International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Culture Corner

Tiny Travel Story: Italy

What's Florence Like?

Around every corner of this enchanting city, you will be able to discover Italian culture at its finest. Visit the most photographed bridge in Florence, Ponte Vecchio - the only bridge that survived Nazi bombing during World War II - and make a trip to the other side of the Arno River which splits the city in two. Make your way up to Piazzale Michelangelo for spectacular views of the city and stroll through some of the best open-air markets in Italy where you will find leather goods, olive oil, ceramics, wine, and stationery.

After a few short weeks you'll instantly feel at home and become comfortable in your new environment. You will soon find yourself adapting to the Italian lifestyle and culture and feel right at home in this cozy Tuscan town. And when you need a bit of adventure, Santa Maria Novella, the main train station, gives individuals instant access to travel around Italy and Europe.

A view of the Arno River that runs through the historic center of Florence.
A view of the Arno River that runs through the historic center of Florence.

Region and Population

Italy is divided into 20 regions, each with its own capital city. Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region of Italy. It's located along the Arno River surrounded by hills to the south and the foothills of the Apennine Mountains to the north.

With an urban population of roughly 380,000 people, Florence is a city vast in area but effortlessly maintains its small-town charm.


Winter months in Florence are cool and wet and summers tend to be hot and humid, due to the Arno River which runs the center of the city. The Arno River is also a cause for many bugs and mosquitoes.

Heating systems in Italy are controlled by the government and are turned on by November 15th and turned off on March 15th every year. Heat in the apartments generally operates from 6a.m. - 9a.m. and then again in the evening from 6p.m. - 10p.m.

Summer months can get hot, however air-conditioning is not as prevalent in Italy. While offices and stores are typically air-conditioned, most Italian homes and apartments are not. Keep cool the Italian way - during the day Italians traditionally keep their shutters and serande closed against the heat of the sun. In order to cool the apartment you might also consider buying a fan

Average monthly highs and lows (degrees Fahrenheit) and rainfall (inches) in Florence.

Avg. Rainfall1.351.461.242.381.761.520.911.122.153.393.512.05

Helpful Links

ISA Florence Magazine