Florence in detail

Etiquette

Although largely informal in their every-day dealings, Florentines do observe some (unspoken) rules of etiquette.

  • Greetings Shake hands, make eye contact and say buongiorno (good morning/afternoon), buonasera (good evening) or piacere (pleased to meet you).
  • Polite language Say mi scusi to attract attention or to say ‘I’m sorry’, grazie (mille) to say ‘thank you (very much)’, per favore to say ‘please’, prego to say ‘you’re welcome’ or ‘please, after you’, and permesso if you need to push past someone in a crowd.
  • Cafes Don’t hang around at an espresso bar. Rather, drink your coffee and go. It’s called espresso for a reason.
  • Churches Never intrude on a Mass or service; don't picnic on the church steps.
  • Selfie sticks Oofficially banned in the Uffizi, Galleria dell'Accademia and other museums, but do the decent thing: don't stick them in front of other people's faces or those trying to view world-class art works in relative peace.