Nowhere is this beauty of Italy more prevalent than Florence, the capital of Tuscany. Full of astounding art, architecture and political history, this historic town is a favourite of travellers worldwide. It can also be expensive.
But does your Italian holiday have to be as expensive as all that? No. Booking short trips to Florence can be surprisingly cheap, in fact. There are many ways that you and your family can save money on a holiday in the region.
Somewhere to Rest Your Head
Staying in Florence can be quite expensive, but there are several hotels, hostels and private let apartments just outside the city that are much more affordable than you think. The local train line serves towns such as Prato, Pistoia and Montecatini Terme well. These towns are also home to some very affordable, very comfortable accommodation. Montecatini Terme is just under an hour away by train, but this gives you more of a chance to see the surrounding countryside and other sites in Tuscany.
Filling a Small Corner
One of the best pieces of advice about eating in Florence is pretty universal: don’t eat in the tourist areas, as the food is much more expensive there. One of Florence’s most popular haunts is the Piazza della Signoria, the busiest square in Florence. While the restaurants here are excellent, the prices are inflated. Head to the Florence Mercato Centrale instead, which is close to the square and home to many local food stalls and restaurants. The food there is much more affordable. The locals eat there too — how can they be wrong?
When it comes to activities in Florence, there are opportunities galore to hang on to more of your cash. The aforementioned Piazza della Signoria is home to a free open-air art exhibit, including a replica of Michelangelo’s David.
The Piazza del Duomo, or Cathedral Square, is home to the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore, a Gothic cathedral that’s free to enter. Elsewhere, the San Lorenzo Market sells all kinds of foods and other finds. You can spend hours there and not spend a thing.
If you want to see as many of Florence’s art galleries and museums as possible for free, then consider travelling there during Settimana della Cultura — that’s good ole Italian Culture Week to you and I! During this time, all state attractions waiver their entrance fee for seven days. This generally takes place in April to coincide with the Easter celebrations, in late April, and sometimes early May.
Florence has a reputation for being one of Italy’s expensive destinations. However, just because you have to count the pennies, it doesn’t mean you can’t go there. Money saving opportunities are there to be explored. Start now and see what deals you can find.
Featiued post written by Charlotte Evans