Florence is the birthplace of the European Renaissance and the cradle of modern thought in the Western world. The era preceding the Renaissance was known as the Dark Ages. The Renaissance and the accompanying intellectual movement that spanned literature, art, and science completely changed the Christian world.
The names of the most famous Florentines read like a "Who's Who" of some of history's most revered figures, including Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Dante Alighieri, and Giovanni Boccaccio. The list is long, and the tradition continues even today. Gucci, the world-famous fashion house, was founded by a Florentine of the same name.
Located in Italy's Tuscany region, Florence is also well known for gourmet cuisine and one of the most charming places in Italy with exceptional architecture on display. If you're visiting Florence, you'll have plenty to see and do. But before you leave, be sure to purchase
travel medical insurance or a
as a financial safeguard against unexpected health- or travel-related mishaps.
Things to Do for Travelers in Florence
There is no lack of places of interest in Florence. It is known for its sophistication and beauty. If you are tired of museums, there is always the trio of haute couture to enthrall you – Salvatore Ferragamo, Emilio Pucci, and Guccio Gucci – with their creations.
Visit the Galleria dell'Accademia
One single piece of artwork justifies why you should visit the Accademia Gallery: "David", by Michelangelo. Arguably the most recognizable piece of sculpture in history, this large nude of a virile young man shook off the puritanism that had plagued the Catholic world. It is said that Michelangelo needed to better understand anatomy to create this masterpiece and had to dissect corpses. For purists, however, there is equal pleasure in Giambologna's "Rape of the Sabine Women", located in the Hall of the Colossus. You can see not only sculpture, but also a dazzling array of masterpieces by Pontormo, Lippi, and Ghirlandaio on the walls.
Explore the Piazza del Duomo
Otherwise known as Cathedral Square, it derives its name from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Numerous imposing buildings line the square: Giotto's Campanile, Palazzo Guadagni, Loggia del Bigallo, and last but not least, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. The Florence Cathedral has a splendid façade of colorful marble topped by the imposing Duomo. The cathedral is Italy's third-largest church. The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo is a storehouse of surprises since the remnants of workshops of renaissance artists are preserved here, including the smashed remains of Michelangelo's Pietà.
Drop in at Mercato Centrale
The Central Market is known as a must-visit place for those dedicated to gastronomy. If you want to learn about Tuscan cuisine, there is no better place. From chicken to wild boar, you can probably find every type of meat (unless banned for conservation). Rabbit sausages, a dozen different types of pasta (ravioli, rigatoni, tagliatelle - the names are as unique as the market), fresh wine, and Ricotta cheese are all on offer as you enter. The market is excellent for those who want custom-made sandwiches for a picnic.
Walk through the Piazza Della Repubblica
Time to step back in history by about 16 centuries. The Piazza Della Repubblica was once the seat of the Roman government. There is not much left from that era, but the place holds a certain historic gravitas even today. A monument called the Colonna dell'Abbondanza is all that exists of that time. However, if you want to rest and relax, Piazza Della Repubblica, with its numerous cafes and miniature restaurants, is the place to be. There is a splendid, old-fashioned carousel at the center of the square.
Rubbing noses with Fontana del Porcellino
It's a bronze statue of a pig. A boar, to be exact. And you have probably seen it in films from Hannibal to Harry Potter. The figure has become greenish (due to oxidation), but its snout is bright and shiny. This is because you have to rub the nose for good luck! There you have it: Florence in a nutshell! Sculpted by Pietro Tacca in the 16th century, it has greeted visitors and granted them good luck for five centuries.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Florence
Florence is a brilliant city. It is the cradle of modern civilization. A week here is too little, and most of your time would pass in the blink of an eye. It is a safe city, but there are a few things you have to be aware of.
Most of the city is a pedestrian zone. The footpaths are not smooth concrete but cobbled stone and uneven. Unless you wish to risk a broken ankle, don't wear high heels.
You cannot hail a cab on the street. They are only available if you visit a designated taxi stand. Therefore, map your route carefully before leaving the hotel, and mark the most well-known taxi stands.
Hordes of visitors visit Florence daily. It is only two hours from Livorno, a cruise port. If you want to enjoy the city while it's relatively peaceful, start early.
There is no need to stand in line and buy tickets. They are available online. Save yourself the hassle, and purchase everything in advance before you start your sightseeing.
Florence Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Florence is a big city in Europe. The public healthcare system is well developed. There are also private clinics that cater to those in a hurry. The treatment at the latter is not cheap, and the former is not quick. To be able to seek treatment in the event of a medical emergency, buy travel medical insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Florence?
There is no legal requirement to purchase travel health insurance when you visit Florence. However, since medical issues can be expensive to handle, it is highly advisable (and also just plain common sense) to obtain international health insurance before you travel.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Florence?
Florence is enthralling. But that does not mean you would not need medical attention. If you do, the procedure might turn expensive. It is better to buy medical travel insurance and be well prepared for any disaster. You can get coverage for services like emergency medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of mortal remains, accidental death & dismemberment, the return of minor children, and more.
Florence Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Trip cancellation is heartbreaking. Yet, it occurs regularly. Relatives fall ill, and flights get postponed. If you wish to defray loss, buy trip cancellation insurance.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Florence?
The reason is simple and straightforward. You have already paid for hotels, flights, and possibly other expenses like museum tickets and tour reservations. In case of trip cancellation, you could be fully reimbursed for these prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you have to cancel for a reason covered under the policy. Be sure to review the certificate wording of your plan for a full list of reasons eligible for cancellation benefits. They vary from plan to plan, but the most common or likely reasons for cancellation (like falling sick, getting called into a work emergency, or weather-related flight delays and cancellations) are usually covered in standard plans.
What all is covered under travel insurance for Florence?
Beyond trip cancellation insurance, travel insurance also offers benefits like trip interruption coverage for a covered reason, trip delay coverage, baggage loss coverage, missed connections coverage, and more.
Purchase travel insurance as protection against the unknown during your visit to Florence.
Before You Travel to Florence - Do This
Enjoy your trip to Florence, but remember the advice we share below.
Maintain your travel documents in a separate folder.
Be wary about what you do. Needless emergencies can be avoided if you are mindful and practice common sense.
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
for your entire family before you depart. Enter some basic information about your trip and travelers, and take the time to compare the coverage of several different plans. Then, purchase the one that best meets your needs.