August 22, 2009, 10:48 PM
Arriving Florence by plane, Sunday, Oct. 18 at 11:00. We are renting a car, staying in Figline Valdarno four nights, Sienna for 2 nights, Pisa for 2 nights and Rome for 1 night.
Would like to do something in Florence when we arrive, visit Accademia?
Will be going back into Florence on Tuesday for the day.
Question:should we pick up our car (Avis rental) and drive to train station to park and take train into city or is there a better solution?
If we pre-book tickets for Accademia at 2:00 on Sunday -is that enough time to get car, park somewhere and get into town?
Welcome any advice.
August 25, 2009, 04:11 PM
pick up car and drive downtown
Ciao Beth wine,
If you are arriving into Florence airport, then it is about a 20 min drive into the historical center.
Since I imagine you'll have suitcases with you that you want to leave in the car while you visit Florence on arrival, I think the best option is to pick up the car at the airport and drive downtown.
If you're interested in going to the Accademia, you can either park at the parking lot under the train station (Santa Maria Novella) or at the "Parterre" parking lot in Piazza della Libertà. You can map both locations on Google Maps and see where they are in relation to the museum. A GPS will come in handy in guiding you to either spot.
In your place, I'd go for the Parterre because it is located along the main boulevards that surround the historical center and thus is easier to get to. The parking lot under the train station is convenient but the area around the station is still under construction as the new streetcar line that ends there is supposed to be completed by the end of the year. The streets around the station keep getting senses changed as the works proceed and I am not sure how you get to the parking at the moment (anyone else know?). Even your GPS might tell you to take the wrong streets if it isn't updated.
From the Parterre you can walk to the the Accademia (take via Cavour) since it isn't far but aren't you going to grab some lunch before heading to the museum? If you're interested in a quick bite, grab pizza by the slice or the most delicious schiacciata in Florence at the Pugi bakery in Piazza San Marco right before you go to the Accademia.
For October, I wouldn't book ahead of time - better to be flexible about times when you arrive, take your time to get to the parking, go eat something to eat and then go to the museum. The Accademia is not a big museum and the line in October might not be bad. It definitely is shorter than the Uffizi's in any case. You can also walk down Via Ricasoli to the cathedral and walk around downtown before heading back to your car and then to Figline.
Let us know if you want some more help! Hope you have a great time in Florence and Tuscany