Florence, the centre of the Italian Renaissance, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with cobbled streets, terracotta rooftops and the lovely River Arno. It is the capital of the stunning region of Tuscany and is home to centuries of history, amazing architecture and important art works.
Florence is bursting with memorable sights, from the Ponte Vecchio and the Renaissance sculptures at Piazza della Signoria, to Michelangelo’s iconic statue of David. Bask in the wonder of the city’s many churches, like the impressive Duomo di Firenze, view the masterpieces housed in the famous Uffizi Gallery or simply watch the world go by at one of the cafés.
Florence is a popular destination, with tourists flocking from all over the world to enjoy its many attractions and vibrant culture.
The official port for Florence is actually Livorno, which is situated on the western coast of Tuscany. Livorno is about a 90 minute journey from Florence.
Livorno is a large commercial port; cruise ships usually dock at an industrial pier, which is far from the centre of town and quite far from the cruise terminal buildings. There are few facilities and therefore it is best, especially to make the most of your day in port, to head to Florence as efficiently as possible.
How to Get Around
There are several different transport options to get from Livorno to Florence. Most cruise companies offer shore excursions, taking visitors straight from Livorno to Florence, usually by tour bus.
It is also possible to take a self-directed trip to Florence. Taxis are usually waiting outside the port; some advertise itineraries taking customers straight to Florence, Pisa, or around Tuscany.
Another way to get to Florence is by train. A port transfer bus or a taxi will take you to Livorno Station; from there it is about an 80 minute journey to Florence Station, which is approximately a 20 minute walk to the Piazza Santa Croce.
Once in Florence, the best way to get around really is on foot. The historic centres are compact and picturesque, perfect for walkers. To gather your bearings or to quickly see the major attractions, consider a walking tour; there are many on offer in the city.
Travel times from Florence Station:
- It is a 5 minute journey to the Duomo di Firenze
- It is about a 15 minute journey to the Galleria dell’Accademia
- It is about a 15 minute journey to Ponte Vecchio
- It is about a 20 minute journey to the Piazza Santa Croce.
- Currency - The official currency of Florence is the Euro (€). Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent denominations, as well as €2 and €1. Notes come in €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5 denominations. Florence is a bustling larger city, with plenty of ATMs and currency exchange services.
- Time Zone - Florence utilises Central European Time (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Universal Standard Time (UTC). The city switches to Daylight Savings at the end of March, when the clocks are turned forward 1 hour. Daylight Savings ends in late October.
- Weather - Florence enjoys fairly mild weather. The warmest months are usually July and August, when temperatures reach around 31 degrees Celsius. In winter, temperatures generally hover between 1 and 10 degrees Celsius.
- Michelangelo’s David - Michelangelo’s famous statue of David is an absolute highlight in a city filled with masterpieces. To see the sculpture for yourself, pay a visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia. The gallery is not far from the Duomo di Firenze on Via Ricasoli. It is open Tuesday through Sunday, 8.15am to 6.50pm and it is advisable to book in advance to avoid queues.
- Ponte Vecchio - The Ponte Vecchio is an iconic part of Florence’s cityscape. The medieval bridge – the oldest in Florence - is famously lined with shops, which appear to precariously hang from the walls of the bridge. Stroll through the Ponte Vecchio and admire its history, the quaint shops and the stunning panoramic views it offers over the River Arno.
- Duomo di Firenze - The Gothic-era cathedral dominates the skyline of the city and is breathtaking inside and out. It is free to enter; however, there is usually a long line and it can be a good idea to confirm opening hours. Behind the cathedral is the Museo del Duomo where visitors can pay to climb the 463 steps to the top of the dome for a truly wonderful view of Florence and the Tuscan countryside.