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Florence City Guide: The birthplace of the Renaissance. Florence is a vibrant living museum that celebrates the works of the worlds greatest artists such as Michelangelo, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. Florence hosts the worlds most celebrated storehouse of Renaissance art and architecture, it is often referred to as being one enormous museum and art gallery, with more important art treasures per square meter than any other city in the world.
Places to visit in Florence: Easily enjoyed on foot and set on the banks of the Arno below the wooded foothills of the Appennines, this beautiful city encourages discovery. Visit the palaces, museums and galleries or simply be drawn in amongst the lavish architecture that crowds the narrow streets. Stroll around its elegant buildings and piazzas and you will understand why it inspired so many artists.
Sightseeing in Florence: Visit the Uffizi gallery the oldest gallery in the world with a collection of the greatest works of the Renaissance commissioned largely by the Medici family, works include Botticelli's (Birth of Venus). Also visit the Galleria Dell' Accademia which contains Michelangelo's original David. The magnificent Cathedral dominates the city with excellent views from its cupola and Giotto's Bell Tower.
Take a stroll across the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge or enjoy the beautiful Pitti Palace and its lovely gardens. For the best views of the city visit Piazzale Michelangelo and then onto San Miniato al Monte to visit one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Italy.
Eating out in Florence: Florence has many restaurants serving Tuscan and international cuisine. Some of the best are the small friendly trattoria around the Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Try one of the local Tuscan wines (Chianti).
Shopping in Florence: Italian fashion can be found at the Via della Vigna Nuova. Try the flea market of Piazza Ciompi for bargains, also visit the large street market at San Lorenzo. The medieval Ponte Vecchio is famous for hand-crafted jewellery and traditional goldsmiths.
Flights to Florence and Pisa Airports: Pisa. Galileo Galilei International Airport (PSA) The airport is located one mile (2km) northeast of Pisa.
Airport Transport: From Airport to Pisa centre and beyond. A bus service from the airport departs regularly to Pisa city centre. Trains from Pisa Centrale station connect to Florence and other cities in the region. Taxis are also available, the average fare within Pisa ranges from €10 to €20. Taxi drivers are required to switch on their meters before each journey. From Pisa there are coach services to the centre of Florence with a travelling time of approximately1hour 30min.
Excursions: Get your bearings by taking the essential 3 hour city tour of Florence, you can pack a lot in with this excursion, including, Brunelleschi's Cupola, Giotto's Bell Tower, Baptistry. Palazzo Pitti (or Bargello Museum or Medici Chapels) Palatine Gallery. Piazzale Michelangelo, the Church of Santa Croce, Galleria Dell'Accademia housing Michelangelo's statue of David.
The Pisa Afternoon tour: This tour includes a trip to the site of Italy's famous leaning tower. Piazza dei Cavalieri, Piazza dei Miracoli and the Cathedral and Baptistry. The San Gimignano and Siena tour: This tour consists of a full day excursion lasting approximately9 hours which takes you through the picturesque Tuscan countryside to the mediaeval hilltop village of San Gimignano, then onto Siena, the venue for the Palio horse race.
Chianti Wine Tour: A popular tour visiting the Chianti countryside with a visit to a castle farm for wine tasting and a snack.
Useful Tips, Destination Information and Travel Inspiration
Italy A Country and Flight GuideItaly has become more Italian than ever and provides something exiting and wonderful for every taste. The historical cities of Rome, Florence and Venice combine with some of Europe's most beautiful coastline and countryside. Italy's numerous opera festivals and world-renowned galleries provide both music and art lovers with something fascinating 365 days a year.
Airline and flight information to Italy with departures from the United Kingdom: Alitalia AZ. Departs from London Heathrow LHR and London City LCY airports direct to Milan and Rome. BMI BD. Operate from London Heathrow LHR and Manchester to Venice airport. British Airways BA operates direct non-stop services departing from London Heathrow LHR and London Gatwick LGW to Bologna, Catania, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Pisa, Rome, Turin, Venice and Verona. BA also operate services departing from Manchester and Birmingham airports direct to Milan LIN.
Easyjet EZ Flies from Gatwick, Luton, East Midlands, Bristol, Newcastle, Belfast to Venice, Milan, Rome, Olbia, Naples, Turin, Pisa, Palermo and Cagliari. Flybe fly from both Manchester and Birmingham to Milan airport. Jet2 fly from Edinburgh, Belfast, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle to Venice, Bergamo, Pisa, Rome and Olbia in Sardinia.
Italy General Facts: Currency is the Euro. Time: GMT +1. Electricity: 220 volts. Driving: Traffic drives on the right. Language: Italian. English & French widely spoken. International dialing code from the UK: 00 39.
Climate: The Italian climate is varied with no appreciable rainfall. Spring and autumn are fine and sunny, with summer months being hot and winter mild on the Italian Riviera. Cold with snow in the north and in the alps.
Major Events: Epiphany Fair Piazza Navona, Rome in January. Celebration of Holy Week in Perugia in May. Luminara in Pisa in June. Festa de Noantri in Rome in June. Top Attractions: The Colosseum and St Peters Basilica in Rome. The Vatican in Rome. St Mark's Square and Cathedral in Venice. The Duomo in Milan. Duomo and Uffizzi Gallery in Florence. The Leaning Tower in Pisa. Mount Etna and Lake Garda.