The city of Florence in Italy may not be as popular as Venice or Rome, but it is still a great place to visit on a vacation. Florence is a center of modern fashion, Renaissance art, and Italian commerce. Many tourists go to this city to see the famous works of historical artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo. Even if you are not interested in art or history, you will still be amazed by Florence’s traditional Medieval and Renaissance architecture, world-class fashion industry, and breathtaking coastal countryside scenery. If you are planning on going to Florence, use this article as your guide to travelling in and around this majestic city.
HISTORY OF FLORENCE
Florence was founded by Lucius Cornelius Sulla around 80 B.C. In the 14th century, noble families fought for the control of Florence, and the famous Medici family took over the city in the 15th century. The Medici family ruled Florence for many years and supported the Italian Renaissance arts. They made the city into the cultural icon that it is today.
If you are flying to Florence, look for flights bound for the Peretola Airport, an airport located in the center of Florence. Another airport that is close to Florence is the Galileo Galilei Airport located in Pisa which is an hour and 30 minutes outside Florence. If you are traveling to Florence via cruise ship, the major port for cruise ships nearest to Florence is the Livorno port which is about an hour and 30 minutes from the city. You can find taxis and rental cars at the airports and major hotels. There are also buses and 3 train stations in Florence.
If you plan to rent a car, you need a valid insurance coverage and an international driver’s license. As of June 2010, you need a passport if you are travelling to Italy and staying there for less than 90 days. You should verify the entry requirements at consulates or embassies before you travel to Florence. Immunization recommendations should also be verified at least ten days in advance of your travel to Florence.
HOTELS AND ACCOMMODATIONS
You need not worry about hotels and accommodations in Florence. There are plenty of hotels, apartments, bed and breakfasts, villas, and farmhouses for every budget. Many of the hotels and accommodations are located near airports and popular tourist attractions. There are also plenty of places to dine in the city. You can find wines and world-class cuisine at Florence’s fine dining restaurants. You can also buy food at street stands, open air markets, and sandwich shops.
One of the places that you must visit in Florence is the Uffizi Gallery. This art gallery features Renaissance art including the works of Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. Florence also boasts Medieval and Gothic churches, museums, and outdoor markets. Many local events and festivals are also held in the city throughout the year. The most popular festival is the Lo Scoppio del Carro festival which is held on Easter Sunday at the Cathedral Square.