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Exile in Paradise: Americans in Florence

Exile in Paradise: Americans in Florence

A dense web of connections links America with Florence. Some argue it massively invigorates the Tuscan city, while others aver that Florentine life has been distorted by the American impact on the city. What view you take on the American influence on Florence, there is no doubt that the Italian city (as seen through American eyes) » Read more

8 free things to do in Florence

8 free things to do in Florence

You splurged on a scarf you couldn’t afford? Waiting for an urgent bank transfer from mom and dad? Whatever, you’re broke, you’re in Florence and you don’t know what to do. Well, rejoice my friend, here are some free activities to explore. Music 1. Every night, the organ goes wild at the Santa Maria de’ » Read more

Florence: How to survive the Uffizi Gallery

Florence: How to survive the Uffizi Gallery

Last week I visited the Uffizi Gallery for the very first time. I know, I know, it’s in my backyard but walking past never-ending queues of people does something to a man’s motivation. Finally, one of my recent guests harassed me into surrender. So how did this crowd-hater survive Florence’s busiest museum? Read on, my » Read more

Florence: Vintage game room fun

Florence: Vintage game room fun

What do you do with a pocket full of change that’s worthless in your home country? You take a walk on down… to the future! Future Games on Via Nazionale near Piazza dell’Indipendenza in Florence is more than a game room, it’s an enigma. First opened in 1987, it’s survived every other arcade and pool » Read more

Should you book Florence museum tickets in advance? Buy a museum card? Neither?

Should you book Florence museum tickets in advance? Buy a museum card? Neither?

By Laura Mongillo in Florence— With so many must-see museums, churches and palaces, Florence is a treasure trove for art and history lovers. It’s almost impossible to visit them all in a lifetime, much less a weekend trip! How do you choose which museums are worth your time–and budget? There are a few ways to » Read more

Where to see English language movies in Florence

Where to see English language movies in Florence

By Laura Mongillo in Florence—Feel like catching a movie in fair Firenze without having to first get a degree in Italian? Ha! This can prove to be more difficult than getting into the Uffizi on a Saturday. Most movies in Italy are shown almost exclusively in the Italian language, meaning they are dubbed and translated » Read more

Florence: Ice skating, holiday markets, and New Year’s fireworks

Florence: Ice skating, holiday markets, and New Year’s fireworks

By Laura Mongillo in Florence— Winter in Florence is an amazing time. Without the snow and ice of colder spots in Europe, Florence remains cool enough to still feel like winter. Florence fully embraces the holiday season and all the joys associated with it. The holiday lights, combined with smaller crowds, really brings out the » Read more

Visiting Florence’s Contemporary Art Scene for Free

Visiting Florence’s Contemporary Art Scene for Free

There are a couple of well-kept secrets about Florence’s contemporary art scene: 1) It exists, and 2) a lot of it is free. You may now fold up your wallet, unzip your artistic inhibitions and check out these suggestions for partaking in the Florence art scene of today: 1. Le Murate Piazza Madonna della Neve » Read more

Florence: 2 Fabulous Florentine Fashion Museums

Florence: 2 Fabulous Florentine Fashion Museums

Laura Mongillo in Florence— When people think of Italian fashion their mind usually goes straight to Milan and Rome. But it’s actually Florence that is the birthplace of many of Italy’s most famous designers and fashion houses such as Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and the up and coming Patrizia Pepe. With all » Read more

Forza Fiorentina! Getting tickets to a soccer game in Florence

Forza Fiorentina! Getting tickets to a soccer game in Florence

By Laura Mongillo— What’s the best way to rub shoulders with Florentines, far from the museums and tourist traps of central Florence? Head out to the stadium and watch the city’s soccer team Fiorentina play against some of the best teams in the world! Fiorentina’s fan base is still very proudly Florentine and is a » Read more

Florence Day Trip: Wine and hiking in Greve in Chianti

Florence Day Trip: Wine and hiking in Greve in Chianti

Many would say visiting Florence without dousing yourself in Chianti wine makes for an incomplete trip. But did you know that the Chianti region is not only a basin for wines but also home to walking trails that will awaken the dormant hiker buried deep inside every Cheapo. Greve in Chianti, today’s featured destination, is situated about » Read more

