If Rome and Venice compete for the primacy of beauty in Italy, Firenze – Florence – on tiptoe… maintains it! And it manages to attract almost the same number of visitors as the other two Italian “pearls”, while retaining that air of a quiet, almost provincial centre. Florence is that earthy color that surrounds palaces asleep in time and fascinating statues, hiding museums full of masterpieces and bell towers of churches that are unique in the world. When to go Florence is often referred to as one of the ideal autumn tourist destinations, because the climate here remains pleasant even in October. And walking in search of its artistic beauties in the autumnal coolness is excellent because you never get tired! Of course, even in spring and summer Florence remains beautiful, perhaps a little less romantic in the heat … but no less recommended for this. How to get to Florence Florence is very well served by all types of transport. It has its own airport, Firenze-Vespucci Airport (FLR), which welcomes many international flights especially low cost ones, but it is also close to the Pisa airport (PSA) which helps to dispose of tourist traffic. Trains from all over Italy stop at the main station in Florence which is Santa Maria Novella. Many bus and taxi connections also depart from here. Those traveling by their own means will arrive in Florence via the A1 motorway (which connects northern and southern Italy) and the A12 (which connects the city to the sea and the Apennines). State roads also connect Florence to the rest of Tuscany and Italy. Remember, however, that in the city the pedestrian area is very large. Therefore cars must be left in special car parks outside the old city center. How to move through Florence The car is not the ideal way to get around Florence. To begin with, there are many and very large pedestrian areas in the centre, so they cannot be crossed with a motor vehicle. Secondly, Florentine traffic is considered one of the most chaotic in Italy! It is therefore better to move on foot, if possible, or by public transport (bus lines, tram lines, public and private taxis). Some electric buses and trams can safely enter the restricted traffic zones. The City Card you shall buy there will allow you to pay only once to use multiple vehicles on different days. Florence is also beautiful to travel around by bicycle. Thanks to the areas closed to traffic, bikers can move freely and without too much effort. What to see It seems like a rhetorical question, “what is there to see in Florence”. Florence is a UN World Heritage Site, which means that every stone is a monument. And naturally many stones together form buildings, squares, statues of incredible value. The standard tourist route in Florence is: Piazza della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio; Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, with the famous Giotto’s Bell Tower; Santa Maria Novella church; The Uffizi Gallery Museum; River Arno Promenade; Ponte Vecchio bridge; Vasari Corridor; Piazzale Michelangelo; Boboli’s Garden. To these ultra-well-known monuments we can add places less frequented by tourism but equally fascinating, such as: Torre Castagna, Torre Mannelli, Santa Rosa Ancient Walls, Porta Romana, the squares Piazza de’ Pitti, Piazza Santissima Annunziata. Not far from Florence you can visit the hills of Fiesole, the cities of Empoli and Prato, and the village of San Miniato. Pistoia is less than an hour’s drive away. Driving an hour and a half west, you shall arrive in Pisa.