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ozgirl Mar 2nd, 2019 04:37 PM

Opening and closing in Florence
 
Hello fellow fodorites,
DH and I will be in Florence for the first time from Saturday April 27 (arriving by train 1.30pm) - Monday 29 (departing by train 4.30pm). My daughter arrives at 7.45 Saturday night.
We would like to see "David", the Duomo, Medici Chapels (not open on the Sunday or Monday that we're there) and the Uffizi Gallery as the 'must sees' but think that would probably be enough museums for us.... DH is a physician so may also include the Science Museum and DD and I would like to climb the Dome.
We are also interested in shopping (well the females are ;) ) photography and general strolling about town.
From my research thus far it seems that we would need to do the Uffizi and Academia on the Sunday and Medici on Saturday afternoon, possibly the Duomo and climb the Dome on Monday?
I plan to pre-book tickets for the Uffizi and Accademia and the Dome climb.

Given our very short stay I just wanted to check if there is anything obviously bad about this plan and also seek some advice about how long to allocate for visits... we are probably not the type of visitors that are going to pore over each and every exhibit.
We will be staying at the Hotel Rapallo on Via Santa Caterina D'Alessandria. Also interested in any nice spots for dinner :)

Thanks so much and I know Florence deserves longer but this is what we have.
oz

Travel_Nerd Mar 2nd, 2019 09:16 PM

This is from my memory from a trip to Florence in 2006 - I hope someone who has been there more recently can supplement my response:

The Accadamia is fairly small, so you can plan for maybe 2 hours here (again, memory!).

Depending on your fitness level, plan on the Duomo climb to be a couple (maybe 3?) hours start to finish - I remember arriving around 9am and eating lunch afterwards. Note I visited the rest of the cathedral and babistry on the same day. I personally struggled with being that high in the dome, but for my fear of heights - so please take that in consideration.

The Uffizi is quite large and depending on how much art you enjoy, can take a while. I seem to recall spending about 4 - 5 hours there, but I am a huge Renaissance art fan and they were running an exhibition of Da Vinci's sketches at the time as well.

Again, this my memory during a trip in October 2006, crowds have increased since then so you may want to buffer additional time to your estimates for any crowds.

Tulips Mar 3rd, 2019 01:59 AM

Be aware that even with timed entry tickets or a Firenze card, you will have to wait in line at Uffizi. We waited maybe 45 minutes to get in.
We went to the Academia late in the afternoon and just walked in without a wait. This was middle October 2018.
Except for the Uffizi and Duomo there were no queues anywhere. The museum of the Duomo is stunning; and hardly anyone there first thing in the morning.
We enjoyed the Pitti Palace more than the Uffizi. Beautiful art in a much more beautiful setting than the Uffizi. And there's an nice small exhibition on clothes and fashion too, if that is of interest. And MUCH less crowded than Uffizi.

bvlenci Mar 3rd, 2019 02:41 AM

Crowds have increased tremendously in Florence in the last ten years. I think you've maybe put a bit too much emphasis on "must sees" on a very short visit. Thousands of other visitors will be there that weekend, which is the week after Easter, and most of them will be trying to see all the same things. A few years ago I was in Florence on a Sunday at that time of year, and nearly got crushed against a wall by a stampede of people on a bus tour from Poland. The only place I've ever experienced such a crush was at Badaling on the Great Wall of China.

Travel Nerd is a huge Renaissance art fan, and I'm a pretty big fan myself. My daughter and I once spent seven hours in the Uffizi, spread over two days, and still didn't see everything we wanted to see. I have a feeling that if you're not a big fan of Italian Renaissance art, especially religious art, you may find the Uffizi to be a big bore. A huge, painfully crowded big bore. The Accademia is much more manageable, but I think the average person would be satisfied by the copy of the David statue that you can see in Piazza della Signoria.

There's not much to see inside the Duomo. Most of the art has been moved to the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, which is well worth a visit, and is on the same ticket as the climb of the dome.

I didn't know you could reserve the climb. There's always a huge long line to do the climb. The Baptistery, in front of the Duomo, and on the same ticket at the other attractions in the vicinity, is definitely worth a visit, and doesn't usually have a queue. There is a copy of the famous Gates of Paradise door on the Baptistery, which always has a big crowd gathered around it. (The orgininal is in the Msueun It's strange that not many of the go into the Baptistery, which has splendid golden mosaics on the cupola. It's also strange that many people who feel they have to visit the Accademia to see the real David are perfectly happy to see the copy of the Gates of Paradise.

ozgirl Mar 4th, 2019 11:26 AM

Thank you very much for such detailed replies, will share with DD and DH! ��

greg Mar 4th, 2019 12:53 PM

If you have not already checked actual reservation slot availabilities, do that first before start fixing visit times. I find Florence b-ticket official Uffizi booking site to be very temperamental.

