We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Florence

Free Newsletter

Interested in Florence?

We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Florence each week.

More Lists
We remove posts that do not follow our Trip Lists guidelines.
We reserve the right to remove any lists for any reason.
Trip List by LPWilliams

Florence Attractions, Hotel & Transport : 6 Full-Day Visit Feb 2012

Mar 29, 2012  
5.0 of 5 stars based on 10 votes

6 full-days in Florence to visit the museums, galleries and churches.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Florence
  • Category: Recent trip
  • 1. Florence - Feb 2012

    Welcome to my latest TA Trip List - I hope it proves useful to you.

    You can access my other Trip Lists by clicking my TA 'name' link which is located just above the title of this Trip List.

  • 2. Florence - Introduction and What I Visited
    Florence

    The link above is to the main Trip Advisor (TA) webpage for Florence, from where you have rated-lists and links.

    I visited the charming city of Florence in February, with the more affordable accommodation costs and promise of the city being quieter with shorter queues to the major, often extremely popular, attractions and colder, but still perfectly bearable weather conditions (the majority of the attractions are inside !).

    There is a LOT to do in Florence for those with a cultural bent and it is rightly a popular (often extremely popular !) destination; thankfully, the infrastructure is present to support huge visitor numbers, with an extensive range of eateries/accommodation choices, tourist information sources and attraction 'entry systems' (which includes a combined attraction/travel product called the 'Firenza Card' - more on that later).

    I found it easy to fill-up my 6 days there (with several repeat-visits to certain attractions!) and still leave a few things on my 'to do' list (which will undoubtedly expand as time passes !) for a later visit. Part of the reason for this is not just that I ran out of time, but also because opening times didn't make everything viable and, more significantly, because I became aware of new 'tempter' attractions whilst there !

    And this highlights one issue that may affect your plans (and I'm not suggesting it's unique to Florence or Italy in general by the way), in that whilst information sources are extensive it is still easy to remain blissfully unaware of certain attractions which would no doubt have been worthy of a visit.

    So, if your visiting time is limited or your trip may be the only one you can ever manage, any time you can set aside to investigate matters and then formulate even a basic outline 'visit plan' will be time well spent. Along with reading this Trip List and my reviews, quizzing people on the TA Forums (and reading other reviews of course) can be rewarding in that respect !

    Whilst there, you can supplement those efforts by taking advantage of the multiple, very useful, tourist information offices which are in the city centre and have extremely helpful staff; the 2 I used were located (1) over the road, to the south, from SMN rail station and (2) another adjacent to Duomo towards the southwest, in the corner of Piazza San Giovanni.

    I have written TA reviews for the hotel I stayed at and all the attractions I visited.

    In this TL I give each attraction I visited at least 2 dedicated sections, the first starts by providing a link to those individual reviews of mine which exist in the normal way on each TA 'attraction' webpage.

    That first section then complements the separate review with any relevant general information, but for my opinions on the attraction and more information on what I discovered whilst there you obviously need to read that separate review !

    The remaining dedicated sections for each attraction then deal with visitor information (I usually provide a link to the official website and explain how to navigate it) and any relevant viewable media I've provided to finalise or supplement what I posted with the review (sometimes because it didn't get added by TA !) or my visitor information.

    However, before those attraction sections I will continue after this introduction with sections containing information about public transport (including the transit from Pisa airport, from where most people will arrive), the hotel I stayed at and general comments about the attractions (including a list of what I visited and when).

    Those 'Viewable Media' sections relating to my dedicated online media albums, which add photos/video I mention in my information sections which are either difficult to connect to TA webpages or were 'blocked' on submission (eg example images of artwork)....

    Do please note that reviews cannot be edited once posted, so I cannot update them to reflect the situation regarding subsequent problems with associated submissions (for example)....

    Following the small municipal/civic museum reference sections, my Trip List comprises those dedicated sections for each attraction I visited (in MY order of 'popularity'), but so you know what I visited and how each of my 6 days panned-out here's my 'visit diary' (with occasional explanatory annotations) :

    THU
    Bus to hilltop Piazzale Michelangelo (excellent view and introduction to the city !)
    Walk down scenic path then along riverside to city centre
    Basilica of Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore)
    Climb Duomo bell tower (Campanile)

    FRI
    Santa Croce church
    Basilica of Duomo (again)
    Piazzale Michelangelo again (repeat excellent view of city in different sunlight conditions)
    Visit adjacent San Miniato al Monte church (plus different angle view of city)

    SAT
    Vecchio Palace
    Uffizi Gallery
    Failed visit to Accademia Gallery (horrendous queue)
    Stefano Bardini Museum
    Shopping

    SUN
    Davanzati Palace
    Second failed visit to Accademia Gallery (horrendous queue)
    Pitti Palace - Palatina Gallery

    MON
    San Lorenzo church
    San Marco museum
    Bargello museum
    Santa Maria Novella church

    TUE
    Pitti Palace (rest of 3-day ticket) - Palatina Gallery (2 more times !), Porcelain Museum, Costume Museum, Modern Art Museum, Silver Museum, Boboli Gardens

    As anticipated, the weather was generally fine and included several beautifully sunny days with cloudless blue skies, but also a couple of days when the skies were a little overcast with occasional light rain. It never poured down and whilst the nights were cold the daytime temperatures were often a very pleasant 13/14 degrees. The heavy snowfalls, almost unheard of for this part of Italy (Rome got it bad), had recently finished and only the day of my arrival was blighted by traces of snow on the pavements - it melted away the first night I was there.

    I found Florence to be a small, busy/congested but clean city which accommodates a number of excellent art/artefact collections (inside galleries or as part of palace collections) and has a number of beautiful churches. Unfortunately the city centre is so 'compressed' that the view of attractive building exteriors can be quite restricted (eg the frontage of the Duomo is difficult to capture as the Baptistery stops you getting far enough back); fortunately, I didn't find there actually to be too many noteworthy exteriors (all the beauty is on the inside ...) and of those, several were not affected anyway.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that the daily 'city tax' I was charged at my hotel is clearly put to good use; I often saw small rubbish collection vehicles darting around the city which had an obvious effect on the visible cleanliness of the streets and piazzas as you walk around - MUCH better than some other cities I could mention. It demonstrates that the city authorities appreciate that tourism is a crucial part of their economy and as much effort as possible needs to be made to enhance the visitor 'experience'. I do however feel that effort doesn't get reflected universally amongst the state attractions in the city, with some places demonstrating little effort to provide detailed information for paying customers...

