Florianopolis is located partly on South American continent and partly on the Santa Catarina Island (Portuguese: Ilha de Santa Catarina). The bigger part of the city is on the island. Three bridges link the island to the continent.
First suspension bridge Ponte Hercílio Luz was built in 1926 and has been closed from 1980s. It should be reopened in 2013.
It is reasonably easy to get around Florianopolis. There are plenty of buses and taxis going around. If you really want to explore the island, renting a car is recommended.
If you don’t want to feel like a total stranger the first time you come to Florianopolis, then you can check most of the island on Google Street view. You can “walk” through all of the city center and check also many points around the island.