City Guide - Florence, Italy

Expats with a romantic soul can’t fail to be captivated by the Italian city of Florence. Renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the home of Renaissance art boasts a breath-taking backdrop of magnificent architecture and streets drenched in history and style. Millions of visitors’ flock to Florence every year to discover world-class art, fascinating museums and mouth-watering cuisine. No wonder people find it hard to leave.
Things to do in Florence 
Those that choose to make their dream a reality and seek out a new life in Florence are chasing the Italian dream – a life rich in romance and culture, filled with an endless collection of museums, galleries and shady piazzas where one can sip an espresso and watch the world go by. The Uffizi Gallery houses one of the world’s greatest treasure troves of Renaissance art whilst the majestic Duomo, completed over six centuries, boasts the largest masonry dome in the world. The city is a magnet for artists and once you have had your fill of historical works, exploring the workshops of the artisan quarter is an inspiring adventure that will gently lead you back into the 21st century.
Florence offers shopping experiences that cater to all tastes with the luxury boutiques of Ponte Vecchio, the high street stores around the Piazza Repubblica, and the independent shops and colourful markets that hide in the romantic backstreets of the city. In the evening, whether your preference is a classical concert, tear-jerking opera or sultry jazz performance, you’ll find that the city delivers.
Young children will enjoy the Children’s Museum in Palazzo Vecchio with its lavish costumes and enticing stories as well as the glorious Florentine Gardens with its lush lawns, grottoes and fish pond. When it comes to the cuisine of the city, children of all ages won’t be able to resist a cone topped with creamy gelato – one of the specialities of the city.
Working in Florence 
With its large economy and high quality of life, it’s little wonder that expats are attracted to working in Florence. The Italian economy as a whole has shifted in and out of recession following the effects of the global economic crisis. However, many expats have found employment in the travel and tourism industry as well as the education sector. The fashion industry is also a major pull for those with the relevant skills.
Italian is the official language of business and so those fluent in Italian will have the greatest chance of securing employment. This is, in part, due to the fact that networking is one of the best ways to find a position in Florence – making a great personal impression in a face-to-face meeting can open all kinds of doors.
Daily life in Florence 
Although this can vary depending on area, the standard of education and healthcare in Florence is generally high – state schools are free whilst international schools might be a better option for those that need extra tuition in the language or are likely to finish their schooling back in their home country.
Florence enjoys a laid-back, unhurried way of life and people mostly get around the centre on foot or by bicycle. Don’t be in a rush in this enchanting city – some expats report that it takes time to break into Florentine society. Our advice is to stay open, go with the flow and take your time when settling into your new home.
Information correct at time of publication