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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Florence 2024
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Outdoor Market in Florence, Italy


7 Tips for Living in Florence

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Advice for people moving to Florence or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Florence or thinking about moving there.

Florence, is a city that is rich in history, culture, and art. It is a city that is known for its beautiful architecture, its delicious food, and its vibrant nightlife. But for an expat or a digital nomad, living in Florence can be a unique experience. Here are seven key tips that can help you make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

1. Learn the Language

While many Italians speak English, especially in tourist areas, learning Italian can greatly enhance your experience in Florence. Not only will it make everyday tasks like shopping and dining out easier, but it will also allow you to connect with locals on a deeper level. Plus, Italians appreciate when foreigners make an effort to speak their language. You can take language classes at schools like the Istituto Italiano, or use language exchange websites to practice with native speakers.

2. Explore the Neighborhoods

Florence is made up of several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. The historic center, or Centro Storico, is where you'll find most of the city's famous landmarks, like the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery. San Frediano, on the other hand, is known for its artisan workshops and bohemian vibe. Meanwhile, the Oltrarno area is a favorite among locals for its lively bars and restaurants. Spend time exploring each neighborhood to find the one that suits you best.

3. Embrace the Local Cuisine

Italian food is more than just pizza and pasta. In Florence, you'll find a variety of regional specialties that are worth trying. For instance, you can't leave without trying a Florentine steak, a thick cut of beef usually served rare. For a truly local experience, head to Trattoria Sostanza or Trattoria Mario, both known for their excellent steaks. And don't forget to pair your meal with a glass of Chianti, a red wine produced in the region.

4. Get a Bike

One of the best ways to get around Florence is by bike. The city is relatively flat and compact, making it perfect for cycling. Plus, there are plenty of bike rental shops around the city. Not only is biking a convenient way to get around, but it's also a great way to see the city from a different perspective. Just be sure to watch out for the city's many cobblestone streets!

5. Visit the Museums

Florence is home to some of the world's most famous museums. The Uffizi Gallery houses works by masters like Botticelli and Michelangelo, while the Accademia Gallery is home to Michelangelo's David. But don't limit yourself to the big-name museums. Smaller institutions like the Museo Galileo and the Museo di San Marco offer fascinating insights into the city's history and culture.

6. Take Advantage of the Outdoors

Despite its reputation as a city of art and culture, Florence also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The city is surrounded by hills that are perfect for hiking and biking. The Boboli Gardens, located behind the Pitti Palace, is a beautiful park that offers stunning views of the city. And the Arno River, which runs through the city, is a great place for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

7. Get Involved in the Community

One of the best ways to feel at home in a new city is to get involved in the community. This could mean joining a local club, attending community events, or volunteering. While we won't list specific organizations here, we encourage you to research groups that align with your interests. Not only will this give you a sense of purpose, but it will also help you meet locals and make new friends.

Living in Florence as an expat or a digital nomad can be an enriching and rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful city. Whether you're here for a few months or a few years, Florence is a city that has something to offer everyone.

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Fun, easy and effective language courses designed by language experts. Learn 41 languages from your native language. Anytime, anywhere, on any device. 50 topics to prepare you for the most common situations. 36 vocabulary builders to install words fast. 41 real conversations to give you fluency.

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Fun, easy and effective language courses designed by language experts. Learn 41 languages from your native language. Anytime, anywhere, on any device. 50 topics to prepare you for the most common situations. 36 vocabulary builders to install words fast. 41 real conversations to give you fluency.
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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Outdoor Market in Florence, Italy

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