Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Firenze Card Ups it Price 50%

The Uffizi Galleries ©Eugene Martinez
Without as much as a peep, Firenze Card, the popular cumulative ticket that gets you into 60 museums, churches and other sights in Florence, upped its price from €50 to €75! The card had already enjoyed its fair amount of controversy - it's only valid for 72 hours, only lets you into each venue once, offers no discounts for kids under 18 unless they're EU citizens. The good thing about the card is that it gives you priority entrance to the venues, you can ride ATAF buses for free during its 72 hours of life, and with 60 sights on the buffet, you can go check things out that you might otherwise have skipped or not even known about. The bad thing about it is that... see above.

Well now we can add another bad thing about it. At €72 per person, with no discounts for families, people are thinking twice about purchasing it. If before the card was attractive for the mere fact that you get to skip lines, now that VIP treatment doesn't seem like such a great deal anymore.

So what's a wise tourist to do?...
• Do the math! Look at the list of venues that the Firenze Card offers, look at the time you have available in Florence, and figure out if it's worth it. Keep in mind that the only museums where priority entrance is really a must are the Accademia and Uffizi.
• Consider the alternative - become a member of Amici degli Uffizi. This is a wonderful group, a private not-for-profit institution whose mission is to use the funds it raises through selling memberships to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of the art works of the Polo Museale Fiorentino and the buildings that they live in. There are great family and youth membership with healthy discounts. The card is worth one whole year, and allows unlimited priority entry into each venue. Don't feel like tackling the entire Uffizi in one shot? Don't! Don't feel like seeing all 5 museums in Palazzo Pitti at once? Not a problem! So not only do you get the advantages of a combined ticket, you're also helping to keep the beautiful art of Florence healthy. Now that's a good deal!
• The really wise tourist will take the various ups and downs of either card, weigh his options and decide to opt for it or not. Then he will contact me because whether you enter the museums, galleries and churches of Florence with a Firenze Card or as a member of the Amici, once inside you'll want to know what it is you're looking at! Even more important than knowing what it is is knowing why it's there! Who made it? For what reason, what purpose? Who paid for it? Why??? What was the world like that these people lived in and what were their motivation for making all this amazing stuff? When you come to Florence you'll notice right away that this is a city that doesn't give up its secrets very easily! So if you want to get what this is all about... let me turn your vacation into an experience that you'll keep with you forever.

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