Florence day tours and restaurants

Dec 3rd, 2017, 10:59 AM
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Florence day tours and restaurants

Hi is there any tours people would recommend from Florence? I know of walks of Italy and viator. I used walks of Italy in Rome and like them but I'm looking for something a bit more affordable. Places we want to visit are Lucca, Pisa, Siena, and San Gimigiano. If we can combine some in one trip great. We will be there in late February and based in Florence . I was also wondering if anyone has restaurant recommendations and are reservations needed for places in Florence? How far in advance do we book? Thanks again!
Summer0407 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2017, 12:34 PM
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Lucca and Pisa are easily and cheaply accessible by rail, Siena and San Gim by bus, which goes from the bus station right next to SMN [it is to the left of the railway station as you look at the front of it - you have to go up a little street with a very long name to find it!]

You can easily combine Lucca and Pisa as you need to go through Pisa to get to Lucca. however you might feel that you don't have long enough if it gets dark early - depends on the time of year of your trip, really. Siena and San Gim are on different bus lines I think so you can't combine them.
annhig is online now  
Dec 3rd, 2017, 01:06 PM
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I just got back from Florence and we used Freya’s Florence for a food tour. Our guide was an American woman who has lived in Florence for 6 years. Her name is Tony. It was a wonderful tour for my family. I highly recommend it.
SophieB is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2017, 01:19 PM
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We did all of those places as part of a day tour from Florence that was fabulous.


It included a surprisingly good lunch at a vineyard that featured organic pastas grown on the premises, as well as wine tastings. We had plenty of time to explore and really appreciated the commentary -- and not needing to navigate on our own. San Gimignano was the highlight. It is not to be missed.

FYI, when I just clicked on the link it did not include Lucca. I don't know if they have eliminated that since I did the tour.
Songdoc is online now  
Dec 3rd, 2017, 02:17 PM
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As annhig says those towns are all easily done on your own - for info on trains check www.trenitalia.com; www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Escorted day tours to all of them are great for folks who want to see highlights of those cities in one day but if into dwelling where you want when easy to do on your own. So do a tour if want but realize those cities are easy to do on own but only one a day -except Pisa and Lucca can easily be combined by train.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2017, 02:40 PM
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As related to visits, I second the posts from PalenQ and Annhig.

In Firenze, we like Trattoria dall Oste, on via Giorgio Allamani, just across the street from the train station.
Excellent food and normal prices. Not a Michelin starred place, but very good. Reservations needed unless you d'ont care the wait.

You are going to beautiful places.....enjoy!
jelopez33 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2017, 02:47 PM
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>>> I know of walks of Italy and viator. <<<

Viator doesn't have tours. They are a reseller of other companies products similar to Expedia. If you don't want to go on your own, one of the cheaper tour companies in that area is CAF.

kybourbon is online now  
Dec 3rd, 2017, 03:57 PM
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We had an outstanding meal at Trattoria I Due G. Exceptional Bistecca Fiorentina, but all the dishes were good. Slightly out of the most beaten tourist path.

tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Dec 4th, 2017, 06:24 AM
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Not gourmet restaurants but Florence's large market hall in city centre has some neat little kiosk restaurants featuring local fare.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 4th, 2017, 08:30 AM
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Pal -you remind me that there is also a very good cafe/restaurant in the Mercato Sant' Ambroglio just north of Santa Croce:


Also very good fruit and veg, salumi, and pasta stalls.
annhig is online now  
Dec 4th, 2017, 01:40 PM
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An easy half-day trip from Florence could go to Fiesole - perched high above Florence - great views over city and over Tuscan countryside - excellent Roman ruins - popular excursion - take local buses - about 5 kms or so out of town.

PalenQ is offline  
Dec 31st, 2017, 02:45 PM
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Fiesole looks amazing! Is catching a bus and navigating easy? Do taxi's go up there also?
Summer0407 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2017, 05:33 PM
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>>> Fiesole looks amazing! Is catching a bus and navigating easy? Do taxi's go up there also?

Taxis go everywhere if you are willing to pay for them. Coming back to Florence by taxi is more of a hassle and more expensive unless you happen to catch a taxi on its return trip. If you have to call a taxi from Florence, you pay and wait for taxi to get up the hill. Your hotel might have a connection with a "transfer" that would do a round trip for a fixed fee.
greg is offline  
Jan 1st, 2018, 02:59 AM
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Summer - it is very easy to get a bus up to Fiesole [and down again]. we caught one from the Piazza San Marco [south side, near the Academia] which is at the top of the Via Cavour. you can work it into your itinerary perhaps by scheduling a visit to the Academia in the morning and/or to the Monastery of San Marco which only opens mornings. It is where the frescos of Fra Angelico are to be found and it is well worth a visit.

The bus ride takes about ½ an hour and drops you right in the centre so you could be there for lunch, tour some of the sights [check opening hours] and then get the bus down. we got our bus tickets from the little cafe by the bus stop - they do a mean caffe corretto too. Also there is a very up market cafe on the SW corner of the square - when we were there, anyway - excellent for a nice cup of tea when you get back.

Ideal for a ½ day+ excursion.
annhig is online now  
Jan 1st, 2018, 07:40 AM
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We were in Florence in November and by far, our favorite meal was at Il Borro. A gorgeous restaurant with excellent food. Will definitely be going back! (We enjoyed it so much we tried to get a reservation for another night of our trip, but they were fully booked)


For a drink, highly recommend Spumantino al Ponte Vecchio. I can't drink sparkling wines, they give me heartburn, but my friends tried a few and said they were very good. What I did have, instead, were two glasses of their absolutely outstanding fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice. I could drink that by the gallon.
WeisserTee is online now  
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