Florence Itinerary - 3 days

Aug 16th, 2004, 05:22 AM
Original Poster
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Florence Itinerary - 3 days

Hi Everyone - I will be in Florence for 3 days in Sept and am trying to finalize my plans. Since a lot of the main museums are closed on Mondays and the churches are closed for mass on Sundays, it throws my schedule off a bit (since that's when I'll be there ...Any feedback on the itinerary below would be greatly appreciated. Am I doing too much? Should I cut some things out or add some?? As always, I hate to spend all of my time in museums when I am in such a beautiful city, but, I do want to catch the major attactions and infamous Renaissance art. Thanks!! - Laura

Saturday: Arrive at night

Sunday: Art Viva Walking Tours - 9:30AM daily (3 hours), Uffizzi reservations for 2PM?, Accademia reservations at some point today?, Dinner at nice restaurant

Monday, (too much??) Duomo, Museo dell' Opera, Battiestero, Campanile, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Medici Chapels, Art Viva Evening Walk - 5:15PM

Tues: Explore Oltrarno area, Palazzo Pitti & Boboli Gardens, Leather & Food Markets PM, Piazza della Signora
lmavolio is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 05:27 AM
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Have a look at this article from the Times of London posted by Jsmith a little while ago. I've visited Florence at least ten times, and I find it one of the most inclusive and varied suggestions for a three-day stay in Florence that I have ever seen:


But stay away from the Enoteca Pinchiorri: it's grossly and grotesquely overpriced.
Eloise is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 05:41 AM
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I just got back from Florence. That itinerary is doable if you like to stay busy. As it says in that article that Eloise posted, "you don't go to Florence to mess around".

However, on Monday you have 6 "sights". If you spend one hour in each that doesn't give you much time to get between them (distances are short, but still). Are you planning on climbing the Campanile? I highly recommend it but it will take about an hour. What about the Duomo? Do you mean just visit the inside, or climb that dome also? I didn't climb that one but the line was always long when I went by. Palazzo Medici Riccardi and Medici Chapels both have quite a bit of construction going on inside (though you can still see the main areas, Palazzo Medici Riccardi had quite a bit closed, yet it also had one room with the most wonderful frescos so I wouldn't eliminate it from your list). Those two are also right next to the San Lorenzo Market, you have to walk through it to get to them. The Mercato Centrale is right there too (they have a small cafeteria in there that is a good place to have a light lunch). And you haven't included the Bargelo, which was one of my favorite museums.

But whatever you do you'll love Florence. Leave some time to just wander around. And try to get up to the Piazza Michelangelo at sunset. Absolutely wonderful.
isabel is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 05:49 AM
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I just checked the Times article and found a lamentable omission:

Take time in the Piazza della Signoria to have a hot chocolate at Rivoire. It will not be cheap, but it will be wonderful, and the terrace is a great place for people watching.
Eloise is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 06:53 AM
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Don't forget to take in the sunset, or at least the view, at Piazzelle Michaelangelo.

We also found the view from Fiesole absolutely stunning. You can make the short, 20 minute trip there by either cab or bus #7.

Climing the Duomo is quite an experience, too, if you have time for that.

As far as museums, one of our favorites was the Bargello. Such amazing sculpture and relics. We also really enjoyed the Duomo museum with lots of info regarding the building of the dome and baptistery.

I agree that your present itinerary is doable, but just figured I'd give you a few other things you might not have thought of.

Have fun!
Statia is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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One easy way to focus a trip to Florence is by thinking about the period that interests you... For example, if I had only 3 days in Florence, I'd skip the 16th century/ very ornate/baroque Palazzo Pitti and Boboli so I could spend more time at the early renaissance museums and churches. Several other friends who visited felt the same way...they wished they had just taken those hours and added them to the Uffizi, Bargello or Museo dell'Opera etc. In fact the very BEST way to plan your visit is to find a good textbook on art (Janson's History of Art is a classic, and will almost surely be available at your local library) and/or some books about Renaissance art and Florence. (The Florentine Renaissance by Cronin doesn't have photos but is very, very easy reading-- lives of the artists, historical context, etc. ) Once you've delved into the things you'll be seeing, you'll be better prepared to appreciate and enjoy them (and you can astound your travelling companions with your insights!) AND you'll be able to decide what your own priorities.

