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is Florence usually this crazy ????

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Adelaide
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is Florence usually this crazy ????

We have been in Florence since Monday and I've never seen so many people in all the times I've been here, is it usually this crazy at this time of year. Have all the Italians taken an extra day after the public holiday and made a long weekend of it in Florence, when will all the hoards of school groups that have haunted us from Assisi to Florence go home ??? I was shocked to see the line up to Santa Maria Novella streach out half way into the pizza. We are here for 2 more weeks and is it misguided of me to think it will improve ??

New York
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11. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

I was in Florence a couple years back towards the end of May and I found it to be miserably hot and very crowded. I have no desire to go back in season. I think it would be much better in the winter. I'm sure the locals can't stand it either that the city is so overrun with tourists.

Le Marche, Italy
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12. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

Not many of the locals live in the center of Florence.

I also find it unpleasant in high season. It's quite nice in the winter.

Edited: 27 April 2013, 00:22
Melbourne, Australia
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13. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

For this very reason, I wouldnt travel in spring or summer. I was in Florence in February and though chilly on a couple of days, it was lovely to be crowd free and not have to stand in lines.

New Jersey
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14. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

We were there in late December, and it was also super crowded especially in and around Piazza Republica, obviously the Duomo area, Ponte Vecchio and the streets leading to and out of these places. The good part was that it was cold. I can't imagine it with these crowds in the summer.

The other side of the river was quiet and quaint. I loved walking around that area.

Florence
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15. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

bvlenci

Actually, we know quite a few locals who, like us, live in the center and love it. We just choose when and where to go - like people in London, New York, Rome, Paris, etc., etc.

Le Marche, Italy
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16. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

What do you mean, when and where to go? If you live there, how do you avoid going out?

I'm pretty sure Florence has a much higher proportion of tourists to residents in its central touristic zone than any of the other cities you mention. Not to mention the high concentration of wealthy expats in the central zones, who are often only part-time residents. (The other cities you mention also have a high concentration of wealthy expat part-timers, who may spend only a few weeks there in a year.) I'm not speaking of Florence as a whole. I used to go to Florence occasionally to see a doctor there, and there were no tourists at all in his neighborhood. We also once went to the National Library in Florence, although I don't remember the time of the year, and although it's fairly centrally located, I don't remember seeing any tourists around there, either.

Roma
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17. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

This year is particularly critic for Italian economy, so more Italians than other years have decided to travel remaining in Italy. I read, almost surprisingly, that Rome and Florence were the favourite destinations for Italian travellers in this "ponte" of 2013; maybe last years London, Paris, Barcelona... attracted a larger number of Italians.

Neptune Beach, FL
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18. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

I was in Rome, Florence, and Venice, in that order, the last two weeks of March. I was looking forward to the winter lull.

In Rome, there were a couple thousand people outside the Colosseum trying to get in, and inside it was like a zoo. There were so many people in the square at the Trevi Fountain that you could hardly get close enough to see the water. The square at the Spanish Steps was likewise a mob of people apparently just hanging out. Tourists are squeezing out the locals. On three occasions in four days I picked up on disdain and/or /hostility for tourists on the part of individual Italians. It's understandable. Tourists have taken their wonderful city away from them.

Florence and Venice weren't as bad as Rome.

The ratio of Italians and Europeans to Americans was much greater this time then in my multiple other trips over the last half a century. I, too, suspected it might be because of the bad economies in various countries in the world. Most of the tourists we came in contact with were Italian, then European, and then American. And we didn't see any Japanese tourists.

Americans have heard so much about London, Paris, and Rome, that I think these are the cities they want to go to first. The face of travel has evolved over the years.

Spirit

Edited: 27 April 2013, 15:04
London, United...
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19. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

I was in Venice a year ago at the end of May [2012]. It wasn't the nightmare that Florence seems to be at present - congested, but not overly so. Get out of the lagoon to the surrounding islands: it is worth making the trip about the holiday rather than seeing sites that take you out of fine weather.

Save the palazzo ducate for a rainy day - if not, go early. It was the only interior I thought worth seeing.

The Venice pass gives access to it as well as freedom to travel in the lagoon, and is value for money.

Now, if someone can tell me what to see, to miss the crowds in Florence next week ...

New Jersey
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20. Re: is Florence usually this crazy ????

I don't have any firm facts, but Florence must have the most US universities with study-abroad programs in Italy. I think this just adds to the high tourist/student population outside of the typical July/August holiday periods.