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Florence’s Neighborhoods

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Ultimate Guide to Florence's Neighborhoods

Federica

Oct 25 • 7 minute read

Florence is one of the most magnificent cities on the planet, with a metropolitan vibe that blends so wonderfully with its historic ambiance. If you appreciate art and design, then you will adore this cultural mecca of Tuscany; and if you've always been drawn to the tech industry, then you’ve also found the right spot!

Why Florence

Of course, you may have already heard about the vibrant nightlife scene, or maybe you’re just dying to taste some authentic Italian cuisine. You may also be dreaming about hanging out with the locals so that you can learn all of the hidden places to explore, out of reach from ordinary tourists.

The great news is that you’ll have plenty of time to make Florence feel just like home. It’s a wonderful place to spend a semester at the university, take on a great internship or even explore some of the exciting career openings. It’s also a city to open you up to new ideas, a dynamic culture and a phenomenal realm of rewarding opportunities. Who can say “no” to that?

Take time to browse through our Florence’s Neighborhood Guide, and you will learn about the most popular neighborhoods in the city, as well as public transportation options, some legalities and much more. You’ll be ready to take Florence by storm in no time!

Getting around Florence

When you’re choosing your new home in Florence, understanding the public transportation system can be quite helpful to make your final decision. In Florence, ATAF buses and T1 trams are widely available. Tickets can be purchased for single rides or multi-rides, and tickets for the bus can conveniently be used for the tram as well. Be sure to always validate your tickets before you ride, as not doing so can result in a fine.

l Another fun option is to rent a bike. After all, you are in Europe! You can even purchase a secondhand bike, and then resell it to another incoming international when it’s time for you to bid arrivederci to Florence.

Also, you can find scooter rental services, such as Lime and Bird. You can easily rent a scooter and then return it to any other station througlhout Florence. It really is THAT easy!

Studying or working in Florence

Depending on why you are moving to Florence, you may be looking for accommodation that is close to the university, your position at an exciting startup or a beneficial internship. The opportunities in Florence are endless, and you can be sure to find something to suit your interests and preferred skill set.

Universities and Institutes

Many expats relocate to Florence to attend a university for a couple of semesters. You’ll want to take a closer look at:

  • University of Florence
  • Florence Academy of Fine Arts
  • European School of Economics
  • Polimoda
  • Florence Institute of Design International
  • Michelangelo Institute of Florence

Startups and Coworking Spaces

Europe ranks high for successful startups. In fact, Florence is in the top five cities for startups in Italy, boasting a growing number of innovative companies from which to choose. Startups are perfect for young internationals because they offer a unique opportunity to learn, grow and work your way up the ladder.

Some startups in Florence that you may want to take special note of include:

  • Listupp
  • Instal
  • D-Orbit
  • WikiDo
  • Treedom
  • VINO75

Also, whether you’re a digital nomad, are working for a startup or would like to meet like-minded people, Florence offers a host of coworking spaces. Some of the most popular include:

  • Impact Hub Florence
  • Smart Hub
  • Multiverso Firenze
  • TSH Collab Florence
  • 91C: Coworking Space
  • Exfilab Coworking Florence

Florence’s Neighborhoods

Like in Milan, Rome or other Italian cities, the welcoming neighborhoods of Florence are unique and diverse. The city has so much to offer to young internationals who are excited to explore its attractions, dining, nightclubs and much more. Depending on your reason for living in Florence, you may want to be in the center of it all, or perhaps you yearn for a little peace and quiet. This neighborhood guide will ensure that you learn everything you need to know!

Duomo

Beneath the towering facade of the famous Duomo cathedral, this central neighborhood reflects the historical heart of Florence. This is where you can find authentic dining, art, culture and some of the most delicious food on earth.

If you want to be right in the middle of the action and a stone’s throw away from attractions and nightlife, this might be the best option for you. However, keep in mind that it will be very expensive, so you’ll need to budget accordingly, or look to other outer-lying areas with good transportation connections.

Oltrarno

Situated just south of the River Arno, this lively area offers a nice mixture of artists, students and young internationals, most likely due to its lower cost of living when compared to the city center. Therefore, it’s very popular with expats. Plus, public transportation makes it simple to get exactly where you need to go right on time. This neighborhood includes Piazzale Michelangelo and the bustling Santo Spirito, which is filled to the brim with fun dining, restaurants, local shops, museums and green spaces.

