Pocket Rough Guide Florence (Travel Guide eBook)
171 pages

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171 pages

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Pocket Rough Guide Florence

Make the most of your time on Earth with the ultimate travel guides.
Entertaining, informative and stylish pocket guide.

Discover the best of Florence with this compact and entertaining pocket travel guide. This slim, trim treasure trove of trustworthy travel information is ideal for short-trip travellers and covers all the key sights (Duomo, Uffizi and San Marco), restaurants, shops, cafés and bars, plus inspired ideas for day-trips, with honest and independent recommendations from our experts.

Features of this travel guide to Pocket Rough Guide Florence:
Compact format: packed with practical information, this is the perfect travel companion when you're out and about exploring Florence
Honest and independent reviews: written with Rough Guides' trademark blend of humour, honesty and expertise, our writers will help you make the most of your trip
Incisive area-by-area overviews: covering Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria and more, the practical 'Places' section provides all you need to know about must-see sights and the best places to eat, drink and shop
Handy pull-out map: with every major sight and listing highlighted, the pull-out map makes on-the-ground navigation easy
Time-saving itineraries: carefully planned routes will help inspire and inform your on-the-road experiences
Day-trips: venture further afield to Fiesole or Oltrarno. This tells you why to go, how to get there, and what to see when you arrive
Travel tips and info: packed with essential pre-departure information including getting around, health, tourist information, festivals and events, plus an A-Z directory and handy language section and glossary
Attractive user-friendly design: features fresh magazine-style layout, inspirational colour photography and colour-coded maps throughout
Covers: Piazza del Duomo; Piazza della Signoria; West of the centre; North of the centre; East of the centre; Oltrarno; The city outskirts and Fiesole

Looking for a comprehensive travel guide to Italy? Try The Rough Guide to Italy for an informative and entertaining look at all the country has to offer.

About Rough Guides: Rough Guides have been inspiring travellers for over 35 years, with over 30 million copies sold. Synonymous with practical travel tips, quality writing and a trustworthy 'tell it like it is' ethos, the Rough Guides list includes more than 260 travel guides to 120+ destinations, gift-books and phrasebooks.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 mars 2020
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781789196641
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 6 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0018€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


CONTENTS Introduction to FLORENCE What’s new When to visit Where to Florence at a glance Things not to miss Itineraries Places Piazza del Duomo and around Piazza della Signoria and around West of the centre North of the centre East of the centre Oltrarno The city outskirts Fiesole Accommodation Essentials Arrival Getting around Directory A–Z Festivals and events Chronology Italian Small Print
If one city could be said to encapsulate the essence of Italy it might well be Florence (Firenze in Italian), the first capital of the united country. The modern Italian language evolved from Tuscan dialect, and Dante’s Divina Commedia was the first great work of Italian literature to be written in the vernacular; but what makes this city pivotal to the culture not just of Italy but of all Europe is, of course, the Renaissance. The very name by which we refer to this extraordinary era was coined by a Tuscan, Giorgio Vasari, who wrote in the sixteenth century of the “rebirth” of the arts with the humanism of Giotto and his successors. Every eminent artistic figure from Giotto onwards – Masaccio, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo – is represented here, in an unrivalled concentration of churches, galleries and museums.

Palazzo Vecchio illuminated at night

What’s new

For tourists, the most significant changes in Florence in recent years have been the opening of a whole new floor of the Uffizi galleries and the spectacular rebuilding of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. The city’s main market, the Mercato Centrale, has also been transformed – it now houses a host of late-opening places to eat and drink. Bedevilled by controversy, the city’s major infrastructure project – the tram network – now has two complete lines, but you’re not likely to use either of them.
During the fifteenth century, architects such as Brunelleschi and Alberti began to transform the cityscape of Florence, raising buildings that were to provide future generations with examples from which to take a lead. As soon as you step out of the train station the imprint of the Renaissance is visible, with the pinnacle of Brunelleschi’s stupendous dome visible over the rooftops, and the Renaissance emphasis on harmony is exemplified with unrivalled eloquence in Brunelleschi’s interiors of San Lorenzo , Santo Spirito and the Cappella dei Pazzi , and in Alberti’s work at Santa Maria Novella and the Palazzo Rucellai. In painting, the development of the new sensibility can be plotted stage by stage in the vast picture collection of the recently expanded Uffizi , while the Bargello , the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and the mighty guild church of Orsanmichele do the same for the story of sculpture. Equally revelatory are the fabulously decorated chapels of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella , forerunners of such astonishing creations as Masaccio’s frescoes at Santa Maria del Carmine , Fra’ Angelico’s serene paintings at San Marco , and Andrea del Sarto’s work at Santissima Annunziata , to name just a few. Florence is the city of Michelangelo, one of the dominant creative figures of sixteenth-century Italy, the scope of whose genius can only be appreciated after you’ve seen his astonishing San Lorenzo’s Sagrestia Nuova and the marble statuary of the Accademia – home of the David . Michelangelo’s two great rivals, Raphael and Titian, along with dozens of other supreme painters, are on show in the enormous art gallery of the Palazzo Pitti, once the home of the city’s most famous family, the Medici, whose former home – the beautiful Palazzo Medici-Riccardi – can also be visited.
The achievements of the Renaissance were of course underpinned by the wealth that had been accumulated in earlier decades by the Medici and Florence’s other plutocratic dynasties, and in every quarter of the centre you’ll see churches and monuments that attest to the financial might of medieval Florence: the Duomo, the Baptistery, the Palazzo Vecchio, the huge churches of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, and the exquisite Romanesque gem of San Miniato al Monte are among the most conspicuous demonstrations of Florence’s prosperity. As for the centuries that followed the heyday of the Renaissance, it’s often forgotten that Florence played a major role in the development of modern science – this was, after all, the home of Galileo , whose name has been bestowed on the city’s fascinating science museum.