For example: the Accademia takes alot of time-- it's a fair walk from other sites, the lines are REALLY long, and most people go there to see David. Whether or not you want to spend this much time on just one big piece is for you to decide...
Sorry there is no easy answer! I think if we lined up 10 experts on Florence, you would get 10 different answers that reflect their interests. The one thing that would undeniably be on ALL lists for a 3 day trip is the Uffizi and the Duomo/Baptistery Doors.

I hope that you will use your first night for a walk, too. Florence, is beautiful at night...stroll down to one of the other bridges to look back at the Ponte Vecchio.
tashak is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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The Accademia doesn't take a lot of time, it's a small museum. What takes a lot of time is having to wait in line, and that can be avoided by making advance reservations for a particular admission time.

I'm not usually one to make "must do" statements, but to go to Florence and not see Michelangelo's David, well there "oughta be a law."

On a short visit, I'd skip the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli, and go to the Bargello and Museo San Marco,and Santa Croce church instead, and ease up on Monday. But that's me and my interests.
elaine is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Hi Ima,

I agree that "David" is a must see.

I would skip the Boboli Gardens. They are not well tended and there won't be much foliage in Sept.

You could also leave out the Pitti w/o remorse.

I second going up to Fiesole to watch the sunset from the terrace of the Bar Bleu.

For dinner on Sunday I highly recommend
Il Ritrovo
Via de? Pucci 4/A
Full dinner w/wine abt 40E pp Closed Monday
From Pzza San Giovani (NW corner of the Pza del Duomo) walk one blk East to Via dei Martelli. Go left to Via dei Pucci. Turn Right. Look very carefully on left. No sign. Door could be locked. Ring bell.
ira is online now  
Aug 16th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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There is so much to see and do in Florence that, with only three days, you are just going to have to prioritize, and even skip some worthy sites.

For scenic views, definitely get a bus or taxi to Fiesole and see the sunset from there. We also had a nice meal there, but I can't remember the specific place.

The Uffizzi is almost always jammed, so get reservations, and come armed with a listing of just what you want to see, and where it is. While I like art, I didn't like the Uffizzi; in part due to the overcrowding, and in part as many of the works are poorly displayed (some were hung so high on the wall that they were hard to see). The Accademia we enjoyed much more, because we were lucky enough to find it nearly empty, and on a day when admission was free! I wouldn't count on that. Get reservations, and be sure to check out the unfinished slaves in the hall leading to David.

On you Monday agenda, I assume the Battiestero is what is known to me as the Baptistry. If so, it, the Duomo, the Campanile, and the Museo dell'Opera are all right together and can easily be done in a short time. The doors on the Baptistry are reproductions; the originals are in the Museo del'Opera. Also in that museo is an unfinished pieta by Michelangelo that we found profoundly moving; a high point of our visit. I would look at the Duomo from inside, but I would not take the time to climb either it or the Campanile; it will tire you out, and you can get great views from Fiesole, and from the church above piazelle Michelangelo. We were disappointed in piazelle Michelangelo; it is a tawdry parking lot filled with peddlars and hot dog stands. Only the view is attractive, and you can get that from the church in more pleasant surroundings. I think I might take a taxi to the church, and the piazelle, if you are going there. I don't know how good a hiker you are, but it is a fairly long uphill walk to get there.

Be sure to spend some time on the bridge as you cross to Oltrarno; it is ancient and very attractive. We enjoyed the Palazzo Pitti, but I'm not sure I would go there on a three-day visit. I would substitute the Bargello, with their wonderful statuary. Boboli gardens was a real disappointment in May 2003; even the snack bar was closed for restoration and to me it looked more like a field than a garden. Oltrarno has a lot of restaurants that had very good food at relativelty reasonable prices.

We found we had more time in the afternoons than we had anticipated, as the traditional dining hour there was much later than we were used to.

If it helps in your planning, my recollection is that the churches are closed Sunday, but only at certain hours. I think you can get in the Duomo, for example, Sunday afternoon. My notes from last year show the Medici Chapel was closed on Mondays, so you might double check that.

Even though you will be there only a few days, try to keep some free time in your schedule, to allow you to pause when you see something you hadn't expected, and to run quality checks on all the gelato.
clevelandbrown is offline  
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