If Florence is the main or only destination in Italy, then it makes sense to fly directly by plane. “Direct” is, of course, very conditional, there are no direct flights from Russia to Florence, you still have to make a transfer in one of the European cities. Airport them. Amerigo Vespucci is located 5 km west of the city centre. Read more about how to get to the former capital of the Florentine Republic on the page how to get to Florence. Check jibin123 for customs regulations and visa requirements of Italy.
Districts of Florence
The capital of Tuscany is divided in two by the majestic Arno – a river that cannot be called the most picturesque, but there is still something special about it. On the north bank of the Arno is the heart of the city – the area of the Historic Center. Florence is not in vain proud of this small piece of land. After all, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. And of course, in order to get at least a minimal idea of the beautiful capital of the Florentine Republic, you should definitely wander through its cozy and romantic streets. The center of the district is Duomo Square, next to the creation of the great Giotto – the bell tower of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. This is where the Baptistery of Saint John is located. – the patron saint of the city. In the historical center there are many other architectural masterpieces, in the creation of which Donatello, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi took part. There are also famous museum collections – San Marco, the Accademia Gallery, as well as the most expensive hotels and restaurants in Florence.
San Lorenzo is another central area of the city, which for centuries has been famous for two seemingly incompatible components – trade and art. The district owes its name to the temple, which was built in the 4th century after the birth of Christ. The second name of this place is the “Medici quarter”, and all thanks to the fact that almost all representatives of this noble family are buried in the temple of San Lorenzo. Finally, here is the majestic monastery of San Marco and, of course, the famous Central Market.
The area of Santa Croce (Italian for “Holy Cross”), which lies to the east of the center, got its name from the church of the same name, which is considered one of the main architectural gems of the city. Here you should definitely see the palaces of Cocchi Serristori, Spinelli, Antella and the house of the famous painter and architect Giorgio Vasari. Perhaps this is one of the most convenient areas for tourists – it is located relatively close to the center, but at the same time, the prices in hotels here are quite attractive.
Having crossed the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge (by the way, the only crossing in Florence that survived after the Second World War), you can find yourself in the Oltrarno area. This is a very sophisticated and somewhat bohemian place, where a dime a dozen sights. These are wonderful museums: for example, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of Silverware, the Palatina Gallery. And openwork temples, in particular, Santa Maria del Carmine with amazing frescoes by Masaccio, Filippo Lippi and Masolino. And amazing restaurants where they cook dishes exclusively according to Florentine recipes.
The Coverciano area is distinguished by a huge number of churches and monasteries, each of which, of course, also represents an important artistic value. Despite its remoteness from the center (in the northeast, just behind the railway line), at least for half a day, but it’s worth getting out here. For the sake of the church of St. Catherine of Siena or the ancient Romanesque church of San Bartolomeo Gignoro. There are also two holy cloisters – San Baldassarre and San Girolamo.
For fans of the Fiorentina football club, popularly referred to as “violets”, Coverciano is an indispensable “must visit”. After all, here are the Hall of Fame of Italian football and the headquarters of the national federation.
Car rental in Florence
If you are not planning to leave Florence for an independent and long journey through Tuscany, then there is not much point in renting a car. In many areas of the city, only taxis and local residents with special passes are allowed to travel, hundreds of public transport routes will take tourists to almost any corner of the city, including the outskirts, and suburbs and even neighboring towns are easily accessible by bus or train.
If you’re determined to experience rural Tuscany and don’t want to be hung up on strict schedules, there are several international, Italian and local car rental companies at your disposal. To rent, you need to make a deposit for a car and do not forget the rights (ideally, an IDP, but some offices also accept national ones). You can book the desired car in advance via the Internet and pick it up at the airport on the designated day. If you decide to rent a car in Florence, then look for rental offices south of Santa Maria Novella train station.
24 hours of renting a small car will cost 35-55 EUR, minivan – 145-200 EUR, premium class – from 250 EUR. Although you can also find a nice convertible like the Peugeot 308 for 80 EUR per day.
Specify the type of fuel in your car, so as not to get into trouble at the gas station. If your smartphone does not support the navigator function, then when renting a car you will be offered such a gadget for an additional amount, do not refuse. And be sure to ask the rental agency manager how to get out of the city center: there are many narrow one-way streets in Florence, without being guided in which you can easily get into a closed area, and this is fraught with a fine of about 70 EUR. By the way, fines annually bring about 50 million EUR to the treasury of Florence, and most of them are for travel to the closed zone.
There are two words for diesel fuel in Italy: Diesel and Gasolio. The similarity of the latter with the Gasoline familiar to other countries can result in a car failure and urgent engine cleaning. If your car runs on gasoline, look for the words Senza piombo and Benzina on the gas pumps. The phrase “Bongorno! La gasoline! Gracia!
Another reason to think about the need to rent a car is the difficulty with parking. There are few parking spaces for visitors in the city, there are practically no free ones, and those that are are limited by the period of use: after a certain time, your car will simply be towed to the impound lot. An hour in paid parking: 0.50-3 EUR depending on the distance to the center. Overnight parking: up to 35 EUR. Please note: car parking areas are marked in white, yellow and blue. White parking lots are free, but only for local residents, yellow ones are for taxi drivers, special vehicles and the disabled, and blue ones are paid for city guests. The fine for incorrect parking is from 40 EUR, but in the event of a car evacuation, the price of an oversight will increase by 4-5 times.