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Sheila Umolu
Sr. Programming Director

Sheila's interest in Italy has spanned three decades. She has fond memories of the monuments, museums, and beautiful Italian landscapes. Her favorite Italian destinations are Venice, Florence and Rome.

Duomo Tower and Church



Official Language: Italian
Currency: Euro
Time Zone: Central European Time (6 Hours ahead of EST)
Population: 375,000


Florence is a wonderful city to visit anytime of the year. If cold weather is an issue for you, then visit Florence during the spring and summer. If you want to save money and see fewer tourists, then visit Florence during the winter and fall.

Currency is the Euro with major credit cards accepted by most establishments. Time in Florence is six hours ahead of New York City. Italian is the official language and some English isspoken by locals. Hotels have the most expensive rates on phone calls, so purchase a phone card for your international calls. The Central Post Office is located on Via Pellicceria. Post office hours are 8:15am-7pm (Monday-Saturday).

Banks are open from 8:35am-1:35pm and 2:45pm-3:45pm (Monday-Friday). ATMs are plentiful and the most convenient way to get Euros. Some ATMs may only accept PIN numbers with 4 digits. Passports are necessary for U.S. citizens. Most large stores are open 4pm-7:30pm (Monday), 10am-1pm and 4pm-7:30pm (Tuesday-Saturday).

Electricity is different than the U.S., so bring an adapter in case your batteries run out.

The major holidays in Florence are New Year's Day, Easter, Easter Monday, Liberation Day, Labor Day, Assumption Day, All Saints' Day, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Christmas and Santo Stefano. For specific dates, go to the
Italian Government Tourist Board website.

Florence is a major tourist destination, so visitors should use common sense when out and about. For more travel tips, go to
Advice and Observations.

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