Italy is so in right now! Florence had 15 million tourist overnight stays in 2019 alone. That’s 20 times the population of the city.
Visiting Florence, Italy can let you see Italy like never before. But you should not order your tickets just yet. To make the most of your Florence vacation, you need to plan ahead and learn more about the city.
What are the weather and geography of Florence like? When should you avoid traveling to Florence? What are some of the city’s hidden gems?
Answer these questions and you can fall in love with the city of Florence. Here is your quick guide.
Check the Weather
Florence has a mild climate. Temperatures are at their hottest in July and August, with average highs going over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re used to a colder climate, you may find these temperatures uncomfortable.
However, outside of the summer, the temperatures are moderate. During the spring and fall, you can wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants and be comfortable.
The summer also has very little rain, with July experiencing less than two inches on average. November is the rainiest month, with more than 4.5 inches of rain. However, it can rain during any part of the year, and the city experiences 88 days of rain on average.
Prior to your visit, you should check the weather for your stay. You should also check before you leave for the day, as storms can come into town within a few hours. If you’re going on Florence tours, bring an umbrella and a jacket just to be safe.
Avoid the Tourist Peak Seasons
Summer tends to be the high season in Florence. Many people visit the city to enjoy the weather and sunshine. During August, many residents leave the city to go on their vacations, which means you will encounter very few locals.
Some people also like to visit Florence during the holiday season. You can find holiday markets and special events, but reservations may be booked for them well in advance. You should also avoid Italian holidays like Ferragosto, as nearly all stores and attractions will be closed.
Try to plan your Florence, Italy vacation for the spring or fall. Many stores and tourist attractions are closed during Easter, so avoid traveling then unless you plan on visiting the churches for services.
Even outside of the peak seasons, most museums like the Uffizi Gallery are packed. You can skip the lines by ordering your tickets ahead of time or hiring a Florence vacation agency to give you a tour.
Prepare to Walk
The historic center in Florence is very small, and most tourist attractions are a short walk away from it. This means that you should spend most of your time walking instead of taking public transportation.
Buy a good pair of walking shoes and break them in before you travel to Italy. You may also want to bring boots so you can walk around on wet terrain.
The Piazzale Michelangelo is a square that gives you a panoramic view of the city. You have to walk up a short hill in order to get there, and some people have difficulty climbing it. Ask for help if you need it and feel free to take a bus.
You can join a free walking tour in Florence or plan your own. Set an itinerary for yourself and calculate how long it will take you to visit each location so you can get to everything.
Explore the Entire City
Many tourists spend their time in northern Florence in the areas around the Duomo. Though you can find many tourist attractions nearby, going to southern Florence can help you see how the locals live. You can also find great works of art and shorter lines.
You should also cross over the Arno River, especially if you’re interested in Florence architecture. The Santo Spirito and San Niccolo areas contain churches, art galleries, and small stores that few people visit. You may be able to spend an entire day exploring these locations.
Tuscany has many different small towns and wineries you can visit. Once you’ve gone through Florence, you should make day trips to Assisi and Perugia. You can rent a car and drive to these places or ride on the train.
Be Careful When Shopping
Florence has hundreds of shops. However, many of them charge excessive amounts of money for pasta, clothes, and other things.
Get away from the tourist centers before you go shopping. Florence is well-known for its leather, and you may be able to find less expensive products from smaller and more rural leather stores.
Some stores try to sell fake clothes and bags as Gucci products and other brands. Never buy one of these products, as they tend to be low-quality. If you want Gucci items, go to the Gucci store in town and buy them there.
Shopkeepers are willing to barter with customers, but their patience is limited. Do not try to get products for extremely low amounts, and be willing to pay the sticker price a few times.
Many shops close between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. for siesta. If you want to go shopping, you should schedule your visits for the morning or evening.
Make Your Plans for Visiting Florence, Italy
Before you start visiting Florence, Italy, you need to learn a few things. You should go during the fall or spring when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
Be ready to walk, regardless of your itinerary. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit the southern parts of the city and go to both sides of the Arno River. Avoid tourist areas when you go shopping and try to save money by haggling.
If vacation planning is overwhelming you, turn to travel professionals. Florence Free Tours provides premium tours throughout Florence. Read about our tours today.
If you want discover the town of Florence, come with is we are running a free walking tour every day from Santa Maria Novella square.