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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Florence

Every year, numerous holidays are celebrated in Florence.
Below are the main dates for these festivities:

1 January : New Year's (national)

On New Year's Eve, Florence offers many activities: gourmet dinners, dances, lively markets, and Renaissance festivities.

6 January : Epiphany (national)

The feast of the Epiphany is celebrated in Florence with the traditional Ride of the Magi: an impressive procession across the city on horseback and in Renaissance costume. The witch Befana (whose original name, ‘Befana Epifania', comes from the deformation of ‘Epiphany' in Italian) distributes candy to children who have been good and coal to those who have been bad.

Mardi Gras : Carnival (national)

Spread over several weeks in February, the Carnival of Florence goes into full swing on the day of Mardi Gras. The public is invited to join the procession of colourfully costumed characters in the heart of the ‘City of the Red Lily'.

Easter Sunday : Scoppio del Carro (local)

A musical procession accompanied by a costumed parade follows a carriage drawn by white oxen that is filled with fireworks. At the end of the Easter Mass, the Archbishop launches a dove-shaped rocket onto the carriage, triggering a spectacular fireworks display.

25 April : Liberation Day (national)

To commemorate the end of World War II in Italy, celebrations and parades are held throughout the city.

1 May : Labour Day (national)

Artistic associations organise events in the historic centre of the city: performances, workshops, street theatre, and more.

2 June : Republic Day (national)

To commemorate the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946, celebrations and parades are held all over the city.

24 June : Feast of Saint John (local)

On the anniversary of the birth of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence, the city organises historical parades and games of Calcio Fiorentino (an ancestor of football, which is played in traditional medieval costume). In the evening, fireworks light up the city centre.

10 August : The Night of San Lorenzo (local)

The San Lorenzo district celebrates the birth of its patron saint with parades, street performances, traditional dances, lasagne and watermelon tastings, and more.

15 August : Ferragosto (national)

To celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, masses and processions are held in her honour in churches and streets throughout the historic centre.

7 September : Rificolona (local)

On the eve of the anniversary of the birth of the Virgin, rificolone—‘lanterns' in Tuscan—illuminate the streets and windows of the city.

1 November : All Saint's Day (national)

Many celebrations are held in the churches of the city.

4 November : National Unity and Armed Forces Day (national)

For this official commemoration of Italian reunification and the end of the First World War, military parades are held across the city.

8 December : Feast of the Immaculate Conception (national)

In honour of the Virgin Mary, the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata welcomes the Fierucola dell'Immacolata, a popular market for local crafts and organic products.

25 December : Christmas (national)

Don't miss the illuminated Christmas craft market in Piazza Santa Croce.

26 December : Santo Stefano (national)

Celebrate the birth of St. Stephen. Traditionally, Italians sit down to a large and festive meal with their families.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Florence

The city of Florence has a temperate Mediterranean climate. Protected from the wind by the surrounding hills, temperatures are mild all year round, but can become stiflingly hot in summer. Beware of the ‘rainy season', which generally runs from October to December. Spring and September are the ideal times to visit the city.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 2/35.6 10/50 62/2.4 Not the best period to go
February 4/39.2 11/51.8 66/2.6 Not the best period to go
March 6/42.8 14/57.2 70/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
April 9/48.2 18/64.4 67/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
May 12/53.6 23/73.4 68/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
June 16/60.8 27/80.6 56/2.2 Good period to go Good period to go
July 18/64.4 31/87.8 43/1.7 Not the best period to go
August 18/64.4 30/86 66/2.6 Not the best period to go
September 15/59 26/78.8 72/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
October 12/53.6 21/69.8 86/3.4 Not the best period to go
November 7/44.6 14/57.2 107/4.2 Not the best period to go
December 4/39.2 10/50 81/3.2 Not the best period to go
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INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN FLORENCE

Florence Airport, Peretola is about four kilometres northwest of downtown Florence.

  • Two terminals: one for domestic and international flights

Travelling between Florence and the airport:
  • By car
    • The centre of Florence is about a 15-minute drive from the airport along the Viale Alessandro Guidoni and Viale Francesco Redi.
    • Parking is available at the airport. The first 15 minutes are free, then 3 EUR per hour, and 30 EUR for the day. Long-term parking is also available: around 12 EUR per day for a minimum of four days.
    • Car rental counters are located in the arrivals area. Many are open on Sundays.
  • Shuttles
    • The Volainbus company offers a shuttle service between the airport and Santa Maria Novella station (in the centre of Florence): every day, every half hour, between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., for 6 EUR one way and 10 EUR round trip. The journey takes about 25 minutes.
  • Taxi
    • A taxi stand is located in front of the arrivals area. A trip from the airport to the city centre (about 20 minutes) costs about 20 EUR.
  • Navette
    • Navettes ATCRB n° 876 : Aéroport – Hendaye ou Saint-Jean de Luz.

