Day Trips near Florence

Feb 9th, 2019, 04:10 PM
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by willit View Post
II am only pointing out the logistics of a trip that will spend approximately half the total time driving between destinations.
Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to you that the driving portion—seeing the scenery from the bus—might be part of the appeal, to see at least some of the countryside (better to see it from a bus than not see it at all).


Originally Posted by willit View Post
seems a very strange way to spend time to me.
Then I recommend you don’t do that tour. And to rephrase what I said above, what seems strange to you might not seem strange to others.
RaymondLuxuryYacht is offline  
Feb 9th, 2019, 06:14 PM
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by RaymondLuxuryYacht View Post


It may not be The Fodorite Way, but this trip works for us and our specific needs. All travelers are different, so there’s no “right” way to travel. I wish more people in this otherwise very valuable forum would remember that.

Maybe this tour would also work for the OP—or maybe not—what’s the harm in suggesting it? Even if most Fodors sophisticates pooh-pooh it?
Excellent post, Raymond. We should welcome ALL viewpoints and input, but too often the emphasis is on what the responding poster likes rather than focusing on what the OP might like. Comments like “hurried blur”, “jogging through cities”, “you will only see things through a train window”, and “it’s okay if you like to skim things” should not be the “Fodorite Way.” We have proven time and again that the myths, for example, that you can never include the arrival day (even in the morning) as part of your travel or that you need to deduct a full day each time you move to another base are not the cases for everyone. Some people move slowly, and that is obviously okay. Others can see, do and absorb more in a shorter time frame than others. Some of us include train travel, even short hop airplane travel, and interaction with people and facilities as a positive part of the travel process. Travel styles do vary, and I think more energy should be focused on the OP's style than what we what think they should do. Although there are many wonderful and helpful posters here, these are some of the reasons we stopped asking for input on our planned itineraries many years ago.
whitehall is offline  
Feb 9th, 2019, 06:39 PM
  #23  
 
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All well and good, but so far we know more about the preferred travel styles of RaymondLuxuryYacht and whitehall and really nothing about the OP's. I think willit's comments are as valid as anyone else's.
Jean is online now  
Feb 9th, 2019, 07:22 PM
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
I prefer day trips to involve about an hour's travel in each direction.......

Before you get too wedded to the idea of an overnight somewhere in the Cinque Terre, you should look for lodging. And then hope that the weather is good on the day you have pre-selected. The train journey between Florence and the CT is 2.5 to 3 hours depending on where you go, which is a lot of time to 'lose' in a short trip.
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
All well and good, but so far we know more about the preferred travel styles of RaymondLuxuryYacht and whitehall and really nothing about the OP's. I think willit's comments are as valid as anyone else's.
And, yes Jean's preferred travel style. I think the OP has been given a number of good ideas and hopefully some of it will help them have a fulfilling trip.
whitehall is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 02:12 AM
  #25  
 
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Reading over this thread, all the harsh and sarcastic criticism comes from Whitehall and Raymond. I said, "If I were taking a day trip" I would go to places that are hard to reach without a car. That's clearly marked as my personal preference, not a prescription. Someone else pointed out that it would be five hours of driving. These are just warnings, bringing up things that people planning a tour might not have considered.

Whitehall himself warned, referring to an overnight trip to the Cinque Terre, "The train journey between Florence and the CT is 2.5 to 3 hours depending on where you go, which is a lot of time to 'lose' in a short trip."

Then when someone else points out that an even shorter trip involves five hours of driving, Whitehall jumps all over him.

I'll just add, for the benefit of those who don't know the area, that a lot of that driving would be on limited access highway, like the Fi-Pi-Li highway, without much scenery. For scenery, a wine tour or gastronomy tour, as suggested by others (including me) would be more rewarding.

Last edited by bvlenci; Feb 10th, 2019 at 02:18 AM.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 02:20 AM
  #26  
 
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Time was this site had an invisible IMHO at the start of every input.

I suggest we might aim to argue about facts and leave all our opinions standing.
bilboburgler is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 05:47 AM
  #27  
 
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My agreement with Raymond's post made reference mostly to my general concern about what I see as sarcastic comments often made on Fodor’s threads to anyone with ambitious travel plans. Raymond described his already planned tour, which was alternatively characterized as “jogging through cities” and a “hurried blur.” Beyond that, I said “I think the OP has been given a number of good ideas" and believe all else by everyone here was fair comment.
whitehall is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 06:22 AM
  #28  
 