    There are number of large piazzas which are often adorned with sculptures/statues and surrounded by notable attractions (as well as shops/cafes of course !) but they can get quite crowded (even in the relatively quiet month of February !) and also noisy due to hoards of babbling tourist groups and their attendant guides yelling information to them/waving 'herding' flags ! To accentuate my 'beauty is on the inside' comment, the piazzas are rarely that attractive and the city centre as a whole is almost devoid of any green space - Florence is not really a place to visit large parks or gardens...

    With virtually all the significant attractions being located in the city centre it means that everything can be accessed with ease and hotels are likely to be within walking distance as well. This does of course mean that you are likely to be on your feet for a lot of the day which, when combined with standing in museums, galleries, churches etc, prompts me to suggest you need to wear sturdy footwear and (as contradictory as it may seem) consider using the excellent bus public transport system to 'nibble away' at those potential walking distances, rest your legs and possibly escape the hot/cold/sun/rain (depending on when you are there) for a short time....

    The central 'core' of the city centre comprises those piazzas linked with predominantly very narrow alleyways, a number of wider pedestrian 'roads' and a few circuitous normal-use roads (ALL of which may be used by the 'super compact' electric buses detailed later on). Road traffic is generally very light in that central core but increases in volume massively as soon as you venture only slightly 'outside'.

    *** Despite the lack of traffic you still have to keep your eyes peeled for personal safety reasons, especially for the near-silent speedy cyclists and moped riders who dart around - usually ignoring one-way regulations etc....

    See my dedicated section on Public Transport for more info and tips.

    It's worth recording my surprise at how 'long' the days were. Light early mornings along with completely 'usable' sunlight available until around 6pm - a real bonus to what I expected as it extended the days very usefully.

  • 3. Public Transport
    http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=618f3bf7c819a110Vg...

    Florence is well-served with public transport services for city travel and destinations further afield.

    Trains are usually well-appointed, regular, often extremely reliable and relatively good-value (for us Brits anyway !).

    The link above is for information for the Pisa airport train service on the website of the actual train operator (English language version) - it's entitled 'Connections between Pisa Centrale and Galileo Galileo airport' and can obviously also be used for general train info/timetables etc.

    The next section has a link to (what should be the identical information !) about that same service on the Pisa airport website and a fuller explanation about the whole to/from the airport situation, as the websites information lacks complete detail and timetable searches don't necessarily give you ALL the information !

    City travel is all by bus and run by the same operator (ATAF) and is also good-value, but the cost is for a fixed duration so shorter trips will prove more costly. Like any busy city, buses might not arrive at the timetabled time BUT they do more or less appear at the timetabled interval (unlike London for example, where 3 of the same bus can arrive at the same time followed by a very lengthy gap until the next !).

    Both transport types require you to validate your ticket at the start of your journey (unsympathetic heavy fines loom otherwise and there are frequent ticket checks, even on buses !). For trains you do this BEFORE alighting (usually a small yellow machine around head-height on posts near platforms); for buses you do it using machines inside the vehicle, usually opposite the middle doors. Trouble remembering which is which ? If you're of a certain age just remember with a fond memory the saying 'On the Buses'...

    Before dealing with my hotel and then the main part regarding the attractions, the following sections breakdown details for Pisa airport trains and Florence bus services respectively.

  • 4. To/From Pisa Airport by Train
    http://www.pisa-airport.com/index.php?lang=_en&id_sect=221

    To/From Pisa (Galileo) Airport by Train

    Firstly, why not try and contrive to include a visit to Pisa when passing through travelling to/from the airport by train (it saves an excursion later) ?

    Pisa airport is located not far from the town of Pisa and has it's own rail station (well, it's really just a roofed platform !) which is directly adjacent to the eastern end of the main airport building - it is extremely easy to access. I am aware of there being a coach service, but did not even think of using it.

    Trains leave Pisa airport and either go all the way to Florence (BUT the service is relatively infrequent) or just make the short trip to the Pisa Central station (ie in the town of Pisa itself), requiring you to change there for a regional service to Florence. After dealing with the basic airport train essentials I shall finish this section with the full info on doing that train-changing trip as it is a little complicated to get timetable info etc....

    The link above is for Florence-direct train information on the Pisa airport website (English language version), which may obviously also be helpful for airport info as well. It states the ticket price and warns you that if you buy your ticket inside the airport terminal there is a surcharge. When I travelled this was the only place you could buy tickets as the railway station platform machine was out of service....

    I bought a single train ticket (returns offer no discount) from the sales office located inside the airport building at the extreme western end. It was just a few metres to my right when I came out of the 'Arrivals' exit (that bit in airports where people outside are waiting for people arriving) which leads you into the main concourse area.

    The following section has an Internet link to my dedicated media album where there's a view taken from the airport website showing that sales office and a view of the railway platform from the front of the airport terminal....

    This will be your first use of public transport and you're likely to be flustered/luggage-laden having just arrived SO REMEMBER TO VALIDATE YOUR TICKET BEFORE BOARDING (I was surrounded by fellow foreigners who forgot and paid for their error...).

    The previous section had the link to the website of the actual train operator for the same Pisa airport Florence-direct train service (it's called 'Connections between Pisa Centrale and Galileo Galileo airport'), but it also mentions the shuttle service to Pisa Central and can obviously also be used for general train info/timetables/fares etc.

    MORE IMPORTANTLY, you will need that train operator website link for timetable information on train services to Florence via Pisa Central (ie those which need you to change trains) in case you can't catch the infrequent direct train.

