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2 days-3 nights in Florence and area, what to do - where to stay!


Nov 16th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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2 days-3 nights in Florence and area, what to do - where to stay!

My fiancee and I will be in Florence for three nights in January. As we are travelling throughout Europe for seven weeks--and still need to afford a wedding for next summer--we are hoping to save a few Euros along the way (without missing out on the truly wonderful things)!

I am wondering if anyone could please:
1) Suggest any budget hotels in Florence (ie. under 90 Euros or so pernight)
2)Suggest places to eat and any must-sees withing Florence (I am interested in art and Florence`s architecture)
3) Offer any advice on choosing between doing one day in Siena or Wine Tour.. I have been advised to do both, however, itinerary changed and we had to cut a day off. Also, any suggestions of what to see and do in Siena or a company for a wine tour (if it`s worth it in January even)
4) Best way to continue on to Venice from Florence

Thank you so much in advance, any suggestions are truly appreciated !
ChantelleL is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2011, 09:13 AM
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Check out Hotel Casci. It's a delightful 2* hotel in a great location. The front desk can give you great advice on restaurants. The Uffizi Gallery and Accademia are must see art museums.
MFNYC is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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Take the train from Florence to Venice. Lovely and easy.

Train information and "how to":

Here is the Train Italiane web site. You can easily buy tickets for train in advance or you can purchase at the train station.

We absolutely loved these botique hotels in Florence. They have several properties. Many in your price range. 70 Euros = about $94 USD. Breakfast included is massive. Wonderful staff to help with tours, etc. They put us together with an art major who gave a private tour of "Michaelangelo's Florence". It was excellent.


We liked Siena. Nice place to wander, shop, eat, soak up atmosphere. I find the wine tours to be a bit of a guilt trip. Always feel as though we should be buying at each stop.
TC is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2011, 11:59 AM
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this is where I stayed last May - it's very elegant but reasonably priced. ok, it's on the eastern side of the centre so you'll need a cab from the station [about €10] but it's 10 mins to the Duomo, 10 mins from Santa Croce, and less than 5 mins from an excellent market and loads of "local" restaurants.

click on my screen name and scroll through to the end of my TR from last May to see what I did in 2 days.

have a great trip!
annhig is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2011, 12:22 PM
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You can bus to Siena for 7€ one way and buy a pass to see multiple sites for 10€. You really don't need a tour.
kybourbon is online now  
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Nov 16th, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Definitely bus to Siena and San Gimingiano.
Grassshopper is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2011, 02:49 PM
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It takes a little planning to bus to both Siena and San Gimignano from Florence, especially in January. The days will be very short, and I'm not sure it's the best time to be making bus connections.

Also, with midday closings, you'll have to be sure your planning is spot on to see what you want to see.

I would go far out of my way to see the frescoes in the Duomo in San Gimignano, but I just don't think it is that easy to combine with a bus trip Florence > Siena > SG > Siena > Florence. I say skip it.

Siena is a good day trip from Florence, and the Duomo in Siena is memorable.

But really, I think I would stay put in Florence. You like art and architecture. You are going to one of the greatest cities in the world for both. Uffizi; Accademia; Bargello; Opera del Duomo; Baptestry; San Marco; Pitti Palace; San Lorenzo; Medici Chapel; Santa Croce; Santo Spirito... and god knows what special exhibitions will be on in January. Besides, the list I just gave you is still a partial one.

If you must leave Florence, take the quick bus ride up to Fiesole. The San Francesco monastery is well worth the visit, as are the Roman ruins and the connected Etruscan and Roman treasure filled Civic Museum.

I think a wine tour in January isn't a great idea.

Finally, you are on a 7 week tour. Surely 3 days in Florence, with it's great food, markets, and art and architecture, are not too many. See the Fodors destination guide for Florence for all the information above and more.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2011, 06:25 PM
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I agree that with such a short time in Florence, you should stay there for the two days. There is so much to see and do in Florence that it isn't necessary to move around so frequently. Fiesole is close by and can be seen in a half day if you want a change of pace. The views of Florence from Fiesole are stunning.

Our favorite places to visit in Florence are the Duomo and Baptistry and the Museo del Opera del Duomo (containing art works from the Duomo); Santa Croce; the Accademia, the Bargello, San Marco with its Fra Angelico frescoes; and the Uffizi.

Florence is a fabulous city. Enjoy!
mamcalice is offline  
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Nov 17th, 2011, 05:50 AM
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Agree, you only have 2 full days so stay in Florence. It will certainly be cheaper than a wine tour, too ! We recently had a week in Florence and even though I don't much like it (and had been before a long time ago), it wasn't long enough to see everything we'd have liked to see. My favourite place both times was the San Marco museum.
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Nov 18th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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I just returned the week before last. I stayed at B&B Floralia. http://www.bbfloralia.it/index2.htm

It was simple & inexpensive, but clean & friendly. The location is incredible, literally around the corner from the Duomo. I would absolutely stay there again.

Right around the corner we ate at Cipolla Rossa http://www.osteriacipollarossa.it/ . The food was excellent, one of our favorite meals over a 10 day trip. I think it is especially note worthy that this quality of food, surrounded by so many locals/regulars is right in the middle of the tourist center.

Right across the small piazza Cipolla Rossa is at (Piazza Maddonna), there was a really nice bar/enoteca called Antica Sosta Delgi Aldobrandini right below Hotel Lorena. We had a drink there, it was reasonably priced and a really nice atmosphere. We didn't try them, but they had inexpensive sandwiches and salads as well.

I agree w the poster above, that I feel guilty on a wine tour if I don't buy something. I think a bus to Siena would be ideal.
aimeekm is offline  
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Nov 18th, 2011, 08:26 PM
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I would not leave Florence for those two days. Too much to see. DO get a guidebook of some kind! The Michelin Green Guide is good. Or even a Fodor's book.

Take the train to Venice. No question about that.

As for restaurants, avoid any that have a tourist menu in English posted in the window. The food will not be very good, probably.
charnees is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2011, 05:27 AM
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i agree with charnees. I had two days in Florence in May, and never ran out of things to do in Florence itself; I had already seen the major sights like the Duomo and Uffizi, so i concentrated on places like san Marco, santa Croce, the churches up above Piazzale Michlangelo, etc. etc. and there is still loads that I haven't seen.

Definitely no need for day trips if you are only there for 2 days.
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