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Staying in Florence

Oct 12, 2007
Florence is decidedly smaller than Rome and, as such, is easier to navigate around. The first thing that tourists need to do when considering a visit to Florence is arm themselves with a good map of the city as this is definitely one of the best tools to have.

Florence can be reached by a number of means. The city has an airport that is always bustling with tourists and travelers. Other ways to reach the city include via express train or coach. Florence is linked to major cities such as Rome (a one and a half hour journey) by train, which makes for extremely easy traveling.

There are a large number of options for tourists wishing to stay in Florence, from budget hotels to the very expensive. Visitors have their pick of almost any type of accommodation available some prefer character accommodation such as in converted castles, while others prefer rustic dwellings such as farmhouse lodgings in the Tuscan countryside.

Some visitors prefer a certain element of independence and therefore opt to stay in holiday apartments in Florence. These are apartments that are rented out by landlords and usually come complete with all that visitors need to make their stay in Florence as comfortable as possible a kitchen, television, bedrooms and bathroom. Some apartments will be tiny studios that barely sleep one or two, while others are large enough to accommodate big families. In fact, a rented apartment is probably the most convenient (and cheapest) way to house a family that is visiting Florence.

When considering apartment rental, or any accommodation for that matter in Florence, one of the most important things that you will want to take into account is the location of the place. If you have hired a car, by all means find accommodation on the city outskirts; however, nothing quite beats taking two steps out of your hotel or apartment and being right in the heart of this beautiful city. The best accommodation is located where the all action is, within walking distance of all that Florence has to offer.

And what a lot this city has to offer! With a certain amount of planning (such as dividing the city into quarters and finding out opening and closing hours of the must-see sites), your visit to Florence can be extremely rewarding.

One of the most important sites in Florence is undoubtedly the Basilica of the Santa Croce the final resting place of some of the greatest men in history, including Dante, Galileo and Michelangelo. For that perfect Florence holiday snapshot, visitors should head out for the Ponte Vecchio or, for something a little more educational, visit Michelangelo's home Casa Buonarroti.

Other sites to tick off on your list include the Orsanmichele, the Galleria dell Accademia which houses Michelangelo's world famous statue, David, the Medici Chapels and the Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria. To make sure that you catch everything that is of interest, visit a tourist office that will provide you will all the information you need to make your trip more worthwhile.

If you've been tired out by site seeing, try a little shopping in Florence. This city is world famous for its leather goods and you can find this product in a number of places around the city from the New Market (Mercato Nuovo) to street vendors with their colorful portable carts selling everything from fine leather to souvenir t-shirts. There are quite a few main shopping areas in Florence and you should be on the lookout for quality and be prepared to haggle with the storeowners.

There is so much to do and see in Florence that a visitor can't really begin to soak up the atmosphere in less than four or five days. Give yourself time to meander along the old, historic streets of this city to really appreciate it in all its splendor!
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