Tourist Assistance in Florence

Tourist Assistance in Florence
24 March 2017 0 Comment

A recent visit to Florence I played a tourist determined to try and discover whatever assistance there is for a visitor to this much loved and much visited city of great art and great history.

For too long I’ve battled with the rising costs of museum entrances across the Italian cultural mismanaged landscape and for too long visitor’s to Italy have been made to pay more for ever decreasing service, diminished exhibition space (constantly closed rooms in museums everywhere!) with staff that seem more intent speaking on their mobiles, rather than providing helpful and intelligent service.

Stepping off my train at the Station of S.Maria Novella in Florence, I walked straight out the front, across the lawns towards the back of the church of S.Maria Novella. I was heading towards the only Tourist Office near the main station and what a delight that visit turned out to be. The office is well laid out with a hotel booking reception on one side and several assistant ready and wanting to answer your questions about Florence on the other side; many of these assistants speaking several languages. There is a new map of Florence recently published, that ties in with the recently introduced Firenze Card, of which Perfect Traveller has already written about. Here is a rare attempt in Italy to co-ordinate the locations on a city map with those locations you can visit using that card (marked with blue dots), together with those sites, churches and villa’s that are not covered by the Firenze Card, marked with red dots. These maps are free, easy to read and a bonus when using them with your Firenze Card.

I was also given a rather plain white sheet with a listing of all the historical attractions one could spend a lifetime visiting in this city. A little difficult to read perhaps but with a current listing of all the opening hours together with the entrance costs, this single page is a blessing. It also includes handy tips; if you enter (by booking in advance) the Uffizi Gallery after 4.00pm your save yourself one euro on the normal entrance fee. It clearly displays wheelchair access to those sites and museums that have such a facility and where appropriate it displays combined tickets – a wonderful example of such a ticket is available at the Museo di Casa Buonarroti (The House of Michelangelo) – the normal entrance fee is euros 6.50 but if you pay euros 8 for the combined ticket (which is valid for 2 days) you also get into the nearby Santa Croce church, which normally costs euros 5 to visit by itself! You save yourself euros 3.50. There’s the price for your afternoon gelato!

If the torrid Florentine summers are taxing your energy make your way to Piazza Signoria, to the side of the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, to enjoy a gift from the Town Hall of Florence? Sweet, fresh, clean drinking water, available in either still or the fizzy type and it’s FREE. The recently opened purified water dispenser in the main square of Florence is a god send on the hot days of summer and deserves your patronage. On this occasion I dips me lid to Florence!

Infopoint Stazione Centrale Firenze (Santa Maria Novella) – Piazza della Stazione 5 – It is open from Monday to Saturday from 9.00 to 19.00 – Sunday and all Public holidays from 9.00 to 14.00 – Telephone 055 212245

Peter Kilby
About the Author

Peter Kilby is an artist, writer, story-teller, journalist and avid traveller who has lived and worked in Italy since 1987. He created Perfect Traveller to bring the world of art and history closer to you. Download the “free” Perfect Traveller app and enjoy the best audio tours available; about Italy today and yesterday. Sign Up to this website and submit your travel stories and become part of the Perfect Traveller community.

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