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how to go to florence on a budget

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Florence, Italy has a rich cultural background filled with a beautiful art scene, palaces, monuments, paintings, and sculptures. It’s also full of amazing fashion, and is home to Ponte Vecchio, one of the coolest bridges in all of central Europe. The charm of this city is as invigorating as the pasta, prosecco, and gelato. And the best news is that the gorgeous Italian city can be experienced—and enjoyed—on a budget. Bravissimo!

With the guidance of several locals, we traveled to Florence ourselves to see how to do it best. Check out our trip highlights below, but be warned: With all the gelato, pasta, history, and fashion, you’re going to want to plan your own Italian adventure immediately.

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Must-See Tourist Destinations

Piazza Del Duomo: With unbelievable views and historical works of art, this famous cathedral is located in the very heart of the city. Known for its rounded dome shape, it’s a central fixture of Florence. Climb to the top for an insane view of the city.

Ponte Vecchio: Medieval architecture and beautiful structures create this bridge that crosses over the Arno River. This is the place for purchasing tourist souvenirs! Even better, buy a cheap bottle of Italian prosecco and sit on the river banks to enjoy the view. In the summer months, the young locals hang out here and enjoy the sunshine, friends, and cold beverages.

Piazzale Michelangelo: This destination is worth the short hike. Here, you can see a beautiful, panoramic view of the city of Florence. 

Uffizi Gallery: This museum is home to some famous works of art from painters like Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Botticelli. 

Santa Maria Novella: The Basillica of Santa Maria Novella is a church based in Florence, just across from the main railway station in the city. It’s a beautiful Dominican church that is definitely worth the visit for its historical value and Italian architecture. 

Photo via VirtualTourist.com

Markets

In comparison to other European cities like Paris and London, Florence is relatively cheap. Still, there are tons of completely free activities to be found all over the place.

San Lorenzo Market: The famous San Lorenzo Leather Market stretches over several blocks and offers a fun day of browsing shops, talking to locals, and enjoying the hidden alleyways of Florence. 

Central Market: From San Lorenzo, it’s just a quick walk to the Central Market. Here, you’ll find the freshest, most beautiful food in Florence. Be prepared to eat if you go, because you’ll see stalls full of cheeses, breads, olive oils, wines, and more. Go around lunchtime and grab a few items for a picnic—you’ll see lots of locals doing the same thing. 

San Spirito Plaza: After you fight the crowds on Ponte Vecchio, you’ll find yourself across town in San Spirito. This is the best place to people-watch, have afternoon drinks, or enjoy some amazing Italian food. This is the eclectic area of the city that also is home to many local artists. The open-air flea market is a great place to take an afternoon stroll and enjoy the scenery. 

Photo via Osteriasantospirito.it

Food and Drink

An attractive Italian man once told me, “food is love.” That notion certainly proves to be true when visiting Italy, because food is massive part of their cultural existence. Basically, any “osteria” or family-owned restaurant will provide a cultural (and very tasty!) experience for travelers.

First, you need to know the different types of restaurants...

Osteria: A tavern, wine bar, and basic restaurant all in one, an osteria is the least-formal of Italian dining options. 

Pizzeria: Quite obviously, this is a pizza restaurant. Italian pizzerias traditionally have a wood-fired oven to cook their famously crispy pizzas, but these also serve pastas and salads. Prices are normally very cheap with a whole (massive!) pizza costing around $10 U.S. dollars. 

Caffee: This is a coffee shop that usually serves standard sandwiches, pizzas, pastrys and various coffee drinks. Alcohol is also served in Italian cafes. Drink up! 

Enoteca: A bar and restaurant that's typically more wine-focused, enotecas serve a variety of small plates, like salads, nuts, chips, and snacks that pair with wine. 

We recommend: 

Osteria Santo Spirito: Located in an area where many locals live, this restaurant offers many classic Italian dishes. 

Pino’s: This place is perfect for a quick, cheap, and tasty panini with friends. 

Gusta Pizza: This pizzeria has the best Italian-style pizzas at a great price. 

Mastrociliegia: Pizza is an art form in Italy, and this historical pizzeria still serves family recipes from decades ago. 

Mekyadeh: This is a great place to grab a classic Italian coffee and have a quick rest after hours of walking around the city. 

Oblate: This restaurant has absolutely stunning views of the Duomo. 

