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Our Florence Itinerary: Having Trouble Wrapping My Brain Around This City.

Our Florence Itinerary: Having Trouble Wrapping My Brain Around This City.

Feb 20th, 2008, 08:29 PM
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Our Florence Itinerary: Having Trouble Wrapping My Brain Around This City.


We are staying in Florence for 5 nights. We plan on doing one day trip to San Gimignano. As for our time in Florence we would appreciate some help with how to best use our time. Personally, I am having trouble visualizing the city in terms of overall attractiveness and distances (despite major picture Googling).

Any recommendations for budget hotels or good hostels would be great. No more than 60E/night for a double we are fine to share a bathroom and are even open to a mix gender dorm for this city as we are splurging a bit in Venice. We are considering...possibly Hotel Tina near Piazza San Marco How long of a walk would you say it is to...the Duomo or the Ponte Vecchio from this area?

Here it goes...

Day 1 (Wed):

-Early Train from Varenna to Milan, Milan to Florence.
-Find hotel/hostel, orientate etc.
-Relaxed exploration
-Basilica di San Lorenza/Capelle dei Medici wander around surrounding streets
-Piazza San Maria Novella and Church wander around the area
-Head to Piazza Republica in the evening.

Day 2 (Thurs):
-Early start: Accedemia
-Duomo, Campanile and Piazza San Giovanni
-Uffizi in late afternoon
-Ponte Vecchio at sunset

Day 3 (Fri):
-Palazzo Vecchio with Apartments and Activities Tour
-Explore the area including Piazza Della Signoria
-Loggia dei Lanzi
-Explore the area and do some shopping - Mercato Nuovo

Day 4 (Sat): Day Trip to San Gimignano (and possibly Voltarra if connection is good)

Day 5 (Sun):
-Palazzo Pitti, Boboli Gardens and area (Piazza Santo Spirito+Oltrarno area)
-Ponte alle Grazi to Piazza Santa Croce and Church
-Piazzale Michaelangelo at sunset

Whew! This looks like a lot. I am not sure how much time to allot to walking between sights, walking through churches etc.

Any especially good pedestrian areas - architecturally interesting areas we shouldn't miss?

Any advice would be appreciated.


NaxosTravels is offline  
Feb 20th, 2008, 10:06 PM
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You can easily walk across the historic center of Florence in 30 minutes. From the Duomo to Ponte Vecchio would take less.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 21st, 2008, 04:50 AM
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We stayed near San Marco a few years ago. Walked everywhere. It's perhaps 15 minutes to the Duomo and a few minutes more to the Ponte Vecchio, if you are determined. But a stroll is Florence should be treated as an adventure and taken at some leisure.
You may be over planned. The Uffizi for example deserves more than a late afternoon.
RJD is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 05:05 AM
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You don't seem to mention visiting San Marco, which to me is the best thing there ? Florence is very small and 3 nights is more than enough for me there.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 05:17 AM
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Overplanned, yes and no. Thursday is definitely overplanned, the rest underplanned. I've just organized four full days in Florence myself (so just a few hours more than you have), and I'm going to visit MUCH more. If you care, this is my list, in geographical order: S. Marco, Accademia, SS. Annunziata, Spedale degli Innocenti, S. Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi, Duomo, Battistero, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Pal. Medici Riccardi, S. Lorenzo & Medici chapels, Mercato Centrale, Cenacolo di Foligno, S. Maria Novella, Ognissanti, Pal. Rucellai & Strozzi, S. Trinita, Orsanmichele, Bargello (without the museum, though), Uffizi (almost a whole day!), Pal. Vecchio & Piazza della Signoria, S. Croce, Ponte Vecchio, S. Felicita, Pal. Pitti/Galleria Palatina, S. Spirito, S. Maria del Carmine (= Brancacci chapel), S. Miniato al Monte. Needs a heavy amount of planning (opening hours are difficult in Florence), but yes, it's definitely possible.
franco is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 07:05 AM
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I can highly recommend the B&B Peterson in Florence.


See my trip report for details:

ira is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 09:59 AM
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Thank you all that is very helpful information. I am happy to hear that Florence is so manageable on foot as random walking and exploring is what we enjoy best.

I definately think Thursday is overplanned as well - too much to do. I am ambivilant about Uffizi - we will be spending quite a lot of time at the Louvre and Carnavalet in Paris prior to heading for Italy...I feel like we might be "art museumed" out by the time we arrive.....still if it really is a "must see" perhaps we should trade the inside of the Petite Palace for Uffizi instead and then just walk around the Bolbi Gardens.?
Any thoughts on this?

Thank you for the hotel suggestions - a B+B is a great idea!

Ira my DW and I enjoyed your trip report, thank you for taking the time to write it.

NaxosTravels is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 12:42 PM
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The Uffizi is "must see" for those who love Renaissance art. Only you can decide if it is such for you.

The Palazzo Pitti, along with the Boboli Gardens, needs no advanced reservations--no lines to speak of--so it would be easy to choose to visit its galleries on the spur of the moment.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 01:43 PM
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I would be more interested in the architecture inside the building to be honest. As much as I enjoy the Louvre for example, the real pleasure is often the building itself. Would you say the Uffizi's interior is worth the extra effort?

NaxosTravels is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 02:01 PM
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We loved the Uffizi, one of the greatest surprises was a room/corridor?? with an exhibition of Da Vinci inventions. Some of the rooms are amazing,some I did find a bit boring, but that's just me. However, I would go again just for the Botticelli exhibition, including The Birth of Venus and Primavera which are on adjoining walls and absolutely breathtaking!!
cathies is online now  
Feb 21st, 2008, 02:21 PM
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Naxos, there's absolutely no need to feel guilty if you don't love to do so many museums, particularly shortly after visiting the Louvre. Museums ARE exhausting, they're lifeless as compared to art in situ, and very often, and this is very true for Italy, they're also didactically inferior, no matter how great the art on display certainly is. So if you don't love it, leave it.
But: if you decide on going, do it right. A late afternoon is not enough; assign the better part of a day, or skip the Uffizi entirely, if you take my advice.
franco is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 02:26 PM
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I think we will take your advice franco...DW and I would both prefer to be outside I think. It is amazing to feel guilt over not wanting to see a museum -lol! But we sometimes dip into the we "should" see instead of considering what we would enjoy more.

That makes our Thursday much more relaxing and we can explore Mercanto Centrale and find a good gelato instead.


NaxosTravels is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 05:32 PM
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Personally, I think the Uffizi is for the most part ill labeled, ill lit, and ill hung--a real challenge for someone unfamiliar with the art displayed. And I have a BFA. Take a look at a guidebook to review a list of the Uffizi's greatest hits to see if there are any artworks to entice you inside.
ellenem is offline  
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