Italy for a few days – Florence?

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  • Italy for a few days – Florence?
  • Jezkidd
    Member

    Florence is great, we flew into bologna (which a bit of a dump IMHO ). Also worth going to sienna which is near by, very pretty

    mcmoonter
    Member

    Isn’t there a train link from Florence to Pisa?

    sputnik
    Member

    Saw Firenze on Sunday’s stage of the Giro and it looked absolutely stunning!

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I don’t like Florence all that much – bit busy and smelly, but worth a quick visit. +1 for Sienna though – beautiful. Even Pisa itself is great.

    I loved Bologna, unlike the previous poster…the outskirts are a bit dumpy but the centre is attractive and bustling without being too touristy.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Yeh, unless you’re bike-touring get a car – the countryside’s bloody lovely and the old towns are really nice too. Florence is nice if you like big old cities

    We just drove around the rural bit looking for B&Bs, of which there a lot and pretty well signposted (tourist roadsigns)

    (all about 15-20 yrs ago though ๐Ÿ™ )

    Premier Icon thetallpaul
    Subscriber

    The Amalfi coast is worth considering.
    We stayed in Maiori on the coast. Little Italian resort/town. Fantastic pizza + seafood. People were lovely.

    Places to visit:
    Pompeii – Old. Tom Tom directed me into the back entrance onto the excavated roads.
    Positano – Scenic town on a cliff. Just be careful where you park. They love parking tickets.
    Ravello – Beautiful and peaceful when there are no coach parties.
    Capri – Boat trip from Amalfi.
    Sorrento – Shopping and sightseeing.

    You fly into Naples and a car is a must. The driving is an experience.
    Overall better for a couple than with kids.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Another vote for Sienna over Florence from me. It’s good you are thinking of September, Florence in peak season is a nightmare. The attraction of Florence for me is the Ufuzi, personally I think the Sienna Cathedral is far more beautiful, despite 3 visits to Florence I’ve never been into the church as the queues are so long. The Ponto Vechio might be the most disappointing single “attraction” I’ve ever visited.

    We’ve taken the train from Piza to Florence, not that cheap and on the day of our trip home there was a strike and we had a massive fight to get onto a bus, never again. Having a car is great for visiting the countryside (like San Giminiano the touristy hill top town which is still worth a visit). Parking in Sienna may be difficult and rush hour driving can be interesting. A detour to Tower in Piza is worthwhile.

    Edit: just seen prior post, Amalfi coast is stunning as are the Italian Lakes and the Dolomites and ….

    IMHO Florence is possibly the most beautiful city in the world.

    The cheap airlines that fly to Pisa do a coach transfer from the airport that is easier than any other option.

    If you’re staying in the city a car is totally useless – and there’s nowhere to park anyway.

    Hotels are expensive but a trawl through trip-advisor should turn up some cheap Pensiones that people recommend.

    If you’re smart, eating out is great and fairly cheap. AVOID touristy restaurants in the most popular areas and go off the beaten track to find small family-run joints where the locals eat and everything is in Italian. Again, trip-advisor can help.

    Whether you like art or not, the Uffizi is a must as is the Acedemia (where Michelangelo’s David is). I think both are closed Mondays so watch out.

    Likewise, even if you’re not into Football that much it’s worth going to see Fiorentina. Women get in cheaper too(!). There are ticket booths all over town. The atmosphere is great and you can sit in the sunshine with some Gelati.

    Learn a smattering of Italian, get a guide book and have a great time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    mrmoofo
    Member

    Florence is a must Tbh – so it’s busy and smelly(?) that’s not the point.
    Siena ( it only has one “n”) is meant to be lovely – never got there
    Bologna is cool – and book into the Ducati Factory tour
    Pisa is a dump
    Lucca is lovely
    Cinque Terra – well worth a trip

    warton
    Member

    Florence is a stunning city. get the train from Pisa airport. If you’re only there for a few days you won’t really have time to get out into the country. there is so much to see and do in the city itself. you can spend a couple of days just walking, going into the churches which are on pretty much every corner and marveling at the art they contain. It really is an incredible place.

    bikebouy
    Member

    Fly to Pisa then either take the Big Bus or Train to Flo. Both take about an hour and cost the same(ish).