Apperitivo

One of Italy's best traditions, apperitivo is more than just a ritual for Italians; it’s a time for friends to meet over drinks to chat, catch up, and wind down at the end of the day with beverages and salty snacks. Essentially, it’s an Italian-style “happy hour.” 

Normally between 7 and 9 pm, most bars and restaurants offer apperitivo. Check out different spots and indulge in a table of snacks and cheap cocktails. Our favorite area to bar hop is Piazza Santo Spirito.

Photo via VisitFlorence.com

Transportation

Florence has several easy transportation options. The public train station is located across the street from Santa Maria Novella Piazza, and will take you all across Italy. Train prices are insanely cheap. A day trip to Rome, Milan, or Venice costs less than $20, so take advantage of that if you have time. Taxis and buses are both available throughout the city, though taxis are the most expensive option and the buses are often very crowded. The best (and cheapest) way to get around is to simply walk or rent a bicycle. Most locals bike around the city, as it’s a small enough place to get around easily. Not to mention, you’ll get to see beautiful views.

Florence By Bike: This is the biggest bicycle-rental shop in Florence, and you can rent a cheap bike that will easily transport you all over the city. Single-speed city bikes and touring bikes are both good choices for cycle-touring. 

Photo via Ostellogallodoro.it

Sleeping

Florence is home to tons of great hostels that are affordable, clean, and friendly. You can get a single room in the center of the city for about $30 a night, or if you have friends, you can go for a shared suite for about $10 to $15 per night. Many affordable AIRBNB apartments are available, along with tons of bed-and-breakfast options if cash isn't too tight. Check out a few of our favorites, below: 

Hostel Gallo d’Oro: This hostel is centrally located, cheap, clean, and provides free breakfast and WiFi. Just a few minutes from Piazza San Marco and the Duomo, it’s very convenient and affordable.   

Academy Hostel: Academy Hostel is a cozy hostel in the center of the city. The location is the best part about the place—it’s literally steps away from the city’s central Duomo. It doesn’t have as big of a party scene as some of the other options, but it offers a great central location for travelers and backpackers. 

Dany House: Dany House is friendy, fun, and super accommodating. It’s a great place to meet other young travelers who are usually up for hanging out and enjoying all that Italy has to offer. If you’re looking for more of a party place, Dany House is a good option.

My Friends: This hostel is very cozy and clean, with breakfast included. It’s considered a guesthouse, so it won’t be full of wild parties and crazy travelers. If you’re looking for that, it’s not your place. If you want an affordable and clean place to sleep with all the essentials included, it’s a great option. 

Backpackers Florence Central: Perfect for backpackers, this hostel is situated right in the middle of Florence’s nightlife. It’s within walking distance from the Piazza Santa Croce, one of the best square’s to visit in Florence. With cafes, restaurants, and bars right outside your door, you’ll have plenty of things to do! 

 

Photo by Simon Bruty/Getty Images

The Best Local Advice

Go to Kiko’s—they have the best makeup ever. And it’s insanely cheap. Think: Upscale Italian-made products for drugstore prices. Yes, please!

Shops often close from 2 pm to 5 pm for siesta, so try to manage your schedule around these hours.

Wear comfortable shoes. You’re going to be walking on lots of cobblestones.

Italians walk, eat, drink, and do most everything quite slowly. Be ready to take things slowly.

It’s totally acceptable to eat gelato multiple times per day. Have no shame. 

We also see Margot Robbie take on Sharon Tate

The new trailer for Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gives a look at the Manson Family. In the previous clip, we saw Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio at their funniest. Now, we get to see Margot Robbie take on actress Sharon Tate, Lena Dunham become a cult member, and how the fictional and real-life story lines will intersect in the film.

Per a press release, the film—that follows a fictional story set around the time of the real-life Manson murders—"visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore."

In this clip, after being introduced to Dalton and Booth, viewers get to see how the latter ends up mingling with the Manson Family. As Booth picks up a girl (Margaret Qualley) on the side of the road, he unknowingly welcomes a Manson family member into his life and begins to visit their ranch. The fiction and real-life stories intersect when we find out that Dalton lives next store to Tate, who was murdered by the members of Charles Manson's cult in 1969.

Watch the new trailer for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood ahead of its July 26 theatrical release, below.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD - Official Trailer (HD) www.youtube.com

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Photos by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

This photo proves that they are the chillest onscreen family

Sophie Turner just posted a photo of herself, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright—aka the Stark siblings—to her Instagram, showing just what the three used to get up to when the Game of Thrones cameras weren't rolling.

