Discount Tickets for the City
Florence at last has a biglietto cumulativo worthy of the name. Launched in 2011, the Firenze Card includes free entrance to around 25 of the city's leading museums and monuments, including the Uffizi, Accademia, Cappella Brancacci, Palazzo Pitti, San Marco, and lots, lots more. It also gets you into shorter lines at the Uffizi and other busy places, thereby making prebooking tickets unnecessary. Any E.U. citizen under 18 accompanying a cardholder also enters all the sites free. The card is valid for 72 hours from first activation, includes bus transport while valid, and costs 50€ from the tourist offices on Piazza della Stazione and Via Cavour, as well as a handful of the major museums themselves. If you intend to pack as much into a 3-day visit as possible, the card offers good value. For the latest information on the card, and to order online, see www.firenzecard.it. If you're here for a longer visit, and prefer to take things slower, an Amici degli Uffizi membership (tel. 055-285610; www.amicidegliuffizi.it) costs about the same -- 60€ adults, 40€ anyone under 25 years and under, 100€ family -- and is valid for a calendar year, but only secures entrance (without queuing) into 15 or so state museums in Florence, including the Uffizi, Accademia, San Marco, Bargello, Medici Chapels, and Pitti Palace. The card makes sense for families from outside the EU (children who are EU citizens always get in free), as two children go free with a family ticket, and for anyone who wishes to make multiple visits to museums (very useful for the Uffizi). Arrange instant membership Tuesday through Saturday at the dedicated office inside Uffizi entrance #2 (no need to queue, just ask for access); take your passport.
Catching an Exhibition at the Strozzi
The two spaces inside the Renaissance Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi -- known as the Piano Nobile and the basement Strozzina -- are Florence's major spaces for temporary and contemporary art shows, and have been experiencing a 21st-century renaissance of their own under new and energetic directorship. Major hits of recent years have included the likes of 2011's "Picasso, Miró, Dalí." There's always lots going on around the shows too, including talks, late-night events, and even discovery trails aimed at 5- to 9-year-olds. Check www.palazzostrozzi.org for the latest exhibition news.