Florence Day Trip: The Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano

Florence Day Trip: The Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano

Once you’ve spent some time in Florence, a day trip provides a nice break from the crowds of tourists and shoppers flooding the city. Poggio a Caiano, a small town about 30-40 minutes northwest of Florence, is a great example of amazing Tuscan history integrated into a modern Italian town. The highlight of the town » Read more

Favorite Place in Florence: Free views at the Horticulture Garden

Favorite Place in Florence: Free views at the Horticulture Garden

Florence is an amazing city that has it all … well, almost. One thing missing from this city is green space. There are many piazzas and small gardens, but central  Florence is void of real open, green space. Luckily, the Giardino dell’Orticultura (Horiculture Gaden) offers some much-needed greenery not far from the city center. So » Read more

Florence: A (free) medieval graffiti walking tour

Florence: A (free) medieval graffiti walking tour

When you visit the historic center of Florence, it can sometimes feel like you’re  following your map from one must-see destination to another. But Florence is full of fascinating details, and it’s worth it to stop and look around. In this walking tour, you start and end at two key sights in Florence (the Palazzo » Read more

Florence: 3 lesser-known churches with free admission

Florence: 3 lesser-known churches with free admission

Florence, along with the rest of Italy, is famous for its churches. Upon arriving in Florence, most tourists head to the Duomo for its giant brick dome, the Santa Maria Novella for its artwork, and Santa Croce for its crypt. While these churches are the most well-known in Florence, they are certainly not the only » Read more

Florence: A night of international theater (with drinks) in Oltrarno

Florence: A night of international theater (with drinks) in Oltrarno

Just over the Arno river is a little-known treasure for the international crowd that I bet isn’t in your Florence tour book. It’s a little place to sustain your vacation’s quest for culture while adding a contemporary twist to your day. I speak of the Florence International Theatre Company (FITC). International theater in Florence The FITC, » Read more

Fiesole: A Peek into Florence

Fiesole: A Peek into Florence

Florence—architectural empress, city of beauty, city of love. Florence—city of body jams, packed piazzas, and tourist traps. The hoards of keen tourists can be exhausting and if you’re like me, you just want a little patch of peace from time to time to re-sharpen your explorer senses. Enter Fiesole, a charming village on Florence’s doorstep. » Read more

Florence Tip: Bardini Museum re-opens!

The vibrant city of Florence, chock full of some of the most world-renowned Renaissance art and architecture, is always surprising us. This week, we were happy to learn that the Bardini Museum, which kept its doors shut for renovations for nearly a decade, has finally reopened. A little bit of history The museum is named » Read more

Florence Tip: Free Duomo tours

Florence Tip: Free Duomo tours

One of our favorite must-sees in Florence is the Duomo, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (sometimes known as Florence Cathedral). And, lucky for us Cheapos, it’s free to enter the main sanctuary daily. Duomo do! But, get this. Did you know that every 40 minutes Florence’s Center for Art and Culture also » Read more

Florence: A visit with Michelangelo

Florence: A visit with Michelangelo

Michelangelo Buonarroti was born outside of Florence in 1475.  Though he spent much of his life working in Rome, he loved Florence and considered it his home.  Many of his greatest works still reside in Florence, and Florentines are exceedingly proud of their native son. Although visiting the city can get pricey, many of Michelangelo’s treasures can be experienced cheaply, » Read more

Florence: Book museum tickets online, skip the line!

Florence: Book museum tickets online, skip the line!

If you’ve ever visited the fabulous Uffizi museum in Florence, you probably know that your first hour (or two) there can often be spent waiting in a long, slow ticket line. And, that’s if you’re lucky. After all, the museum puts a daily cap on total entrants, so if you arrive on really busy days or after » Read more

Florence: The World’s Most Beautiful Pharmacy

Florence: The World’s Most Beautiful Pharmacy

Photograph by angelocesare How many pharmacies can claim frescoed ceilings and whispering shoppers? Only the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella in the former chapel belonging to the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Since the 15th century, this herbalist and pharmacy has collected a faithful following of jet setters and average Florentines » Read more

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