January 5, 2011, 12:31 AM
A few questions
I am planning a trip to Florence on the 17th March to 21st and have a few questions if possible could be answered.
My first question is I will be flying to Pisa airport, I understand that there is a railway station inside the airport and I can take a train to Florence. What is the station I would head to in Florence, I am staying in the Bernini Palace if that helps. Is it best to book train tickets before or pick them up at Pisa airport.
About the Museums and other places to visit, is it best to pre buy tickets or will I be ok buying tickets on the day?
Also can anyone recommend a few good places to eat for a special occasion and places to grab a quick bite eat and maybe a bar with some nice music to relax to, maybe some live music.
I probably have a few other questions but my mind has gone blank at the moment.
January 11, 2011, 12:43 PM
Florence in Spring time
Hi Ashley and welcome to our Forum!
Florence is definitely a good choice for a Spring trip! Regarding your questions:
Inside the Pisa airport you’ll find the trainrail where you can catch the train to Florence. As you can see in the official site of italian railways, there is a direct train to Florence Santa Maria Novella train station (FI SMN) about every 2 hours and the trip lasts about an hour.
For these regional trains, you don’t need to buy the tickets ahead of time, you can easily buy them at the airport.
Florence Santa Maria Novella train station is situated in Florence's historical center and is quite close to your hotel. To reach the hotel you can have a pleasant walk (about 20 minutes, suggested with light luggage), or take a taxi (there is a taxi stop right in front of the train station) or catch the C2 bus (you’ll need to buy the bus tickets beforehand at a newsagent and have a short walk to and from the stop).
There are generally many tourists in Florence around mid March, so you'll likely find some lines at the entrance of the main Florence museums such as the Uffizi. I recommend you to reserve tickets before, especially for the Uffizi Gallery, which is one of the most visited museums.
I also suggest you to read this useful article with info and advice for buying tickets online for the Florence museums.
Last edited by Cristina; January 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM.
January 12, 2011, 02:35 PM
As Cristina said above, it is easy to get to Florence from the Pisa airport as there is a train station there. Most of the trains are not direct though so if you don't want to hang around at the airport for a direct train, take the local ones into Pisa Central station and from there catch the trains into Florence, there is one around every half hour. Check the Trenitalia site Cristina linked to above to search the time tables and see which one is better. Then just buy your ticket at the airport, no need to worry about getting them ahead of time. Regional trains do not have reserved seating and are valid for months so they just work that you "stamp" them in the yellow machines along the tracks before getting on - make sure to do this before getting on the train.
Long lines at the Uffizi are almost always a certainty but it also really depends on the time. You can buy the tickets ahead of time if you have limited time and want to make sure to be in at a certain time or otherwise just wait and see once you are here, it really depends on how much you want to go and which ones you want to visit. The Uffizi and the Accademia are the most popular and therefore the ones that often merit buying tickets before, many of the others generally don't.
For a quick bite to eat, I'd head to the Fratellini sandwich window off Via Calzaiouli near the Orsanmichele church or to Nerbone in the indoor San Lorenzo food market. There are also many cafes that offer sandwiches and pizza by the slice around the outdoor San Lorenzo market, behind the stalls. For a special occasion dinner, I'd head to I Quattro Leoni in the Oltrarno, we went there for our anniversary last year and had a very delicious and romantic dinner, with candle light.
There are a lot of nice trattorias in Florence, many might not be super elegant but offer good food. How "special" will the occasion be?