Question: Do you still live in the same apartment that we saw on House Hunters International? How did you find it? Yup, we're still here! We've been in this wonderful apartment since January 2011 and don't have any plans to leave in the near future. It really is a great apartment at a great price (and we have a good landlord).
We were actually already living in this apartment when we filmed the House Hunter's episode. We found this place two months before the actual move when we came over the for a 5-day apartment-hunting trip. We saw three places during that trip and this was our clear favorite. We strongly considered one a little further out of the city -- and I think we could have been happy there -- but in the end this one was best for us.
About two weeks before our apartment-hunting trip we contacted a few agencies with listings that I had found on www.immobiliare.it. One agency was particularly responsive so we went with them. Between our broken Italian and our agent's broken English we were able to navigate the system. The apartment-hunting trip was an extremely valuable experience for us. Because we were actually moving here -- as opposed to coming on a long holiday -- we wanted to see potential apartments in person and not rent something sight-unseen. I also felt like we avoided some of the stereotypical "holiday rentals" that are really high-priced in a city like Florence going that route.
That being said, holiday rentals through an agency can be a really good option for folks that can't make it over before their move OR that have the budget to rent these slightly higher cost (but typically nicer/better amenity) apartments.
P.S. To get the image for this post I rewatched our House Hunters episode for the first time in a year and basically giggled through the entire thing. The best part? The ridiculous city "map" of Florence that is completely wrong.