Rome/Florence Crowds in Nov-Dec

Old Oct 27th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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Rome/Florence Crowds in Nov-Dec

Hi...

When last in Italy in March 2004, there were no lines to speak of at any of the museums (walked right in the Uffizi, for instance). We didn't need advanced tickets anywhere.

May I presume that in the last week of November and the first week in December, we can also expect to walk right in most places as we did in March?

I heard the Uffizi has been crowded lately, but I can't imagine it being a problem on Nov 30 or Dec 1, when we will be in Florence.

Thanks.
SS
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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I can't imagine the lines would be too long, but remember that Florence is never really quiet and since your last visit the increase in Asian tourists, especially, might cause longer lines.
Of course, you don't have to pay when you reserve, so you could make a reservation and if, when you arrive, there is no line, just walk in without it..

Even in January, there was a small lineup of people in late morning when we were last there 2 years ago...
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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We were in Florence earlier this month. We had someone call ahead for reservations at Uffizi; we were glad they did. When we went to pick up our tickets, someone wanted to reserve tickets for the next available entry and was told it would be two days. So, book ahead. When you do, you will be given a number for each reservation. Then, you'll go to the office, tell them the number and buy your tickets.
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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I went to the Accademia in Florence this month on a Friday afternoon, with no reservation - just showed up at about 17:00 and waited in a short line for only 15 minutes before I got in. I suppose you don't always get that lucky, and the Uffizi is harder to get into, but you never know.
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 03:38 PM
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I would suggest you always book ahead for museums that tend to have long lines. We have been here in November Rome and Florence and we had no problems with lines. See emilyandjim.info for our agenda.
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 09:43 PM
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Been to Rome and Florence in Nov and Dec and we always experienced lines especially at the Accademia. Dec of 2004 the line to see David was blocks long and we were glad to have paid the extra 3 euro for the reservation.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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I will also be traveling to Rome/Florence/Venice in November and wasn't sure which reservations I should make in advance and which ones I can wait till we are there.
Here are the places we for sure want to see:

Borghese Gallery
Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel
Uffizi Gallery
Academia

What are the best ways to make reservations for these places and which ones do you have to pay ahead of time. Any info would be great thanks!
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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For the Borghese, Uffizi and Accademia the easiest way is to e-mail your hotel and ask them to reserve for you at the time you choose. (In the same e-mail you can place your requests for restaurant reservations, if you plan to make any..)

You pay nothing until you show up and get the actual ticket at the site; there is a small service/booking charge added to the entrance price. If you show up and there is no line, you do not claim your reservation and thus, do not pay the additional fee. The Vatican Museum policy is different..I have not been since they changed it so cannot give details..
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 08:08 AM
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Hello...

Thanks for the tips.

I just phoned the Uffizi from the USA at 011-39-055-29-4883 (using my 3.3 cents/min Europe Blue phone card).

They have a "Press 2 for English" extention. (Somewhat of a letdown after practicing my Italian for the expected phone conversation, but also reassuring.)

It was very quick and easy to make reservations for both the Uffizi and the Accademia.

They gave me convenient times and reservation numbers for each museum.

When we get to Florence, we'll see if we can get in without the reservations, as suggested.

SS
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 08:13 AM
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I tried e-mailing my hotel to make reservations and their response was that "these days are holiday in Italy and reservations are limited." I also tried booking them on www.b-ticket.com and the times we are available are full. Do I need to change our schedule around completely or is there something else we can do? I wanted to go the Accademia on Tue. around 5 and the Uffizi from 9-11 on Wed. I thought these were good times to go to the museum because crowds were smaller based on what I have been reading on here. Am i wrong?
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Marit77...

Did you try what worked for me, above? My dates may be different, but it was easy and the operator spoke English.

ssander
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Marit77, try phoning direct like ssander did (in the post above) and be flexible with your possible times.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 11:34 AM
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I don't have international calling on my phones, but I hopefully I can find someone that does. Did you book a morning or afternoon time?
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 11:38 AM
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You can likely buy a phone card that will allow you to phone overseas, for $5 or less.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 05:12 AM
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For years, I've used the Europe Blue card at www.uniontelecard.com.

Calling from USA to Italy, costs 3.3 cents/min -- no connection or maintenance fees. France is also 3.3, the UK is 3.0.

Comes in $5, $10 and $20 denominations. It's not really a "card," just a toll-free number and a PIN that they email you when you purchase.

You can even use it to call numbers in the USA (3 cents/min). In fact, last May, I used it in Paris to call home (7 cents/min) -- they have local numbers in France and Italy (8 cents/min) and elsewhere, too at great rates.

If you use it even once either to Europe or from Europe, it's worth it.


SS
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 05:37 AM
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hi, ssander,

we used the phone method to book for the uffizi and accademia last year. i was most amused that even after I'd chosen the english option, I stil got further options in italian, as well as being greeted in intalian when i eventually got through to a real person.

this might be a bit disconcerting if you're not expecting it - it was for me. all went well after i said "do you speak english" and the lady said "si".

did this happen to you?

not sure I'd bother with reservations for the accademia again as if you go fairly late, most people have gone. we discovered this as our apartment was just round the corner from the accademia and we could see the queue gorw and shrink as we walked past every day.

just round the corner from the accademia [actually on the corner of the square and via cavoor] there is an excellent cafe with waitresses with the most elaborate outfits! the food there is very good. you can catch the bus up to Fiesole from the square. the little cafe right next to the bus stop sells the tickets and very cheap cafe coretto which wil warm you up while you're waiting for the bus.

enjoy your trip,

regards, ann
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Ann...

Thanks for the tip.

We're actually getting to Florence the day before (train from Rome), so we'll try the Accademia late and hopefully avoid the reservation charge.

Regarding the call (made a few days ago), after I pressed 2(?) for English, everything was in English, so it was very easy. My Italian is very spotty.

I hope the crowds are small. As I said earlier, in March 2004, we walked right in the Uffizi at opening time, and everywhere else, too.

SS
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Old Nov 3rd, 2007, 05:49 AM
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We are just back and made reservations in advance for the Borghese, Uffizi and Accademia. IMO, the small price to do so is well worth it (no charge at Borghese).

The lines were very long, even before the doors open. My time is well worth 3 Euro. JMO.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2007, 07:58 PM
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Just visited the Uffizi last month and even though I had my reservation in advance, there was still at least an hour wait! Alot of tours that day I guess but I'm glad I did book in advance rather than take a chance in the "no hope" line as my sister called it.
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Old Nov 4th, 2007, 04:23 AM
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hi, ssander,

I forgot to say that thre's a supermarket just opposite the accademia - it's a good place to stock up on water and fruit for your stay in Florence. [stuff we always buy even if we're in a hotel].

if you are self-catering, it sells virutally everything you could need, even frozen octopus!!![we found we didn't need that but it was reassuring to think it was there if we did!]

it does have a rather strange lay-out, but we never got completely lost.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
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