January 25, 2016, 02:42 PM
We are staying in Florence for 5 days at the beginning of June. I'm thinking our itinerary will go something like this:
Day 1: Arrive at 14:30 check into the hotel and get our bearings. Maybe go to Piazzale della signoria and Piazza Del Duomo
Day 2: Trip to Pisa in the morning and then Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens and Piazza Santo Spirito in the evening
Day 3: Accademia Gallery, Maria Novella, Basilica San Lorenzo, Santa Croce, and Piazzale Michelangelo
Day 4: Day trip to Chianti or Siena (Car Rental). Do you think we can fit both in one day? Or will that be too rushed? If we can only do one, which would you recommend?
Day 5: Day trip Cinque Terre (Train). I realize we will want to stay here longer than a day, but at least we get to see a bit of it!
Day 6: Train from Florence to Rome in the morning
Do you think our schedule is too ambitious? I don't want to be rushed around but I'd like to see as much as I can.
January 25, 2016, 03:32 PM
Lots to do
You definitely have a very busy schedule. I would be concerned that by splitting one of the days between Florence and Pisa that you actually don't dedicate enough time for all that you want to see in Florence - and you lose a bit of time in extra travel.
I suggest that you look into an organized tour which would combine Pisa and CT together - giving you not only an expert to help you see all the important points of interst - but it will give you two full days in Florence.
You might want to compare your itinerary with these for some helpful hints and ideas of making the best of each stop:
Besides your schedule didn't even include any free time for shopping (a must in Florence along with a gelato!!)
January 25, 2016, 03:59 PM
Thanks for your input!
The second link is the exact one I used when determining where to go but split the first day into two: half the first day we get there and the other half the afternoon of the second day. Plus the first day we get there is June 2, so I'm not sure if everything is open that day. We haven't booked our train from Venice yet, so perhaps it's possible to get there a little earlier to spend extra time in Florence. I don't really want to miss out on Venice though!
I was going to put CT & Pisa on the same day but I heard that we wouldn't get to fully appreciate either place if we do that. What do you think? I'm not sure how much time Pisa will take up, especially if we travel by train. I was debating between going with a tour group for Pisa (so we can skip the lines) or using the trains.
If we get back from our day trips early enough, then I was planning to do some shopping/wandering/eating gelato! Is shopping usually open in the evenings?
January 26, 2016, 10:18 AM
Pisa & CT
I suggested an organized tour because they will move you through quickly and efficiently - besides giving you great info on the local area. If you want to climb the tower, you can skip the lines by buying your tickets before hand...infact if you want to climb the tower you HAVE to have a ticket before hand because it is all by reservation. However, if you want to really just bask in the beauty of Piazza dei Miracoli - and don't have an interest in entering in anything it can be a very quick trip...beautiful but fast.
I still highly recommend a tour so you can maximize your time and pleasure.
Personally, I wouldn't count on getting back too early to do your shopping from the day trips - you want to relax and enjoy. If you are always thinking about "how to" get to the next phase you will miss the beauty of it all Stores are open till about 7:30ish---and you can eat gelato in the evening, in the morning, before and after lunch...anytime really