    ---

    So, to have the full picture for train services to/from Pisa airport you need the direct train information on those website links PLUS the shuttle timetable to/from Pisa Centrale PLUS the regional timetable for trains to/from Pisa Centrale to Florence (which you change to after the short shuttle from the airport).

    *** Happily, it's fairly easy to search for train timetables using the English language 'Look up the timetable and purchase your tickets' on the operator website BUT I am being careful to explain the process fully because if you search for timetables for trains from Pisa airport to Florence the website doesn't display ALL the services and whilst the webpage may be in English you need to enter station names in Italian - read on !

    [Of course, to avoid reading/Internet hassle you can just get the first train from the airport then just wait at Pisa Centrale for the next Florence train, but the reverse route might need to be better 'planned' to ensure you make your flight so what follows might be useful !]

    To access that timetable search facility webpage from the 'Connections between Pisa Centrale and Galileo Galileo airport' webpage link in the previous section either (correct when I wrote this !) you need to :

    either,

    Click the 'See timetable' link half-way down the initial 'Shuttle trains from Pisa Airport and Pisa Central Station' section.

    or,

    Click the 'Timetables and purchasing' tab link which is left-most below the operator logo/pictures.

    The webpage may be in English BUT you need to put station names in Italian NOT English, so DO use the autocomplete facility the website should offer as you start typing ! In case of problems, the names are :

    1. Pisa Aeroporto.

    2. Pisa Centrale.

    3. Firenze S. M. Novella.

    If changing at Pisa Centrale you need to descend to the interconnecting tunnel which links all the platforms and go to the necessary platform for the next Florence train (there are electronic info boards by each stairway entrance or you might hear an English announcement if you're lucky).

    A photo of the Pisa railway station platform area is in my aforementioned dedicated media album...

    Oh, and prepare for a mad frenzy to catch the Florence train.....

  • 5. Viewable Media - To/From Pisa Airport by Train
    http://s37.photobucket.com/albums/e80/lpwilliams/Florence%202012/Airpo...

    Above is the Internet link to my dedicated media album where there's a view taken from the airport website showing :

    1. The airport railway ticket sale office.

    2. A view of the railway platform from the front of the airport terminal.

    3. A photo of the Pisa railway station platform area.

    YOU CAN ZOOM-IN THE PHOTOS !

  • 6. City Buses
    http://www.ataf.net/en/fares/tickets.aspx?idC=82&LN=en-US

    Remember 'On the Buses' !!!

    The above Internet link is to the English-language version of the webpage with ticket information for the Florence bus operator 'ATAF'; you can also view timetables and routes from the link near the top-left of the page.

    The all-important online bus route map does exist, but there is absolutely no guidance on selecting it or how to find it.

    As the Internet URL is too long to include it here I've put it in it's own dedicated section which follows this one...

    So, just as important is for you to get your hands on the extremely useful pocket-sized city road/bus map which also lists fares and a multitude of other handy information - unfortunately, that appears to be extraordinarily difficult to achieve if the number of people who remarked on seeing me having one is anything to go by !

    I managed to get one on my first day from the tourist information office located on the southern side of the piazza surrounding the baptistery of the Duomo without fuss - they don't seem to be very well 'advertised' and you need to ask to gain ownership ! It is a small foldout affair and called 'Firenze Mappa integrata dei servizi di mobilita' - it shows all the routes/directions in full-colour and is a must have....

    The following section has an Internet link to my dedicated media album where there's a photo of it....

    Tickets can be bought from 'tabac'-style shops, machines and onboard (except they're pricier and you can only get the single-trip effort).

    Since I was in Florence for 6 full days, my hotel was a 1km walk from the centre, the weather might turn wet/cold and (as mentioned in my opening section) I wanted to nibble away at my walking distances as I was going to be on my feet most of the day as it was I bought the 7-day unlimited travel ticket costing EU18 - a bargain. Do note that multi-day tickets run from the day of first use to end of the 'final' day (ie they don't last the ticket period from first use), so maximum benefit is achieved if you validate the ticket as early in the day as possible...

    Other reasons for having a multi-day ticket are that it is likely to work out cheaper, you don't need to remember to validate the ticket on each trip, a change of plans can be made without needing to buy more tickets (I shuttled around the city a couple of times to re-visit museums which previously had unacceptably massive queues), you can include no-cost 'excursions' (eg Fiesole) and avoid the hill climb to Piazzale Michelangelo/San Miniato al Monte (bus 12/13) and instead enjoy more the walk down back to the city centre...

    [Do note that they 3-day 'Firenze Card' which gives multi-museum entry includes public transport usage, full info on that in my 'Attractions' section which is a bit lower down....]

    On arrival in Florence at the rail station I immediately bought my ticket from a machine located on a road 'island' just beyond the main bus 'platform' which is situated outside the eastern exit.

    There's a photo of the inside of the railway station showing the direction to walk to get to it in my aforementioned dedicated media album...

    ATAF buses exist in 3 single-decker 'guises': the usual full-length/2-exit bus for the main routes (generally designated with numerical-only route numbers), a slightly shorter version for the intermediate routes where some of the roads are a bit narrower and electric-powered 'mini' single-exit buses (barely longer than a large car) which scurry around the core of the city centre 'beeping' occasionally as they are difficult to hear since they don't have a noisy diesel engine !

    It is those 2 smaller bus-types that prove most useful for nipping around the city centre/surroundings - their route numbers always start with a letter and might have a following numerical digit (eg 'C1', 'D').

    A short video clip of one trundling around (so you can see what they're like and experience the silent-running !) in my aforementioned dedicated media album, the link/info is in the next section...

    To perhaps amplify their significance, the bus map features them on the main plan and overleaf there's a dedicated larger-scale plan for them (their routes can be quite directional, complex and/or circuitous !).....

    A photo of it is in my dedicated media album, in the next section....

    Using these buses saved me lots of time, kept me warm (when required) and left me fresh for museum visits - I still walked around 3 or 4km a day plus all that standing around....

  • 7. Online City Bus Map
    http://www.ataf.net/System/files/mappe/ATAF-FIRENZE_12-06_fronte.pdf

    The above Internet link is to the all-important online bus route map.

