Florence advice

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what_no_pies
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Florence advice

Post by what_no_pies » Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:01 am

Will be a first time visitor in May. Anyone able to share any advice on accommodation and/or things to do?

Looking to stay within easy reach of the centre and avoid too much walking/steps generally.

Flying into Pisa so might end up doing an overnight there depending on trains / busses etc. Is there a particularly nice way to commute between Pisa and Florence?

Gonna take in the frescoes and soak up the local culture as much as we can, beyond that the trip is a bit of a blank canvas so far. No suggestion is a bad one.

Any ideas greatly appreciated.

Newcastleclaret93
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Newcastleclaret93 » Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:12 am

I have recently been.

We stayed in montecatimi terme (about a 30 min bus journey outside of Florence).

A beautiful little town with some fantastic restaurants and bars. One restaurant was ran by a family with the 80 year old grandma making fresh pasta in the kitchen. (Best pasta I have ever had in my life).

Florence it self was interesting plenty of sites to see (make sure you book in advance as you could be waiting hours on the day if you don’t).

I can’t recommend the Buonamico wine tasting experience any higher. 8 different wines to taste all paired with different snacks ranging from chocolate to cheese. The tour of the vineyard is also very interesting.

All in all I would just recommend enjoying the local food and wine, it’s up there with some of the best in Italy in my opinion.

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Re: Florence advice

Post by Lancasterclaret » Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:17 am

Train is fine between Pisa and Florence

Pisa is nice as well, but probably only worth a day trip

Florence has a fair bit more, but we were only there for a day and had a baby at the time so we just zoomed around the old bridge and all the churches

Bit of a fan of Machiavelli so went to the church were he is buried

Rileybobs
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Rileybobs » Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:28 am

Florence is lovely, picturesque city. We probably didn't do too much that a guide book wouldn't recommend but if you're going to visit the Uffizi I would suggest booking advance tickets - in fact we found the audio tour to be good value and a good way to see the main exhibits without wandering around aimlessly for 6 hours.

Take a short bus up to Piazzale Michelangelo to enjoy great views of the city with an aperol spritz.

Pisa is a good way to spend half a day, but I wouldn't suggest any longer. I've only ever visited by car so not sure about public transport but would imagine trains/buses are easy. In fact, last time I visited Tuscany we had a late afternoon flight back from Pisa so we went into the town to pass a few hours before the flight. Very easy to get to the airport from the town.

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Re: Florence advice

Post by NRC » Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:33 am

Lancasterclaret wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:17 am
Train is fine between Pisa and Florence

Pisa is nice as well, but probably only worth a day trip

Florence has a fair bit more, but we were only there for a day and had a baby at the time so we just zoomed around the old bridge and all the churches

Bit of a fan of Machiavelli so went to the church were he is buried
I can’t bring myself to use LC and his missus popping a baby out and still getting all that sightseeing in …… so I’ll leave it with do what Zebedee tells you to do
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dsr
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Re: Florence advice

Post by dsr » Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:39 am

I looked into Pisa and Florence when we were supposed to stop at Livorno on a cruise (though it was too rough and we couldn't dock, so I didn't get there).

Train from Florence to Pisa looked easy and the Pisa station is within walking distance of the Tower and the square where it's at. There appears to be nothing else in Pisa apart from that square! Book a time in advance if you want to go up the tower.

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Re: Florence advice

Post by Bosscat » Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:42 am

Say Hi to Zebedee, Dougal, Ermintrude the Cow, Bryan the Snail and Dylan the hippy Rabbit when your there...
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Lancasterclaret » Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:46 am

NRC wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:33 am
I can’t bring myself to use LC and his missus popping a baby out and still getting all that sightseeing in …… so I’ll leave it with do what Zebedee tells you to do
Poor lad has never recovered!

He was six months old at the time and his time in Florence was basically him breaking the land speed record in a push chair while his (still fit at the time) parents tried to see as much as possible

CoolClaret
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Re: Florence advice

Post by CoolClaret » Wed Nov 30, 2022 12:23 pm

Beautiful city - my favourite I’ve visited alongside Lisbon.

Really recommend the Boboli Gardens that overlook the city, alongside the duomo etc.

Have a fun trip!

