Suggestions needed for time in Florence

Old Mar 16th, 2014, 02:06 PM
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Suggestions needed for time in Florence

Hi friends

As a part of my upcoming Italy trip in May, I will be staying in Florence 4 complete days. I am really confused over planning my time. My initial plan is as follows :

-> Dedicate 2 full days to Florence. Something on these lines : reidsitaly.com/destinations/...

-> Day trip on 3rd day to Lucca and Pisa (I don't want to leave without visiting and climbing the tower)

-> Day Trip on 4th day to Siena (Have heard superb reviews about Siena)

However considering the above itinerary I feel that time in Florence is not enough. With the above itinerary, I would miss on biggies like Pallazo vechhio, piazzale michelangelo, Boboli Gardens, San lorenzo , Bargello etc.

1. Is the above itinerary(in the link I shared) for Florence too fast, i.e. can I also fit in Pallazo vechhio, piazzale michelangelo, Boboli Gardens, Bargello in the 2 days?
2. Should I take out the half day from Lucca and give it to Florence?
3. Can I add San Gimignano with the day trip to Siena. Is public transport available to make it feasible?

Also, what according to you could be the best way to spend these 4 days.

P.S. It is my first time to Europe, and we are two 23 year old guys

Thanks
abhinavarora28 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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Hi and welcome to fodors.

in fact if you look closely at the 2 day itinerary, I think that you can get to see most of the other sites that you mention without too much difficulty - and one or two more!

for example, on the first day, the website you mention has you going to the cathedral first thing - a good idea but if you get there when it opens, you'll probably be finished there by mid morning. so in that case you could go to the Bargello on your way to the Uffizi, depending on when your reserved slot for the Uffizi is.

on the 2nd day, the suggest going to the accademia first - again a good idea - but it will probably only take you an hour, which leaves loads of time for a visit to the museum of San Marco which is only a few yards away on the other side of the Piazza San Marco from the Accademia. [open mornings only].

Santa Croce is then on your way to the piazzale Michelangelo and Oltrarno [Santa Maria Novella isn't] [don't miss the cafe in the San ambroglio market near to Santa Croce] and IMO you will then have ample time to see the pitti palace and the boboli gardens, though frankly, i wouldn't bother - the nearby gardini bardini are much nicer.

The Palazzo Vecchio is open til about midnight most nights [every night except thursday from 1st April - see below] so there should be no problems in fitting that into your schedule.

http://museicivicifiorentini.comune....palazzovecchio

so there are your two main Florence sightseeing days.

i would think about breaking up these days with your day trips - so Day 2 get the train to Pisa and Lucca, and on Day 4, get the bus to Siena. you could nip in to see the Santa Maris Novella church on either day as it's very close to the train/bus stations.

if you go to google maps and look at directions, you can use the walk function to see how long its going to take you to walk from one place to another, which may be helpful when you're trying to cover a lot of ground.

have a great trip!
annhig is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2014, 02:57 PM
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What were you planning to see in Lucca? You could probably visit Lucca and Pisa in half a day, but it depends on exactly what you want to see. The tower requires a reservation. The last return train Pisa/Florence is 10:30 and from Lucca/Florence 10:31. It might be best to book the tower in the afternoon, take a train to Lucca (have dinner?) and a late train back to Florence. That leaves the morning free in Florence.

There really isn't easy transport for San G plus Siena. What is your itinerary before and after Florence?
kybourbon is online now  
Old Mar 16th, 2014, 02:59 PM
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I suggest that you skip going inside the duomo of Firenze, because it's not got much to see inside. The Baptistery, on the other hand, has beautiful golden mosaics from the 13th century on the inside of the cupola. There's usually a long line to get inside the duomo in high season, and rarely any line at all for the Battistero.
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 03:09 PM
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Hi all

Thank you for your replies. Thank you Annhig, I was not aware that Pallazo vecchio has these timings. They will surely make it much easier to visit. How long do you think , it would take to visit the Uffizi?

kynourbon, my complete itinerary is as follows:

Venice : 2.5 days

May 5th : Arrive Venice , 13:20

May 6th and 7th : Venice. Also if time permits, then Burano and Murano

Leave for Florence next day as early as possible.

Florence : 4 days (2 days Florence + 2 day trips)

May 8th and 9th : Florence

May 10th : Day trip from Florence to Lucca and Pisa

May 11th : Day trip from Florence to Siena

Leave for Rome next day as early as possible

Rome : 5 days (4 days Rome + 1 Day trip)

May 12th and 13th : Rome

May 14th : Day trip from Rome to Pompeii and grab famous pizza at Napoli

May 15th and 16th Rome

May 17th : Fly back home.
abhinavarora28 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2014, 03:12 PM
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It might be best to book the tower in the afternoon, take a train to Lucca (have dinner?) and a late train back to Florence. That leaves the morning free in Florence.>>

i hate to disagree with ky, but personally I would do this the other way round ie Pisa first, with a reservation for climbing the tower, then when you've had enough of Pisa, train to Lucca, where there are no reservations to be made. After you've had your fill of Lucca, back to Florence.

THat way, you don't run the risk that you want to spend longer in Pisa or Lucca than you've got time for. So long as it's not a Thursday, you could see the palazzo Vecchio when you get back.
annhig is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2014, 03:40 PM
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It really depends on what you want to see and do. I spent 5 full days in Florence itself and did not see everything I would have liked to see. But then, I really enjoy spending time with art and architecture.
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 03:56 PM
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I think you should not feel too badly if you don't get to palazzo Vecchio, piazzale Michelangelo, Boboli Gardens, San Lorenzo and the Bargello on this trip. You might find once you are in Florence that some things go more quickly than you expected (or you were less interested in lingering somewhere you thought you would like) and you can fit in a few more things. Of all the places mentioned that you want to squeeze in I think the Bargello is the most rewarding. (And I would put a lot of other places like Museo San Marco ahead of that and palazzo Vecchio).

I agree with annhig not to lock yourself into a late-day Pisa reservation that means you can't get back to Florence earlier if it turns out you don't need a lot of time to do what you want do in Lucca .
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