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Familytravellers, I know that you are thinking of spending a night in CT and that would be great if you can but I thought I would let you know that last May I did CT as a day trip from Florence which was with City Wonders. https://citywonders.com/florence-tours I hesitated for quite some time over whether to do it as it is a not what I would normally do (I usually like to take things more slowly and do them on my own). However, with my time constraints and the possability it was my only chance I decided to do so. It was a long day but I was glad that that I did so. We bused from Florence to La Spezia, then took a boat which went past all 5 towns dropping us off at the final one. Seeing all the towns from the water was a highlight for me. We then trained hopped back to the bus over the course of the afternoon. This gave us the opportunity to see three of the towns. It was then a bus ride back to Florence. I do have to say even though it was May it was very crowded, goodness knows what it is like later in the year. Of course, doing it this way means you don't get a chance to see/stay in one of the towns after all the day trippers have gone. As I mentioned, it was a long day but I did feel that I had seen quite a lot and that it was not overly rushed. I had a very leisurely lunch in one town, some of the younger ones went swiming, and at the last town a number of us spent a nice half hour having a wine at a bar overlooking the water before after our wander around. Admitttedly at the last stop I think we only had about an hour to look around but by then we felt we weren't interested in the quaint shops as they seemed to basically be selling the same things as we had seen at the previous two towns. I should mention that it wasn't cheap but I couldn't have covered this much ground in one day doing it on my own. This may or may not interest you but I thought I would throw it in for what it's worth.
shandy is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 08:35 AM
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
Beyond that, I said “I think the OP has been given a number of good ideas" and believe all else by everyone here was fair comment.
Agreed, and that's what I thought I was doing by suggesting the day trip that we found to be quite interesting (in answer to the OP's original request, "Would like ideas for day trips from Florence."). I didn't expect my choice to be picked apart (though, with my many years of visiting this forum, I suppose not totally unexpected), since it was just a suggestion to the OP.

In any case, apologies to the OP for the digression. There are countless opportunities for day trips from Florence, and I'm sure you'll end up doing something delightful.
RaymondLuxuryYacht is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 12:15 PM
  #30  
 
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Shandy that is a nice review you gave and one that interests me. I wanted to go to CT but it was end of November so scratched it. I also didn't have much time to allocate towards it so your review would have helped someone like me.
sassy27 is online now  
Feb 10th, 2019, 09:16 PM
  #31  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
my general concern about what I see as sarcastic comments often made on Fodor’s threads to anyone with ambitious travel plans..
Perception is, it seems, critical here.
It might serve everyone well if we would all try to assume that we are all trying to help, rather than assuming sarcasm. JMO.
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Feb 11th, 2019, 06:59 AM
  #32  
 
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To get back to the original question, I'll second (third?) Pistoia as a nice day trip, easily combined with another town. Be sure to take the underground tour beneath one of the churches (can't remember what it's called right now). Under an hour train ride from Florence; beautiful centro area.
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Feb 11th, 2019, 11:11 AM
  #33  
 
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Raymond, I was under the impression that you hadn't taken this tour yet, which is why I posted my warnings about the type of tour.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 11:21 AM
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by Holly_uncasdewar View Post
To get back to the original question, I'll second (third?) Pistoia as a nice day trip, easily combined with another town. Be sure to take the underground tour beneath one of the churches (can't remember what it's called right now). Under an hour train ride from Florence; beautiful centro area.
It is half way between Florence and Lucca. There are frequent trains in the morning and evening, many fewer in the middle of the day. Anyone wishing to visit both places on the same day should check on train and bus schedules and plan accordingly.
Michael is online now  
Feb 11th, 2019, 07:03 PM
  #35  
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Thank you all for your input and opinions. They all have been very helpful. Hubby and I are still hopeful for an overnight in CT but the bus tour is a great second option.
we will do some research on these other little towns as we love to train hop in Italy and just jump off when we see something interesting.
Keep the ideas coming as we appreciate different points of view and cautions for things we may not have thought of.
family_travelers is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 07:10 PM
  #36  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
Two of the four lower trails in the Cinque Terre have been closed for eight years now, due to the risk of landslides. The other two lower trails are sometimes closed for shorter periods, for the same reason. The upper trails (where there's not much land uphill to slide) are usually open, but they are more of a challenge. I wouldn't go for an overnight. You'd spend a good chunk of the first day getting there, and a good chunk of the next day getting back. If you want to hike, you would need at least two nights.

May is high season in Tuscany, and in the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre towns can be insanely crowded by day trippers. Florence is also usually very crowded in May. I basically agree with those who recommend spending the entire time in Florence, or at most splitting the time with one other place.
Good advice, IMO.
kja is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 08:03 PM
  #37  
 
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You sound like people who won’t let weather, crowds or some rail travel slow you down. You have a lot of suggestions for things to do and places to see. I say “go for it” and enjoy.
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