|Some Useful Information about
Here is some information and advice to help you get the
most out of your trip to Florence. During your stay at the
Hotel Il Bargellino, we will be happy to assist you with
information about local sights, restaurants, and/or museum
WHEN TO VISIT
The best time to visit if you
want to avoid crowds is before Easter, late Fall or Winter.
Make use of the Tourist Information Offices in the city
to get an update on what’s going on around the city – they
also supply maps indicating the major site locations. This
makes it easy to orient yourself on Florence's winding
Tourist Office Locations:
- Via Cavour 1r (near the Duomo) Mon. through Sat.
8:15am to 7:15pm Sun. 8:15am to 1:45pm.
- Borgo Santa Croce 29r Mon. Through Sat. 8:30am to
- At the train station, by the short tower near the
bus stops and east exit. Mon. through Sat. 8:30am to
- At the airport there is a small office open from
8:30am to 10:30pm.
Please note: Florence's major museums are closed on
Mondays. Check before you go!
The official site of the Uffizi Gallery is at
http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/ -- you can also visit the
"Virtual Uffizi" at
You can pre-book most major museums, but there is a €3
booking charge (€4 for the Uffizi and Accademia), they
accept cash only, and you will need to show up at least 10
minutes before your assigned entry time to collect your
tickets. There will be and additional €3 fee when/if there
are any special exhibitions at the time of your visit.
- Bring photocopies of your passport, credit cards
etc. This will make it easier to file a report for a
replacement should you lose them.
- DON'T lose them. It can be a major hassle and waste
of your vacation time.
- As in any large city, be careful of pickpockets.
It’s no fun to lose money and documents. Wear a money
belt or pouch inside your clothing.
You can find ATM and cash machines throughout the city.
Exchange booths usually take a hefty commission.
For best exchange rates, use:
American Express office: Via Dante Alighieri 22r Tel. O55
50 981. Open Mon. through Friday 9am to 5:30pm; Sat. 9am to
Or a bank:
General opening hours: Mon. through Fri. 8:20am to
1:20pm; Afternoons from 2:35pm to 3:35pm.
The prepaid international phone cards with the
scratch-off PIN numbers (buy them in Italy for best
deals) should work from all public telephones. For charge
card and collect calls, you can reach an ATT operator by
dialing 800 172 444, a SPRINT operator by dialing 800 172
405, and an MCI operator by dialing 800 905 825 – at
Euro-operated coin phones, you must insert a coin to access
these numbers, but your coin will be returned once your call
The phone cards (schede telefoniche) that you put into a
slot on the telephone are easy to use, and are best for
making calls within Italy--prepaid international phonecards
are better for calling internationally. Remember to tear off
the perforated corner before using the card. If there are
not sufficient funds on the card, the call will not go
Phone cards for €5,00 or €10,00 are available for sale at
bars, newspaper stands and tobacconists.
You can find city bus tickets at bars, newspaper stands,
and tobacconists, anywhere you see a window sticker that
The orange city buses are good for excursions to places
Other useful bus routes are:
- Fiesole, a small town overlooking Florence. Take bus
#7 to Fiesole, about 40mins ride into the hills.
- Piazzale Michelangelo, with its magnificent view of
the city. It is a quick ride up on either bus #12 or 13,
and you can walk or ride down.
Be sure to validate your ticket on the bus. No excuses
will be accepted. The fine and embarrassment come in
equal measures for those without a properly validated
- #14: Station-Duomo-Santa Croce
- #20: Fortezza da Basso-Piazza San Marco
- #31/32: Station-Ponte alla Carraia-Santo Spirito-Palazzo
- Vola in Bus: Station-Peretola (Airport) In this
case only, tickets are available for purchase on the
- Letter B bus: Duomo-Pitti Palace-Ponte alla Carraia-Station
You get a taxi either at a taxi stand or by telephone.
Don’t bother to try hailing one. When it rains or at rush
hour they will be hard to come by.
If you must have a taxi at a certain time (e.g. early
AM) to get to the airport etc., reserve one the night before
by phone. It’s well worth the small extra charge.
<>When you call for a taxi, you will be put on hold
while the dispatcher finds a cab for you. Always wait
for a confirmation, which will consist of a city or
country name and a number. All rides are metered unless
you made prior arrangements, and there is a minimum
It usually costs around € 20 - € 30 from the airport to
the city. That’s about a 20 minute ride, depending of
course on where you are going and how much traffic there
is. Surcharges will be applied for calling and/or
reserving, luggage, Sundays and holidays, and rides
outside the city limits.
I do not recommend driving in Italy unless you plan to go
to places not easily reached by public transportation.
All major car rental agencies are located within short
walking distance to the hotel.
You will not be allowed to drive in the city center
except to unload luggage at your hotel or to get to a
garage. (make prior arrangements) You will not need to do
this to arrive at Il Bargellino, but you MUST follow
specific directions or you will receive a hefty fine.
Street parking in the center is for residents only.
Parking can be difficult and/or expensive. Never leave
anything interesting to a thief visible in your car when you
Day Trips (by train or bus)
There are lots of day trips you can easily take from
Florence. Lucca, Siena and Pisa are all about one hour away
either by train or Sita bus. The Sita bus company, best for
Siena and San Gimignano, is located at Via Santa Caterina da
The best place to buy tickets and reserve seats is at a
travel agency. The closest one is located around the corner
on Via Faenza. Most travel agencies are closed on Saturday
afternoon and Sunday.
You can view train schedules, and book tickets online in
some cases, at the official web site of the Italian train
http://www.fs-on-line.com/index(or go directly to
the English-language site by clicking
here.) Make sure to validate your train ticket