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Thread: Winter in Florence - 4 days

  1. #1
    Kim P is offline Junior Member - Learning about Tuscany
    Join Date
    Oct 2018

    Red face Winter in Florence - 4 days

    Hello everyone
    My husband, adult daughter and I are travelling to Florence for 4 days in January 2019 as part of our first visit to Italy. We will be staying near the Piazza Santo Spirito. I would appreciate suggestions to develop a (flexible!) itinerary to make the most of our time and that takes account of the weather. For example, is it worth visiting the Boboli Gardens in winter? Is the San Lorenzo or other outdoor markets operating? Are the queues at Uffizi and Accademia bad? etc. We would rather take time and really enjoy a handful of museums well than rush around trying to see everything. Finally, would it be possible / recommended to do a day trip to Lucca as part of that 4 day visit?
    Thanks in advance for your advice!
    Kim P (NZ)

  2. #2
    craigmillar is offline Senior Member - Expert about Tuscany
    Join Date
    Apr 2018


    Hi to NZ!

    Why do you want to leave your wonderful country just a summer is beginning!

    A few tips:

    1. I would not waste time at the Boboli gardens as there will not be much to see apart from the layout and the garden sculptures. A more intriguing choice would be to be a visit to a limonaia - a sort of greenhouse where large potted lemon trees and other citrus fruits spend the winter due to the cold weather.
    2. In January you should not experience queues at Florence's major museums except for the period up until January 6 when school holidays end. However, it may be worthwhile still making advanced booking to avoid any queues as it can be very cold if you have to wait in line outside.
    3. Since you are staying in the Piazza Santo Spirito area do find some time to visit the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine. This is a very unassuming church but inside down on the left there are some amazing frescoes by Masaccio at the Cappella Brancacci. You may have to put some coins in the meter to illuminate them. But you will see the memorable scene of Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden. This image alone is almost solely worthy of a visit to Florence.
    4. The San Lorenzo market - always open as it is also a favourite of the Florentines! If possible consider visiting the central market for some super bites.
    5. Food-wise and for lunch, consider one of my all time favourites - la Cnatinetta di Verrazzanno (he of the famous New York bridge) - https://www.verrazzano.com/en/the-ca...a-in-florence/ Wonderful wines but absolutely superb little tasting plates using local ingredients.
    6. For a side trip to Lucca consider travelling first to Pisa to see la Piazza dei Miracoli with the Duomo, Baptistery and Leaning Tower (2 hours max is sufficient), then travel to Lucca for lunch (great food) and then meander around the city not forgetting a walk above around the walls.

  3. #3
    Lourdes's Avatar
    Lourdes is online now Administrator - DiscoverTuscany Team
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Florence, Italy


    Craig has already offered some excellent suggestions, I'll add a few more:

    Start from the suggestions here as to what there is to see, remain super flexible and not try to fit everything in:

    I would highly suggest at least one tour/experience, such as a cooking class. They are actually quite a lot of fun!
    The walking tours on the other hand provide some insight into what you're seeing as you walk around, making it a bit more interesting than just walking around thinking "wow, look at that" ;-)

    As far as the Boboli, if you get a sunny day, consider it time spent outdoors in a winter garden. It might not be at its best, but it would still be pleasureable to see the many statues, fountains and grottoes. But if it is grey or wet, I'd skip it.
    If you want a garden with a view, I'd suggest the Bardini garden which requires a bit of a hike to reach but is beautiful for the view - remember, no wisteria or blooms in January though: https://www.visitflorence.com/floren...i-gardens.html (note that boboli garden ticket includes the Bardini garden, but you can just buy ticket for Bardini directly).

    I agree, generally not long lines at Uffizi except of Tuesday mornings. Avoid visiting then if you can.

    All of the outdoor markets keep on working on their usual days -- lots of locals shop there!

    I'd do Lucca with Pisa as Craig has suggested so definitely doable as a one day trip (would be a good idea if you're here over a Monday, when the main museums are closed in Florence).
    In the beginning stages of planning to come to Tuscany? Make sure to read Where to Stay in Tuscany WITH a car and Where to Stay in Tuscany WITHOUT a car for ideas on where to stay in Tuscany. Also read When to Visit Tuscany to decide when is the best times for your visit.

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