    Selecting it opens the map in Acrobat (pdf) format for you to peruse, print and/or download.

  • 8. Viewable Media - City Buses
    http://s37.photobucket.com/albums/e80/lpwilliams/Florence%202012/City...

    The Internet link above is to my dedicated media album where there's :

    1. A photo of the inside of Florence railway station showing the direction to walk to get to the bus platform.

    2. My validated (by machine on first journey AND also having written my surname in the designated space) 7-day ATAF ticket

    3. A photo of the 'Firenze Mappa integrata dei servizi di mobilita' bus map.

    4. A photo of the smaller 'city line' bus map.

    5. A photo showing the 'city line' routes.

    6. A short video clip of one small 'city line' electric buses trundling around (so you can see what they're like and experience the silent-running !).

    YOU CAN ZOOM-IN THE PHOTOS BY CLICKING ON THEM !

  • 9. Hotel Jane
    Hotel Jane, Florence
    Show Prices
    Avg price: $135

    Hotel-Well-Located Hotel with Good Breakfast and Comfortable Bedroom BUT Cramped Shower Room - Good Value

    See my TA review (and photos) - link above.

  • 10. Attractions - General Info
    http://www.firenzecard.it/index.php?option=com_eventifc&view=eventifc...

    For me, the real attractions of Florence were to view the palace/church interiors (not just the adornments, but the often ornately decorated walls AND ceilings - never forget to look up when viewing interiors !) and the art/artefact collections within them and dedicated galleries.

    The Internet link at the top of this section is for the English-language Firenza Card website 'Museum Map' page which I cover a little further on in this section....

    There is some difference in terminology depending on where you look, but most of the attractions come under either 'Municipal' (officially 'Florentine Civic Museums') or 'State' ('Polo Museale Fiorentino') label; the remainder are obviously privately-owned.

    Continuing the subject of 'feet/legs' from my introductory section, although I have included a dedicated section on Duomo I'll mention here that if you plan to scale the heights of either the dome or tower (called the Campanile) of Duomo, then I suggest you do it as late as possible in your visit in case the 'experience' (the climbs are strenuous) results in any discomfort which might affect your walking/standing ability and hence your enjoyment of the rest of your visit to Florence....

    On the same subject, good sturdy/comfortable footwear is a must, an umbrella rather than a raincoat is best (you are unlikely to be out enough for the coat and it can be a hindrance when inside) and do note that churches and some other attractions are likely to be unheated so in the colder months they really can be quite chilly inside....

    QUEUES for venues are VERY unpredictable....During my February visit I queued just once and that was for just a couple of minutes for the 'Uffizi' (no expensive pre-booking required) on a busy Saturday morning. Having said that, that was 1 hour after my first attempt when both the entrance AND pre-booking queues were lengthy several hundred in strength efforts with the electronic information signs stating a 'waiting time' of 90mins; leaving it that 1hr resulted in me returning to an almost deserted outside but with the electronic signs still stating the same waiting time !

    When I had passed the Uffizi entrance on the previous Thu/Fri there was absolutely nobody around, no electronic signs and I was able to walk in and make an enquiry inside a desolate vestibule area - explanatory answers for all that on a postcard please !

    The reason I preferred to got to some of the main attractions on the weekend was that it was (as I knew already, despite nobody at any tourist information offices knowing !) a special weekend where municipal museums were free to enter and state museums were 2-for-the-price-of-1. This seems to be poorly advertised and may need some checking beforehand, but from my earlier research was something to do with the commemoration of a significant benefactor to the treasures of Florence. That weekend is not unique - look on various websites and you should be able to build an idea of good times to go when similar offers are due, sometimes they are for a whole week ....

    *** A general point to note that most places follow a pattern of being closed on a Monday, BUT there are several notable exceptions (eg a lot of the churches are open). Also, some places do open on certain Mondays each month whilst some, for example, close on Tuesdays instead and some also close relatively early in the day ! So, a bit of time researching opening days/times/locations before your visit is guaranteed to enhance your visit and ensure you get the most out of your time in this most attractive city.

    To that end, the Internet can prove invaluable BUT take care when searching since attraction popularity has spawned a multitude of websites offering information and especially special ticketing 'options', which can make you think you're looking at the official website for that attraction - in all likelihood you're not....

    The 4 sections after this quickly cover the necessary Internet links for municipal and state (sometimes called civic) museums so you know what they look like and don't distracted by all the 'fakes'. Oddly, there are actually 2 different official state websites at the time of writing...!

    The first section contains an Internet link to my dedicated media album where there are photos of the indispensable English-language pocket-size 'Firenza' information guides you can grab hold of in most tourist information offices - they collate all the essential information for each venue in a very handy and concise fashion, so are great to carry around for reference purposes.

    My individual sections for each attraction form the majority of the remainder of my Trip List and (as including Internet links is troublesome) will comprise a section referring to my TA review and a link to it, then at least one section on visitor information (eg ticketing) with a specific Internet link to the relevant attraction webpage.

    You might not want to buy the 3-day all-inclusive entrance/public transport 'Firenze Card', BUT the website is still worth checking out as it has a very useful summary page listing most of the major attractions with their entrance fees/opening days/times and saves you 'interrogating' the available Internet info for each attraction individually. The Internet link for the English-language Firenza Card website 'Museum Map' page is at the top of this section - select the 'See the summary table schedules to plan your visit!' link just above the map to open that VERY useful museum information table...

    I'm confident that you will not get the full-value of the 'Firenze Card' ticket as 3 days is no where near enough to visit all the supported attractions, BUT it does include transport AND the opportunity for direct entrance (ie no pre-booking) so may still be a worthwhile purchase. I took advantage of the specially-priced weekend/7-day travelcard and 6 full days of available visiting time to get my optimum 'Florence 'experience' instead....

  • 11. Viewable Media - Attraction Information
    http://s37.photobucket.com/albums/e80/lpwilliams/Florence%202012/Attra...

