“Respecting the city is the best way to enjoy it.” This is the main message made by the #EnjoyRespectFirenze campaign, aimed at educating tourists and day trippers to Florence. The campaign was launched a year ago, hot on the heels of a similar campaign implemented in Venice. Now the City of Florence is reinforcing the message, determined to reach all visitors to the Tuscan capital.
City Councillor for Tourism Anna Paola Concia explains, “The goal is to establish good practices to experience the city correctly and to organize your stay as well as possible. Through the campaign we want to reach all tourists who come to Florence and stay in hotels, B&Bs and apartments, as well as people who visit the city but sleep elsewhere. We have involved tour operators to make sure the message reaches tourists before they actually arrive in Florence.”
Common sense lies at the core of the campaign. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982, Florence’s beauty is an unforgettable experience and acting appropriately is the best present to give back to the city for the joy that it brings.
10 rules to #EnjoyRespectFirenze
1/ Plan your stay
Plan your stay using the website www.firenzeturismo.it where you’ll find a wealth of information.
2/ Use the public toilets
There are public toilets all over Florence, usually costing 1 euro: full list at www.theflr.net/toilets.
If you’re taken short, pop into a coffee shop, grab an espresso and ask to use their bagno; their toilets are for customers only.
3/ Stay hydrated
Florence is hot in the summer. Our advice: drink plenty of water. Bring a bottle or a glass and fill up, for free, at one of the city’s many drinking water fountains. The most central facility is in piazza della Signoria by the Palazzo Vecchio, close to the equestrian statue. It’s good for you, the environment and your wallet!
4/ Ask the experts
For face-to-face advice and suggestions, head to the 4 official tourist information points: piazza Stazione, via Cavour, Bigallo (piazza Duomo) and Florence Vespucci Airport. Museums, events, public transportation: they know everything there is to know about Florence.
5/ Sitting pretty
Think twice before lounging on the steps of churches or on the street. Lying down, eating and drinking in public places is a no-no. When the heat gets too much, chill out in one of the city’s gardens. Take the tram out to the Cascine, Florence’s answer to London’s Hyde Park and a super place for a picnic.
6/ Don’t litter
Seems obvious. Like everywhere else in the world, it’s illegal to drop your waste on the street. Find a trash can for your gelato cup and plastic spoon, which quickly lose their cuteness when cast forlornly on the street. Be green: the city encourages recycling through separated waste collection. The bins are clearly marked, so there’s really no excuse.
7/ Don’t take the joke too far
Monuments are not for climbing and fountains are not for splashing (even when the thermometer hits summer highs—that’s why the city pools exist!). Clambering over bridges is beyond risky and has been outlawed for your safety. Even if you’re a modern-day Michelangelo, grab a sketchbook rather than ruining a monument with graffiti that nobody wants to see. It’s illegal—and there are far more cooler forms of artistic expression.
8/ Florence is not a beach
You’re in the cradle of the Renaissance, birthplace of brilliance and centuries of art, architecture, literature and cultured lifestyle. Brunelleschi (probably) didn’t walk around in swimming trunks, so neither should you. Churches are special places: a silk scarf elevates your look to Florentine elegance and is the perfect mark of respect.
9/ The real deal
San Frediano’s one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world, according to Lonely Planet. Spend some time visiting the ateliers and investing in handmade products on Florence’s South Side and elsewhere in this city of craftspeople.
10/ Savour the city
Florence is a city to be savoured. Taste Tuscany’s traditional typical produce, from fennel-scented finocchiona to seasonal baby vegetables, succulent Florentine beefsteak and elegant Chianti Classico wine (it’s medicinal in moderation). Once savoured, never forgotten.