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FLORENCE, ITALY: Is this 1 day itinerary visiting major sites practical or wishful thinking?

FLORENCE, ITALY: Is this 1 day itinerary visiting major sites practical or wishful thinking?

Old Nov 15th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Some of this insight into your interests/passions and the focus of your trip would have been helpful in the original post. Without it, people like me who love Florence for its art and history look at your 9-hour plan and see disappointment in the making.
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Old Nov 15th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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Noted, Jean. I think, however, the questions I originally asked weren't designed to have to justify why we were limiting our time to what we were, but to seek advice on whether our plans were manageable or not. But, I would certainly love 2 or 3 days in Florence and I wrestled with skipping Florence altogether on this trip and hope to come back and have 2 or 3 days on a later trip. Alas, we may not get back to that part of Italy again, so, rather than run the risk of not experiencing Florence at all, we are doing what we can to sample it.
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Old Nov 16th, 2007, 06:16 AM
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Capri,

First of all, I think your plan for a day in Florence is eminently doable. I did the “one day in Florence” thing myself a couple of years ago, and even squeezed in a stop in Pisa.

Now, some comments which I hope you will take in the spirit of well-meaning advice for future posting. I do understand when you say the questions you originally asked weren't designed to have to justify why you were limiting your time in Florence, but rather to seek advice on whether your plans were manageable or not. However, knowing your pre- and post- Florence plans offers some context that helps us all to understand what it is you are hoping to get out of your day in Florence and perhaps offer suggestions for alternative sites you didn’t mention. And in a post like this, it would help greatly if you mention the means of transport and estimated time of arrival up front.

Having said that, and knowing what we know now, it sounds like you will be ready for a day on the run in between Bologna and the wine country. I’m sure you will make the most of your day in Florence.

Mark
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Old Nov 16th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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Hi Capri,

thanks for filling us all in. your plans become more understandable now.

Firstly, I agree that as you are parking up near the accademia, it makes sense to work your way back there, leaving the accademia til last. However, that places you the wrong side of florence for siena. it took the bus we were on over an hour to get from the centre to siena, and given you won't know where you are going, and you'll be fighting through the traffic, it'll most likely take you longer. so going back to your plan, if you're in the accademia til 6pm, don't reckon on being in siena before 8pm.

therefore, I respectfully suggest spending a night in florence. this would enable you to take advantage of the late opening hours at either the accademia or the uffizi - both now open til 18.50, tuesday to Sunday.

Set off early the next morning, and you'll have most of the day in Siena, which with the 2 nights you have there, should be quite enough. you can take in some of the countryside and wineries on the way.

Secondly, I strongly suggest you forget about the Pitti palace. it is quite a hike across the river and down the road, and walking there will wear you out for the rest of your day. if you are early, I suggest the market would be a good place to spend some time. or just wandering the streets as florence awakes.

regards, ann
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Old Nov 17th, 2007, 07:17 AM
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You've gotten a lot of good advice, but I'll add my two cents.

I would skip the Bargello and Medici Chapels for a first visit and consider spending that time exploring the lovely markets and shops of Florence. You can also do a quick climb of the Campanile to get an aerial perspective of this beautiful town.

Like others said, you don't need much time on the Pontevecchio, unless you are serious jewlery shopper.

have a great trip!
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Old Nov 20th, 2007, 06:22 AM
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I've been out of town for several days, but wanted to add a bit more.

As a foodie, you will LOVE Bologna - but you probably already knew that. It's a food-lovers city, in addition to being, IMO, beautiful and interesting in its own right. If you visit eGullet, I posted a report there of our recent (short) trip and the restaurants we ate at.

Rather than visiting Florence as a day-trip from Bologna, consider visiting Florence on your way from Bologna to Siena. That way, you won't "lose" that travel time back to Bologna.

And enjoy Montalcino, as well. My husband is a big oenephile as well, and enjoyed a trip there several years ago, where I did a daily horseback riding trek, and he visited different small producers: Biondi Santi; Ciacci Piccolomini; and Casanova dei Neri; then we both visited Castello Banfi together (the last was his least favorite).
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Old Nov 20th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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What's not on your list and what I think is one of the most impressive Renaissance art accomplishments: Ghibert's doors for the Baptistry.

He actually sculpted two sets of doors. I'm referring to the second set, which Michelangelo also called "Gates of Paradise."

They were finished in the first half of 1400s at the start of the Renaissance.

The ones on the Baptistry are copies. (Originals are the Duomo Museum, I think.)

Three of the original panels are currently on tour in the US. They are on their last stop, at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC.

Extremely beautiful and simply stunning. It's hard to believe that they were made about 600 years ago.