    The Internet link above is to my dedicated media album where there are photos of the English-language pocket-size 'Firenza' information guides I mention above.

    YOU CAN ZOOM-IN THE PHOTOS BY CLICKING ON THEM !

  • 12. 'Municipal' Attractions
    http://www.museicivicifiorentini.it/en/index.html

    The Internet link at the top of this section is for the English-language website for 'Municipal' (officially 'Florentine Civic Museums') attractions.

    You can obviously use other sources for reviews/opinions etc, but for visitor information/potential updates you really need to use this site.

    There are links to each attraction with just about everything you might need to know, including detailed plans/views of the attraction itself.

    Each of my attraction-specific sections below will quote the Internet link on this website for the dedicated webpage.

  • 13. 'State' Attractions - 1 of 2
    http://193.42.139.9/english/

    The Internet link at the top of this section is for the 1st of the 2 available official English-language websites for 'State' ('Polo Museale Fiorentino') attractions - it is unclear which of the 2 is the newer and the situation is even more odd as one is not consistently better than the other, so it's best to cover both !

    The other is detailed in the following section.

    You can obviously use other sources for reviews/opinions etc, but for visitor information/potential updates you really need to use the sites.

    There are links to each attraction with just about everything you might need to know, including detailed plans/views of the attraction itself.

    Each of my attraction-specific sections below will quote the Internet link for the dedicated webpage on the websites.

  • 14. 'State' Attractions - 2 of 2
    http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/en/

    The Internet link at the top of this section is for the 2nd of the 2 available official English-language websites for 'State' ('Polo Museale Fiorentino') attractions which I explained above.

  • 15. Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti
    Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti, Florence

    *** My 1st place attraction.

    The gallery is one of the huge number of separate attractions residing in the huge, rather ugly, monolithic structure of the Pitti Palace - the imposing/unattractive nature of the Palace belies the beautiful treasures that lie within...

    The link above is to my TA review (with a gallery floorplan and photos) on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 16. Viewable Media - Palatina Paintings
    http://s37.photobucket.com/albums/e80/lpwilliams/Florence%202012/Galle...

    The Internet link above is to my dedicated media album where there are example images of the paintings I mention in my TA review.

    YOU CAN ZOOM-IN THE PHOTOS BY CLICKING ON THEM !

  • 17. Visitor Information for Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti - 1
    http://193.42.139.9/english/musei/palatina/default.asp

    Do note that due to the wide range of attractions in the Pitti Palace there is a choice of visitor ticketing options depending on what you want to see and how long you have.

    For the same reason, reviews on Trip Advisor can be spread between the entry for the individual attraction within the Palace and the separate entry for the Palace as a whole, so I suggest you explore the options as explained below.

    Firstly, do remember about the multi-day / museum / transport 'Firenza' ticket, as detailed in the Section 8 'Attractions - General Info and What I Visited' above.

    The Internet link at the top of this section takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the 'first' official website for the gallery, from where you can see all available visitor info.

    *** Use this English-language version to get your visitor information BUT ALSO the Italian version to get specific gallery and artefact/room information (explained later on below).

    Select the 'Hours and Tickets' link on the left-side, then the 'Combined tickets' sub-link for the ticket choices on offer.

    As mentioned in my review, it's now pertinent to mention that at the time of my visit you could leave/re-visit the gallery as you wished due to this specific gallery having no toilets. Check this is still true when you go and it means you can be more flexible with your visit...

    [I got the 'see everything' ticket as I could spread my viewings over 3 days and there was a special Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer the weekend I went.....]

    To get specific gallery/room use the Italian version of the webpage.

    First click the 'ita' link near top-left, then enable the 'Visita il museo' function by selecting the tabbed-link a little to the right.

    Whilst the individual room photos accessible using this facility don't do the Palatina complete justice, they do at least give you an idea of what you'll see in terms of artwork and how ornate the room decorations are.

    To use it, either click the option links below each room name or the desired room on the floorplan picture top-right (which then offer the same room links on the right).

  • 18. Visitor Information for Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti - 2
    http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/en/musei/?m=palatina

    I am assuming you're read the introductory info in the above section.

    The Internet link above takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the 'second' official website for the gallery, from where you can see all available visitor info.

    This website is operated by the same official source - I cannot explain why there are 2 versions but in case this is the only existing website at some point in the future I'll cover it.

    *** Use this English language version to get your visitor information BUT ALSO the Italian version to get specific gallery and artefact/room information (explained later on below).

    Select the 'Combined tickets' below the centrally-located general ticket price info for the ticket choices on offer.

    [I got the 'see everything' ticket as I could spread my viewings over 3 days and there was a special Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer the weekend I went.....]

    *** As mentioned in my review, it's now pertinent to mention that at the time of my visit you could leave/re-visit the gallery as you wished due to this specific gallery having no toilets. Check this is still true when you go and it means you can be more flexible with your visit...

    To get specific gallery/room use the Italian version of the webpage.

    First click the Italian country flag top-right in the long blue banner, then enable the 'Visita il museo' function by selecting the tabbed-link a little to the right - it will open in a new overlaying window.

    Whilst the individual room photos accessible using this facility don't do the Palatina complete justice, they do at least give you an idea of what you'll see in terms of artwork and how ornate the room decorations are.

    To use it, either click the option links below each room name or the desired room on the floorplan picture top-right (which then offer the same room links on the right).

  • 19. Palazzo Vecchio
    Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

    Vecchio Palace is my '2nd place' attraction in Florence (it was 1st until 4 days into my visit when I visited the Palatina Gallery in the Pitti Palace).

    You can't really miss seeing the palace, since it is right next door to the 'Uffizi' gallery which will undoubtedly be visited. In the same vein as the Palatina Gallery, which is a real gem 'hidden' inside the decidedly ugly frontage to the massive Pitti Palace, the beauties inside Vecchio Palace are not especially obvious as the exterior of the building is again not that attractive, at least it does have some interest value with a tall square turret and castling/arches, but the architecture doesn't set the world alight.

    Everything changes once you go inside....

