Florence is one of the three most visited cities in Italy. It is famous as the birthplace of the Renaissance when, from the 15th century onwards, there was an extraordinary flowering of the arts and a return to classical ideals. At this time, some of the most important artists who have ever lived were at work in Florence, including Donatello, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Botticelli, Raphael, Leon Battista Alberti, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Indeed, the last three stand out not only for their artistic achievements but also for their writings and 'universal' talents.
Florence, with a population of around 380,000, has become an international city, with its great monuments, magnificent churches, and most famous museums concentrated in a small area. While you study at NYU in Florence, you’ll have time to discover the charming side streets with the tucked-away cafes and restaurants as well.
The historic center is remarkably well preserved and the low hills which surround the town have retained their vineyards, olive groves, and handsome villas which provide a prelude to the beautiful Tuscan landscape. No visitor should leave Florence without seeing the city from a raised vantage point, from the top of the Duomo or the Campanile, or from one of the surrounding hills.
Students are urged to travel light but to bring warm clothing to Florence. It's best to bring clothing which can be layered in colder weather and lightened in late spring and early fall. Although the temperature seldom drops below 35°F, it is frequently cool and can be damp during the winter. Italian buildings maintain much lower temperatures than most buildings in the United States. Warm clothes, especially sweaters and jackets for indoors, are a necessity in the winter months.
- Walking is the best way to get around Florence!
- ATAF is the local bus company that offers public transportation in Florence. Bus #25 goes directly to campus (the bus stop is called LA PIETRA).
- Students are eligible for a student monthly bus pass – approx. €23, and €10 student ID card.
- You cannot wave down a taxi in Florence. If you need a cab you can either go to a taxi stand or call one on the telephone. Taxi stands are located in several major piazzas.
- There are two cab companies in Florence. To call a cab, dial 055-4390 or 055-4242.