The photo shows Wright looking quite pleased with himself while sitting on a makeshift throne, wearing no pants. As he should be, seeing as (spoiler) his character, Bran, won the Iron Throne this weekend. Williams, meanwhile, is looking way too cool to be involved in the shenanigans, wearing a pair of black sunglasses and staring absently off-camera. As for Turner, she's looking away from her onscreen brother, too, nervously smoking a Juul.

"The pack survived," Turner captioned the photo.

This photo just goes to prove that the Stark siblings are the chillest onscreen family. (It also proves, yet again, that Turner's social media is an absolute delight.)

We're actually a little sad that this footage didn't make it into the final season, considering how many modern-day objects have been spotted in the show's last few episodes.

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Photo via @mileycyrus on Twitter

Meet Ashley

Miley Cyrus shared the trailer for her forthcoming Black Mirror episode, and it's basically Hannah Montana set in a dystopian future. Cyrus is a pink wig-wearing pop star named Ashley who is rolling out an in-home virtual assistant, named Ashley Too, that looks like her and shares her voice. But, as is the case with every Black Mirror episode, this technology is not as cute and fun as it's advertised to be.

In the trailer, we get the idea that Ashley is all about wanting fans to "believe" in themselves—but underneath that pink wig, maybe she doesn't feel that same self-love. After Ashley Too introduces herself to fan and new owner Rachel, promising to be her friend, we get a look at Ashley's darker side. She's depressed and tired of the pop star life. A record label executive says to several people in the room, "She doesn't understand how fragile all this is." As they consider upping her dose of medication, Ashley's life is on a downward slope. "It's getting so hard to keep doing this," she voices over glimpses of a police car chase, performances, and breakdowns backstage.

But back to the technology: Does Ashley's breakdown also mean the breakdown of Ashley Too? Looks like it. We see Rachel's virtual assistant screaming, "Get that cable out of my ass! Holy shit! Pull it out," breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they pull it out. A title card then reveals the episode name, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."

Watch the full trailer and get a full view of Cyrus' cyborg-esque pop star look, below. Black Mirror returns to Netflix on June 5.


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Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images.

Several actresses allegedly had "issues" with him

Lena Waithe's Showtime series, The Chi, just lost one of its main characters. Jason Mitchell, who was also set to appear in the Netflix film Desperados, has been dropped from both projects following multiple allegations of misconduct. He has also been dropped by his agent and manager.

Hollywood Reporter heard from a source "with knowledge" of The Chi, who says that Tiffany Boone, the actress who plays Mitchell's girlfriend on the show, is just one of several actresses who had "issues" with him. She eventually told producers at Fox21 that she could no longer work with him after filing several sexual harassment complaints. Apparently, her fiancé, Dear White People co-star Marque Richardson, would join her on set when she would shoot with Mitchell.

While news of Mitchell's alleged misconduct is just now beginning to surface, it looks like the ball started rolling on the fallout weeks ago. He was dropped from Desperados and replaced by Lamorne Morris before filming began. A source from the production team said that the producers received "specific information" that they reviewed and acted on quickly. Similarly, a source familiar with Mitchell's former agent, UTA, said the decision to drop him a few weeks ago was very quick following the allegations.

Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Prior to the college admissions scandal, she said she doesn't "care about school"

Apparently, Olivia Jade wants to go back to school despite all those YouTube videos that suggested otherwise. Back in March, it was revealed that her mom, Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, had scammed Jade's way into the University of Southern California. Now, Loughlin faces jail time, and Jade lost out on plenty of lucrative ad partnerships.

According to Us Weekly, "Olivia Jade wants to go back to USC," per a source. "She didn't get officially kicked out and she is begging the school to let her back in." Another source though ousted Jade's real motivation to the publication. "She knows they won't let her in, so she's hoping this info gets out," they shared. "She wants to come out looking like she's changed, learned life lessons and is growing as a person, so she for sure wants people to think she is interested in her education."

Jade previously shared in a YouTube video she's in college for the "experience of like game days, partying" rather than the education. She also said, "I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." Though these statements were made prior to the scandal coming to light, her brand partnerships didn't come into question until her parents were indicted.

Right now, despite previous reports that Jade and her sister would both be dropping out of USC, Jade's enrollment has been placed on hold—meaning she cannot register for classes, or even withdraw from the school—until her parents' court case comes to a close. Then, the school will make its own decision as to how Jade will be affected. I think, either way, she should have to pay off a few of her classmates' loans for all the BS she pulled.

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