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A day-trip from Florence – to do or not to do, and which one?

A day-trip from Florence – to do or not to do, and which one?

Old Apr 14th, 2014, 12:51 PM
  #21  
 
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Market and Antiques>

I loved the old covered food market - two floors of fresh veg and meats and some really cheap and down-to-earth eateries - right in the heart of town.
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Old Apr 14th, 2014, 01:01 PM
  #22  
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I did too PalenQ, but I am hardly likely to smuggle back a T-Bone steak to London . London now Borough market, and even my own little village of Blackheath has a weekly farmer's market.

I think Annhig brought some interesting stuff back from Florence that I could also bring back. I need dto check.

Best ... Ger
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Old Apr 14th, 2014, 03:08 PM
  #23  
 
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This sounds so much like fun, and yes I mean the Olympic Gold competition between the greasy donut and the citizen know-it-all. My goodness, 16 years of Vin Santo. Now that's what I call "well versed." Where is Thin when you need her? (I sure hope his health is OK.)

Ger, I'm tempted to hop a plane and join you. It sounds like you've planned yourself a fabulous getaway. But I have two trips to Italy coming up, and even a glutton must exercise self-control.

So smart to take Lucca over Pisa. Siena is difficult to resist, always, and I love San Gimignano no matter how crowded with tourist buses it gets.

Wishing you a great time! Be sure to tell us all about it. This board could use a great report from a grown-up.
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Old Apr 14th, 2014, 11:03 PM
  #24  
 
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The handle, you have to read the Hobbit when he is hired as a Burglar then recognise I can't spell
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 04:49 AM
  #25  
 
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Hi Ger,

in the same order as your itinerary [i hope!] :

Thursday 17th: i know you say that you like to walk, but the Uffizi [like all galleries and museums IME] can be hard on the feet. Your Dante walk takes you to the Arno and then back again to the Duomo, which seems [to me] a bit daft as the Uffizi is by the Arno as you know. i think that i might do half of the walk, then the Uffzi, then the other half.

as for refreshments in that area, i remember seeing some nice wine bars but as we had our non-drinking children with us at the time [through inclination, not age, where did we go wrong?] we opted to go back to our apartment.

Friday 18th - I would be very surprised if you spend 3 hours at the Accademia. as well as David there are some so-so religious paintings, and the museum of musical instruments which is quite interesting. 2 hours tops. i'm not sure about bus times to san Gim, i think you might be better off going somewhere on the train eg Lucca - you could catch a train a 11.38 and be there in time for a late lunch. Alternatively go up to Fiesole instead of later in the week.

in Fiesole, we ate a very nice lunch in [or rather outside] the restaurant in the main square where we saw several workmen having their lunch. it's to the right of the entrance to the roman amphitheatre, as you are looking at it with Florence behind you. There's a large tree with tables below [or there was about 5 years ago!] I remember it well, as while we were eating we realised that a couple we knew from Truro were eating at a near-by table, so we were able to compare notes!

as for what i brought home from Florence, i packed my suitcase with pasta and prosciutto as i recall - the people in the stalls in the San Ambrogio market [near Santa Croce] packed them up for me and I was able to keep them in the minibar in my room til it was time to leave.BTW, I've probably mentioned it before but the market cafe there is very good and cheap. Also you have to share tables which can be fun if you are a solo traveller. [or not! ] I have also bought silk scarves from the San lorenzo market and I got some lovely things from a shop at Pisa airport but that's no good for you I see.

I see that you are off tomorrow - I'm green with envy and wish you bon viaggio!
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 05:04 AM
  #26  
 
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I've been to all four (including Pisa and yeah, I know we've "all seen it" but when you actually DO...) and I would go back to Siena as there is much more to see and do IMO than in any of the others.
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 06:27 AM
  #27  
 
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Following up on what Dukey said, if you fancy an evening out of Florence [or got fed up with Lucca] you could hop on the train to Pisa and spend an evening there. Once the crowds and hawkers have gone, the tower etc on the Campo die Miracoli really sing, and they are beautiful when they are lit up at night.

really everyone should see them once!
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 06:40 AM
  #28  
 
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Ger, you and I have the same traveling style!