On Pisa - I think it’s really pants and a massive tourist trap but if it’s on your bucket list then fair enough
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fatboy47
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Re: Florence advice

Post by fatboy47 » Wed Nov 30, 2022 12:29 pm

Love Florence and visit often. Been to Pisa once and agree with CC. I give it a swerve now.

IWOODLOVETT
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Re: Florence advice

Post by IWOODLOVETT » Wed Nov 30, 2022 12:37 pm

One of Florence’s best kept secrets is the Vasari Corridor.

It’s a 16th century covered overhead walkway that runs for 1.2km with great views of the city and of the Arno river. Built by the ruling Medici family who feared attack if they moved around by the streets below. It is accessed through the Uffizi Art Gallery which includes works by Rembrandt and Rubéns.

If interested you should book in advance to avoid the “cruise ship surge”.

ClaretLoup
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Re: Florence advice

Post by ClaretLoup » Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:09 pm

Make sure you visit the Vivoli gelateria ( ice cream parlour)

https://vivoli.it/en/home-2/

Many years ago I did a short bus trip (3 miles) into the surrounding hills to a place called Fiesole away from the bustle of the city. Amongst other things, there is a huge Roman Amphitheatre there as well as a C4 BC Etruscan temple.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiesole

Tricky Trevor
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Tricky Trevor » Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:09 pm

As said above the train is your best bet for transport.
Pisa is literally the area around the tower, half day at most, grubby town otherwise.
If you can get out to Luca it is far nicer and a full day, as is Sienna.
Florence is fairly flat whilst surrounded by hills. Book in advance for the Uffizi, the queues can be enormous. Boboli gardens are worth half a day.

Jel
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Jel » Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:29 pm

Screenshot_20221130-132833_Chrome.jpg
Screenshot_20221130-132833_Chrome.jpg (654.83 KiB) Viewed 1263 times
Latest information 😀

Stanbill05
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Stanbill05 » Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:30 pm

Train is very cheap - even though it will feel like you're the only one paying. There is enough to do in Florence getting lost and stumbling across something else extraordinary, Pisa is an easy tick off on the train. I enjoyed Lucca, which was impressive but much quieter than the others if you've got some flexibility.

I'm jealous.

eastcoastclaret
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Re: Florence advice

Post by eastcoastclaret » Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:44 pm

As others have said, train between Pisa and Florence is probably the best way. The trains are modern, clean and run to time in my experience. Whist in Pisa you can visit the famous Tower, get a taxi from outside the airport for about €10, it will take you straight there. From the Tower its about 15 mins walk to the train station.

I've stayed at a central hotel called Hotel Paris, its a lovely old hotel available through Jet 2 but you can also book direct. It's an old Palace, so don't be expecting modern luxury hotel. It's B&B only but you are in the centre with restaurants a minutes walk away.

TopCat
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Re: Florence advice

Post by TopCat » Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:44 pm

Time for bed.

Bosscat
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Bosscat » Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:48 pm

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eastcoastclaret
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Re: Florence advice

Post by eastcoastclaret » Wed Nov 30, 2022 1:53 pm

Hotel Paris if you want to take a look

https://www.parishotel.it

Caballo
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Caballo » Wed Nov 30, 2022 3:31 pm

We did a week in Aug, it was bloody hot!!
stopped here https://www.villaroyalfirenze.com/en/ largely because it was comfortably walking distance to most attractions and had a pool(though the pool did have a 15 euro each, a day surcharge which wasn't entirely advertised on the booking site we used)

pre booking the main attractions is a must

We did a brilliant walking tour https://www.guruwalk.com/walks/784-the- ... dici-tales with Manuel, more of a gentle meander through history than a forced route march.

http://www.trattorialemossacce.it/ Amazing authentic inexpensive restaurant
https://www.facebook.com/pizzeriasimbio ... xyEALw_wcB exceptional pizza

I could witter on forever about it and I'm happy to if you want but part of all good trips is finding your own way

HollandsPies
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Re: Florence advice

Post by HollandsPies » Wed Nov 30, 2022 3:37 pm

We weren't disappointed at the Lucchesi.

