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Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

Colorado Springs, CO
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Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

Hi, my husband and I are staying at Hotel Degli Orafi in Florence for 3 nights and would like to see the breathtaking views of Tuscany, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and of course, Siena. Could someone please recommend the best way to acoomplish this? Or is there another "must see" I should plan for? Should we use a tour guide or have the hotel arrange this when we arrive? Any help would be greatly appreciated! This is our first time to Italy and we want to make the most of our experience. Thanks!

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Naples, Italy
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1. Re: Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

candt16, I seriously think you can achieve great things with an excellent guide book and a train time table!

The trains are very good, pretty fast and it costs around 7Euro per person for a one hour trip to Pisa. Then simply catch the bus from the rail station to the Piazza dei Miracoli, where the Leaning Tower is and just go from there. There's some gorgeous side streets, splitting away from the Tower towards the station, to explore on foot selling authentic regional products.

Italy's major tourist attractions are organised very well - there easy to get to, navigate around and get out of!

But saying that, a private guide for just the two of you would really be great - like a historian from the local university or an art/architecture student.

But I would advise against the massive tour groups - I've stood back many times when visiting places like the Vatican Musueams and the Ufizzi in Florence and watched horrified as large groups of more than 50 people jostle through and try to keep up with their guide and spend about three minutes standing in front of art that certainly deserves more than three minutes. I don't understand where the value is in doing that!

I did a small tour in Rome, check out www.contextrome.com (plenty on TA about this company and there are links to florence branch) for a four-hour tour of the Palatine Hill, Colosseum and Roman Forum tour and it was excellent. It had four people in it so you could really get in and ask questions.

For Tuscany, and I'm keeping in mind your three nights, don't miss San Gimignano - take the bus from Florence's Santa Maria Novella bus station next to the SM rail station. Or hire a car and you could cover up to three towns such as Volterra, San Gimignano and even gorgeous Cortona in the one day if you leave early.

And Florence? Three hundred years wouldn't be enough to discover it as it is very, very seductive.

Good Luck!

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2. Re: Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

Yeah, exactly - what about Florence? I would do a one day tour to Siena and san Gimignano and the rest of the time spend in Florence itself.

You can do Siena and san Gimignano either by train (www.trenitalia.com) or by bus. Or you can take a guide, or a guided tour. You can find many a recommendation in this forum.

Enjoy!!

Kamloops, BC...
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3. Re: Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

Candt16

I think nobody mentioned where you get the timetable -- go to a newstand and ask for "uno horario, per favore" - it will cost somewhere around 5-7 euros and will give you all the info you need for making your day to day plans - you should be able to get it in the airport when you arrive -

Also -- I often get my train tickets and reservations in local travel agencies rather than standing in line at the railroad station - I've never had any trouble even with my very limited Italian, and it costs no more to do it that way --

I'm sure that you'll have a wonderful time -

Colorado Springs, CO
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4. Re: Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

Wow! Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your help. I think I'll use your recommndation and go with a tour guide for our day trip. I've heard from Florence is so beautiful from so many people. We're really looking forward to seeing it for ourselves. I just wish we had more time... Thanks again!!

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5. Re: Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

Much better than the printed version - go to the website I mentioned for train timetables - trenitalia.com. It'll give you more time to prepare and explore the different possibilities. The "orario" is cumbersome and rather difficult to decipher, wheras the website has a friendly interface and English version.

charlotte, North...
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6. Re: Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

Candt16:

Have you found any info about a one day tour to Siena and San Gimignano from Florence? My husband and I are looking for the same thing and I think we would get more out of having a small tour guide than just hopping the train and "winging" it. If you have any info you are willing to share you can email me at ahoskrn@aol.com

Thanks! (p.s. been to Colorado Spings..its beautiful!)

Ontario
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7. Re: Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

Hello,

We have just booked Alessandro Cammilli to take us on a day trip. He plans to pick us up at 9am and finishes at 5pm.

He charges 200E for the day. He comes highly recommended on the forums.

His email is alecamma@hotmail.com

This is our itinerary - you can ask him to plan the day or make suggestions. The oulet is included in ours because my friend likes shopping.

"I would suggest:

> >departure from your accommodation to the wine region through the

Chianti

> >Classico road

> >stop to visit the Castle of Vicchiomaggio

> >stop to visit Greve in Chianti(typical quaint town)

> >stop to visit the family owned farm of Montagliari and its cellars

> >stop to visit Castellina in Chianti(quaint town)

> >stop to visit San Gimignano

> >stop for lunch if you want(lunch is not included)

> >outlet

> >In each of the places I mentioned it is possible to do wine

tasting(wine

> >tasting is included)

> >arrive to Florence"

N

Ontario
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85 posts
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8. Re: Florence Day Trips & how to plan for them

Hello,

We have just booked Alessandro Cammilli to take us on a day trip. He plans to pick us up at 9am and finishes at 5pm.

He charges 200E for the day. He comes highly recommended on the forums.

His email is alecamma@hotmail.com

This is our itinerary - you can ask him to plan the day or make suggestions. The oulet is included in ours because my friend likes shopping.

"I would suggest:

> >departure from your accommodation to the wine region through the

Chianti

> >Classico road

> >stop to visit the Castle of Vicchiomaggio

> >stop to visit Greve in Chianti(typical quaint town)

> >stop to visit the family owned farm of Montagliari and its cellars

> >stop to visit Castellina in Chianti(quaint town)

> >stop to visit San Gimignano

> >stop for lunch if you want(lunch is not included)

> >outlet

> >In each of the places I mentioned it is possible to do wine

tasting(wine

> >tasting is included)

> >arrive to Florence"

N