January 24, 2012, 01:19 AM
Tour Suggestions for 3 nights in Florence
This will be my first time in Italy. I will arrive in Florence via train from Rome. After my trip to Florence, I will take a train to Naples to meet my family. With that being said, I am not on a strict schedule on the day that I check out of my hotel so this may give me a little more time. I am interested in taking "The Best of Tuscany Tour" through Walkabout Florence, and maybe even the Cinque Terre Tour to the 5 Villages (if the tour is available?) but as far as all of the Churches and museums and all of the sights of Florence, would you recommend taking a guided tour or doing this on my own?
Can you suggest an Itinerary while in Florence for 3 nights? Any must do's
I am traveling to Florence the last week of March (arriving on the 25th)
February 25, 2012, 11:03 AM
suggest doing Florence on your own
Since you're planning on guided tours on 2 out of the 3 days you're spending in Florence (if I understood correctly... or is it 3 days in Florence plus 2 tours on separate days?), I definitely recommend one day on your own time when you can see and do what you feel like without being in a hurry.
There are many things to see and do in Florence so a day will not be enough to do them all - so pick and choose from your interests what you would like to do - spending some time inside museums to see famous masterpieces of art, walking around the outside and enjoying the historical monuments, palaces, piazzas and more, or a mix. Here is a list of what you should see in 2 days in Florence so there is definitely more than you'll be able to see and do, but as suggested, pick the ones that sound most interesting to you. Plus you'll need time for at least one slow, long sit down meal to enjoy really good Italian/Tuscan food... and lots of walking around with a gelato cone in hand
February 26, 2012, 02:38 AM
Re: Tour Suggestions for 3 nights in Florence
I have decided on only one tour. I am taking a wine tour into the countryside of Tuscany. I am coming in from Rome via train- I haven't scheduled my travel time yet, but I figure I would like to be checked into the villa by 12:00 this way I don't lose too much time. I arrive on a Sunday. The tour is on Tuesday and should get me back to Florence by 5:00/5:30 pm. I am heading to Naples on Wednesday. I'm not sure what time, but I would imagine I will catch a train around 11:00 am or 12:00 pm so I am not sure if I will have much time for anything on the day I leave for Naples.
I'd like to visit: Duomo, Piazzate Michelangelo and see the views, The David, Santa Maria Del Fiore., Giotto's Bell Tower. I'd love to visit the Markets, do a little shopping, and authetic tuscan food. What would you suggest is the best way to accomplish all of this? Are all of these sites within walking distance? Is there anything I can save for the evenings?
If it helps any, I am staying at Villa Antena. Is there anything in the neighborhood that is worth seeing?
February 27, 2012, 11:29 AM
Re: Tour Suggestions for 3 nights in Florence
The historical center in Florence is really small and Villa Antea is not far outside of the "viali" which mark the outer perimeter of the center. So you're definitely within walking distance from all of the main sights. As you head from Villa Antea towards the center, you'll first reach Piazza San Marco - the southeastern corner of the square has the Academy of Fine Arts and right next to it is the Accademia Gallery where you can visit and see the original copy of Michelangelo's David (you'll also find a copy in Piazza della Signoria and another in Piazzale Michelangelo but definitely the original is the best).
From there head south toward the Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore). Here depending on time and whether you feel up to the challenge, you can either climb all the way to the top of the dome (about 440 steps, no elevator!) or to the top of the bell tower, which is right to its side.
From here then head further south along Via Calzaiuoli and you'll arrive at Piazza della Signoria, where you can see the Palazzo Vecchio, the Loggia dei Lanzi and then pass by the Uffizi Gallery and arrive to the Arno river from which you can have an excellent view of Ponte Vecchio.
You can do all this on your own - unless you want to have historical explanations, dates and such as you see each place, these are all walking distance and doable within the day. From the Arno, you can either walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo or take a bus from along the Arno. Here is a map that shows the various walking routes and buses: Getting to Piazzale Michelangelo on foot or by bus
As you walk downtown, you'll find ample opportunities for shopping - and there are many good restaurants where you can have authentic Tuscan cuisine as long as you stay away from those in the main center. Ask at your B&B, I am sure they will be able to recommend some really good ones both near the B&B as well as further away that won't be too "touristy". I am sure you'll have a great time in Florence no matter if it is just a few short days. For train schedules, take a look at www.trenitalia.com so you can plan your travel times from Rome and to Naples.