Oltrarno

The artisan's quarter across the Arno

The Arno River flows across the southern end of the city. The bulk of Florence—all that I just described—lies north of the Arno.

The artisan's quarter called the Oltrarno sits across the river, home to some excellent restaurants and shopping. From the Ponte VecchioVia Guicciardini leads straight up to Piazza Pitti and the Pitti Palace.

The Oltrarno's center is Piazza Santo Spirito, anchored by Santo Spirito church with a fine early Renaissance interior courtesy of Brunelleschi.

Sights in Oltrarno

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The front of the Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) in Florence (Photo by Avital Pinnick)
Palazzo Pitti
Florence: Oltrarno

Florence's princely Renaissance Pitti Palace was once home to the Medici, the Lorraines, and the Savoy Kings of Italy—now a whole series of museums

 
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The medieval shop-lined Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) over the Arno River in Florence (Photo by Gary Campbell-Hall)
Free
Ponte Vecchio
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's "Old Bridge" is a medieval span lined by tiny goldsmith shops

 
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Detail of "The Tribute Money" (1425) by Masaccio in the Brancacci Chapel (Photo Public Domain)

The amazing Masaccio frescoes of the Cappella Brancacci

 
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 (Photo by Mac9)
Free
San Miniato al Monte
Florence: Oltrarno

A gem of a Romanesque church perched atop a hill overlooking Florence

 
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 (Photo by Tim Adams)
Free
Piazzale Michelangiolo
Florence: Oltrarno

The greatest viewpoint over Florence

 
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This Filippo Brunelleschi–designed church was called the most beautiful church in the world by Bernini (Photo by Randy Connolly)
Free
Santo Spirito
Florence: Oltrarno

The church of Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno: Brunelleschi at his best

 
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 (Photo by Pufui PcPifpef)
Free
Bellosguardo Hill
Florence: Oltrarno

Bellosguardo is the forgotten hill of Florence, rising above the Oltrarno and offering more intimate views across the city than the famous ones from Fiesole

 
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The room of wax anatomical models (Photo by GFDL)
Museo Zoologico La Specola
Florence: Oltrarno

The Museo di Storia Naturale dell'Università di Firenze is a spectacular display of all anatomical structures from insects to humans

 
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"Crucifixion and Last Supper" (1360–65) by Andrea Orcagna (Photo by Sailko)
Fondazione Salvatore Romano
Florence: Oltrarno

Orcagna's "Last Supper" fresco in the old refectory of Santo Spirito

 
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The sitting room (Photo courtesy of the Landmark Trust)
Free
Casa Guidi
Florence: Oltrarno

The Brownings' home in Florence for a few short, happy years

 
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The Chapter House, with central 'Crucifixion' fresco (1387) by Niccolò di Pietro Gerini (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Santa Felícita
Florence: Oltrarno

One of the oldest churches in Florence is decorated with Mannerist masterpieces

 
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The nave (Photo by Sailko)
Free
San Felice
Florence: Oltrarno

Beautiful Gothic paintings and a reference in English literature

 

Experiences in Oltrarno

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 (Photo )
Madova Gloves
Florence: Oltrarno

Tiny shop that does one thing and one thing only: make the supplest, most gorgeous hand-crafted leather gloves in the world

 
 (Photo courtesy of Pitti Mosaici)
Pitti Mosaici
Florence: Oltrarno

Workshop specializing in pietra dura stone inlay

 

Lodgings in Oltrarno

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 (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
Palazzo Guadagni
Florence: Oltrarno

Stunning views and palatial rooms overlooking Piazza Santo Spirito

 
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 (Photo )
€€€
Torre di Bellosguardo
Florence: Oltrarno

Your own castle in the hills above Florence

 
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 (Photo )
Silla
Florence: Oltrarno

Great views over the Arno River from this Oltrarno hotel

 
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 (Photo )
€€
La Scaletta
Florence: Oltrarno

The panoramic rooftop views and homey feel means return guests book well ahead

 
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Some rooms have lovely garden views (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

Good deeds and a cheap room at this hotel-hostel hybrid in the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence

 
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 (Photo )
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Madame Tina
Florence: Oltrarno

A pair of Oltrarno apartments overlooking the Ponte Vecchio

 

Dining in Oltrarno

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 (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
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A medieval setting and classic Florentine cuisine so good other cooks come to eat here

 
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 (Photo by Maria Grazia La Porta)
€€
EnotecaBar Fuori Porta
Florence: Oltrarno

A great wine bar hidden in the heights of the Oltrarno

 
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 (Photo by Brandon Tutwiler)
€€
Il Cantinone
Florence: Oltrarno

The bustling Cantinone del Gallo Nero is a favorite of locals and tourists alike

 
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 (Photo by Andrea Tropeano)
€€
I'Raddi
Florence: Oltrarno

Affordable dishes in a traditional setting with a youthful air

 
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 (Photo by Jesus Solero)
€€€
La Vecchia Bettola
Florence: Oltrarno

