Florence

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Florence Money-Saving Tips

Day Tripping

To travel from city to city, the Eurail is convenient and affordable. www.eurail.com

Reserve Ahead

Lines at the main galleries (especially the Uffizi and the Accademia) can be extremely long and tiresome, especially during high season. Invest a few dollars in the advance booking fee and save valuable time. 011-39-055-294883; www.firenzemusei.it

Taxis

Need a taxi? It's illegal to flag one down in the street. Call a service like Radio Taxi, or pick one up at the many stands in the city. Florence is very foot friendly, though, so unless you're crossing the Arno river, you can probably hoof it. 011-39-055-4390 or 011-39-055-4242

Dinner Time

Italians dine very late by American standards – many restaurants don't open for dinner until 8pm and Italians typically won't arrive until at least 9pm. Take your meal before then and, in all likelihood, you'll beat the crowds.

Worth the Climb

Although both the Duomo – the centerpiece of Florence – and Giotto's bell tower (next door), offer visitors the opportunity to climb to the top, only the Duomo is worth the $9.50 and time spent waiting in line for its spectacular frescoes and Tuscan countryside views.

Daily Bread

In Italy and especially in Tuscany, bread is served at every meal, but don't even think of asking for olive oil or butter – Italians take their slices straight, without condiments.

Wine Wisdom

Tuscany is renowned for its palate-pleasing red wines; however, avoid straw-covered bottles of Chianti at all times. They are notoriously horrible.

Table Charge

Most restaurants have a small cover charge (around $8) for a table along with an additional service charge (10-15%) included in the bill. Additional tipping is at your discretion.

Knock-offs

The Italian law that makes it illegal to buy counterfeit items of high-end brands is particularly enforced in Florence. Be cautious when buying from a street vendor: you could be slammed with a fine upwards of $15,000. www.firenzeturismo.it/en

Pickpockets

Hold onto personal belongings at all times (especially in crowded areas and on public transport) and leave valuables at home. Keep your wallets in your front pocket. If your bag is snatched, the latest advice is to capture the offender with your camera if you may: it will make identification a lot easier.

Tricky House Numbers

Florence has a unique address system: businesses like stores and workshops bear a parallel (and totally independent) set of numbers, marked in red. This is indicated with an “r” next to the number in their address.

Take a Pre-Dinner Nosh

The early evening “aperitivo” combines socializing and plentiful free buffets for the price of a drink or two and no cover charge.

Compare Rates to Florence






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