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Ponte Santa Trinita Florence
Ponte Santa Trinita Florence
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13 Things Tourists Should Never Do In Florence

Picture of Francesca Masotti
Updated: 15 August 2017
Filled with art, architecture and fabulous cuisine, Florence is universally known to be one of the most magnificent city in the world. Given the abundance of treasures in the historic city centre and that time is precious, knowing what to avoid in Florence can be as important as knowing what to see and do.

Don’t Stay With The Herd

Florence is a small and walking city and can be visited in a day but not in a group of many people. The best thing you can do here, if you want to discover also non-touristic places, is to get a map, walk on your own and get lost for a bit.

Crowd in Florence
Crowd in Florence | Crowd in Florence

Don’t Drive In The City

Do not drive a car in the historic center of Florence. Parking is expensive and very hard to find, streets are too narrow and trying to find your destination can be truly frustrating. So, forget the car and walk, there is nothing better to do in Florence. The only reason you could rent a car should be for a day trip to the Tuscan countryside.

Don’t Wear High Heels Or Your Flip-Flops

Obviously you can buy Italian high-heeled shoes, but seriously don’t wear them while touring the city. Florence’s narrow streets with cobblestone sidewalks are very challenging. On the other hand, don’t wear your flip-flops either. Make a little effort and remember that you’re not at the beach, you’re visiting a city of art.

Meet The David

While there are replicas of The David in Florence (the most famous is in front of Palazzo Vecchio), the original statue is located in the gorgeous Accademia Gallery. Nothing compares to see the Michelangelo’s marble masterpiece in person, so arrange online for the tickets to skip the queue outside and go straight to see The David.

The David of Michelangelo
The David of Michelangelo | The David of Michelangelo

Don’t Mistake The Language

Think Italian is similar to Spanish? Wrong. Very wrong. These two languages of Latin origins have similar words but are different. You can’t use the words “gracias” (thanks) or “por favor” (please), instead of “grazie” and “per favore”, you’re not in Sevilla or Madrid.

Don’t Wait In Line

The best thing to do to avoid lines is to book tickets online. Except for a couple of months in the winter, tourists in Florence spend a lot of time in queues, sometimes you wait for two or three hours before entering the Uffizi. Be smart: don’t forget to book ahead online for tickets for the museum for a small fee. Once in Florence, you will bypass the queue.

Queue
Queue | Queue

Bardini Garden, not Boboli

While Boboli Garden is the most famous garden in Florence, the views of the city are better from Bardini. This smaller garden is filled with flowers, statues, fountains and there are only few tourists. This is one of the coolest place to admire Florence’s panorama away from the crowds, even better than the touristic Piazzale Michelangelo.

Giardino Bardini Florence
Giardino Bardini Florence | Giardino Bardini Florence

Shop at Central Market

The huge food market is the place to be for those who want to buy something typical. Central Market located in San Lorenzo neighborhood has been recently renewed and hosts restaurants and bars, and is the perfect shopping place if you’re looking for wine, olive oil and Tuscan gastronomy.

Central Market Florence
Central Market Florence | Central Market Florence

Don’t Dine In The Tourist Spots

Avoid the touristic restaurants and wander down the narrow streets to find cafes and wine bars frequented by locals. The best neighborhood to find excellent Tuscan food is Oltrarno, the area on the left bank of the Arno river. The food is better and prices are more wallet-friendly.

Go Free

Don’t schedule every second of your trip and make sure to leave time for relaxing and unexpected moments such as festivals, free night at museums, gastronomy events, etc. The city’s tourism offices maintain lists of current free openings and events.

Don’t Drink A Cappuccino While You’re Eating

Remember: Italians don’t drink cappuccinos at lunch or dinner. Cappuccino is gorgeous but is only for breakfast. Don’t make the mistake to order it with a plate of pasta. Forget it and opt for a mineral water or an Italian wine.

Palazzo Vecchio Tower

If you are up for a good climb and breathtaking vistas but mostly if you hate the lines, the best option is to avoid the Duomo and go straight to Old Palace that offers spectacular views.

For Gorgeous Sunsets Reach Ponte Santa Trinita

Ponte Vecchio is undoubtedly the most famous bridge of Florence, but for those who are into amazing sunsets, Ponte Santa Trinita is way better. Just one bridge to the west of Ponte Vecchio, Santa Trinita offers terrific views over the famous old bridge. Romantic, beautiful and without crowds, this bridge is the perfect place for the last moments in Florence.