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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am asking from all of you who have spent time (more than being a tourist) residing in Florence or Bologna. I have been researching Florence for my move to Italy and have contacted /www.pitcherflaccomio.com Real Estate Agency Florence,Italy for rentals and they seemed to be very helpful. I have spent at least 5 weeks in and out of Florence on my vacations and enjoyed my stay. Florence seems to be centrally located with easy access to other cities which is strong point to relocating to this city.

I visited Bologna, Verona, Florence, Rome, Turin, Parma, and Sorrento.
I liked Bologna a lot for it's vibrancy, food, and college spirit and Florence for it's history and beauty. Verona is a beautiful city but I did not connect with it. Turin was too big and felt more industrious but did have some great sites. However, Florence has many tourists and that is my concern however not a total deal breaker.

It is a tough call between Bologna and Florence.

My question is:
1) What are the caveats of living in Florence and/or Bologna
2) What part of Florence you would rate highly as a resident (without a car)?
3) What other city would (not countryside) be a viable alternative?
4) We are taking two dogs with us, what problems have you encountered transporting them from the US?

Thank you for reading this post and all inputs positive and negative is appreciated!
 

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Bologna, hands down. I lived there for nine years, and I loved it for these reasons:
Not as touristy
More authentic town
Can be in beautiful hills within minutes
More accessible
Florence is 30 minutes away by the fast train, but I was in Florence last week, and it was a nightmare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Bologna, hands down. I lived there for nine years, and I loved it for these reasons:
Not as touristy
More authentic town
Can be in beautiful hills within minutes
More accessible
Florence is 30 minutes away by the fast train, but I was in Florence last week, and it was a nightmare.
Thank you for your input. I have to agree with you that Bologna is a less crazy city to live. I have read recently that Florence is hosing the steps of the cathedrals and other areas to keep the tourist from sitting on the steps and eating. There has been many complaints of tourist littering and other undesirable behaviors that are driving the locals crazy. Much like San Francisco onslaught of visitors. Bologna is a beautiful city and as you say has does feel more authentic due to less tourist and has access to all Italy and beyond. I am also assuming that rets will be less expensive than Florence. That is why I am split between the two.

Is there an agency for long term rentals that speak English to help expats in Bologna? I did find one for Florence but having more difficulties in Bologna. I am planning a month in April to search for rentals. I will spit my time in both cities and evaluate both pluses and minuses.
Cheers!
 

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Having managed a long term visit to Florence one summer over 20 years ago when it was a lovely elegant cultured place, comparing it to when I returned in 2012 I could not recognize the town as it has become.
You could not give me a free apartment there, I would not abide the noise and rudness of the place as it exists today.
 

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Florence (this will get me in trouble with the locals) is basically a small provincial city. Tourists? Move a few blocks away from the centre. I doubt you'll see anybody.

Bologna is a college town with all that can imply. I'm not sure the coeds are less of a problem then the tourists.

Florence can be expensive. Maybe not relative to SF but relative to various Italian choices.

I'd suggest one of the smaller cities near Rome with easy links into the city. You can do the same thing with Florence or for that matter virtually any of the larger cities. You get the advantage of going into the city easily when you need it. Or you can avoid the city
 

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Florence (this will get me in trouble with the locals) is basically a small provincial city. Tourists? Move a few blocks away from the centre. I doubt you'll see anybody.

Bologna is a college town with all that can imply. I'm not sure the coeds are less of a problem then the tourists.

Florence can be expensive. Maybe not relative to SF but relative to various Italian choices.

I'd suggest one of the smaller cities near Rome with easy links into the city. You can do the same thing with Florence or for that matter virtually any of the larger cities. You get the advantage of going into the city easily when you need it. Or you can avoid the city
Yeah I rate this method. We live just outside Palermo about a 30 minute drive. Means that if I ever want to go in for anything I can but I am not in the middle of the craziness on a daily basis. This helps with keeping your sanity!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for all your responses! There seems to be a common theme about Florence: Expensive, Tourist Issue, and Rudeness. NickZ you suggested that living outside of Florence center would be less intrusive. Much like SAn Francisco tourist area ie the Wharf area. If you live away from the tourist area it is just the locals and it would be cheaper the further out you go.

Claudine, my first visit to Florence was in 2010 so I don’t know anything different as you experiences in your visits. I say the same thing about crowds, rudeness and the expenses that have grown here in the Bay Area. It seems the world is expanding faster in the last twenty years than ever before. I read that about Paris, London, Amsterdam and any major cities that have a economic benefits to move there are growing faster than they cannot keep up with housing, traffic, homelessness, and maintaining the city at it once was a couple of decades ago. In the county I live in, the average home price is $800,000 (USD) and people are still pushing prices higher. SF is averaging $1,200,000! Insane!!!

All of you kind people have given me food for thought. I still have 12 months to decide and I will be going to Europe to look at different locations in Italy for ideas. Spain is not out of my range of countries to look at also.

Thank you all again and if anyone has more suggestions from you experiences I would love to hear from you!
 

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Hi SonofanItalian. Tried to respond to your PM, but kept getting an error message so I'll use the open forum. The attorney's name is Luigi Piaino from Bologna. Google him for bio. He has an extensive and successful track record in this area. The cost I would guess is dependent on complexity, but ours was 4500 euro. Our situation wasn't quite as complicated as yours, but wasn't cookie cutter either. Be patient the process will take awhile. If you need more info just let me know.
Best of luck, Rick
 

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Bologna is better than Florence.

You Can find a lot of history and the First University in the world.

If you want you Can reach Florence in less than One hour by train.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That does make sense. It looks like the rent is a bit cheaper in Bologna. I loved the food and history in Bologna and having the University there keeps the city young without the all the tourist. Thank you for your comments.
 

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Having managed a long term visit to Florence one summer over 20 years ago when it was a lovely elegant cultured place, comparing it to when I returned in 2012 I could not recognize the town as it has become.
You could not give me a free apartment there, I would not abide the noise and rudness of the place as it exists today.
I've been in Italy nearly 20 years and I would not take either place -- Florence or Bologna. Both cities are filled with tourists and international students. Noise, trash, beer bottles, wine glasses, due to regular night life in many residential areas.
 
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