Regarding the Duomo, I was unable to get in when I was in Florence. I also didn't have very much time. There was a line every time I walked past it. This in in September 2005. I'm not sure how things will be when you are there. In the end I skipped it.

I don't think you need reservations for Bargello and Medici Chapels.

Other places that you may want to consider visiting: San Marco (Fra Angelico frescoes), Brancacci Chapel (Masaccio frescoes), and some churches (like Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, all with important examples of Renaissance art).

Often overlooked: Pitti Palace. It has quite a few Rapahel paintings, a reputed Giorgione ("Three Ages of Man") and some very nice Titian paintings.

Of course you can't see everything, but maybe look into some of other options and see if you want to rearrange your itinerary.

Have a good time.

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Old Nov 20th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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Oops -- typo: Ghiberti.
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Old Nov 20th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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Lexma-
Where/how did you go horseback riding in Montalcino. I've never come across that before there, but sounds fun!

Dina
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Old Nov 20th, 2007, 07:03 PM
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I agree 100% with everything annhig suggests in her posts. Spending the night in Florence will also give you a chance to see the city at its best- when it's emptied of the worst of the tourist hoards, at night and in the early morning. Walking through the city at those times is wonderful.

Another suggestion for lunch would be to get a square of pizza and a drink at a take-away stand, and eat while sitting on the steps of San Lorenzo church. It's a great position for people watching. There is a good pizza place across the street from the Duomo on the north side, somewhere between Borgo San Lorenzo and Via Ricasoli. I got my lunch there many times during my week in Florence last spring- despite the location, the line up always seemed to be full of locals, not other tourists. Then it's a very short walk down the street and around the corner to San Lorenzo church.

(after typing that out I just remembered CapriAnniversary is a foodie- maybe eating pizza on the steps of San Lorenzo isn't the best suggestion for lunch but I'll leave it out there anyways)
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Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 09:34 AM
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Thanks again for the excellent suggestions. The wife and I are working our way through decisions in the next few days. I will be visiting the eGullet site too! Thank you. Bologna is a city worth seeing in its own right, for sure, and I think one that doesn't get the tourist attention quite so much as others--which makes me look forward to it more.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Hello Capri,

It sounds like you have a wonderful trip planned. Do the best you can in the time you've alloted to Florence. The Ponte Vecchio isn't far from the Uffizi so there's no reason you can't see it.

I've been to a lot of museums in a lot of countries and among my best memories are the Botticellis and Carravagios (sp?)in the Uffizi, the David in the Accademia and the small, uncrowded, charming museum in Montalcino, which I hope you will visit during your three day visit. And don't miss the Abbazia di San'Antimo nearby.

Have a wonderful visit to fabulous Italy.
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 07:16 PM
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Louisah,
which museum are you speaking of in Montalcino? I would love to know, as we love to spend time there when we visit Italy.

Thanks,
dina

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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 06:45 AM
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Dina -

Where I went horseback riding was a ways south of Montalcino, at a beautiful riding facility/agriturismo called Il Poggio, in the tiny town of Celle Sul Rigo, which is near San Casciano Bagni. My husband would drive from there to the Brunello vineyards, which was a bit of a trek for him, but worth it. I enjoyed the horseback riding; it was a riding tour stationed at that one facility. But I found that I prefer vacations where we do a variety of activities.
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Not sure if this email is coming in too late or not, but a couple years ago I stayed in Bologna and made a day trip to Florence. While I regret spending only one day there (in May I plan to stay there longer), I would much rather have one day in Florence than none at all!

I just took photos and took in the sights of Ponte Vecchio and think this is a good way to start-since it takes the least amount of time. I wouldn't skip it since it was one of my favorite sights in Florence. Overall I think your itinerary is doable as long as you stick to your schedule and don't get side-tracked when seeing all the other beautiful buildings surronding you. However, I would allow some time for shopping, or at least window shopping--there's plenty of it!

Let us know how your day trip goes and any problems you had (fingers crossed you won't!).
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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Dina4,

I don't remember the name of the museum but considering the size of Montalcino I'm not sure there would be more than one. I think your hotel could tell you the location and hours.

I remember climbing a steep hill and turning right to get to the museum, which was near a church. The coop was a few blocks to the left.

I bought a ticket at the Tourist Information office in the lower part of the town that included entry to the Fortezza as well as to the museum. The museum had a nice little gift shop that sold museum reproductions and I bought a pair of silver earrings.
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 06:19 PM
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we will definitely check it out. Am curious as to what kind of museum it is-- on the history of Montalcino, brunello? etc.

Anyways, thanks for the info, Louisah!
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 10:46 PM
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*bookmarking for future trip reference

Please give us a trip report when you return! I'd love to read abt it
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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Dina,

I'm sorry I wasn't clear. It is an art museum, both old and contemporary.
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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Thanks. Can't wait to check it out!
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