10 ways to have the best, worry-free family holiday in Florence
Florence stands head and shoulders above the rest as a vacation destination, thanks to its beauty, culture and unique sites. If you’re travelling there with your family this year, here are ten tips to help you have an awesome time in this sublime Italian city.
Florence image by Martin Sojka, shared under a Creative Commons Licence
Learn some Italian
Try to learn a few simple phrases before departing, you don’t need to be fluent in the language, but a few choice phrases will go a long way. The locals will respect you more if you put in just the tiniest bit of effort, even if it’s only saying ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ in Italian.
Think like a local
Walk a little further from the city centre, use recommendations and eat where the locals eat to avoid overpaying for meals and other necessities.
Walk the city
Florence is a compact city and it’s easy and more fun to discover the sights on foot rather than taking a bus or taxi. You’ll save money by walking and you won’t end up getting off at the wrong stop somewhere on the outskirts of town.
Dress to impress
You can dress how you want on vacation but remember that Italians are known for their style. Florence is synonymous with beauty so ditch those sweat pants and impress the locals.
Wear a money-belt
Don’t carry all of your cash and credit cards together but if you must then at least use a money belt or some form of hidden purse. Experienced pick-pockets can prey on tourists so be aware of your surroundings and if someone is getting to close to you, move away.
Walking at night
Try to always travel as a group and stick to well-lit streets instead of dark alleyways. Try to be aware of your surroundings.
Tipping is a good thing but don’t go overboard with the gratuities. A cover or service charge will usually be included with your meal so there’s actually no need to tip in Italy.
Don’t touch fruit and vegetables in supermarkets or open-air market stalls with your bare hands. Plastic gloves are available in supermarkets but just avoid touching altogether at market stalls. Young children may be given a little leeway on this matter.
Image by Anna & Michal, shared under a Creative Commons Licence
Coffee is a major part of Italian culture and if your family are coffee lovers then make sure that you drink cappuccinos or lattes in the morning, and don’t drink them a meal – this is a major faux pas according to the locals.
Buy before you ride
In most Italian cities you can’t just jump on a bus and pay the driver – tickets need to be purchased before boarding, usually from newsagents or tobacco shops.
When you’re travelling, respect the city and the people who live there during your stay. Treat the locals with respect and kindness and you’ll have a much better time on a Florence city breaks.