This post goes through all you need to know about setting up life in Florence. From taking the trains to where to buy your groceries, click the menu below to get started on your bare necessities in life.
You can walk almost everywhere in Prato and I encourage you too because a) you get to discover everything 2) walk off the pasta
Santa Maria Novella is a major train station and have lines that service the whole of the Tuscan area. They also have trains that take you out of Tuscany to Rome, Amalfi Coast and more.
Trains to Prato University have two main lines namely Viareggi and to Lucca.
Each trip costs about $2.50 Euros
Student Monthly Tickets are 37 euros and can be bought from the Tobacco shops at the train sation.
Beware: Train Inspectors are just as bad here as they are in Melbourne, except they’re way more temperamental. Have your tickets with you at all times.
Train Timetables here
Getting that sim card is probably on top of your checklist, data plans are usually monthly and are pretty standards (1GB/month). Do note that all of them will ask you for some form of identification (passport or drivers licence) to photocopy. Make sure your phones are unlocked before you go! Activation takes about several hours before you are able to use.The top providers are below.
By far the most popular network with the most convenient store, the TIM cards costs roughly 25 euros for 1GB data and 200 minutes. Subsequent recharges can be done through the phone but unless you speak Italian, just go into store to recharge.
A familiar brand to most Australian, the Vodafone sim is about the same as the TIM plan. They have less stores around the area but is the one that most currency exchange stores sell.
A handy guide to annoying text messages they will send you is found here.
Ahh Conad. There is one in the all the major neighbourhoods and functions as your friendly Coles/Woolworths. You can get fresh fruit, delis and cereals. A note on cereal. It is hediously expensive. If you like cereal, when you make a trip out to Germany/Eastern European countries go to their Aldi and just stock up for the way home to Italy.
Tutto 99 Cent Shop
The 99 cent store is scattered all around Florence and will be where you get most of your household supplies like Toilet Paper, sponges, garbage bags etc. Much like our Reject Shop in Australia, they have all sort of weird and wonderful things. Check out their sizable snack session which is full of awesome goodies.
The Prato administrators can help you book appointments and most of the doctors in Florence and Prato know about the Monash University Prato exchange. However, if you are in fix for whatever reason, these are the doctors I went to while in Florence.
Dr. Stephen Kerr
Piazza Mercato Nuovo, 1
Ph. +39 055 288 055 – Mob +39 335 8361682
Office hours: Clinic by appointment: weekday mornings and afternoons
Without appointment: weekday afternoons 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Consultation Fee: 47 euros
No-nonsense British doctor right in the middle of Florence.
SMORLESI DR. CARLO
4 Via Roma – 50123 Firenze (FI)tel: 055 475411
Office Hours: Monday – Saturday: Appointment necessary except from
11 am – 12 am & 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Consultation Fee:37 Euro
Nice German lady doctor. For some reason, all the doctors in Florence are basically this guy from Parks and Recs
I’m not sure which doctor it is in Prato. The friendly student services will usually book an appointment for you. Do note that the doctor speaks only Italian and only has an intermediate grasp of English. On the upside, the consultation is free and you only have to pay for your medication. Get medical consultations if you’re on budget and have the time to afford to wait.
If you need to withdraw money, there are plenty of ATMs scattered around Florence. Do note there is a daily limit of 250 euro you can withdraw.
Also, do not take money out from Money Exchanges. Whether it is official ones like Forex or local Italian ones. The exchange rate is often not fantastic and their commission fee exorbitant at about 17%! We learned this lesson the hard way. Just withdraw from ATMs and sve that money for gelato.