    The link above is to my TA review (with photos with the review + video on the webpage itself) on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

    The video clips showing the interactive video display I mention in the review weren't posted, so a link to my photo album for them is in the following section.

    [The attraction is also listed with reviews in Trip Advisor as 'Museo di Palazzo Vecchio'... ]

  • 20. Viewable Media - Palazzo Vecchio
    http://s37.photobucket.com/albums/e80/lpwilliams/Florence%202012/Palaz...

    The Internet link above is to my dedicated media album where there are the photos and videos (mentioned but not posted in my TA review) of example room information boards in the palace and the video clips showing the interactive video display 'in action'.

    YOU CAN ZOOM-IN THE PHOTOS BY CLICKING ON THEM !

  • 21. Visitor Information for Palazzo Vecchio
    http://www.museicivicifiorentini.it/en/palazzovecchio/

    Firstly, do remember about the multi-day / museum / transport 'Firenza' ticket, as detailed in the Section 8 'Attractions - General Info and What I Visited' above.

    The Internet link above takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the website for the Palace, from where you can see all available visitor info (with one exception, see below).

    The links on the right of the webpage give access to a wealth of information about this wonderful attraction.

    *** I missed out on the opportunity due to it being fully-booked, but you can get a tour of some sort (it costs extra, but I understood that tours were not just in Italian...) which includes special entry into the stunningly sumptuous 'Private Study of Francesco I' (see my review). Curiously, there is no information about it on the website but there was a special information/booking desk, where someone was usually sitting, where you can arrange it. The desk is situated in the far corner of the room where the ticket office is - Good Luck and my advice would be to book ASAP, even if it is for a different day !

  • 22. Duomo - Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
    Duomo - Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiore, Florence

    This section is for the 'Duomo' cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) in general, which is my '3rd place' attraction in Florence

    My climb up the bell tower of Duomo gets a lower-place entry and is covered in a section further down in this Trip List.

    The link above is to my TA review (with photos with the review + video on the webpage itself) on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 23. Visitor Information for Duomo
    http://www.duomofirenze.it/index-eng.htm

    The Internet link above takes you to the dedicated English-language website for the Cathedral (complete with never-ending, rather irritating music !).

    It is a bit sparse, so I suggest you only go to it in order to use the link it provides to the detailed official website, which is Italian only unfortunately.

    To access the detailed website, from the website accessed using the link above, select the 'Tourist Visits' boxed link (the top one) then the website link which is then displayed.

    This opens the detailed website in a new window - you can then explore the different sections via the 'Monumenti' tab, specifically 'Duomo'.

  • 24. Basilica di San Miniato al Monte
    The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, Florence

    The Basilica di San Miniato al Monte is my '4th place' attraction in Florence.

    From the outside it has a pretty frontage, which is just about all you can see of the exterior, and it has the bonus of being situated upon high (higher than the adjacent viewpoint at Piazzale Michelangelo, covered in a later section....). However, the real beauty is, like most of the attractive buildings in Florence, on the inside.

    The link above is to my TA review (with photos with the review) on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 25. Visitor Information for Basilica di San Miniato al Monte
    http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/san_miniato.html#

    The link to what I think is the official website for the church should still exist on dedicated TA webpage, accessed from the section above where my review is. HOWEVER, it deals more with the history etc of the church and gives no hint about when you can visit.

    So, the Internet link above takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage for the Church on the website I think is best for the info.

    The useful specific info is available by clicking the small picture-links situated below the 'San Miniato al Monte' title - I hope it is up to date !

  • 26. Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi)
    Uffizi Gallery, Florence

    The Uffizi Gallery is my '5th place' attraction in Florence.

    I enjoyed my visit to the gallery, promoted by some other notable factors which I cover in my review - BUT I do think it is a little overrated and I found other venues (eg the Palatina Gallery in Pitti Palace) had pieces more to my taste; I'm VERY glad I had no hassle entering, otherwise I think I'd have left after my visit quite (or should I say more ?) dissatisfied....

    The link above is to my TA review (with photos) on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 27. Visitor Information for the Uffizi Gallery
    http://193.42.139.9/english/musei/uffizi/

    Firstly, do remember about the multi-day / museum / transport 'Firenza' ticket, as detailed in the Section 8 'Attractions - General Info and What I Visited' above.

    The advertised 'priority entrance' offered with this ticket might be attractive for this popular venue !
    The Internet link at the top of this section takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the 'first' official website for the gallery, from where you can see all available visitor info.

    To get specific gallery/room first click the 'Virtual Tour' function by selecting the 2nd tabbed-link from the left in the blue bar below the large photograph at the top..

    To use it, either click the option links below each room name or the desired room on the floorplan picture top-right (which then offer the same room links on the right).

  • 28. Basilica di San Lorenzo
    Basilica di San Lorenzo, Florence

    The church of San Lorenzo (Basilica di San Lorenzo) is my '6th place' attraction in Florence.

    Boy is the facade of this church ugly ! BUT don't let that deter you as whilst that initial view of the imposing church exterior is unlikely to provoke you into entering, along with the advantage of this being one of several places you can visit on a Monday it is also a perfect destination if the weather is inclement as everything of interest is under cover and quite beautiful. So ignore initial impressions and make your way inside this gargantuan structure....

    The link above is to my TA review on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

    [The attraction is also listed with reviews in Trip Advisor as 'Church of San Lorenzo'...]

  • 29. Visitor Information for Basilica di San Lorenzo
    http://www.operamedicealaurenziana.it/eng/orari.asp

    The Internet link above takes you to the dedicated English-language website for the church (it mentions but does not cover fully the adjoining Medici Chapels).

    For the church website it might also be worth checking other sources for visitor info as the website is a little out of date since, if nothing else, the entry cost is EU3.5, not EU2.5 !

    To find out about the Medici Chapels (which I didn't visit) access the official website, the link to which is at the top of section 11 above entitled ''State' Attractions - 1 of 2'.

  • 30. Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello Museum)
    Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello Museum), Florence

    The Bargello Museum is my '7th place' attraction in Florence, of those I visited.