The Last Supper by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Museo di San Marco
It has to be said that nowadays it can often seem that Florence has become too popular for its own good. The city has been a magnet for tourists since the nineteenth century, when Stendhal staggered around its streets in a stupor of aesthetic delight, and nowadays, in high season, parts of the city can be almost unbearable, with immense queues for the Uffizi and pedestrian traffic at a standstill on the Ponte Vecchio. But if you time your visit carefully, don’t rush around trying to see everything and make a point of eating and drinking in our recommended restaurants, cafés and bars, you’ll have a visit you’ll never forget.
< Back to Introduction
When to visit

Midsummer in Florence can be less than pleasant: the heat is often stifling, and the inundation of tourists makes the major attractions a purgatorial experience. For the most enjoyable visit, arrive shortly before Easter or in October : the weather should be fine, and the balance between Florentines and outsiders restored to its rightful level. Winter is often quite rainy, but the absence of crowds makes this a good option for the big sights. If you can only travel between Easter and September, reserve your accommodation well before you arrive, as it’s not uncommon for every hotel in the centre to be fully booked. The worst month is August , when the majority of Italians take their holidays, with the result that many restaurants and bars are closed for the month.
< Back to Introduction
Where to…
Florence is known as a producer of luxury items , notably gold jewellery, high-quality leather goods, top-grade stationery and marbled paper. The whole Ponte Vecchio is crammed with goldsmiths, but the city’s premier shopping thoroughfare is Via de’ Tornabuoni , where you’ll find the showrooms of Italy’s top fashion designers. Prada, Gucci, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana are all here, as are the country’s main outlets for three of the top Florentine fashion houses – Pucci, Roberto Cavalli and Ferragamo. For cheap and cheerful stuff there’s the plethora of stalls around San Lorenzo, and there’s also a handful of good department stores .
OUR FAVOURITES: Aqua Flor . Barberino Designer Outlet . Giulio Giannini e Figlio .
As you’d expect in a major tourist city, Florence has plenty of restaurants, but – unsurprisingly – a large number of them are aimed squarely at outsiders, so standards are often patchy, especially around Piazza della Signoria and Piazza del Duomo. But several good-quality and good-value restaurants lie on the periphery of the city centre, notably around Santa Croce and Sant’Ambrogio , and across the river in Oltrarno . Simple meals are served in many Florentine bars and cafés, so if you fancy a quick bite to eat rather than a full-blown meal, take a look at our list of cafés and bars in each Places chapter of this guide.
OUR FAVOURITES: Ora d’Aria . Io – Osteria Personale . Il Guscio .
As elsewhere in Italy, the distinction between Florentine bars and cafés can be tricky to the point of impossibility, as almost every café serves alcohol and almost every bar serves coffee. That said, some cafés have an emphasis on coffee and cakes, just as there are plenty of bars dedicated to the wines of the Tuscan vineyards. The humblest wine bars belong to the endangered species known as the vinaio , which consists of little more than a few shelves of workaday wines plus a counter of snacks. At the opposite pole there’s the enoteca , which has a vast wine menu and often a good kitchen too.
OUR FAVOURITES: Fuori Porta . Rex Caffè . Volume .
Go out
Many of Florence’s hotter bars try to keep the punters on the premises by serving free snacks with the aperitivi (usually about 7–9pm) before the music kicks in – either live or (more often) supplied by a DJ. Florence is quite a sedate city, but like every university town it has some decent clubs and music venues. For information about what’s on, pick up a copy of the Firenze Spettacolo monthly listings magazine or call in at Box Office, near the Sant’Ambrogio market at Via Delle Vecchie Carcere 1 (Mon–Fri 10am–7pm, Sat 10am–2pm; boxofficetoscana.it ).
OUR FAVOURITES: Tenax . YAB . Blob Club .
< Back to Introduction

15 Things not to miss
It’s not possible to see everything Florence has to offer in one trip – and we don’t suggest you try. What follows is a selective taste of the city’s highlights, from cultural and historic to the best places to eat and drink.
The Bargello This stupendous museum of sculpture and applied arts is an essential complement to the Uffizi.
The Duomo Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome, crowning the Duomo, is the city’s defining image; the ancient Baptistery, alongside, is stunning, both inside and out.
James McConnachie/Rough Guides
San Marco An extraordinary sequence

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