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Am I crazy for not wanting to stay in Florence?

Am I crazy for not wanting to stay in Florence?

Old Jul 26th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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Am I crazy for not wanting to stay in Florence?

We really want to see the country side, but will be limited because we have opted not to rent a car, but to rely on the trains and local transportation instead.

Again, we're not huge museum fans, but do want to, of course, see some of the sites in Florence. But, that being said, we're very interested in seeing Sienna, Pisa, and Lucca.

Is it just crazy to maybe stay in Sienna, and do a day trip to Florence, with small side trips to the other towns in the area? Or should we just forget about that idea, stay in Florence, and maybe do a day trip or two to the smaller towns mentioned above. Does that make sense?

Thanks again,

d-
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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I don't know how many days you have, but Sienna, Lucca and Pisa are easy day trips by bus from Florence, and there is much more to Florence than museums. To each his own, but I would opt to stay in Florence and take day trips if time is limited.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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D, I don't think you are crazy at all-on our last trip we split our time between Florence and Siena and later wished we had spend all the time in Siena doing just what you mentioned. Some people love Florence, I thought it was ok but it didn't do it for me like Siena did.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Hi d --

I don't think it's crazy. It's practically what I did last year in Italy. Florence is beautiful and does offer a lot of amazing sights, but if you're looking for other things on your trip, don't feel guilty for concentrating your time elsewhere.

We ended up spending one night in a hotel in Florence rather than day-tripping. We spent several days in Tuscany prior to going there. In the two days we had, we were able to visit the Accademia/David, the Uffizi Gallery, and climb the Duomo's campanile. Pretty much everything we had hoped to get out of our time there. Obviously, we could have stayed much longer to get more out of the city, but we chose to put our time b/c we were trying to make for a more relaxing and less sight-packed vacation.

Hope that helps... good luck! - h.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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Hello d2roberts, you don't say how many days (nights actually) you will have but in that you can do the day trips from Florence I would personally choose to stay in Florence. Or if you have enough nights for two different hotels you could stay some nights in Florence and visit Pisa and Lucca from there and then stay a few nights in Siena. Have fun planning your trip.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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What month are you going? The last couple of times I've been to Florence in the summer months it has been unbearable crowded. I think staying in Siena would be lovely.

Enjoy.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Not crazy. Its your VACATION! Do what you want!
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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We have stayed in both Florence and Sienna.and have enjoyed both. I think it is just personal preference. If you enjoy the smaller towns, perhaps just a day trip into Florence would give you a taste of the city, while allowing you more time in the towns you mentioned. Although I do like Florence very much, and it is not a big city (like Rome, London Paris...) --I have found that the more we travel, the more we enjoy smaller towns also. That said--I do hope you are going to make time for my favorite city, Venice!
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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hlocke1 - that sounds like a good compromise.

From the rough itinerary we have now - it looks like 4 nights/5 days in the Florence area.

I really appreciate all your opinions. This is our first trip to Europe, and there's a lot to see. We're trying very hard not to over-do it, and keep on telling ourselves that we just can't see it all.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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Hi d2,

Lots of people stay in Siena and visit Florence.

In order to get to Pisa and Lucca from Siena you have to go through Florence.

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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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We're leaving the states the 15th of September, and will be in the Florence area around the 22/23rd of Sept.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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ira:

Really? There's no bus that goes from one town to the other? wow.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Hi d2roberts, It's such a personal thing but I'd make Florence the hub and take day trips from there. Fiesole is a sweet little town "above" Florence and you can get there by bus. Pisa, San Gimignano (sp?), Siena, Cinque Terre, etc. easily done by train. Watch Sunday schedules btw, we have waited longer for connections on that day! What time of year are you going?
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Hi d2roberts, I read your question the first time as "Am I crazy for wanting to stay in Florence?" thus my answer.

I saw that you will be in the Dolomites. No doubt you will be coming from there by train to Florence. How about staying in Florence on night, see what interest you in Florence the next day, stay in Florence the second night and then go to Lucca and Pisa and from there go to Siena and stay there for as many nights as you can. The only problem with that of course is you will have your luggage. I know the Florence train station did have lockers but am not sure if one can use them now due to heavier security at transportation centers due to the London bombings. The lockers did fill up early morning but you would no doubt want to leave for your day trip to Lucca and Pisa early morning anyway. Or, check the train schedule and consequently leave your luggage at your Florence hotel and pick it up when you return to Florence and then continue on to Siena for the third night etc.

Or maybe it is just easier to go directly to Siena and take day trips, Florence on day, Lucca and Pisa another day etc.

I always think it is best to keep plans as simple as possible. That might be the best way to plan it. Best wishes to you with your decisions.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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oops, just saw the September info. Should be pretty time of year. Also you might want to see about Wine tours.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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Loveitaly:

I like your suggestions. And, we're planning on packing very light - 1 bag only, probably one that can convert from bag to backpack, or just my backpack. Sierra Trading Posts has one now for around $40 that I might grab. Otherwise, I'll use one of my many backpacks that I have.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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>Really? There's no bus that goes from one town to the other?<

Not that I'm aware of.

You can go from Siena by bus to Florence or Bologna or San Gim or Poggibonsi or Chiusi, but not to Pisa.



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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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I don't know about the buses, but I do know that you don't have to go through Florence to get from Siena to Lucca or Pisa by train. You can change trains at Empoli, which is north of Siena and west of Florence and is on both the Siena-Florence and Pisa-Florence lines.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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We have never stayed in Florence, but that is on our list of things to do. Last trip in the area we camped at Siena and did the day trips by car. I would stay in Florence if this is your first trip to Europe.

Pick up the book Bruneschelli's Dome before you go to Florence. Author is Ross King. It is about 160 pages and tells the story of how the famous dome was constructed in Florence and all the intrigue around it. It will add a lot to your visit to Florence. Good plane ride reading.

You should rent a car if that is at all possible. The small towns in Tuscany are great to drive to, get out of your car and explore. Driving is not difficult in the area and you will see much more. It beats being on a train schedule. Just my opinion on that one.

Get reservations in advance for the Uffizi and the Accademia. There may be lines and this avoids that problem. There is plenty of info on this board to tell you how to book in advance. We were able to avoid a line that went around the block to see the DAVID when we were there in September 99.

Have fun....great area!
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 01:49 PM
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For sure we are getting our tickets ahead! On one hand it's such a bummer to have things so planned, on the other hand, it will take the thinking/worrying aside once we get there.

We're not doing a car at this point, because of costs. But, we'll see. Right now Eurorail is offering a free car rental for the 5 day/3 country plan. Maybe they will have one for the 6 or 8 day one also. Right now we're planning on purchasing the 8 day/3 country pass.
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