Florence Tourist Trap Tips by mariocibelli Top 5 Page for this destination
Florence Tourist Traps: 102 reviews and 55 photos
Piazza della Repubblica is a central point of Florence. However, be aware that the cafes located there have some of the highest prices in Italy id you intend to sit down and be served in classic surly Florentine style. The other day I noted some of the prices for table service:
1. Cappuccino: 4.50 Euros (£ 3 or $5) - remember its only about 3 sips!
2. Hot Tea: 5.50 Euros (£ 3.75 or $ 6.60) at least they give you a little teapot - check to see if it is more than 1/2 full!
3. Soft Drink: from 7 - 9 Euros depending on size.
4. Water (1/2 litre) 4 Euros (£ 2.80 or $ 6.20)
5. Cocktail: 8 Euros (£ 5.50 or $ 9.75) - sometimes more!!!
This is not meant to knock Florence but the cafes in Piazza della Repubblica and Signoria are tourist traps with a captial T!
Unique Suggestions: Make sure your company, girlfriend, boyfriend are picking up the tab!
Don't order food, it is notoriously BAD.
Don't put up with crappy service, you are paying TOP Euro for the pleasure.
Stay as long as you want, don't EVER feel rushed, a 3.50 Euro espresso buys you a great vantage point for the afternoon.
Great place to park elderly relatives or travel companions who are sick of shopping and siteseeing.
Fun Alternatives: Lots of other little cafes on side streets, check out menu first - also see what their wares look like first, sometimes those pastries have been sitting there since the renaissance.
Florence is full of leather shops touting jackets, coats and pants made supposedly locally. (Actually most of the shops have sister-stores in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, but that is another story).
There is nothing wrong with the shops, the merchandise is generally better made and far less expensive then what people find in their home country. Especially, USA, Japan, Canada, UK, Ireland etc... However, read below:
Unique Suggestions: 1. If a guide takes you to a shop - they take a cut - up to 20% of whatever you spend -so you can always go back 'alone' and renegotiate on the special price they gave you.
2. If they say, I'll take 20% off, that generally means they want to be paid in cash - the 20% represents the VAT taxt they are saving by your cash purchase.
3. If you spend over 150 Euros and you are NOT a European Union resident and leaving the country you can get the tax back - so check to see that the store has the blue taxfree sign int he window.
4. If they raise the price because you are paying with a credit card, do like the song ans just walk away Rene. See if they come after you.
Fun Alternatives: This is not to suggest that the people who own and operate these shops are not decent. It is that so many people are into getting their commissions on top of commissions that it drives the price up. As I said the quality and selection is fantastic and the people who work in the shops are generally very friendly and entertaining and multilingual.
I have heard from the Japanese guides, that the commission gets paid back to the Tour Company and not to the guide.
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