If possible, try to plan your trip during the off-season. Fall (September to November) and Spring (February to May) are great times to visit. If you go in the summer, the streets are so crowded with tourists it can easily make the trip miserable. It is also extremely hot and humid during summers there. Plus, in August lots of businesses are closed. Plan for a spring or fall trip, save some money on airfare, and try to spend at least 3 or 4 days here! ~~~~
Bring: a travel umbrella, comfortable walking shoes, a sense of adventure, and your camera! ~~~~ Don't bring: traveler's checks. They are a hassle and stores sometimes either don't like to take them or won't. I suggest using lire and your credit cards--you get a terrific exchange rate. ~~~~ Make a copy of the front and back of each card and hide it in your luggage along with a photocopy of your passport. If the gypsies get you, at least you will have the numbers to call and report stolen cards! ~~~~ ATM's are numerous in Florence; I have never had trouble finding a compatible one that uses my same PIN number. They include directions in English. Check with your bank before you leave to inquire about whether you need a different PIN number and how much they charge for ATM usage overseas. This way of getting cash is a much better deal than going to a Cambio.