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Florence: walking distances / hotel choice

Florence: walking distances / hotel choice

Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 09:28 PM
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Florence: walking distances / hotel choice

These questions are for people who really know their way around Florence. We (my husband and myself) wil be in Florence for 10 days in September and we need to figure out which area would be best for us for a hotel. At present we have a tentative booking for Palazzo Galletti, in Via S. Egidio 12, which is 2 1/2 blocks to the right of Piazza del Duomo.

Let me clarify that I have some difficulties with walking. I can walk up to 3 blocks at a time, then I need to sit for a while (10 / 15 minutes). Then I can walk another 3 blocks, then sit, then walk... However, my absolute maximum would be perhaps 30 blocks per day.

I understand that some parts of the city are pedestrian only. Does anyone know where the pedestrian zone starts and ends?

We have never been to Florence before and we want to visit as many museums, churches and galleries as we can but, of course, I want to reserve all my strength for that and not waste efforts in going from A to B (every single meter counts!). Now the questions:

is my hotel location central enough? or

should we look for another hotel closer perhaps closer to the Uffizzi or the Arno ?

what location will be closer to main tourist attractions that would allow Taxis / Buses / hired car to take us to those places?

Thank you in advance,

Silvia_B is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 09:51 PM
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Hi Silvia,

I do not really know my way around Florence - I have only been there once and it was only for 4 nights.

I found the city to be VERY walkable (I have a bad back) and was traveling with two children 14, and 10. Not the same as your situation but it was by far the most walkable city we went to.

I think the area you mentioned will be good. The challenge you might find is finding a place to sit. I often was on the steps someplace resting.

With 10 days you should be able to rest/walk and get around enough.

It was by far one of my favorite cities in the world.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

dawnnoelm is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 10:08 PM
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Florence is very walkable but you can easily walk too much because there is so much to see. The best advice would be to get a detailed map of the city, mark the places you most want to visit and then make your hotel choice based on the best proximity to those choices.
The only time we took a bus was to just outside the city.
Lauricelli is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2008, 02:55 AM
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Your posting struck home as I too have limited mobility due to my back & on a bad day you could outdistance me. I greatly researched this for my trip & stayed at the Hotel Casci as much for its central location, in adddition to the reviews I read here & elsewhere. It is located on a main street so cab service when needed is no problem(plus the staff would have a cab for us if we asked in less than 5 minutes)-also, there are bus stops just up Via Cavour. I took the hop on-hop-off bus one day, got off on the opposite side of the Ponte Vecchio & walked backed to the hotel, stopping at Piazza Signoria & having gelato on the way. Also, my usual routine became stops at the Duomo & Baptistery(what a way to rest). To the north, you can make it to San Marco(you can see it from the front of the hotel) & the Accademia. You MUST get a good street map(National Geo. or Rough Guide-I had both) & just plan ahead but also see how you feel each a.m.-I am better early in the day. My sincerest best wishes for a good trip-it had been my long-time hope to see Florence & I waited until I was 50 w/my bad back but I saw everything I wanted. Good Luck
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 04:37 AM
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Try the Hotel Balestri-we have stayed there twice. comes with breakfast and is right on the Arno river, only about a block down from the Ponte Veccchio. It is a fantastic location!! Modest hotel/rooms but really great.
has250 is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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Another vote for the Hotel casci for reasons mentioned by the_judge. Another reason is that it is (or at least was) family owned who are very friendly and helpful. Also free use of the internet on a computer located in the lobby.
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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To answer your question with a question: is that my right, or your right? Is it on the right as you face the Duomo, or to the right on a map?

I looked it up: The Via S. Egidio is east of the Duomo. The Duomo is in the northeast corner of the main pedestrian area, which goes as far south as the river. (There is a little part that stretches north, too).

The Accadamia, San Croce, and the Duomo are about the same distance from the hotel, as far as I can tell -- otherwise, the things you will want to see are further south and west, beyond the Duomo.

As I recall, your hotel is in a pleasant-enough area, mostly filled with stores and shops for the locals.

If you want a more central location, maybe try somewhere just south of the Duomo.
capxxx is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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You can take taxis everywhere, but there is electric bus service within the historical center of Florence. Your hotel is not particularly close to one of the stops, nor is the Casci which gets many positive reviews.

It's hard to get info on the routes of these buses, but you can navigate your way through www.commune.firenze.it to find a list of stops for A, B, C and D and a link to a map which includes these and additional lines. (The website is mostly in Italian, but look under
"Citta," then "Tourism" and then "Transport.")

Generally, line A runs from the main train station, makes several stops in the historical center, then runs south of the Duomo, down to the river and turns back at Piazza Beccaria.

Line B runs from Piazza Veneto through the area immediately north of the river, past the Uffizi, Santa Croce and turns at Piazza Piave.

Line C starts at Piazza San Marco, goes past the Galleria Accademia, stays north and quite a bit east of the Duomo, circles back to Santa Croce, crosses the river and turns at Santa Maria Soprarno.

Line D starts at the main train station, stays west of Santa Maria Novella, crosses the river, goes past the Cappella Brancacci, Santo Spirito, close to Palazzo Pitti, to the Ponte Vecchio, east along the riverside and turns at Piazza Ferrucci.

If you stayed in a hotel within a block or two of the river on either side, you'd be very close to stops for two or three of these lines.
Jean is online now  
Old Jan 25th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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The historic center of Florence is quite small - and a hotel right near the Duomo is a good location. But - andy of the major museums is going to be more than a 3 block walk.

I suggested on your Venice thread that you get yourself one of those portable chairs you can carry with a shoulder sling. Otherwise you may find yourself spending an awful lot on cafes - and sitting on curbs - since Italian cities are not especially well supplied with public benches. (My SIL has a hip problem - and can walk much further than 3 blocks - but not for hours. And she now takes one to europe - since free places to sit down can be few and far between except in pubic parks - often not found in historic centers of many cities).
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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I would second the Hotel Casci.
Our family stayed there last July.
Paolo and his family were very helpful to us.
Great breakfast.
jasmine3 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2008, 02:47 AM
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To get an idea of walking distance I normally use http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ . I have also made a Google map where I have plotted in where the various attractions are located and you can check it out here http://gardkarlsen.com/Florence_Italy_google_map.htm . Click on the markers to get more info.

A good way to get around downtown is taking the small electrical buses. See my trip report http://gardkarlsen.com/florence_italy_travelogue.htm for more info

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
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