Florence or Sorrento

Old Jun 7th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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Florence or Sorrento

I'm planning a 4 week trip to italy in july. For the last 2 weeks I plan on staying put in one place doing day trips. I thought of Florence or maybe Sorrento. I'm thinking that Sorrento might be way over packed with tourist and fairly large. I'm thinking Florence will be packed with tourist but not to the same extent as Sorrento. I'm also guessing Florence is a bit smaller and easier to get around by foot. Please tell me if I am wrong. Which of the 2 would you pick for a 2 week stay in July?
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Old Jun 7th, 2004, 04:39 PM
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Maria, I think both will be packed with tourists. A couple of years ago we spent two weeks in Greece followed by a week in Sorrento and a week in Florence. Felt we had plenty of time in both places for relaxing and some day trips. They will be very different experiences.
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Old Jun 7th, 2004, 04:47 PM
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They are completely different so it depends on what you want to do. I have only been to Sorrento once for a day and Florence twice for several days so I am no expert. But if you like shopping, museums, beautiful churches and piazzas, great food, then Florence has all that. We were there for two full days and nights and we walked around the whole city and saw just about every church and piazza but didn't really explore the inside or do all of the things you can do.
For instance, you can go in the Duomo and see the church but you can also go up to the cupola and see the fresco up close and that takes longer.
We went to see David at the Accademia but we didn't go to the rest of the museum. We saw a Botticelli exibit with a guide. We went to the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. You could spend hours in the palace looking at all of the art work if you are into that.
The shopping is really great and I wish we had more time for that. We spent most of our shopping time at the leather market in Lorenzo Piazza and that was excellent. You can get a leather jacket for as little as 80 euros if you bargain. If you like scarves, there are so many stands selling those and leather products that it makes your head spin.
Pisa could be a day trip from Florence as well.

As far as Sorrento, it is stunning because of the sea. I am not sure how close things are but no doubt you can research that. Pompei is fairly close I think. A couple on our recent trip had spent some time there and they were managing all of their transportation through trains, buses, taxis and they said it was a little bit harder to get around there. Also, they said that their hotel was not in a conveniant location to walk anywhere to get transportation and that was a real pain. They did go to the Isle of Capri and saw Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick with their baby!!!
Hope some of this info helps even tho it is rather spotty.
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Old Jun 7th, 2004, 06:10 PM
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Mariastefnyc is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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Hi maria,

Florence is somewhat larger than Sorrento.

Each is beautiful in its own way.

We recently spent 11 days in Florence, with side trips, and a week on the Amalfi Coast.

You might find my trip report helpful:
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Old Jun 7th, 2004, 09:30 PM
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They will both be crowded, you might consider one week in each place. Florence will allow you to see a large portion of Tuscany as well as some of the most famous art and buildings in Italy.

Sorrento will provide a base for Pompeii, Capri and the Amalfi coast, and if you're adventurous, Naples.
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Old Jun 8th, 2004, 12:03 AM
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Florence and its environs can be brutally hot in July, as the city sits in a bowl of hills and mountains. If it is like the last two summers, it will be over 95 most days. If you are lucky and get their "typical" summer weather, it will only be in the mid-80s. It will also be very crowded in the city itself most days, as that is peak tourist season for many Americans and some Europeans.

If this were my trip and I had as much as four weeks and wanted to sit out a bit for two, I would rent a villa or apartment in the hills along the Amalfi coast, either in or above Positano, in Amalfi, in Ravello or in Salerno. It would be quieter there, IMO, than in a larger city like Sorrento, but in the end Sorrento would probably work out too. It is easy to get around by ferry or bus, you can get to Naples (great museums) and Pompeii. It will be a bit cooler at the coast, and you will have sea breezes and access to the sea and the ferries. I think this would be much preferable to two weeks in Florence in July. (I would do two weeks in Florence in May or late September).

For the other 2 weeks, you could see Florence, Rome, Venice, whatever and then collapse at the end at your villa/apartment on the coast.

There is a tremendous amount of info on all kinds of accommodations in Italy at, a non-commercial website where travellers post their experiences. Other commercial websites to try are:
are several sites to start a villa or apartment search.

If you decide to stay in the Florence area for the 2 weeks, consider renting a villa or apartment outside Florence in a smaller town which will be much less crowded and noisy. You can go into Florence for the day.
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