Day trips out of Florence?

Apr 27th, 2014, 08:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Day trips out of Florence?

Hi everyone,
My bf and I are going to Europe for 15 days (2 days taken out for flights) starting in Italy then moving on to France in early September. We have never been. We're 29/30 and enjoy arts (but don't want to spend all days just in museums etc.) as we also like to take in the culture by sitting at local restaurants/cafes - people watch, stroll along streets. So far we've planned the following:

Rome - 4 nights, 3.5 days (0.5 day is when we first arrive there)
Florence - 3 nights, full 3 days (as taking the train in AM)
Venice - 2 nights, full 2 days (as taking the train in AM)
Paris - 7 nights, 7.5 days (flight from Venice to Paris in AM, 0.5 day is when we depart home)

We`re kind of torn as to whether we should adjust this. We would want to do a bit of Tuscany: Chianti, Pisa. (We`re saving Cinque Terre for next time we`re in Italy as I read you really need to spend 2 nights there to enjoy).

What are your thoughts in 3 nights and 3 full days in Florence. Perhaps on arrival from Rome we stay in Florence, next day we take a tour from Florence and 3rd day back in Florence? Or do you suggest dividing up Chianti, Pisa, Siena in to 2 days? and extending Florence stay removing from Venice to 1 night, 1.5 days?

Thanks for all your advice!
bebailey is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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In Florence and Venice, your trip will occupy part of those "full" days. For some reason, transferring to another city always occupies more time than I thought it would, between packing, checking out, getting to the station, and getting from the station to the new hotel, checking in, and unpacking. It also occupies an inordinate amount of energy. The 1 1/2 hour train ride from Rome to Florence sounds quick and convenient, but it's less than half of the actual trip.

That said, your division of the time sounds reasonable, although you may not see all you wanted to see.

For people who have a short time in any one place, I strongly recommend that you not try to visit all the famous "sights" there. Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Paris are all packed with tourists, as are all the well-known Chianti towns. I would suggest forgetting most of the famous museums, and looking for little-known gems.
bvlenci is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 03:13 PM
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Since you already plan to return to Italy to see the Cinque Terre, you could consider leaving Florence and Tuscany for that trip also. Then, you could easily divide your time on this year's trip between Rome, Venice, perhaps a stop in between, although I think 5 nights Rome and 4 nights Venice would be perfect.
Jean is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 03:41 PM
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You are counting time in cities that you probably don't really have. Three nights in a city only gives you two sightseeing days, two nights = one sightseeing day. You aren't factoring in checking in-and-out of hotels, getting to the train station, transport time, getting from that station to your new hotel, etc. You will easily lose half a day each time you change locations. You are also assuming you can check into your hotels in the morning. Not all hotels will have rooms ready or luggage storage so you might have to store luggage at the train station and go back and retrieve it.
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I just came back from a month in Florence and that was not even enough.
I understand your lovely blush of innocence as you have never been to Europe, but listen to the likes of Jean and save at least one of those cities for another trip.
If it were me first time, I would cut 2 on your list - do one week in Paris and one week in the Italian city at the top of your list. There will be more than enough to keep you engaged and you honestly won't regret it. A big part of these places is the feelings they evoke from experiences of getting lost in the twisty turny streets, strolling the Seine, sitting at sidewalk cafes watching the world drift by and just falling into wonder after wonder by mistake - it can't be orchestrated too much - it's Europe.
bellalinda is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 07:11 PM
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Train back and forth to Pisa takes an hour each way. A trip to Siena really deserves a full day IMO.

Paris? Does it absolutely have to have a full seven of your days? I think you could cut at least one out for Italy but you say little of your plans for Paris so hard to advise.
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 07:42 PM
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I would not take time away from Venice. If you have a car, I would drive to San Giminanno (sp) and Siena as a day trip from Florence. I would skip Pisa this time. If you want to spend more time in Tuscany you could take one day from Paris.
letsgeaux is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 08:38 PM
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The OP's trip was earlier this month.
Jean is offline  
Sep 30th, 2014, 06:26 PM
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Oh. Then my advice remains the same, but I will preface my remarks by saying: This is what you should have done...
letsgeaux is offline  
May 12th, 2015, 10:31 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 64
Hi bebaily! My boyfriend and I are travelling to Italy this coming July and I would like to do a day trip to see Tuscany and Pisa. The link you posted looked fantastic, did you end up going on this day trip? If so I would love to hear your thoughts and if you recommend it.

KaylaS is offline  
May 12th, 2015, 01:25 PM
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Kayla - The OP doesn't appear to have returned to Fodor's since this original post. If you have a question of your own, it's best to start a thread of your own (with a title that pertains to your questions) as people won't see it here.
kybourbon is offline  
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