Florence City Guide

Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region in Italy. It has a population of 366,488. The city was formerly the capital of Italy, and remained capital until 1871. Dubbed as the 'City of the Lily', for it gave birth to the Renaissance and changed the history of forever. Florence was discovered in the Etruscan Era, by northerners who were on a grand tour. It was named 'Florentia', because conquerors believed that the place is 'destined to flower'. Soon enough, it became the Mecca for travelers, artists and musicians, who were enthralled by the city's elegance and artistic wealth. Until this day, Florence is considered an artistic, architectural, and cultural gem. The city hasn't changed much over the course of seven centuries; and the city's charm and appeal still remains. Apart from the famous art museums, churches, palaces and monuments, there is more than what Florence can offer. To fully understand the true essence of Florence, tourists should interact with the locals, and try to live like the locals for one day. Go to places the locals usually go. Socialize, drink and meet the locals. Especially on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the Lungarno, pubs and wine bars are literally overflowing with people. Famous clubs in Florence include the Yab, Jaragua (the first Latin American exclusive club in Italy) and Tenax. If you're into fashion, head to Central Park, where fashion shows are occasionally organized by Italian designers. There are many diverse types of accommodations and lodgings that will fit the budget for every type of tourist. You can stay in five star hotels, relais, bed and breakfast, hostels or in the typical inn. For travelers who intend to stay longer, it is recommended to rent an apartment that is nearby to the city center. Depending on your needs, there will be several options to choose from. While in the city, beware of the Stendhal syndrome, or Florence Syndrome, which causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and even hallucination caused by being exposed by immensely beautiful art. Yes, this is a real syndrome, which was named after 19th century French writer Stendhal, who suffered it during his visit to Florence. If ever you get the Stendhal syndrome, rest for awhile, rest your eyes and legs, gets some food, and save your walks for tomorrow. Florence is a relatively small city, and the easiest way to move around is by foot. Using a car is generally not advisable, since the streets are too narrow and often one ways, plus there is little parking. Small electric buses are more recommended, if you really want to move around faster. Weather in Florence and the whole of Tuscany is generally mild. The warmest months are generally on months July and August. Due to the heat, most Italians escape the heat and go out of town. Thus, many shops, restaurants and establishments close down on August for at least two weeks to a month. Months June and September are the most ideal time to visit Florence, when the weather is nice and warm without being too hot. The coolest months in the city are months December and January, when it can get quite cold and wet.