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42 unexpected hours in Florence - help!

Old Jul 10th, 2013, 07:08 AM
  #1  
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42 unexpected hours in Florence - help!

Hello fellow travelers!

We find ourselves in Florence for two nights, a full day and a morning. We found a great place to stay on via Roma near the duomo. We want to make the most of our time, knowing we can't possibly see it all. Uffizi or L'Accademia? Santa Croce or san Lorenzo? Palazzo Vecchio or Piazzale Michelangelo?

Please help me sketch out an itinerary!

(Meanwhile,as I type, there's a crazy hail storm!)

Thanks in advance!
cheryl_b is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2013, 07:14 AM
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Fortunately, Florence is pretty compact so you can actually see quite a bit during your time there. What places interest you the most?
KTtravel is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2013, 07:20 AM
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I was here a long time ago, but it's the first time for my companion. Love art and architecture, markets but not high end shopping, good but not insanely expensive local cuisine. One museum tops so we are not indoors all day.
cheryl_b is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2013, 07:32 AM
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Read up on the details of the Accademia and the Uffizi, and once you read what the artworks are that you'll see, it will be your decision, depends on your personal tastes. For either, book well in advance so the only line you'll have to join is that for people with prepaid tickets.

Don't forget the Duomo (cathedral) - if you do the climb to the top of the cupola you not only see great views across all of Florence, but also great views down into the huge church from the walkway that snakes around the inside on top before you climb the rest up and out. Fabulous!

You can also climb the belltower next to the Duomo. I believe the famous sculpted doors are back in place after having been renovated.

In the curved narrow lane behind the round part of the Duomo is the museum that holds the artworks that used to be in the church, now better shown and climate-controlled, and there is a great exhibit about the construction of the Duomo.

I saw no mention of the Palazzo Pitti - together with the Boboli gardens that is a good few hours well spent. Then you can walk up the street a bit more, hang a left at Porta Romana, and wind your way along the outside of the Boboli Gardens to come out at the Piazzale Michelangelo, then take the bus back into the center, it makes a long swing around and shows you different aspects of Florence.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:05 AM
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I like michel's idea of combining the Boboli with the Piazzale Michelangelo, except I think I'd do it in reverse: bus to PM and walk back down through Boboli, only because the walk back is downhill.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:19 AM
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With limited time, I'd opt for a quick look at David at L'Accademia rather than spend a couple hours at the Uffizzi. Best to get tickets in advance, though, as otherwise you could waste lots of time waiting in line. But if that's not possible, try going late in the day or first thing in the morning to avoid crowds.
msteacher is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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hi cheryl - what time of year are we talking about?

that could make a lot of difference!
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Also, be sure to double check the days when museums and other places of interest will be open as some are closed an different days of the week.
KTtravel is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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With two full days, you can easily do most of your list. You can book entry tickets for the Uffizi and Academia on their website to avoid lines.

http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/en/index.php

The Florence Tourist Board has 24 and 48 hour itineraries.

http://www.firenzeturismo.it/images/..._hours_ing.pdf

http://www.firenzeturismo.it/images/..._hours_ing.pdf
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 04:38 PM
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I wouldn't skip the Uffizi. Go online at the link below, study the layout of the gallery and click on the "virtual tour" of each room to see what it contains. Then you can plan what you'd most like to spend time viewing and merely walk through (or even skip) the other spaces.

http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/en/musei/?m=uffizi

Take a minute to click on the other museums at the link. You might rather go to the Bargello than the Accademia, for example. But, I admit I'm a museum junkie...

Rather than climb the Bell Tower next to the Duomo, I'd go inside the Baptistery nearby. It's like walking into a jewel box.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 05:28 PM
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How lucky you are to have time in Florence, however short. Considering your brief time and your desire to visit only one museum, don't miss the Accademia. The Uffizi is quite spectacular but crowded and so full of art that your head may spin. Michelangelo's David is not to be missed.

You can see both the Duomo and Santa Croce. Both are well worth it.

Depending on the time of year you are going, you might consider Fiesole rather than Piazelle Michelangelo. IMO, the views are even better.

But don't worry, you will return to Florence. In 8 trips to Italy we have visited Florence each time.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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I would go in Santa Croce and its cloisters and small garden.

Accademia: pretty fast if you're pre booked.

Duomo and Baptistry: I don't think I'd climb the bell tower. Takes a good deal of time, but I might climb the dome at the Duomo.

It can be pretty quick to take a taxi up to Piazzale Michelangelo and then walk back via San Miniato al Monte. I'm not sure what the walking route would be through the Boboli Gardens, but you can probably find that online. It will still take a bit of time but quicker than walking up.

I don't think I'd go inside Palazzo Vecchio. It's a tad boring.

If I wanted another indoor activity, I think I would pick the Bargello or San Marco or as suggested above, the Museo dell Opera del Duomo. Any of those three give you a lot of bang for your time and money, and aren't over crowded.

Markets: well, that's easy. San Lorenzo and or the Straw Market, and I really like the Mercato Centrale for a little food shopping.

Check opening times snd days, and plan away. You can see a good deal.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jul 11th, 2013, 04:31 AM
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if you pick Santa Croce then do walk a couple of blocks further north to the San Ambroglio Market to see where local florentines shop and eat at the very typical safe in the centre of the market, where you share tables with other shoppers and are charged by how much you drink from the bottle of wine which is left on your table.

if you are there between mid-May and the end of June, instead of the Boboli gardens [overated IMO] walk up to San Miniato for the views, then walk down through the Rose Garden.

The Giardino Barbini is another very lovely alternative.
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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 08:42 AM
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eat at the very typical safe in the centre of the market,>>

that should of course be CAFE!
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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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Thanks, everyone. We managed to fit a lot in our short time! Last night, we looked at Palazzo Vecchio and the sculptures in the loggia, strolled Ponte Vecchio, ate in Piazza Santa Spiritu, and caught a ballet performance outdoor at Pitti Palace - magical. Today, shopped in San Lorenzo for leather and souvenirs, spent a couple hours at L'Accademia (enjoyed David but also the collection of centuries-old musical instruments), climbed to the top of the Duomo and peeked into the Baptistery. Ate a picnic lunch bought from the market. My feet hurt, but I feel we did our best...and we still have tonight to eat one last great meal!
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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 04:10 PM
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Brava!
Jean is offline  
Old Jul 11th, 2013, 05:36 PM
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Well done!
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