I have always wanted to visit Fiesole.

Also, aren't there various Medici gardens not far from Florence?

The various Chianti villages would be a pleasant day, esp if you had a driver take you on a winery tour.

I had a great meal at Cipolla Rossa. Burrata topped with shaved truffles for a starter. Now I can't remember the meal itself but that starter stood out! I'll have to check my iPhone photos for the rest.
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 06:42 AM
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What hotel did you choose?
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 09:02 AM
  #30  
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Hi Beth:

From 16th to 22nd, it is the Villa Omli:
http://www.villaolmifirenze.com/en/

From the 22nd to the 24th, its the Hotel Montello Splendid, which I have stayed in before:

http://www.montebellosplendid.com/

Five Star, in both cases. I am being very decadent, but did get both at a very good price on Hotwire, and none of the great B&Bs were available.

What the ****, you are a long time dead, as we say in Ireland

Any restaurant that serves truffles, is my kinda restaurant indeed. Did you love it?

Hugs .. Ger (and let me know when you are next in London)
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 09:49 AM
  #31  
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NYFS: Many thanks for your kind wishes. I am committed to writing a report.

Kindest regards Ger

P.S.: I am remembering my European manners. One does not end a note with 'regards .. name', one must end with Kindest/Warmest regards. Otherwise, one is considered rude.

nytraveler also reminded me, on another thread, that you don't touch the merchandise in a shop. I always forge this, as you could die of old age in London before a sales person would approach. Also about greeting the staff: In London, you have to hunt them down!

Always good to understand proper manners.
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 10:06 AM
  #32  
 
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Buon giorno, buona sera, per favore and grazie should stand you in good stead!

I like those hotels - never done Hotwire myself but you may have sold it to me. decadent at a good price is the best way to travel!
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 10:15 AM
  #33  
 
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And be sure to keep your receipt from any caffe or restaurant as proof that the establishment is reporting taxes - I think this is some kind of law - for you to get a receipt for any little purchase! However can't see the customer being culpable in this case but I think you may be required to get one.
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 10:27 AM
  #34  
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Hello Ann:

Thursday 17th: Good call. I’ll do half the walk, and end up at the Uffizi. I have left a lot of free time on Sunday to do the walks.

Friday 18th – ‘I would be very surprised if you spend 3 hours at the Accademia’. Again, good call. I am not particularly interested in religious paintings post 15th century. Last time I was there, I missed David, as he was off having hits bits cleaned. I will schedule two hours. Might get an earlier bus to San G., if I can figure out that ******* appaling SITA bus site.

Thanks for Fiesole restaurant recommendation. I will try to find it.
Re your purchases: The prosciutto for sure! And I will definitely check out the silk scarves. I will check you’re your trip report for more information.

Warmest regards ... Ger
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 10:46 AM
  #35  
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Ann: You will be proud of me, I can manage all those phrases. I was hoping to manage more than that, but I can't hope to master Italian in the next 24 hours.

Re Hotwire: I admit to loving the five-star experience, but try to do on a three-star budget. I am loving 'bluestar' for directing me to Hotwire for this booking. Otherwise, I would have found myself living under a bridge in Florence.
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 12:16 PM
  #36  
 
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>>> Might get an earlier bus to San G., if I can figure out that ******* appaling SITA bus site.
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 12:38 PM
  #37  
 
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>>>I am interested in Lucca, but not Pisa, from what I have read here and elsewhere. Thanks for the directions.
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 12:46 PM
  #38  
 
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Do you have food apps yet? Elizabeth Minchilli's "Eat Florence" will give you all sorts of options - by neighborhood.

Don't forget gelato at Carapina. Vin Santo was my favorite one.

http://carapina.it/

Yes, I really liked Cipolla Rossa very much. I'd go back pronto.
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 01:13 PM
  #39  
 
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Ann: You will be proud of me, I can manage all those phrases. I was hoping to manage more than that, but I can't hope to master Italian in the next 24 hours.>>

Brava, Ger. i wasn't sure of your level of competence. I'd recommend Michel Thomas but there isn't enough time even for him; you could think about it what you get back!

i can't wait to read the trip report.
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