Florence, Italy Tours

Jun 26th, 2013, 04:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 14
Florence, Italy Tours

We will be in Florence from August 12-18 and realize that Italy has an national holiday August 15th. Having said that can anyone recommend a tour attraction that we should visit when we are there and if so should we book it in advance? What are some must haves that we should look at doing? We are staying in the Piazza area. Is that a safe area?
Should we book a day trip to Tuscany country side? Should we book a hotel there somewhere instead of the Florence city area?
Rome- what is the best tour company for Rome? We are there for 3 days August 19-23. Should we book before we go or once we are there. How much should we expect to pay?
Does anyone use a double decker bus? Hop on hop off?

Thanks so much!
ryan33 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
The historic centers of both cities are pedestrian only - no tour buses. You can get tours (lest common denominator with a lot of people) on the spot for reasonable prices. Quality tours with much more info and smaller groups are better arranged in advance - but more costly.

A lot of people reco Context Rome. (we generally just tour on our own - but know what we want to see and do.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,539
"We are staying in the Piazza area. Is that a safe area?"

Florence is generally safe, but which piazza are you referring to?

You have a nice amount of time for a first visit to Florence. There are several day trips you can take using public transportation without needing to join tours. You need to do some searching on this forum (see "Advanced Search" near the top of this web page) for the countless threads that describe how to day-trip to Fiesole, Pisa, Lucca, Montecatini Terme, Siena, San Gimignano, Bologna, Arezzo, Cortona, etc.

But there are loads of things to see IN Florence, so you should do some research on the sights and treasures in the city and decide what interests you and how long seeing these things will probably take. If the Uffizi and Accademia museums make your list, you should get advanced tickets/reservations to avoid any lines. If you've booked a hotel in Florence, you might ask them if they would make these reservations for you.

It will hot in August. Depending on your tolerance level, you may want to keep the middle hours of the days less filled with activities, moving around outside, etc.
Jean is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:30 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 14
Thanks for your replies... Would you recommend renting a car? We were thinking of renting a car to get to the outlet malls in Florence (The space, and The Mall outlets) if you have been or know anyone who has can you recommend a way of travel to get there?

ryan33 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 09:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,539
The problem with driving in Florence is the limited traffic zone. You'd need to study up on how to avoid violating the zone (and getting a ticket) both leaving and returning to Florence. Also, many say the rate for a one day rental is nearly equal to a 3-day rental. Ouch. But you could look into that.


I do think there are buses from Florence to one of the outlets. Just Google the outlet malls by name.
Jean is offline  
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