Time for Florence

Old Feb 11th, 2005, 07:09 AM
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Time for Florence

I have read differing views on how much time is needed for Florence. In one place I see 1 day is enough and in others 3 days. What is your opinion?

For my itinerary, I'm trying to decide on whether I want to stay in Siena with a day trip to Florence or vice versa. We like to see the highlights at the museums, the duomo and just architecture in general.
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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 07:16 AM
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In our experience, Florence needs more time than Siena. Unless you plan to use Siena as a base to tour Tuscan towns, I recommend basing in Florence and doing the day trip to Siena. We spent nearly 4 days in Florence three years ago and are going back for at least that much time later this year. There is so much to see and do if you like museums, architecture and good food.
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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 07:48 AM
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I agree with mamc. We spent four days in Florence and although we were able to see the things that were important to us, we definitely could have spent even more time there.
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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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I think you should put aside at least 3 or 4 days for Florence, especially if you plan on taking any day trips to the nearby countryside or towns.
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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 08:16 AM
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The following article in the Times of London posted by Jsmith a while ago is one of the most inclusive and varied suggestions for a three-day stay in Florence that I have ever seen:

http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/arti...130271,00.html

But stay away from the Enoteca Pinchiorri: it's grossly and grotesquely overpriced.

And three days is about the minimum, in my opinion, if you really want to see the art and architecture of Florence.
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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Hi maz,

We spent 11 days in Florence, of which 5 were daytrips elsewhere, and were not bored.

If you want to be able to say you've done Florence, one day is sufficient.

If you want to get to know the City and it's people a little, I think you need 4 days in Florence.

We found a daytrip to Siena to be fine. Others recommend at least an overnight.

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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 12:45 PM
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Siena could easily be done as a day trip. Nice to see it but it was not one of my favorites. Much bigger than I expected.
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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 05:37 PM
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I think you've convinced me that I need to spend my days in Florence and perhaps a day trip to Siena or elsewhere. Thanks for the input.
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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 01:08 AM
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Mazuka, I spent 3 nights in Florence and couldn't wait to escape. Florence is popular and a compact city, so it was extremely crowded during our June visit, even at 11:00 pm there was a crowd on the Ponte Vecchio! My teens said Florence is a place to get in, stay only as long as you need to, and then get out as fast as you can. (They liked Rome a lot better, as did I.)

Now as for Siena, I spent 1 night there and fell in love with Siena. No traffic in the heart of Siena, which is pedestrian-only...I can't tell you how much this adds to the atmosphere. Siena has a medieval atmosphere, and isn't crowded like florence...(unless you are in Siena during the famous horse races in July).

So I would advise just 2 nights in Florence, just long enough to see the Uffizi Gallery, and Michelangelo's David at the Accademia, and stroll around a bit, and then enjoy Siena for 2 nights or more. You can use Siena as a base to see more of Tuscany if you want.

In fact, I would consider doing Florence as a day-tour from Siena.
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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 01:29 AM
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I would agree,two or three days for Florence is fine and Siena is indeed worth an overnight.The transportation in Italy is such that a long term base is not required
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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 05:49 AM
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I love Florence and could easily spend a month (or the rest of my life!) there.

It is worth an extended saty with daytrips.

I agree with Ira that Siena is worth a daytrip but I would not want to spend the night.
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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 06:53 AM
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It's largely a matter of personal interest.

I don't like Florence. But I'm not a fan of Renaissance art, and Renaissance art is a large part of the city's appeal for many people.

The city itself is one of the most polluted, traffic-packed, and noisiest in Italy. Because the main sights are largely concentrated in a relatively small area, the tourist crowding is very unpleasant, especially in the high tourism season. Unfortunately, I've had to make several visits to the city over the years.

Other people would say they were fortunate to be able to make several visits there.

I would recommend a day trip to Florence, unless you are very much into Renaissance art and architecture.
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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 06:56 AM
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>I have read differing views on how much time is needed for Florence.<

Somehow, I don't think that we have helped much.

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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 07:59 AM
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message <Somehow, I don't think that we have helped much. >

LOL!!! You are right. there are so many differing views. As for us, we don't like the noise of the tourist and like to get and explore other places too so it sounds like it might be Siena for us from what you have said. We will defintely need to go to Florence to see the "sights" but we don't necessarily need to spend the night.

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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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I agree with Rufus--I really did not like Florence either. Those jewelry shops are full of overpriced stuff and the market area basically junk. We saw the museums and I don't ever have to go back. The Vespas just about ruin the entire place--noisy and polluted. We did, however, have a few great dinners.
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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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One way to avoid the crowds is to stay in the Oltrarno. Though across the river, you are within walking distance of the main sights. The neighborhood is slightly more residential, quieter. Though, still for me, the greatest influence to setting the number of days would be your interest in Renaissance art.
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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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Mazuka, reading opposing views on Florence/Siena is what really helped me to understand what I would like and dislike! After reading all this you probably have a "feeling" about what is best for you. If you're going to stay in Siena, I recommend the Palazzo Ravizza hotel, with a garden view (fantastic view!) We loved it. Just down the street is the Duomo hotel, which also has garden view rooms, which a friend of mine enjoyed (Duomo might be cheaper.)

Our room in the Palazzo Ravizza had a view of the garden, and out over the atmospheric wall of Siena, out into the green hills of Tuscany!
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Old Feb 13th, 2005, 02:38 AM
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If you are organised and plan then 3 days is probably the minimum time for Florence, less in Siena; I'd STRONGLY recommend advance purchase of entry tickets to Galleries in Florence esp the Uffizi - otherwise you could spend 90min+ just queueing. The tickets can be purchased for timed entry over the next few days; I would also recommend going as early as possible - both to avoid crowds & to ensure an Audioguide (if you want one - numbers are limited).
The Museum of the Duomo in Florence was wonderful.
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Old Feb 13th, 2005, 04:31 AM
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Good point, jean

Uffizi and Academia Museum Reservations
The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH. This is through the reservation service at the Uffizi and costs beyond the normal entry fee only about 1.60 euro for the service. This is MUCH cheaper than the commercial booking services.
You will not be charged for the reservations unless you use them.
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Old Feb 13th, 2005, 09:00 AM
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This is all just wonderful information. Thank you so much.
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