    It's a relatively small museum BUT still a worthwhile visit

    The link above is to my TA review on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 31. Visitor Information for Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello Museum)
    http://193.42.139.9/english/musei/bargello/

    The Internet link at the top of this section takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the 'first' official website for the gallery, from where you can see all available visitor info.

    *** It's worth noting here that this attraction is one of the notable few which has a very variable opening hours schedule - with it being open on only a combination of alternate Sundays/Mondays BUT, more importantly, always closing 'early' at 1350hrs (at time of writing)....

    To get specific gallery/room first click the 'Virtual Tour' function by selecting the 2nd tabbed-link from the left in the blue bar below the large photograph at the top..

    To use it, either click the option links below each room name or the desired room on the floorplan picture top-right (which then offer the same room links on the right).

  • 32. Basilica di Santa Croce
    Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence

    The church of Santa Croce (Basilica di Santa Croce) is my '8th place' attraction in Florence, of those I visited.

    It's a large church with a spacious layout housing a lot of individual artistic religious items; there is also a small separate museum.

    The link above is to my TA review on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 33. Visitor Information for Basilica di Santa Croce
    http://www.santacroceopera.it/IngressoPerLaVisita.aspx

    The Internet link above takes you to the dedicated (Italian) website for the church.

    This webpage details where the entrances are for for 'normal' visitors and groups and the opening times.

    At the very bottom are 2 links :

    1. 'Scarica la mappa del Complesso monumentale di Santa Croce' opens a layout plan of the church in a new window (which is one side of the pamphlet you are given on entry)..

    2. 'Controlla i biglietti' opens the webpage covering entrance fees etc.

  • 34. Museo di San Marco
    Museo di San Marco, Florence

    The Museum of San Marco is my '9th place' attraction in Florence, of those I visited.

    There is a quite a lot to see inside, with some very attractively-decorated rooms, but the significant thing most people come to see are a notable painting on the 1st floor which starts a journey around 44 separate dormitory cells with their 'personal' decorations within....

    The link above is to my TA review on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

    [The attraction is also listed with reviews in Trip Advisor as 'Convent San Marco' and 'San Marco'...]

  • 35. Visitor Information for San Marco
    http://193.42.139.9/english/musei/sanmarco/

    The Internet link at the top of this section takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the 'first' official website for the museum, from where you can see all available visitor info.

    *** Use this English-language version to get your visitor information BUT ALSO the Italian version to get specific museum 'room' information :.

    First click the 'ita' link near upper-left/a little below the main photo, then enable the 'Visita il museo' function by selecting the tabbed-link a little to the right in the horizontal blue link 'bar'.

    To use it, either click the option links below each room name or the desired room on the floorplan picture top-right (which then offer the same room links on the right).

  • 36. Piazzale Michelangelo
    Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

    Piazzale Michelangelo is my '10th place' attraction in Florence, of those I visited.

    There are 3 reasons that should attract you to this Piazza, none of which are to look at the Piazza itself !

    The first reason is for the views you can gain of the city centre and along the river from a viewpoint on the northern rim. The second is to walk the small distance further uphill to visit Basilica di San Miniato al Monte (my '4th place' attraction), along with the slightly different city views you can get from there. The final reason is to access the adjacent start point for the downhill stroll along a scenic path back to the city centre.

    The link above is to my TA review on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 37. Visitor Information AND Viewable Media - Piazzale Michelangelo
    http://s37.photobucket.com/albums/e80/lpwilliams/Florence%202012/Piazz...

    The Internet link above is to my dedicated media album where there are the photos and videos showing the location of the Piazzale on the bus map, the relative location of Basilica di San Monte, the area of the Piazzale viewpoint and the approximate route of the hillside walk down to the riverside.

    There is also a video of the city centre from the viewpoint and photos of Duomo/Ponte Vecchio taken at different times of the day to show how the sun/glare/haze can affect the quality of the view !

    Each photo/video has any necessary description.

    YOU CAN ZOOM-IN THE PHOTOS BY CLICKING ON THEM !

    Bus 12 gets you to the Piazza from the West, Bus 13 from the North.

    You can hopefully see it is easy to get to the hillside walk from the front of the Piazzale viewing area - the start points are massive and don't need signposts. Similarly, once you're there the route for the walk down the hill is obvious.

    It is better to go downhill as you see things in front rather than having to turn around if you go up - also, the climb is about 400ft and quite steep so worth avoiding if you also plan to climb either part of Duomo !

    The walk downhill takes no more than 10mins - it is quite short as it is steep. If wet, it can be a bit slippery ! Then the walk along the river to Ponte Vecchio is about 1km, so about 15mins or so....

    So, it's about 25-30mins in total, BUT allow time for the viewpoint AND walking to/from/visiting Basilica di San Monte which is a little higher up (about 150ft or so).

  • 38. Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)
    Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto), Florence

    This section is specifically for the climb up the bell tower of 'Duomo' (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) - it is called Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto) and it's my '11th place' attraction in Florence, of those I visited.

    The Cathedral as a whole gets my 3rd place entry and is covered in a section further up in this Trip List.

    I found the bell tower to be quite beautiful from the outside, but was a little disappointed with the views you get from the top and thought the EU6 'climb' fee relatively pricey, especially when you consider all the effort is yours and there is nothing on show inside.

    The link above is to my TA review on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 39. Visitor Information for Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)
    http://www.duomofirenze.it/index-eng.htm

    The Internet link above takes you to the dedicated English-language website for the Cathedral (complete with never-ending, rather irritating music !).

    It is a bit sparse, so I suggest you only go to it in order to use the link it provides to the detailed official website, which is Italian only unfortunately.

    To access the detailed website, from the website accessed using the link above, select the 'Tourist Visits' boxed link (the top one) then the website link which is then displayed.

    This opens the detailed website in a new window - you can then explore the different sections via the 'Monumenti' tab, specifically 'Campanile'.

