June 26, 2014, 02:38 PM
Firenze Card vs Amici degli Uffizi
We are a family of three planning a visit to Florence in August. My son is 16 years old. Our main goals are to visit the Accademia (for David), Uffizi, Pitti Palace, and Duomo (with climb) while minimizing lines. Would the Amici degli Uffizi card be more economical than the Firenze card? Also, I read that all children under 18 can enter the State museums for free, but must first stop at the ticket office to get a "free" ticket and pay for the "reserved access." Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of any "skip the line" option?
June 26, 2014, 05:20 PM
No, if you get the Firenze Card or the Amici degli Uffizi card then you have privileged access, you don't need a separate ticket.
There are several museums that have priority lines that are separate for Firenze Card holders, others where you just go to the front of the line and show the pass/card to get entrance. They might still ask you to get the "free" ticket before entering, but you've skipped the line outside in the meantime.
The free ticket for under 18 is for regular ticket buyers, no other card involved.
If you buy a Firenze Card or Amici degli Uffizi pass for the family, they are counted in that (although I've been told that they do need to pay the reserved access at the state museums, such as the Uffizi, if you're not an EU citizen for the Firenze Card). In that case, you skip the main line to enter the museum, then stop at the ticket booth to pay that part. You've still skipped the main line outside.
June 27, 2014, 02:35 PM
Thank you very much! You are a Godsend to so many of us.
So with either option (the Fireze card or the Amici degli Uffizi pass for the family) we will still have to queue up small reserve fee for our 16 year old? And the line is not bad?
Sounds like the Amici pass would be a much better buy for us -- the only thing I think we will be doing that is not included is the Duomo and tower.
One more question. My wife is concerned that her shopping options (for jewelry and leather) might be limited due to the August holiday for locals (we will be in Florence August 6 - 10). Will the better shops be closed?
June 27, 2014, 06:31 PM
If you end up getting the Amici card (which I have), this is what I do - go to the front of the line at gate 2 - they'll let you "cut in". You go through the x-ray machine and the ticket booth is right there. Get in line (very short) to pay his fee - then there might be another short line as people wait to be allowed into the museum by a turnstill (as people exit, people can go in). So the wait is definitely minimal.
The Amici card you get it right there at door 2 so you can actually go to the welcome desk first and then go straight in without going back out "to cut"
The Duomo and tower (you mean bell tower) are both part of the same 10 euro pass, so once you pay that you can enter all of the monuments in piazza Duomo.
Tell your wife not worry about shopping - shops will close on August 15th as that is the national holiday but all other days she'll find everything open. Florence's center lives off tourism, so shops are open... it is out in the outskirts where many shops will close for a week or two in august, but there is always someone open that sells something similar (even if we have to go search for them). But in the center - nothing to worry about!
June 27, 2014, 07:33 PM
Thanks so much.
If you had to choose between a day trip to Cinque Terre or Elba, which would you choose? We have Wednesday thru Sunday in August and thought one might make a nice break from the museums.
June 28, 2014, 01:00 AM
That's a hard one - just one day? from Florence? or are you moving on to another part of Italy after?
I'd personally dedicate two days to either, spend the night there... will you have your own means of transport? that is quite necessary on Elba, it is a decent sized island. You don't need your own car for CT, you can easily get there by train.
It takes longer to get to Elba, with the ferry and all.. so a day trip is really out of the question.... you'd need at least 2 nights there to make it nice.
August is high season, so both will be crowded... expect hot, too.
Elba has beaches you can cool at. CT has cliffs and lots to see, but the only beach is at Monterosso sul Mare, the most northern of the 5 towns.
So it's not an easy choice but given the time you might have, CT might be faster to get to and enjoy. Elba is beautiful but really requires that you take the time to enjoy the sparkling blue waters and sandy beaches
July 5, 2014, 04:04 AM
I think we'll need to save Elba and CT for another trip! I do have a few more questions if you don't mind. Because I am thinking of going to the duomo and Fielsole, I am now thinking the Firenze card may be better for us than the Amici. Have you been much to Fielsole? I am hoping for more of the softer side of Tuscany there. Any restaurant suggestions for Fielsole. Also the Amici card allows use of the bus system for my wife and I, since we will have the Firenze card. But I assume we will need to purchase tickets for my 16 yo son, right? Thanks again.
July 17, 2014, 02:19 PM
Personally I always enjoy Fiesole both the view, the charming atmosphere and the amphitheater. I have taken my family there several times and they always love it (all ages from 3 - 65).
You can read more about Fiesole
I have never eaten at any of the restaurants but they are very inviting and several have outside seating for great people watching. Normally I bring a small picnic and find a shade place in the amphitheater (hidden between the olive trees) and nibble away at some good pecorino cheese, some crunchy foccacia and .... water (with the August heat you want lots of it on hand). There is also a small snack area in the Museum/Park area where you can enjoy a meal there as well.
July 17, 2014, 05:30 PM
If you get the Firenze Card for you both, then your son is covered for the museums as well as the bus!
July 17, 2014, 06:07 PM
Thank you again! You are a great resource : )