    I’d recommend hiring a car though, or a scoot. Both will take you out of the city for a pootle around, which you really ought to do if you have the time. If not, stay in the city as there’s masses to see and do. You will need more time to see the stuff you really want to see.
    Art museums, if its the Uffizi you want to go in, try to order tickets beforehand and plan your days around that. You can queue but if you leave it too late you will end up in a massive queue of either other tourists or students on trips ( there are boards giving you an estimated time in the queue which can run to 5/6 hours in peak times). Also it’s stays very warm until Dec, Sept will be a stunning time to go, but as said a car will help you see the marvellous countryside in full bloom.
    If you are into Churches there are far too many to see.. Restaurants can be very expensive but, BUT not all of them are and you can eat out very reasonably indeed, just go off the beaten track into the streets behind the main Squares..

    I’d say it depends on how long you are staying as to whether you organise a car or not. < 5 days and its not worth it IMO.

    I’ve been loads and loads (cycling/visiting family) it’s my favorite place.

    johndoh
    Member

    mcmoonter – Member
    Isn’t there a train link from Florence to Pisa?
    POSTED 51 MINUTES AGO # REPORT-POST

    Yes

    samuri
    Member

    I’m trying to think of an Italian city that isn’t busy and smelly. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You’ve been to Venice, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Florence is great. I loved it when we went and I’m planning another trip there for this year. Getting the timing right is important though just like any of the popular Italian cities. Avoid the tourist peaks will improve your experience.

    spence
    Member

    Thinking of Italy for a few days in September, my wifeโ€™s suggested Florence (weโ€™ve been to Rome previously). So after some info and or suggestions.
    A quick search suggests flights are into Pisa so itโ€™s about an hour from there, best options – taxi, hire car, bus for transfer? I guess a car will give us some freedom to explore the countryside but will also be redundant while touring the city.

    Those that have been, any tips for sightseeing or suggestions of other similar places to consider.
    Thanks

    mogrim
    Member

    Another vote for Sienna over Florence from me. It’s good you are thinking of September, Florence in peak season is a nightmare. The attraction of Florence for me is the Ufuzi, personally I think the Sienna Cathedral is far more beautiful, despite 3 visits to Florence I’ve never been into the church as the queues are so long. The Ponto Vechio might be the most disappointing single “attraction” I’ve ever visited.

    This. Florence is massively overrated, there’re so many prettier and more interesting places to visit in that part of Italy. Siena, Orvieto, all the hilltop towns…

    spence
    Member

    Thanks for all the input – some contradicting as always on here – with lots to consider.
    Hadn’t thought of the train, looks straightforward enough. We’re thinking of the 2nd week in September so the August holiday should be over – made that mistake in Rome.

    willard
    Member

    Sienna is lovely, Florence is nice, but very touristy.

    How about somewhere in the mountains instead? Lots of very nice little villages and towns tucked away on hilltops that have good food, good wine and lovely views?

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I’m trying to think of an Italian city that isn’t busy and smelly. You’ve been to Venice, right?

    Went to Venice last August. Felt almost cheated when it didn’t smell at all. And only really busy on the main drag.

    You’re right, cities tend to be busy and smelly, but there are degrees of business and smelliness which start to impact on your visiting pleasure. I found Florence in July was heaving and positively unpleasant, with long queues for the main attractions. September might well be OK though, and for a short break, there are certainly worse places.

    If you do got to Florence try to eat at Vini e Vechi Sapori for dinner at least once!

    Seriously the best food i have ever eaten and im a picky bastard… Tiny place so you have to book a day or so ahead coz it is ALWAYS rammed, oh did i mention its also the best value meal ive ever had? For 2 people, 3 courses and like 1.5ltr of wine we paid just over 60 Euros O.o

    It’s run by this family, mum n dad do the cooking son waits. Really freindly lot and very down to earth, fine dining this is not, you can often share a bench with an old local having his beans lol, but its a truly amazing place they just get food, and run it for the love of cooking.

    Dont think, book now, you will not regret it ๐Ÿ™‚

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