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Just 1 or 2 or 3 days in Florence? Here are free self guided itineraries

Just 1 or 2 or 3 days in Florence? Here are free self guided itineraries

Jul 31st, 2010, 01:36 PM
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Just 1 or 2 or 3 days in Florence? Here are free self guided itineraries

Many people post for the first time on Fodor's because they are going to Florence for only a few days, and are uncertain about what to see and how to organize their time. If you want to a standard, efficient itinerary for seeing sights, here are links to that information:

Perfect Florence Itineraries for 1, 2 or 3 Days (from Reids Guides)

Florence for 2 days -- Tripadvisor

2 days in Florence -- SeeItalia

Florence in a Nutshell -- Italy Guides

Five Days in Florence -- Hostelworld

You can find more such information online by doing a google search with the number of days you will in Florence (or Rome or Venice).
zeppole is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 01:44 PM
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thanks for posting. We were in Florence during Easter school break a few years ago and the place was overrun by groups of kids. It was not an enjoyable stay.
danon is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 02:58 PM
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Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 04:13 AM
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Aug 1st, 2010, 04:25 AM
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zeppole is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Part 3 of my "appreciative rant" (after http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...omment-6582742 and http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ment-6582971): two out of Florence's top three sights (my opinion, of course) are missing from ALL of these itineraries: Palazzo Medici-Riccardi (the Gozzoli frescoes!!) and S. Miniato al Monte. (The third is to be found everywhere, the Baptistery.) Which may help to explain why in this city packed with visitors, hardly anybody visits those two breathtaking treasures. Same goes, on a lower level of interest, for Oltrarno: several of these itineraries mention Palazzo Pitti (this planet's ugliest palazzo IMHO) - none mentions nearby S. Spirito (Brunelleschi!) and S. Felicita (Pontormo!). Of course, an advantage for people like me, who have those sights for themselves. But startling nonetheless.
franco is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 01:56 PM
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I didn't expect them to go uncriticized!

I figured knowledgeable people such as yourself would come along and point out omissions. But read a few trip reports some time, and even people who spend longer in Venice than a day don't see half -- and sometimes none of the sights you mention. And increasingly, people supposedly spending "3 days" in Florence actually spend only a day or less there, since they day trip to Siena, Pisa and Lucca the other days.

By the way, should I go to Palmanova or is looking at it on Google Earth the whole show?
zeppole is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 03:54 PM
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zeppole, stopping in Palmanova is quite worth it IMO. I like it, though it won't keep you entertained for more than one hour. When are you leaving btw?

And I do appreciate that those itineraries can do a service to people who have no idea at all what to see or do - as is increasingly the case, obviously, judging from the questions that we are regularly asked here. My point is just how amazing it is that really ALL guidebooks or guidesites are recommending the same handful of sights, no matter how arbitrarily chosen they are. I would have figured that such an array of itineraries would result in very diverse and varied suggestions. Well, actually, I wouldn't really have expected it, given my experiences with what seems to make the tourism industry tick; but the uniformity is amazing nonetheless IMO.
franco is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 09:06 PM
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I'm looking forward to Palmanova. It will make a nice pair with Torviscosa



As for the guidebooks, they are all fascinating cultural artifacts. I was recently in New York and saw an exhibit at the Morgan Library featuring "The Tour of Doctor Syntax and The Search for the Picturesque" This is a one of the world's first comic book series, and it is a satire of the "picturesque tourism" movement that took hold of Britain in the 18th c., (partly as a revolt against the more classics-oriented "Grand Tour". So reminiscent of "Tuscany" tourism. What gets deemed worthy of a tourist's time a "must-see' in constant flux.

Perhaps the only constant is the idea of the "typical tourist" and what the "typical tourist" wants to see. I get it from reading Fodor's message boards that such creatures exist -- or believe they exist! And they believe in their own existence so ardently, they've created the reality of the multi-billion dollar tourist industry and the huge impact it's had on culture.
zeppole is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 11:09 PM
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PS, franco, I'll go after Ferragosto
zeppole is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:48 AM
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zeppole, your recent mention of Masaccio on other threads reminds me that I probably became infected by "standard itinerarism": I reduced what are the top FOUR sights of Florence IMO to "three", leaving out the Cappella Brancacci!! Guess what: this one, too, is missing from all the standard itineraries...
franco is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:55 AM
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At least you spelled it right! (I think I misspelled on that other thread.)

I think too many people have written books and read books called things like "Italy for Dummies." What may have started out as an effort to explain things simply has instead become selling Italy as a place where dummies can and should go by guiding them away from the art and history. It used to be when people referred to themselves as dummies, it was a jokey way of admitting they wanted to learn more. Now it's about occupying a cultural space and staying there.
zeppole is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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First off, zeppole, thanks for the props (I wrote and maintain the http://www.reidsitaly.com site you mention).

franco: The whole point of my (and most) "Do Florence in 2 days"-style itineraries is to help first-timers who are determined to cram in all the highlights. These are designed to help people with limited time see all the, well, the "must-sees." Fact is, people with one day to spend in Florence are going to want to see the Uffizi, ogle the David, and climb the Duomo -- as well they should.

I happen to agree with you about all the excellent Florence sights _not_ on these short-time itineraries -- and would add a few, like San Miniato al Monte and S. Trinita. (I also mourn for the good old days of just a decade ago, when wonderful unknown sights like the Palazzo Medici-Ricardi and the Cenacolo di S. Apollonia were free.)

In fact, my two favorite spots in all of Florence just might be amid the Gozzoli frescoes of Palazzo Medic-Riccardi, and amid the Masaccio (and Masolino and Filippino Lippi) works in the Brancacci Chapel of Santa Maria della Carmine.

This is why I have two lists of "top sights" for the major cities. One is of of those typical top 10 sights, the ones most people expect and want to see there. The other is my "Reid's List" of sights and experiences that don't get nearly the press they deserve, and yet are among the most beautiful, memorable, or fascinating in town:

If you'll note in the "tips" sections on my itineraries, I encourage people to go it alone and find their own sightseeing bliss. I have also taken your criticism to heart and added a more pointed note about this on each of my suggested itinerary pages, including the Florence one:


Thanks for the input!
Reid_Bramblett is offline  
Dec 25th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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this is a WONDERFUL thread!!!
thanks to all of you for taking time to give us "tourists" who don't just want the "basics" when we stay awhile... I've been several times to FLorence and still am amazed.
Now, I will cut/paste these "tips" for our trip next October!
thanks SO much!!
(am also scouring Reid's italy for other cities.... )
izzofan is offline  
Dec 25th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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Bellarosa is offline  
Dec 26th, 2010, 01:15 AM
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Bookmarking for next year. Thank you
aussie_10 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 05:12 AM
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Saving this....
NativeNewYorker is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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Great thread with some excellent references. Grazie!
Kaneohe is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 12:29 PM
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Thank you for these! It will certainly help me organize my upcoming visit. It's my first time to Florence, so I admit I'm interested in the "must-sees" but I'm also looking foreward to discovering lesser-known places too.
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