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Perfectly nestled at the heart of Italy's Tuscany region, Florence is the home of numerous renaissance art masterpieces and architecture. The Duomo cathedral is arguably the city's most iconic building with hundreds of thousands of guests visiting it annually. Navigating Florence can be daunting for visitors, which is one of the main reasons which compel people to rent a car in Florence. With a rented car, you can move with ease in Florence and make the most out of your tour.

It's your choice: Where to go in Florence

If you are planning your Florence vacation, you can land directly in Florence Airport. Most holidaymakers book flights to Florence with the aim of visiting historic sights such as Duomo Florence, which is the Cathedral of Saint Mary. Climb the majestic Duomo and have an incredible view of the spectacular city and do not forget to tour the bell tower and the baptistery. Plan your trip around some of Florence’s major festivals and cultural events and add them to your itinerary. One of the most prominent festivals is St John’s Day which is held on the 24th of June each year. The procession proceeds from Palazzo Vecchio in the morning and ends with a massive display of fireworks on Piazzale Michelangelo.

Things to do in Florence

It would take a number of weeks to see all that Florence has to offer. Here are the some things to see in Florence: Piazzale Michelangelo – experience the awe of looking across the city of Florence as well as the Arno River on the Michelangelo square. The square has a parking lot so that you will have no problems with your rented car. Uffizi Palace and Gallery – view a collection of some of the greatest art pieces from renowned artists including Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, and Titian, all under one roof. However, you need to get Uffizi gallery tickets in advance. Santa Maria Novella – the interior of this Dominican church something to write home about. It features the works of some of Florence’s artists including Paolo Uccello, Giotto, Domenico Ghirlandalo, Lippi, and Masaccio. Vasari corridor – this attraction on the southern side Palazzo Vecchio and extends to Pitti Palace’s interior. It was built by the Medici family back in the 16th century, and therefore, it features ancient artworks.

Important info about Florence

Florence, which lies on River Arno is also known as the ‘Jewel of the Renaissance.’ Its turbulent political history includes the Republican and religious revolution and being ruled by the dominant Medici family. It is one of the richest cities in modern times. In 1982, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site as almost a third of the treasures of the world are found in Florence. The city’s climate is fairly warm in the summer, and it rarely snows during the winter. Italian food is one of the most popular cuisines around the globe. Indeed, most guests have a presumption of the dishes they expect during their stay in Florence. You will be surprised to find that pasta and meatballs are not normally served in Florence restaurants. Also, the bread served in Italy is meant to ‘mop up’ the extra sauce on your plate once you are done eating.

Weather in Florence
Facts
Country Italy
Language Italian
Currency Euro
Time-Zones GMT +1
Country Code +843

Good to know

While the city is relatively small and walkable, you will need to rent a car in Florence if you need to visit other parts of Tuscany. Areas such as Maremma and Val d’Orcia are not easily accessible through a bus service or by train. Car rental in Florence is normally available in most airports. As the city is quite congested, you need to be prepared before you get behind the wheel. The historic centre of Florence has adopted the Zone of Limited Traffic (ZTL) or restricted traffic zones. Special rules govern transit through, and access to, the centre. ZTL rules close off the historic centre to all cars without a special pass, mostly commercial lorries and residents. When driving on Italian roads, keep to the right, always observe the speed limits, and wear your seatbelt. The latter is a legal requirement.

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What to taste in Florence

It’s easy to be swept away by Florence’s sublime natural beauty and the innumerable renaissance masterpieces, but a tour through the region is not complete without sampling its cuisine. Cooking in Florence features some of the best ingredients, and the bespoke wines are readily available. Some of the street foods you can enjoy during your tour are forest fruits, mixed berries or ice cream, also known as gelato. Be sure to sample Bistecca Alla Fiorentina which are T-bone steaks served in most Florence hotels. Allegedly, they are obtained from the Chianina cow and are cooked for about 3-4 minutes on either side. Soups in Florence are far from boring, so be sure to sample some. Crown your meal with ‘Holy wine’ which is a dessert wine served with biscotti-type cookies. Locals mostly dunk the cookies into the wine.

What to bring to your friends from Florence

Florence guests are mostly spoilt for choice when it comes to the souvenirs for friends and family. Buy your artistic friends books of Italian art from museum gift shops or in bookstores. These are normally available in multiple languages. Do most of your friends have a sweet tooth? Italian chocolate or a bar of Gianduja would be perfect. For the master chefs, cookbooks, kitchenware, olive oil, or even balsamic vinegar would work best. In a nutshell, there is something for everyone in Florence. All you have to do is explore wide and be open to new suggestions.