Revered as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the birthplace of the Renaissance, many of the expats who move to Florence do so to discover and experience the home of great men and women who changed history.
About three hours’ drive northwest of Rome, Florence is the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany and an attractive tourist destination. Millions flock to visit its ancient churches, museums and piazzas each year, and use it as a base from which to explore the surrounding wine region.
Most of the expats who move to the City of Lilies, as it’s also known, take advantage of its popularity as a travel hotspot to work within the tourism industry. Others find jobs in fashion or education or even open businesses of their own. Then there are the thousands of students that arrive each year to participate in study-abroad programmes and short-term courses that explore Italian language, art, history and fashion.
Florence is a compact city, so getting around is easy, especially on foot and within the city's historical centre. With many public green spaces, as well as intriguing architecture found around town, riding a bicycle is also a great way to take in all there is to see and do.
In addition to the city’s charm, Florence has an outstanding modern infrastructure, including excellent healthcare and education. The weather is also relatively pleasant – the city enjoys a humid, subtropical climate and summers are hot and muggy, while winters can be rainy and cool. Although the quality of accommodation in Florence is high, the variety is limited as most people live in apartments.
Expats should understand that with many foreign tourists passing through, locals can sometimes appear unfriendly. Expats relocating to Florence will encounter a beautiful environment filled with history and art, but they will need to develop a ‘go with the flow’ attitude to help them settle in quickly.