  • 40. Church of Santa Maria Novella
    Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence

    The Church of Santa Maria Novella is my joint '12th place' attraction (along with the following 3 attractions) in Florence, of those I visited - it is one of those few I have grouped together in my 'unpopularity' list, due to them being disappointing and not provoking any great interest from me....

    It's quite a large church, located a short distance to the south of the main city railway station of the same name - it sits at one end of a massive, quiet but rather bland piazza - next door is a separate museum of the same name.

    The link above is to my TA review on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 41. Visitor Information for the Church of Santa Maria Novella
    http://giubileo.comune.fi.it/musei/smnovella/lingue/eng/welcome.html

    The Internet link above takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the website for the museum, from where you can see all available visitor info.

    It can be a bit circuitous to navigate...

    The photographs are links to the individual sections covered.

    Select a photo and it opens a new page which looks rather sparse BUT contains a link to yet another webpage where all the related information resides !

    To go back to the main webpage select the large 'Santa Maria Novella' text area (lower right).

    To go to the related information for the section you chose, select the passage of text which is located ABOVE the large 'Santa Maria Novella' text area.

    You are now on a new webpage where the information resides with additional links on the left.

    To go back to the main webpage select the large 'Santa Maria Novella' text area (UPPER right).

    From any of those 'final' information webpages visitor entrance information can be accessed by selecting the small 'info' text link near the upper left.

    This opens a separate webpage window with all the information neatly laid out. This window has to be closed separately from the main webpage...

  • 42. Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti)
    Pitti Palace, Florence

    This section excludes my '1st place' entry for the Palatine Gallery and is presently an all-inclusive section for the rest of the bits of the Palace I visited on my combination ticket.

    It is the second of my joint '12th place' attractions in Florence, of those I visited.

    Unfortunately, Trip Advisor have made a poor job of differentiating the separate attractions within the Palace.

    To be clear, the attractions are :

    Palatine Gallery

    Gallery of Modern Art

    Costume Gallery

    Museo degli Argenti

    Porcelain Museum

    Boboli Gardens

    plus the Bardini Gardens, entrance for which IS provided if you buy a Pitti Palace ticket which includes the Boboli Gardens. This garden has only recently reopened and isn't given a separate entry on the Pitti Palace website but IS mentioned on the ticketing section !

    I'll try and get it corrected, but at the moment on TA there are only entries for the Palatine Gallery, the Boboli Gardens and the Porcelain museum (albeit that it makes no reference to it being part of the Pitti complex !) and then the Palace itself, which is obviously a building but for the purposes of tourism/ticketing isn't really an attraction as it is merely the complex which houses the above attractions.

    Presently, almost all reviews are being added to the Pitti Palace entry, which makes it tricky for browsers to determine which 'bits' you'd like to pay and see !

    The link above is to the TA page for the Pitti Palace.

  • 43. Visitor Information for the Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti)
    http://193.42.139.9/english/musei/palazzopitti/

    Do note that due to the wide range of attractions in the Pitti Palace there is a choice of visitor ticketing options depending on what you want to see and how long you have.

    As mentioned in the previous section, reviews on Trip Advisor can be spread between the entry for the individual attraction within the Palace and the separate entry for the Palace as a whole, so I suggest you explore the options as explained below until it (ever ?) gets sorted out....

    The Internet link at the top of this section takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the 'first' official website for the gallery, from where you can see all available visitor info.

    *** Use this English-language version to get your visitor information BUT ALSO the Italian version to get specific gallery and artefact/room information (explained later on below).

    Select the desired Pitti 'attraction' as listed on the right of the page below the 3D view of the Palace complex (either the name in the picture or from the list below that).

    In the Tickets section, below the opening hours, select 'Combined tickets' to see the ticket choices on offer.

    To get specific gallery/room, if available, use the Italian version of the webpage.

    First go back to the attraction page where the opening hours/ticket prices were displayed.

    Then click the 'ita' link near top-left, then enable the 'Visita il museo' function by selecting the tabbed-link a little to the right.

    To use it, either click the option links below each room name or the desired room on the floorplan picture top-right (which then offer the same room links on the right).

  • 44. Museo di Palazzo Davanzati
    Museo di Palazzo Davanzati, Florence

    The Museo di Palazzo Davanzati is the third of my joint '12th place' attractions in Florence, of those I visited - it is one of those few I have grouped together in my 'unpopularity' list, due to them being disappointing and not provoking any great interest from me....

    That is not to say these isn't much here that would not be of interest to others. The museum is housed in quite a large merchant's house located on the a small road about half way between Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria. The frontage is quite bland and inside can be a bit dingy, but there is a lot to see.

    The link above is to my TA review on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 45. Visitor Information for Museo di Palazzo Davanzati
    http://193.42.139.9/english/musei/davanzati/

    The Internet link at the top of this section takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the 'first' official website for the museum, from where you can see all available visitor info.

    The tabbed access bar, just below the main photo, offers a 'Virtual Tour' function, select the tabbed-link a little to the right to see the options.

    Although it didn't work for me, using the 'List of the Rooms' options you should be able to either click the option links below each room name or the desired room on the floorplan picture top-right (which then offer the same room links on the right).

    The other options worked but are a little 'sparse' in detail.

  • 46. Museo Stefano Bardini
    Museo Bardini, Florence

    The Museo Stefano Bardini is the fourth of my joint '12th place' attractions in Florence, of those I visited - it is one of those few I have grouped together in my 'unpopularity' list, due to them being disappointing and not provoking any great interest from me....

    That is not to say these isn't much here that would not be of interest to others. The museum is housed in a relatively small building located on the southern riverside road about half way between the base of the Piazzale Michelangelo scenic hillside walk and Ponte Vecchio (making it perhaps a handy stop-off enroute).

    The link above is to my TA review on the dedicated TA page for this attraction.

  • 47. Visitor Information for Museo Stefano Bardini
    http://www.museicivicifiorentini.it/en/bardini/

    The Internet link above takes you to the dedicated English-language webpage on the website for the museum, from where you can see all available visitor info.

    The links on the right of the webpage give access to a wealth of information, with the 'Useful Information' section including a comprehensive 'Photo Gallery'.