The best places to live in Florence

Even though Florence is a relatively small city, the various areas and suburbs in Florence cater to all types of people. There are options for students and young professionals who crave the hustle and bustle of the inner city, and for families who prefer the peace and quiet of the outskirts. Each area has a different feel, and expats should be sure to spend some time exploring the different options when looking for accommodation before making a firm decision on where to live.


Trendy and cultural hotspots in Florence

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San Marco

San Marco is to the north of the Centro Storico and is a primarily residential area that extends to Piazza Indipendenza and Piazza Libertà. The area gets congested with tourists but has a good selection of shops and restaurants, and the university botanical gardens provide some reprieve. Public transport in the area is good, but San Marco isn’t well suited to private vehicles.

Santo Spirito

The residents of this trendy area are a mix of expats, students and artists. Its lively piazza is lined with restaurants, and it houses several museums and public gardens. Its narrow streets are lined with shops, but they aren’t easy to navigate by car, so most residents walk, cycle or use buses.

Santa Croce

Santa Croce hosts the Sant’Ambrogio Market – one of the best places to buy local produce in the city. It’s centrally located, but tourists passing through are there mainly to visit the Santa Croce church, and the rest of the area is residential. 

There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area, and because it isn’t too touristy, Santa Croce has an authentic Italian feel to it. Still, there are always people out and about, which makes the area feel safe even at night, and there is a vibey nightlife atmosphere. Expats who prefer quieter areas may not opt for Santa Croce.

Rifredi

Rifredi, in the northwestern part of Florence, is a dynamic and growing suburb. This area is known for its medical and research facilities, including the Careggi Hospital, and attracts many healthcare professionals and researchers. Rifredi has a diverse community and offers affordable housing options, making it a popular choice for young professionals and families alike. The suburb is well-served by public transport, and its blend of modern and traditional Italian architecture adds to its unique charm.

Campo di Marte

Campo di Marte, located to the east of the city centre, is a quieter suburb ideal for families and sports enthusiasts. Known for its large sports stadium, the area offers a blend of urban convenience and quiet residential life. The lush green spaces and proximity to local amenities make it a sought-after location for those who prefer a balance of city life and tranquillity. While the area is well-connected by public transport, its spacious streets also accommodate private vehicles, making it a practical choice for those with cars.


Family-friendly and peaceful suburbs in Florence

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San Niccolò

The San Niccolò area offers a unique small-town feel. It doesn’t attract many tourists, except those passing through to get to the Piazzale Michelangiolo, but expats wanting to live in this peaceful area should be warned that rent prices are known to be high.

Novoli

Novoli is a city quarter that offers an alternative to the busy, touristy city centre, but is still well-connected with public transport links. This neighbourhood lies in the north-western part of Florence and is a perfect, quiet and cosy spot for families.

Via Bolognese

Perfect for expats who want to drive themselves around, Via Bolognese snakes northwards out of the city. It doesn’t attract all the tourist foot traffic like the city centre, but its leafy atmosphere has its own attractions, like the gardens of Parnassus. The biggest downside is that residents have longer commutes than their counterparts in the city centre.

Fiesole

Fiesole, nestled in the hills just north of Florence, offers a picturesque escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. This ancient town, with its Etruscan and Roman roots, is perfect for history buffs and those seeking a quieter lifestyle. Its elevated position provides stunning views of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan landscape. 

The area is well-known for its cultural events, fine dining, and artisan shops. Fiesole is less connected by public transport compared to other suburbs, making it more suited for those with private vehicles or who enjoy leisurely walks in nature.

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