Florence, a centre of medieval trade and finance and
long ruled by the Medici family, was the birthplace of
the Italian Renaissance, represented by such names
as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and
Machiavelli. Florence is world-famous especially
for its art and architecture and has been one of
the most visited cities in Europe for centuries.
The downside of this popularity is that thousands
of tourists push through the narrow streets day
by day. Our tip: In the evening – when most of
the tourist groups and busses have left the city
center – the streets and piazzas of Florence are
much more enjoyable. Piazza di Santa Croce,
Piazza della Signoria and cutie David are still
admirable after sunset. Ponte Vecchio has more
atmosphere at night without all the jewelry shacks
and may be the perfect end of a romantic walk along the river. And by all means try the delicious Tuscan cuisine – but avoid the gastronomic tourist traps along the main sights and tourist paths.
Although Florence had the first gay disco in Italy (back in 1974), the gay bars and clubs in Florence are rather small in number and size. Some of the reasons are the rather conservative atmosphere in Florence, the real estate prices within the city and the poor parking opportunities (most guys live in the area around Florence).
In case you travel around Northern Italy check out also our gay guide for Bologna (one hour north of Florence).
P.S.: In case you wonder about the ›r‹ in many street numbers on the following pages: Street addresses in Florence have a double numbering system with red and black numbers. The ›r‹ stands for ›rosso‹ (red).