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GETTING AROUND Florence

It would be a shame to travel in Florence only by car. Most streets in the historic centre are pedestrianised. Take buses and taxis—and walk, walk, walk!

Automobile

Holders of most driving licenses are allowed to drive in Italy. If you live in Italy for a period exceeding two years, your license must be exchanged for an Italian license.

The historic centre of Florence is pedestrian-only.

Several areas of the city are ‘limited traffic zones' accessible only to residents. If you arrive in Florence by car, it is recommended that you leave your car at the airport parking.

For more information on restricted traffic zones: https://ztl.comune.fi.it/

Bus

The historic centre of the city is served by Ataf, an eco-minibus service with four different routes: A, B, C and D. An extensive bus network covers the rest of the city and its periphery, between 5:30 a.m.12:30 a.m.(approximately).

Bus tickets cost €1.20 and are valid for 1.5 hours, including connections. Other tickets available: 24-hours (5 EUR), 3 days (12 EUR), and 7 days (18 EUR).

24-hour family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) cost 6 EUR.

Taxi

Official taxis in the city are white. Tariffs are posted on the dashboard.

You can't hail taxis in Italy: you have to go to a taxi stand. You can also book a taxi by telephone (+39 055 4242 or +39 055 4390) or online (www.4242.it and www.4390.it ).

Bicycle

It costs around 10 EUR per day to rent a bike. There are many bike rental stations in Florence, including at Santa Maria Novella station.

Train

The main station of Florence, Santa Maria Novella, is within walking distance of the tourist centre and serves the main stations in cities throughout the country.

A trip to Rome Tiburtina train station costs between 15 and 50 EUR, depending on schedules.

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Visitor information

Once you arrive in Florence, don't hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.

Tourist Information Office - APT

Tourist Information Office - APT Firenze

  • Address: Via Manzoni 16, 50121 Firenze
  • Telephone: +39 055 23 320

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Italy is the euro (€).

1 RUB = 0.01 EUR

1 EUR = 100 RUB

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Italy and the city of Florence provide quality medical care. A European Health Insurance Card covers all medical expenses and/or repatriation.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required to enter Italy.

For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:

  • Address: 38, quai de Jemmapes 75010 Paris
  • Website: www.vaccinations-airfrance.fr
  • Telephone: +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00
  • You can come with or without an appointment. Appointments can be made:

Food safety recommendations

There are no particular food safety risks.

Water

Tap water is potable in Florence.

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Administrative procedures

Entry requirements for Italy

Most nationalities visiting Italy do not require a visa and are allowed to stay in the country for 90 days, if they have a valid passport.

Nationals of countries that have ratified the Schengen Agreement must declare their entry into the national territory with the ‘questura’ of the province where they are staying within eight days of their entry.

Nationals of countries not in the Schengen Agreement must declare their entry into Italian territory by affixing the Schengen stamp on their travel document at the border control (visit the website of the Italian police ( www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/10742/ ).

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Essential phrases

Here are a few useful phrases in Italian for your stay in Florence:

Hello : Buongiorno

Good Evening : Buonasera

Goodbye : Arrivederci

Yes : Si

No : No

No, thanks : No, grazie

Thank you very much : Grazie mille

I don't understand : Io non capisco

Could you repeat that? : Potrebbe ripetere ?

Please : Per favore

What time is it? : Che ora è ?

Excuse-me : Mi scusi

Airport : Aeroporto

Train station : Stazione

Taxi : Taxi

Hotel : Albergo

Hospital : Ospedale

Bank : Banca

Telephone : Telefono

I am (…) : Sono (…)

I'm looking for (…) : Sto cercando (…)

What is the price of (…)? : Quanto costa questo ?

Do you have (…)? : Ha (…)

Where can I find (…)? : Dove posso trovare (…)

Where can I buy (…)? : Dove posso comprare (…)

I would like (…) : Vorrei (…)

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Good to know

00 39 + number without the 0
+ phone number without the 0 (call to Florence )
-2 : 00
of time difference with
Moscow
Daylight Savings Time start date : 27 March 2016

Daylight Savings Time end date : 30 October 2016

BANKS

Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Generally open mornings only.
220 V / 50 Hz

And what about tiping?

Tipping is not customary in Italy. However, if you are very satisfied with the service, you can leave a supplement of 5 to 15%.