good to know in florence

I have done some technical changes to the blog, which means that I need to republish my "good to know in Rome and Florence" as individual posts. I thought it didn't hurt though to have them pop up again on top of the page. I'm sure not all of you knew them. So here goes:

Do not forget...

... that if you need to buy Italian food such as oil, parmesan cheese, coffee, etc. it is best to simply find an ordinary supermarket. Italian supermarkets are almost always very well stocked, most of them have sections with fresh bread, cheese and charcuterie, and it is far cheaper than the fascinating delicacy shops located around the centre of Florence.

... that sales in Florence normally take place in July and January. In July you can find the year's summer collection at least 30% cheaper, and in January, it will be the winter collection that will be on sale. If you have the nerves to wait, remember that most shops start with 30% off and a few weeks later set their prices even lower, sometimes up to 70%.

... that Florence has two kinds of house numbers. The little r in an address indicates that the place is a business. The r stands for rosso (red in Italian) and in fact housenumbers of restaurants, shops etc. are written in red, while ordinary house numbers are written in black. This distinction sometimes makes it a little difficult to find a certain address since the two number systems often don't follow each other.

... that Florence is one of the best located cities geographically when it comes to little day trips. From the central train station Santa Maria Novella there are several trains every day to cities like Bologna, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Arezzo, you can even get to Rome in just an hour and a half with the Italian Eurostar train. The Tuscan cities are all quite small so you can easily visit them in one day and they can all be reached by train in less than one hour and a half.

... to get up early. A walk in the streets and along the Arno is quite another thing early in the morning before the tourists take in the city, and the Florentines get on their way to work. Bring you camera. The light is fantastic at this time of the day and you will love the tranquillity and the feeling that the city is yours alone.

... to enjoy life and take things easy. Florence is best when it is lived, as the Florentines live it. Choose those tourist attractions that really interest and fascinate you, and visit them, because you want to, and not because you have to.


  1. I love the suggestion of getting up early in the morning. That is definitely going on my must-do list.

    1. Yes, and it's something which goes for all cities. Mornings are the best time of the day to explore places.