Florence is one of the main tourist attractions in Italy, alongside Milan, Rome, Venice, and others. It is also known as the “cradle of the Renaissance” because of all the monuments, churches and buildings that this city boasts, all of which are dated to that period of time.
This is a wonderful destination for a relaxing and memorable trip, but there are a couple of places that most probably won’t make you feel great during your vacation here. Every city has these types of areas so you shouldn’t worry. We compiled a list with the top places you should try to stay away from during your well-deserved vacation in Florence, Italy.
Stay away from crowded places
Tourists flock to Florence, and rightfully so. However, you should try to stay away from over-crowded tourist areas if you want to experience the real Florence.
If you are looking forward to trying some authentic Italian cuisine you should probably stay away from the restaurants placed within the view of the Duomo.
This area is known to be the most popular among tourists, so you won’t have the possibility to relaxingly stroll around the streets of Florence without bumping into hundreds of other people and smelling every men’s cologne on a radius of 10 feet.
The central area, around Duomo, Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce, has the second position for the highest crime rate in Florence, mainly because of the presence of drunk people at night, noise and pickpockets.
Don’t stay near train stations
Usually, the neighborhoods around train stations, such as Santa Maria Novella, tend to be dodgy areas, which is not something that only happens in Florence, but almost everywhere in the world.
Here you can encounter pickpockets, muggers, drug users or just mean-spirited people. These areas are relatively safe at day, but it is safer to avoid them as much as possible at night.
Don’t swim in the Arno
The Arno is a river in the Tuscany region of Italy and it is the most important river in central Italy after the Tiber.
Swimming here is technically prohibited, but there are people that still try to get in and take a bath. We highly suggest you stay away from swimming in the Arno, because the river is also really polluted and the water is extremely cold.
Le Piagge is a neighborhood from Florence known for its bad reputation. This is almost the only sub-zone in Florence that has the highest crime rate in the whole town. Criminal activity here is mostly represented by car thefts and drug dealing, so it’s clearly not the area where you should spend your time while on vacation.
Florence is a rather safe destination, but you should still be aware of your surroundings to make sure you don’t experience any unpleasant events during your stay. Crowded buses are the most dangerous places, so either try to avoid using public transportation or be very aware of your belongings while riding the bus. Pickpockets are very agile and it only takes a few moments for them to snatch your phone or wallet.
Santa Maria Novella
Avoid wandering late at night alone on the streets, especially around areas such as Santa Maria Novella. Stick to main streets rather than narrow or poorly lit streets.
There is a high risk of scammers approaching you, with “gold” rings or “designer” bags, so make sure you check the products before you buy anything. Be respectful, and most probably they’ll just leave you alone.