Florence top 10 list

Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 03:42 AM
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Once you decide what you want to see you should check opening times carefully. Quite a few of the museums close in mid afternoon so you have to plan around that especially with only 2 days.

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Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 04:41 AM
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bkmrk for our trip in Sep...didn't count the items, but it's well over ten...we have one day at best...more research!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 05:16 AM
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me too:
Santo Spirito,
Santa Croce,
and, do not forget, Palazzo Strozzi;
then, Caffè Ghiberti for coffee in the morning (or cappuccino) and Carabè for gelato.

Have a lovely trip, ciao.

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Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 05:33 AM
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Hi -

All the recommendations above are great. I would recommend a guide book for the museums that is absolutely teriffic. It is called Mona Winks - you can get it on Amazon. If you are not an art expert, this book is for you. I used it years ago on a trip through Italy and Paris museums and it really made the experience. In laymans terms it walks you though the museum and the art. At one point in the Uffizi we had other folks following us around while we read it aloud. It is a must for any museums in Europe.

Two more comments: Watch out for the cuperto or cover charge in some of the tourist restaurants. It is basically a few Euro charge added to the bill for eating in the restaurant. You can ask if there is one and sometimes negotiate it out up front.

Try ALL the gelato you can. The flavors are absolutely amazing! I had rose gelato there over 15 years ago and can still remember the experience.


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Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 05:42 AM
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It's a shame that Florence gets somewhat shortchanged by so many visitors. I don't think I would love it so much if I had only spent a day or two in the city- it wasn't instant total love for me like Paris. Florence seems to require a little more patience and understanding. It took me a couple of days to warm up to it, then every day I enjoyed Florence more and more until I felt heartsick at having to leave after our week was up. Posting about Florence makes me miss it so much, I feel "homesick" for it.

I know many people don't like Florence, and I often see posts that advise to stay only a short time to see David and the Duomo. I would encourage vistors to think about giving Florence more time and consideration before running for the hills of rural Tuscany. You may not like Florence if you stay only a day or two and tick things off a list, because the noise and crowds can be overwhelming at times.

My advice for Florence is to explore the city in early morning and nighttime walks. Go to the Oltrarno across the river. And walk the side streets- the crowds always tramp the same routes, and they are easy to escape-just take a couple of random turns down a pokey side street or two. It's amazing how very few tourists stray off the beaten path in this city.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 12:38 PM
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I agree with Apres Londonee -- you have to take time to understand Florence.

But for now, I want to correct an error I made. The Donatello wooden statue of Mary Magdalene is in the Opera del Duomo museum, not the Bargello (thanks, tuscannlifeedit for the link to the museum.)
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Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for asking the question ap2000...bookmarking.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 01:11 AM
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I went to Florence last summer with my wife and here is my trip report with pictures http://gardkarlsen.com/florence_italy_travelogue.htm . Check out the Google map that I have made http://gardkarlsen.com/Florence_Italy_google_map.htm . It shows the location of some of the attractions and you can click on the markers for more info I hope that you can find some useful info there.

Get in touch if you have any questions or comments...and have a great trip

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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Wow, such great responses. Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to respond. I am printing it all out and hope to see as many of these special places as I can. Plus I know I'll be back in italy very soon again so this list will come handy!!

Thanks again!!
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 04:16 AM
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 04:47 AM
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There have been seperate recommendations for Piti Palace and Boboli Gardens, my faves too. Note that they are in the same location and you can get a combo ticket.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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BKM - we just arrived in Florence now --this is a great list.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 08:50 AM
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Must do's on my list: Duomo, Piazzale Michaelangelo (sunset views!), Ponte Vecchio, and Leo's. My Dh would fly all the way to Florence just to eat at Leo's. He's not a veggie person but LOVEd their spinach ravioli--that should tell you something! The Leo's cake is to die for..... I'm so hungry now. Can't wait to go back.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 01:52 PM
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If you're going to Boboli Gardens, there is an upward path that'll lead you to Fort Belvedere, there you can see a breathtaking view of Florence.

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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 02:21 PM
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I think the view Frestonia refers to is at least as good as the view from Piazzale Michelangelo. In some ways, I like it more.

There used to be a small restaurant (Kaffeehaus) in the Boboli Gardens very near the gate leading to the Belvedere. The view from the restaurant's terrace was wonderful, but the last I heard this restaurant was no longer open (or perhaps it's a seasonal thing).
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 04:31 PM
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I was in Florence in May 2006. It gets crowded during the middle of the day so I recommend getting up early and walk around, and to the top, of the duomo in the morning. At 8:30 AM, it will be empty.
(Which is a good thing, because there are a ridiculous number of stairs to the top of the duomo & this means you can take a rest on the way up.)

Then go over to the Bapistry & the Uffizi before they get crowded.

I enjoyed watching the sunset (as well as people watching) from Plaza Michelangelo.

And another enthusiastic recommendation for gelato at Carabe.
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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I have to agree with dutyfree on the science museum (I also forget the exact name of it). It makes a great change from all the art, if you need it. My husband especially liked it, since he's not really into going into all the churches and art museums. Plus, you get get to see the finger!
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 08:15 AM
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My husband's favorite spot was Perche No for the gelato. Yes, really really good, and the fact that it was over 100 degrees and humid (July), made it even better.

We found our 2 days there flew by, and being jet lagged and sapped by the heat, we didn't go-go-go all the time, and didn't cram in as much as we could have.

Our best memories were not of the museums, but of the little moments like ducking into a little bar for a cool glass of wine, standing chatting with the barista about the world cup (using our limited italian language skills). Being taken into the private living quarters of the hotel owner to see her child's artwork on the walls. Sitting in a tiny out-of-the-way bar with another glass of cold wine and reading the paper and watching the locals come and go, then ordering a couple panini which we ate in the shade of the Uffizi, or just lying on the bed trying to cool off during riposo while watching the Palio on TV.

Don't overschedule. Enjoy.
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Old Feb 14th, 2008, 03:59 AM
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My husband's best memory is buying a leather suit jacket at the School of leather.(Scuola del Cuoio, Monastery of Santa Croce via San Giuseppe 5, Florence). Impeccable work. My husband loves his suit coat...I literally mean he LOVES the jacket, I got a purse, and we bought some zippered pouches for souvenirs. You can have your initials or name imprinted into the leather or embossed with gold on the leather. Do not go through the Monastery- there is a charge- go around the corner and through the back garden. Lovely place. Easily walkable from the Duomo. Also if you are staying a couple of days, there is a great grocery store out the door of the train station, down the flight of stairs in the lower level, and across the street. We stocked up and brought back groceries to the CT. (We are apartment people).
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