Hendrickxz
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Hendrickxz » Wed Nov 30, 2022 3:44 pm

Another vote for Lucca here. It's a wonderful place. The only thing to watch out for when planning to travel by train is that they are prone to suffere from unannounced wildcat strikes. They seem to go on strike for the slightest things --like someone looking at em funny, etc.,

KateR
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Re: Florence advice

Post by KateR » Wed Nov 30, 2022 4:26 pm

I was working in Massa for a week and decided to do this trip, lot's already said so I'll just recap, Pisa only worth a day IMO, went by train and it was easy and I like trains so probably that weighs on my thoughts. Loved Florence and preferred it to both Rome & Venice, seemed plenty to do for me and we both enjoyed it immensely, thought the bridges were great and dining on them excellent but was super weather for us.

I believe we stayed here, was very central and easy walk to see David and other sights:

https://www.hoteldelaville.it/en/4-star-hotel-florence

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Re: Florence advice

Post by IanMcL » Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:59 pm

Bosscat wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:42 am
Say Hi to Zebedee, Dougal, Ermintrude the Cow, Bryan the Snail and Dylan the hippy Rabbit when your there...
Saw the title, thought similar, looked down to check and there you are!👍

Bosscat
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Bosscat » Wed Nov 30, 2022 8:33 pm

IanMcL wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:59 pm
Saw the title, thought similar, looked down to check and there you are!👍
Must be an age thing Ian 😉
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burnleybonzo
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Re: Florence advice

Post by burnleybonzo » Wed Nov 30, 2022 9:40 pm

Agree with most of the comments on here. Pisa is ok for half a day, see the tower then move on. Tower is walking distance from the train station. Train to Florence from Pisa and back is straightforward and cheap.

I Florence, we stayed at Corno Luxury Apartment, the location is amazing in central Florence and the accommodation is certainly different and impressive. If you are keen on museums and galleries you might want to get a 3 day pass. Beats the queues at Uffizi and to see David. Went to the football too, Firenze v Cagliari, possibly the worst ground I have been on, strange design. Left at half time. You can't visit the Vasari Corridor unless you know the Italian President. You can see it though, its all around you. Dan Brown fans love the place, Inferno? , there are tours of course

Bosscat
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Bosscat » Wed Nov 30, 2022 9:48 pm

IanMcL wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:59 pm
Saw the title, thought similar, looked down to check and there you are!👍
Whenever I think about Magic Roundabout it always makes me remember a line from "Porridge"

Inmate Dylan: "Why do you lot call me Dylan, is it because I remind you of the Great Bob Dylan. The rock & folk music artiste"
Fletcher: "No its because you remind us of that Hippy Rabbit off the Magic Roundabout"
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NRC
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Re: Florence advice

Post by NRC » Wed Nov 30, 2022 10:03 pm

IanMcL wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:59 pm
Saw the title, thought similar, looked down to check and there you are!👍
if only he was 25 minutes quicker with his thinking though.......

Beagleheart
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Beagleheart » Thu Dec 01, 2022 9:38 am

We went in October. The Cathedral/Duomo is stupefyingly beautiful. The Academia Galleria is absolutely wonderful. There's a thriving craft beer scene.

The train service between Pisa and Florence is excellent, a million times better than anything in the UK. Pisa is worth a day of your time but beware of the vast amount of Americans pretending to stop the tower from falling over.

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Re: Florence advice

Post by IanMcL » Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:10 am

NRC wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 10:03 pm
if only he was 25 minutes quicker with his thinking though.......
He (and me) are 25 mins slower than we used to be, as age catches one's faculties, unexpectedly!
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Bosscat » Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:20 am

IanMcL wrote:
Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:10 am
He (and me) are 25 mins slower than we used to be, as age catches one's faculties, unexpectedly!
🤣🤣🤣 errrr

IanMcL
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Re: Florence advice

Post by IanMcL » Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:23 am

Bosscat wrote:
Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:20 am
🤣🤣🤣 errrr
Blimey, you must have taken your vitamins this morning g, Bosscat...only 10 mins!😜
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Bosscat
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Bosscat » Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:31 am

IanMcL wrote:
Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:23 am
Blimey, you must have taken your vitamins this morning g, Bosscat...only 10 mins!😜
Only 9 more posts for my 20k 😁

🤣🤣🤣

IanMcL
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Re: Florence advice

Post by IanMcL » Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:33 am

Just checked mine!!!
This makes 25336 😯
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Goalposts
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Goalposts » Thu Dec 01, 2022 5:29 pm

