Florence, Italy
Nick, 31
Co-founder at TrovaTrip
see his Florence city guide

ask Nick about

nightclubs cocktail bars café viewpoints italian food parks

What are the Florence spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

If it's your first time to Florence, you HAVE to (1) Go to the Duomo (and hike it if you can manage 400+ steps), (2) Go to Gusta Pizza for the best pizza in the world, (3) Go to Acqua al 2 for the pasta sampler and balsamic or blueberry steak, (4) Watch the sunset with a bottle of wine up at Piazzale Michelangelo and (5) Go to San Lorenzo market to haggle for some leathers and silk!

Do’s and don’ts in Florence: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

Tipping is not necessary. If you want to take the bus, buy a bus ticket at a local Tabacchi (with the white T out front) or spend a little more and buy it on the bus, however, bus drivers often run out of tickets. In reality though, Florence isn't a huge city, so you should be able to walk most places. Be mindful of pickpocketers by keeping your possessions secure. Also, Italians typically don't drink cappuccinos after 10am, so get them early if you want to look like a local!

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a co-founder at TrovaTrip (trovatrip.com), where we offer curated group travel around the globe. Think Belgium beer trip or Bali surf trip, we partner with experts to offer one-of-a-kind experiences. Travel has been such an important part of my life and I wanted to create a way for others to also have access to the travel experience. We make it easy by taking care of all of the planning, and our travelers have the opportunity to see the world while also learning a new skill or interest from our experts that host the trip!

How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?

It varies significantly, but anywhere from $10-100. It doesn't take much to have an incredible night out. Some of my favorite experiences involve buying a bottle of wine and heading up to view points with friends to play cards or watch the sunset. Florence fits all budgets.

Which Florence shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?

San Lorenzo Market for anything silk or leather. Still hit H&M or Zara for some clothing though (not very Italian of me...)

Your all-time favorite musicians:

Kings of Leon is my favorite band of all-time, not really a close second that I can think of. I have a pretty broad taste in music, so I also like EDM and rap. Not a big country fan...

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

I really like south of the river, as it's a little less touristy and has some incredible food and drink spots.

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Going near the Duomo often makes me want to cry because of how many tourists that can be there. Dodging tourists and their photo ops is a workout and a half.

What’s the one place in Florence you think is underrated?

People always talk about Piazzale Michelangelo, but not as many talk about the Boboli Gardens. It is also south of the river and incredibly beautiful. Take a book or your Kindle and hang in the gardens for a few hours!

Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?

Take a bottle of wine up to Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset, walk to Acqual al 2 for dinner and then gelato and grappa at Vivoli (yes, grappa at a gelato shop).

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Florence?

Gusta Pizza. ALWAYS! (except on Monday when it's closed)

It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?

Pick a restaurant and hang there for a long lunch or dinner. Or grab a couple of bottles of wine and some pizza and play games in your accommodations.

Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?

Sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo. A hike up the Duomo. Dinner at Ristorante Buca Mario (reservation required).

Your go-to brunch spots:

Le Vespe Cafe is a brunch favorite!

Your perfect night out in Florence includes:

Gusta pizza and a bottle of wine at Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset and then a night on the town to Viktoria lounge and Red Garter.

Which local creators do you admire?

Leonardo da Vinci changed the worlds in many ways and was from Florence originally. Such an interesting man and story. If you haven't had a chance to learn about him, you should!

Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:

Gusta Pizza is cheap and GOOD!

Tomorrow’s your last day in Florence. How do you spend it?

Hitting the remaining spots that you missed on my list :)

You’re meeting the mayor of Florence - what constructive criticism would you give them?

More to do on the water. It's not the prettiest water ever, but could be some interesting restaurants or water activities.

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Giulio Paletta