Exploring Florence on a Budget

By: Matteo Fardella

Firenze, home of the Renaissance and the city of selfie stick salesmen. Aside from its incomparable beauty and bustling daily life, it can become fairly expensive if you have plans to explore all the city has to offer from cuisine to to museums and must-see’s.

With Florence being one of Italy’s slightly pricier cities, it is very easy to overindulge in your daily needs and wants, one gelato leads onto a meal which then leads on to drinks which then leads on to bars, pubs and clubs.. you get what I’m saying. Surely there has to be a cheaper way to take part in all the activities without having to call your parents back home because you spent your last few Euros on that extra slice of pizza that you just couldn’t resist?

For all you art and history junkies out there; on the first Sunday of every month, admission to museums, cultural sites and archaeological parks is free! You can save yourself ranging anywhere from €5 to €25 and includes places such as Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio . The city is also covered in public art that has ancient stories backing them and can be found just walking distance away.

When it comes to eating out, steer clear of the €15+ meals that are sure to add up at the end of the evening, and consider the just-as-tasty plates at somewhere Gusta Pizza (Via Maggio, 46R) for under half the price. The amount of gelato that you are going to consume during your stay here might be considered ‘unhealthy’ but each and every scoop is easily worth it. The trick for gelato is to not pay more than €4 for 3 scoops and to not buy the brightly colored flavors that come in massive mountains as their ingredients are more artificial. Make sure to visit Gelateria Dei Neri (Via Dei Neri, 9/11), La Carraia (Piazza Nazario Sauro 25) and Edoardo il Gelato Biologico (Piazza Del Duomo 45/R).

Something is happening in Florence every night, whether it be calm pubs or wild clubs, it has it all. As Italy has an extremely high tax on drinks that are sold in restaurants and bars, grabbing a bottle of wine at the convenience store near you, to enjoy on a bridge or in a piazza beforehand, will save you a lot of dough later on. Different pubs have different specials for everyday of the week as they hold numerous events. Use this to your advantage and try not to pay that dreaded €5-8 for a single drink.

Finally, keep an eye and nostril open for little shops and bakeries lining the many streets as they tend to sell things at a cheaper cost. Try to avoid buying things in the touristy areas as the prices are hiked as tourists flood the main landmarks and attractions. Stay thrifty my friends.

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