San Marco

Just north of the city center, this neighborhood is nestled in between Piazza Libertà and Piazza Indipendenza. It boasts a large residential area with moderate pricing, making it ideal for expats who are studying and working in Florence, along with public transportation connections.

Keep in mind that it is just close enough to the city center that it still attracts some tourists due to its restaurants and shopping areas. Moreover, the University of Florence’s botanical gardens is a popular attraction.

Santa Croce

This neighborhood’s main claim to fame is the Sant’Ambrogio Market, which is one of the best places to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other groceries and housewares. Some tourists also come through to see the Santa Croce church, or to go to one of its renowned bars or restaurants.

The rest of the area is primarily residential, and it has a really authentic vibe, with its pleasing mix of both locals and internationals. The population is on the younger side, as this neighborhood’s nightlife scene is alive and well. Pricing can vary greatly here, depending on whether you’re on the outskirts of the area, or closer to the bars and dining.

Via Bolognese

If you don’t mind a bit of a commute, this neighborhood offers cheap enough housing and a nice suburban feel. Due to Florence’s public transportation system, you can still typically make it to your final destination within a few stops. You won’t find many tourists who venture this way, unless it’s to see the Gardens of Parnassus. Many students and young workers like to relax in this area, taking advantage of its green spaces and relaxed vibe.

San Niccolò

The San Niccolò neighborhood is known for its upscale environment which, unfortunately, means that its accommodation prices are pretty high. It’s also in proximity to the Villa Bardini, so keep in mind that the dining and shopping options in that area will likely be on the expensive side as well.

Closer to the river, you’ll find several restaurants with outdoor terraces to enjoy the warm weather. The area is also known for its wine bars, which can be an ideal place to meet after work or school.

Campo di Marte

If you’re a sports fan, then this is more than likely the neighborhood that you want to call home. Just northeast of Florence, it holds the Artemio Franchi Stadium, where the soccer team regularly plays, making it a lively neighborhood for fans.

Areas close to the stadium can fetch a high rental price, while the more residential section can offer more moderate housing. And for anyone with an interest in Florentine history, this is also where troops were trained during Napoleon’s French occupation.

Practical Stuff

Before you begin thinking about how you’re going to expand your network and all of the new people that you are going to meet in Florence, there are a few practical things that you’ll need to consider. When moving to Italy, there are certain requirements that must be met, depending on the length of your stay and from which country you come from originally.

It’s good to know these things in advance, so that you can prepare any necessary documentation.

First off, you’ll need a personal tax number (codice fiscale) to do most things in Italy, like rent a place, get a phone or open a bank account. Simply visit the Agenzia delle Entrate and bring your passport, get your form and take a number. As soon as your number is called, produce your documentation, and you’ll receive your personal tax number. It’s free of course!

Next, once you have selected your housing for your time in Florence, you will be legally required to register it and apply at the office of Anagrafe, along with these documents:

  1. Your bank account information
  2. Work contracts or other offers
  3. Signed documentation that a relative or friend will be offering their financial support.

Lastly, you may need a stay permit, and the regulations are slightly different, depending on your country of origin.

If you’re from a country in the EU or EEA, as well as Switzerland, you can stay in Italy for up to three months with a national identity card or an EU passport, and will not need a stay permit. For longer stays up to five years, apply for an Italian identity card, or a registration certificate for up to one year.

Be sure to bring:

  • Your passport or national ID
  • Proof of university enrollment or job placement
  • Valid health insurance
  • Proof of financial means
  • Your personal tax number
  • Registration fee

For non-EU citizens, you will need a stay permit for stays lasting longer than three months, and you must apply for it within eight days of your arrival in Italy. This is different than a residence permit, and it will give you rights just like an Italian citizen.

Now you should feel comfortable in knowing that the best neighborhoods in Florence are within your reach. With a little preparation, you can quickly check off each item on your moving abroad checklist, while you begin to get ready to book a place in Florence.

Be sure to save this Florence Neighborhood Guide, and be ready to double-check any details whenever necessary. Let the adventure begin!

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