If you join Friends of the Uffizi you get access to all state run museums in Florence and can go to the top of any queue. Museums include the Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello and San Marco but there is a longer list.
You can join in advance but it is easy to do when you arrive. Membership is for the calendar year and not for 12 months from payment but it is still value for money and encourages you to go to museums 'little and often'. Varied costs but it is 100 Euros for a family.
The office is opposite the main Uffizi entrance in the old post office building.
No, really. Clearly most people aren't visiting Florence to watch films in English, but should you be rained-off, or feel the onset of Stendahl's syndrome, then this splendid little cinema in the middle of town might be just the thing.
The interior is spotless and well-appointed, and the domed-ceiling is a gem. They don't make them like this anymore. Check the schedules - there are usually 2 or 3 foreign (read English) language films per week.
Piazza Strozzi 2, Florence
The famous medieval, house-bearing bridge that would probably win the prize as the most photographed Florence icon. It spans the Arno in the centre of the city and probably affords the best views of this often disappointing river from its central open arches. The houses are now mostly shops selling jewellery, leather goods and other expensive designer items, but it’s not obligatory to buy anything of course. After all, it is just a bridge, and still works perfectly well as such.
This beautiful little church lies on the south-east side of the city and sits on top of a fairly high hill. As such, it makes a very good place to walk to, as you’ll see a good deal en route either by cross-country footpaths or by following the roads. Once there you can admire both the exterior and interior of the 11th century church and the view of the city from the Piazzale Michelangelo before making your way back.
Via Monte alle Croci, 34 (above Piazzale Michelangelo);
tel: +39 0552342768;
After the Duomo, this is one of the most interesting of the churches as it contains the tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli among others. It was completed in 1294 and sits at the eastern end of the large square that takes its name, casting long Gothic shadows over it if you happen to be there in the morning.
Piazza di Santa Croce.
One time home of the Medici family who bought it from the eponymous rival family after it bankrupted them. This is opulence Italian style, all the trappings of people for whom money was no object are here, including paintings by Titian and Raphael. The Boboli gardens at the rear are pleasant enough, but if you have limited time, the Palace is much more interesting.
This is a stronghold, latterly used as a villa, built on a hillside overlooking the city and surrounding countryside. The chief reason for coming here is for the views, including the classic one of the Duomo dominated cityscape. On the way up you can see the house where Galileo lived and the Porta San Giorgio, the oldest surviving city gate, built in 1260.
Go up the Costa di San Giorgio (near the south end of the Ponte Vecchio) then turn right through the old city gate
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