An old-school Florentine restaurant deep in the Oltrarno district of Florence

 
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 (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
Le Volpi e l'Uva
Florence: Oltrarno

A great wine bar just over the Ponte Vecchio

 
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 (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
€€
Osteria Santo Spirito
Florence: Oltrarno

In relentlessly Renaissance Florence, Santo Spirito offers classic cuisine in a post-modern setting

 
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 (Photo by 지금여기)
€€
La Casalinga
Florence: Oltrarno

Florentine home cooking

 
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 (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
€€
Borgo Antico
Florence: Oltrarno

Pizza and giant salads with a view of Santo Spirito

 
Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for rail travel

English (inglese) Italian (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...train station la ferroviaria [or] la stazione lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah [or] lah stat-zee-YO-nay
ticket un biglietto oon beel-YET-toh
first class prima classe PREE-mah CLAH-say
second class seconda classe say-CONE-dah CLAH-say
one way solo andata SO-low ahn-DAHT-tah
round trip (return) andata e ritorno ahn-DAH-tah ay ree-TOUR-noh
Just the supplement Soltanto il supplemento soul-TAHN-toh eel sou-play-MEN-toh
Just a seat reservation Soltanto una prenotazione soal-TAHN-toh oo-nah pray-no-tah-tsee-YOH-nay
I have a Eurailpass Ho il Eurailpass oh eel YOO-rail-pahs
sleeping couchette una cucetta oo-nah koo-CHET-tah
berth in a sleeping car un posto nel vagone letto oon POH-sto nell vah-GOAN-nay LET-toh
track binario been-AR-ree-yoh
train treno TRE-no
car (carriage) carozza ka-RO-tza
seat posto PO-sto
departures partenze par-TEN-zay
arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay
left luggage deposito bagagli day-PO-zee-toh ba-GAHL-yee
     
punch your ticket timbrare il biglietto teem-BRA-ray eel beel-YET-toh
Is this the right platform for the Rome train? E questo il binario per il treno à Roma? ay KWAY-sto eel been-AR-ree-yo pair eel TRE-no ah RO-ma? 
delayed in retardo een ree-TAR-do
strike sciopero SHO-pair-oh
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
City / Train station names
English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Main station
Rome Roma Termini
Florence Firenze Santa Maria Novella
Venice Venezia Santa Lucia
Milan Milano Centrale
Genoa Genova Porta Principe
Naples Napoli Centrale
Leghorn Livorno Centrale
Turin Torino Porta Nuova

Useful Italian for air travel

English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)   Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
the airport l'aeroporto LAHW-ro-port-oh
the airplane l'aereo LAIR-reh-oh
terminal terminal TEAR-me-nahl
flight volo VOH-lo
gate uscita d'imbarco oo-SHEE-tah deem-BARK-oh
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
departures partenze par-TEN-zay
arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
delayed in ritardo een ree-TAR-doh
on time in orario een oh-RAH-ree-yo
early in avanti een ah-VAHN-tee
boarding imbarco eem-BARK-o
connecting flight la coincidenza la ko-een-chee-DEN-za
check-in accettazione ah-chet-ta-zee-YO-nee
immigration controllo passaporti cone-TRO-lo pah-sa-POR-tee
security check controllo di sicurezza kohn-TRO-lo dee see-kur-AY-tzah
customs dogana do-GA-na
shuttle la navetta lah na-VET-tah
boarding pass carta d'imbarco kart-ta deem-BARK-o
baggage claim ritiro bagagli ree-TEER-oh bah-GA-lyee
carry-on luggage bagaglio à mano bah-GA-lyo ah MA_no
checked luggage bagalio bah-GA-lyo

Useful Italian for car travel

English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
car automobile ow-toh-MO-bee-lay
scooter/motorboke un motorino oon mo-tair-EE-no
gas station stazione di servizio stah-zee-YO-nay dee sair-VEE-tzee-yo
gas benzina ben-ZEE-nah
diesel gasolio [or] diesel gah-ZOH-lee-oh [or] DEE-zell
Fill it up, please al pieno, per favore ahl pee-YAY-noh, pair fa-VOHR-ray
Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
...the highway l'autostrada lout-oh-STRA-dah
...the state highway la statale [written "SS"] lah sta-TAHL-eh
...the road for Rome la strada per Roma lah STRA-dah pair RO-mah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
to cross attraversare ah-tra-vair-SAR-ay
toll pedaggio peh-DA-jo
parking parcheggio par-KEH-jo
road map carta stradale kar-ta stra-DA-lay
where can I pay the fine? dove posso pagare la multa DOH-veh Po-so pag-GAR-ray la MOOL-tah


Typical road signs / terms » more

English (anglais) French (français) 
Stop Stop
Exit  Uscita
Staffic light Semaforo
One-way Senso unico
Dead-end Strada senza uscita
Parking prohibited No parcheggio or parcheggio proibito
Pedestrian zone Area pedonale
Limited Traffic Zone (you pay to drive in) ZTL or Zona Traffico Limitato

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).