RaleighTraveler Mar 4th, 2019 01:37 PM

I don't know what your shopping ideas are, but I had enjoyable experiences buying shoes at Mannina, gloves at Madova and scarves at Massimo Ravinale last fall. The glove shop, in particular, is charming and venerable.
And if you find the crowds exhausting, do visit the San Marco Museum, a quick walk from the Accademia. It's the convent where Fra Angelico lived and is filled with his frescoes. I thought it a lovely, pensive place to visit, without the hordes.

Tulips Mar 4th, 2019 10:12 PM

There's a shop selling great sneakers next to Palazzo Strozzi, on Piazza Strozzi. Some unusual brands that you don't see everywhere.

kja Mar 4th, 2019 11:09 PM

I would not think the replica of the David satisfactory and -- unless you have a serious interest in art -- would think a visit of an hour or less to the Academia sufficient. (I spent over 2 hours there.) Nor would I have been satisfied with a replica of the Gates of Paradise -- JMO.

With even a modest interest in art, I would give the Uffizi at least 1.5 hours, maybe more. (I spent about 5 hours there.) Boring? To each his/her own. I still count seeing Botticelli's The Birth of Venus among my most memorable travel experiences -- and I've had a lot of truly astounding travel moments!

And don't forget the Bargello!

geetika Mar 5th, 2019 03:02 AM


Originally Posted by kja (Post 16882531)
I would not think the replica of the David satisfactory and -- unless you have a serious interest in art -- would think a visit of an hour or less to the Academia sufficient. (I spent over 2 hours there.) Nor would I have been satisfied with a replica of the Gates of Paradise -- JMO.

With even a modest interest in art, I would give the Uffizi at least 1.5 hours, maybe more. (I spent about 5 hours there.) Boring? To each his/her own. I still count seeing Botticelli's The Birth of Venus among my most memorable travel experiences -- and I've had a lot of truly astounding travel moments!

And don't forget the Bargello!

DH and I were in Firenze in May 2016 and spent 3-4 hours at the Uffizzi, but we love Renaissance art and it was such a pleasure seeing the magnificent exhibits. Luckily it wasn’t too crowded that day, we made sure to be there as they opened.

The Academia took about an hour or so, we absolutely had to see the original David. Santa Croce was another spectacular visit, as also the Bargello, I’d strongly recommend them if you have the time. There’s really not very much to see inside the Duomo, it’s the exterior which is iconic, the interior of the Baptistry however most certainly warrants a visit. We didn’t climb the Duomo, did it some 3 decades back on our first visit to Firenze when we were much younger and fitter...😃




clairobscur Mar 6th, 2019 07:31 AM

The Uffizi is a huge museum, filled with incredible masterpieces. You aren't going to exhaust everything it has to offer in a short time. So how much time you want to dedicate to it is entirely dependent on your interest in Renaissance art and on how you tend to enjoy museum visits (personally, after maybe 3 hours or so in a museum, I can't enjoy the visit anymore, regardless how great it is).

On the other hand, I didn't find the inside of the Duomo worth the waiting time.

ozgirl Mar 11th, 2019 07:28 PM

Thank you everyone, I didn't have the Bargello on my list but looks really interesting so will try and factor that in as well now. Very helpful information from all of you, will check out the sneaker shop too :)

vinonobile987 Mar 12th, 2019 05:30 AM

Bargello
 
it took us three visits to Florence until we finally made it to the Bargello. Luckily, it was opened on May 1st (public holiday) and we were pleasantly surprised: no lines for the tickets at all, no line to pass security. The Bargello was one of those museums where I wanted to spend as much time as I could, but regrettably we had only two hours. The sculpture collection is magnificent. You will see two more “David” sculptures there by Donatello and one by Verrocchio as well as magical majolicas by Andrea Della Robbia, stunning collection of miniatures... and what not...

National Museum of Bargello - Florence


kja Mar 12th, 2019 04:39 PM

Then I'm especially glad I mentioned the Bargello! It is, IMO, one of the finest small museums anywhere.

vinonobile987 Mar 12th, 2019 04:55 PM

Totally agree with you, kja! The Bargello is a gem of Florence and Italy - it should not be missed.


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