or home phones.
If you need to use the internet, there are various places throughout the city that offer internet points. Some have computers that you can use and others provide you with wireless access so you can connect from your own computer. You find a list of Internet Points at www.internettrain.it.
For those who love to shop, there are plenty of great places to find wonderful shopping in the city of Florence. If you are looking for antiques, then check out Via Maggio or for some beautiful jewellery, Ponte Vecchio will be the place to go. Via dei Tornabuoni is a great place to look for designer’s clothing, shoes, and even leather goods as well and you’ll find some of the best names out there too such as Gucci, Armani and Versace.
There are many wonderful restaurants to be found that serve up delicious Tuscan food. There are also other restaurants that serve ethnic cuisine as well. Most menus will include appetizers, pastas, Tuscan meat, many tasty desserts... and excellent typical wines!
You’ll also find that the nightlife in the city is great as well, with many pubs, clubs, and discos to choose from. Florentine people love to enjoy great drinks, dancing, and nightlife, so you’ll be sure to find a night-time hangout you love.
You can get involved in many great activities and sports while you are in Florence. Of course walking is something you’ll be doing almost every day, but there are other options too. You’ll find a variety of great gyms in the city that you can work out in. Also, you can find outdoor pools in the summer where you can get in a good swim. If you’re a jogger, then the Cascine Park is an excellent place to get some jogging.
Right between Florence and Siena, you’ll find Chianti, the heart of Tuscany countryside. This is a huge area for wonderful local wines and some of the most wonderful food you can find in Italy, as well as beautiful sceneries, attractions and a rich cultural heritage. All the most enchanting medieval villages of the Tuscan countryside are easily reachable by train or bus.