Spent 5 days in the centre pretty close to the uffuzi in the square . beautiful city to visit everything within walking distance accommodation is relatively reasonable and you can find some real, gems. Pisa is a bit boring in my opinion truth be told, very easy to find things to do in Florence for five days and not get bored. rather than some of the big hotels there are some amazing apartments & places to stay

what_no_pies
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Re: Florence advice

Post by what_no_pies » Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:17 pm

Thanks for all the input, some great suggestions and all helping to get us excited for the trip. About to book some accommodation. Central and accessibility are the main criteria.

ten bellies
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Re: Florence advice

Post by ten bellies » Thu Dec 01, 2022 11:23 pm

I can recommend Hotel Kraft. Roof top pool and breakfast on the roof too with a great view. Fairly central and close to the river. 10 minute walk to Ponte Vecchio.

FCBurnley
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Re: Florence advice

Post by FCBurnley » Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:56 am

IanMcL wrote:
Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:33 am
Just checked mine!!!
This makes 25336 😯
LC has more than that just on Russia invades

Lancasterclaret
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Lancasterclaret » Fri Dec 02, 2022 7:24 am

FCBurnley wrote:
Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:56 am
LC has more than that just on Russia invades
Long way to go till it hits my "Brexit is a s**t idea" posts! :D

Big Vinny K
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Big Vinny K » Fri Dec 02, 2022 9:50 am

Lovely city - been a couple or of times including last summer when we holidayed for a few weeks in Lucca (which is a fantastic place to stay btw)

Trains are brilliant and if you are there for a while you can get to Rome, Venice, Pisa, Lucca all pretty cheaply and easy.

Florence itself really nice and plenty to see and do. We found a really good undercover food market this summer. Lots of great places to eat and a big bar in the middle - good atmosphere to go during the day.

Gets very hot and busy in July and August and queues can be very long to the main attractions. Personally I’d go in either June or September.

Jamesy
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Re: Florence advice

Post by Jamesy » Fri Dec 02, 2022 11:06 am

Make sure you walk or climb up the Duomo. The view at the top is well worth it.

eastcoastclaret
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Re: Florence advice

Post by eastcoastclaret » Fri Dec 02, 2022 11:39 am

Have a great time. It is a wonderful city.
Before you go, have a read up about the Medici family, or watch the TV drama. Their legacy is everywhere still and it will give you a bit of history about Florence.

nyclaret
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Re: Florence advice

Post by nyclaret » Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:13 pm

what_no_pies wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:01 am
Will be a first time visitor in May. Anyone able to share any advice on accommodation and/or things to do?

Looking to stay within easy reach of the centre and avoid too much walking/steps generally.

Flying into Pisa so might end up doing an overnight there depending on trains / busses etc. Is there a particularly nice way to commute between Pisa and Florence?

Gonna take in the frescoes and soak up the local culture as much as we can, beyond that the trip is a bit of a blank canvas so far. No suggestion is a bad one.

Any ideas greatly appreciated.
Just recently moved back to the UK after living in Florence for the past couple of years. Beautiful city, incredible food, and May will be a perfect time to visit.

Restaurant recommendations:

Gustapizza - IMO the best pizza in the city situated right next to the beautiful Piazza Santo Spirito

Trattoria La Casalinga - right next door to Gustapizza, many locals go here for lunch

Ristorante La Reggia Degli Etruschi - head up to Fiesole and book a table at this restaurant in advance of the trip. Incredible views overlooking the city. Perfect for a sunset dinner.

La Fettunta - avoid the tourist trap of All'Antico Vinaio (you'll be waiting in line for ages), and go a little further along to La Fettunta for the best schiacciata sandwiches around

Gelateria dei Neri - IMO the best ice cream in Florence, but Sbrino in Santo Spirito comes close

Trattoria dall'Oste - you can't go to Florence without trying the traditional Florentine steak

Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio/Mercato di Centrale

Things to do:

Piazzale Michelangelo - a must see, again another incredible panoramic view of the city. Have a bottle of beer sitting on the steps.

Villa Bardini/Giardino Boboli

Santo Spirito - lots of lovely shops, bars, cafes to have a mooch around

Wine tasting - a good friend of mine does a fantastic wine tour https://www.sommelierschoices.com/

Ponte Vecchio
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