Florentines vs tourists?

I recently heard a news report suggesting that Florentines are getting weary of all the tourists. My wife and I will be in Siena for 7 days in October and had hoped to make a day trip by train to visit Ufizzi and Academia galleries. I respect the desires for locals to enjoy their city without intrusion by throngs of (unruly?) outsiders but I would deeply regret not visiting, for at least a day, the cradle of the Renaissance.

Are there specific behaviors that tourists need to avoid? Are private or small group tours better? Is October a less tourist heavy month in Florence? Any specific recommendations on touring Florence that would not raise the ire of the locals? I certainly do not wish to become the poster child for poor tourist behavior in Florence!


Well-known member
Unruly Tourist


just the fact that you are concerned about intruding almost immediately qualifies you as a respectful visitor.:cool:

Florentines are traditionally a bit "standoffish", it is their nature - but they are also very proud of their city and their heritage, and love to open the doors to those who truly want to admire and appreciate the centuries of history, art and architecture.

There have been some sad stories circulating about tourists and foreign students disrespecting the cityscape, and the national monuments but I think this would upset anyone - not just the locals.

No one style of tourism is better than the other - each answers a request by both the guest and the environment or monuments to be visited. My suggestion to you is to choose which one feels most comfortable for you. I also suggest you check other guests reviews, to be sure it fills your requirements.

In my humble opinion, it is usually a good guide to remember that Italy is a treasure trove for art, architecture, and literature and that it should be treated with respect and awe - sometimes setting a good example for others is the best thing you can do.

Buon Viaggio,

Donna Denise


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
October will still be a busy month, you will see that. I definitely do not discourage you from visiting in any case, you will see that the majority of visitors are well behaved and appreciative of what they see. If you read any news reports that reported locals being wary of tourists, well that is just the way of life and locals are actually used to it. Florence has been a destination for visitors for centuries now, given its importance as a center of learning and art. In reality, all Italians like to moan in general about everything LOL!
The behavior that gets everyone upset is when there are people who pee outdoors in public space, who get drunk and get loud and disrespectful, and those that climb drunk on centuries-old monuments and statues and then try to destroy them! Don't get me wrong, both locals and visitors are afflicted with the drunk/unruly behavior so uncivilized behavior upsets everyone. Your question reflects you are not that sort of human being, so believe you should enjoy your visit, whether you can make it more than just a one day trip.

I would suggest small group tours FOR YOU - because they tend to offer a closer contact with the local who is showing you around, being able to ask questions about anything that comes up. It has been my personal experience that you can get lost in larger groups, so I personally recommend smaller groups. Private groups are even better but much more costly. You can check out many tour options here: http://tours.visitflorence.com/en/13618/Florence/d519-ttd (disclaimer: affiliate link).


Thank you DonnaDenise and Lourdes for such kind and informative replies. It seems that October is a busy month after finding that many of the private and custom tours are already booked for the dates we want to visit. We are driving from Siena to Caviaon Veronese on October 9 so maybe we will tour Uffizi and/or Accademia on the way.