Question: What should I do when I’m in Florence, Italy? What should I know if I’m living in Florence as an American expat?
General Tips to Living in Florence, Italy:
1. Get an across-the-body bag.
Florence is in high tourist season, the amount of pick-pocketing is huge. NEVER carry your passport around with you.
2. Buy a monthly bus pass and carry it around with you everywhere.
Don’t try to cheat the system! Fines are 45 euro each time and they are not nice about it. Or you can walk because it will be gorgeous out.
3. Be polite and try to learn the language. You’ll get better service.
When you go into a store or a restaurant, even if you’re not buying anything, say “buongiorno,” “grazie,” and “ciao”. It’s good manners.
4. You don’t have to tip in bars and restaurants.
Sometimes they put a service charge of like 10% but you still don’t have to tip.
Must-See Places in Florence, Italy:
1. Go to the top of the Duomo. It’s 8 euro and the line will be insane, but the view is worth it.
2. See the basics: Uffizi, Boboli Gardens (at the Pitti Palace), the David at the Academia, Ponte Vecchio.
3. San Lorenzo is a huge market where you can bargain for things.
Best Nightlife in Florence, Italy
1. Red Garter (across from Santa Croce) is fairly American, but fun if that’s what you’re looking for. They have beer pong and karaoke on certain nights of the week
2. Lion’s Fountain (near Piazza Salvemini)- another American-like bar but you’ll find some locals in there too.
3. Twice (further down the road from Red Garter)- always has good dancing.
4. Central Park and Meccano (both near Santa Maria Novella station) were totally amazing. Outdoor clubs, several dance floors, lots of security and great music.