July 18, 2013, 03:58 PM
Uffizi and Accademia -- I broke the code!
How to get inside the busy galleries without standing in line for hours wasn't hard at all. We bought the Firenze Card - not a money saver, but definitely a TIME saver. We've been on a marathon for 3 days to pack as much into this card as we can. I've seen the lines outside some of the sites and WOW!
I learned to get there early -- about 0800 (the doors open at 0815). We visited the Uffizi yesterday and were in the first group inside because we didn't have to worry about buying tickets. The "non ticket" line was twice as long as the "with ticket" lines by 0800.
Today we went to Accademia, and got in line #1 with people "with reservations". This line was also shorter than the "non reservation" line. While those who had reservations had to go to the ticket line to purchase their tickets (all they had was a reservation but not a ticket yet) we went directly to the ticket-taker and inside. We were the FIRST inside, and the FIRST to David (we made a beeline there!). WE SPENT ABOUT 3 MINUTES ALONE WITH DAVID!!! It was totally surreal to be there with him, after seeing photos of hoards of people around him. I was sort of bummed when the first people started arriving, but our "alone time with David" will be the highlight of our trip.
We were also able to avoid a long line yesterday at Santa Croce. We arrived around lunchtime to a long line and knew about the "secret short cut" through the Leather School, and headed there only to find out that they DO NOT give tickets with the Firenze Card. We headed back to the line, and saw a sign with an arrow pointing in the opposite direction for Firenze Card holders We went to the right, and got our tickets and went in avoiding the line.
Also at Palazzo Vecchio, we had another surprise. Nothing that I've read included being able to climb the tower in the palazzo, I thought we would just be able to see the museum. We got to the stairs, and the guard saw the cards on our neck cord and asked for them. He scanned them and invited us up! I guess you have to pay to see the museum, and pay again to go up the tower. We went in the prison that Savaronola was kept, and (with the guard's help) we were able to scan the plazza below from the top of the tower for the plaque that marked the spot of his bonfires and burning (we've been looking for it for 2 days, but the crowds made it impossible from the ground)
So the point is -- Firenze Card isn't a money saver anymore, but it IS a time saver no doubt! At 72 Euros, it's not economical to buy if you only plan to visit the Uffizi and Accademia, but if you're an art lover and/or Art History buff, you WILL appreciate the perks of this card.
I'm keeping an informal blog about our daily activities on our trip, so you can see all the places we've visited in the 3 (marathon) days with our card. I'll post todays activities up tonight after we finish (I still have the Medici Palace and the Springtime of the Renaissance exhibition to go, today.
July 19, 2013, 09:10 AM
Wow Melany, you surely are a marathon tour of Florence! Love hearing your feedback about Uffizi and Accademia and the Firenze Card - it definitely reinforces what I've thought and recommend about the museums and card. That's great news to hear about Palazzo Vecchio, the tower has only been open for less than a year and you do need to pay for it separately.... to hear they actively encourage you to go up there is awesome! I have to go myself, I want to go up there!
Have a great day at the Pitti Palace, the exhibition sounds pretty spectacular so hope you enjoy it!
P.S. how long would you say you were at the Uffizi? they're reorganizing rooms as they renovate and hope they're making it easier to get in and out, it is a real tunnel in there.
July 19, 2013, 04:12 PM
August 4, 2013, 09:26 PM
We also broke the code......
My son and I also broke the code, by accident. It was Sunday and after a walk in the heat, we went back to our apartment in Via Dei Servi, intending to try your plan tomorrow. At 5.10 we went to Via Cavour Tourist Information, but it is closed on Sundays... We went into the Palazzo Medici next door, they said we could buy a Firenze card in Accademia only a 5 minute walk away, so by then it was 5.35 so we walked up to the Reserved ticket door, and asked to buy a Firenze card. A helpful lady said we couldn't buy one here, we told her we wanted to go to the museums tomorrow and needed to buy a ticket today, and told her we only came to Accademia as we were directed here by another museum. I asked if there was any way we could buy a ticket to enter now...without going to the back of the line? She smiled, opened the barrier, walked us through another barrier to avoid security, asked if my son was under 18 and then opened a new till and charged me €11 and we were in. An hour later, as they were closing, we went back to the first room, moved forward as they closed every room, and then had 3 minutes looking at David on our own, with only 2 friendly female attendants for company. Result for dad and son, and we didn't have to get up at 7.30, so a long lie in tomorrow!
August 5, 2013, 02:52 AM
NICE! Are you still planning to buy the card? It's not worth it just for Accademia, but there's SO much to see! I warned my son that he was going to be "art-ed out" when we got done. He has culture coming out of his ears LOL
Originally Posted by Great_Golf_Weather
You've got to take your son to climb the dome and Palazzo Vecchio (and climb THAT tower, too!)
August 5, 2013, 10:38 AM
Wonderful tips to get some along time with David!
Also remember that Uffizi and a few other museums are closed on Monday, so once you get the Firenze Card, you need to plan to see other museums on Monday and hit the Uffizi on Tuesday (since you already saw the Accademia, that's also out of the Firenze Card cost "advantage").