LUXE City Guides - Florence - - Front Page -

Giotto found the kin­dling. Fra An­gelico, Brunelleschi and Donatello built the fire. Masac­cio and Ver­roc­chio struck the match, while Leonardo, Michelan­gelo, Botticelli and Raphael threw on gaso­line – the re­sult was the great­est blaze of art the world has ever seen. Dour and me­dieval from the out­side, Florence is so steeped in the fab­u­lous Re­nais­sance that it’s easy to for­get she’s ac­tu­ally rather a stylish lit­tle kit­ten. So go on then, get art and about...


Exquisitely walk­a­ble, Florence is di­vided nicely down the middle by the Arno River, the north side of which is home to most of the main mon­u­ments and mu­se­ums: the Uffizi, tourist-swamped Ponte Vec­chio and Cen­tro Storico at dead cen­tre; Santa Maria Novella (SMN) and la­bel-land Via Tornabuoni to the west; the Duomo and San Marco to the north; and Santa Croce east. South of the Arno, Ol­trarno is Flo’s rive gauche, packed with ar­ti­san shops and at­mos.

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The best times to visit are early spring and late fall; July roasts and the city heaves; Au­gust most of the city shuts and the coachload le­gions ar­rive en masse; mid-Jan / mid-Jun marks Pitti Uomo, Flo’s bi-an­nual men’s fash fest – fab for peep watch­ing, drab for res se­cur­ing Pere­tola air­port to Cen­tro : 25 mins / € 20 Stilet­tos + cob­bled streets = bro­ken an­kles Taxis are a yawny off-white and CAN­NOT be hailed on the street. Try des­ig­nated ranks or sim­ply call for one (see Very Use­ful for both). Note: lo­cals rarely tip driv­ers Ad­dress num­bers are de­fined by colour; red (rosso) + ‘r’ for shops and restau­rants eg. 29r; and black (nero) for res­i­den­tial; thus 28r and 30 will con­fus­ingly not nec­es­sar­ily be lo­cated next to each other Cur­rency = the euro Restau­rants and ser­vices tend to close on Sun­day, and al­most all mu­se­ums are closed on Mon­day Book well ahead for the city’s best ta­bles, ser­vice is usu­ally in­cluded, but it’s sweet to add 5% any­way All in­door restau­rants and bars are non-smok­ing Coffee eti­quette : caffe/espresso is a sin­gle shot, doppio is a dou­ble shot, Amer­i­cano is a long black Ar­ti­sans and most small shops close from 1-3.30pm, all day Sun­day and on Mon­day morn­ings too Pur­chas­ing rip-off hand­bags from the masses of street hawk­ers can land you with a € 10,000 fine The int’l di­alling code for Italy is +39, all lo­cal calls are pre­fixed 055, Ital­ian mo­biles all start with 3 Po­lice dial 112, Am­bu­lance dial 118

You will only need the fol­low­ing Ital­ian phrases...

Ciao bel­loc­cia (f) / bel­loc­cio (m): Hello, gor­geous Buon giorno / Buona sera : Good morn / af­ter­noon/eve Buona notte : Good night / good­bye Per fa­vore / Gra­zie / Prego : Please / Ta / You’re wel­come Non dire bis­cher­ate! : Yeah? And I’m Sophia Loren...

...Vien via, an­di­amo

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