I've been spending hours and hours planning our trip to Greece and Italy this summer--the opening hours/days of the museums and sights in Florence sure are a lot harder to plan around then in Rome! I've never seen more random opening/closing times!
Anyways, I think I finally have our days in Florence planned out (subject to change of course, based on how we're feeling each day!). We have three teenage boys, but luckily they enjoy history/sightseeing/art/architecture, etc. (of course they also enjoy sleeping in and eating!). This will be our first time to Florence and I've tried to pack a lot in, but hopefully reasonably. We will definitely skip sights during the day if we're all tired or just want to relax a little longer in a piazza.
That said, I do like to have things planned out for each day so we know what we're doing--especially in Florence where things are closed on odd days or hours. Please let me know if you see that I have us visiting a site you know will be closed on that day. Also important to note: we plan to purchase Firenze cards for everyone, so will not have to make reservations for sites.
arrive from Rome by train 6:00 p.m. (tickets already purchased)
check in to the apartment we are renting, right near the Duomo
relax, walk around the pedestrian area, find a nice place for dinner
Uffizi tour with Context Travel 9-11:30am
Palazzo Vecchio (secret itinerary tour)
Piazza della Signoria (relax, eat)
Duomo in the morning (Bell tower, Museo dell'Opera, Cathedral, Duomo, Baptistry)
lunch (Central market)
San Lorenzo market
Palazzo Strozzi (Springtime of Renaissance)
San Lorenzo & Medici chapels
check out of our apartment, store luggage (can we store at the train station?)
Pisa day trip (or we will stay in Florence if we've missed things on previous days)
4:00 catch train to Venice
We are definitely planning to take a late afternoon/early evening bus ride up to Piazzale Michelangelo at least one evening.
Does that plan look at least somewhat do-able? Some museums we may only spend an hour or so in, and some churches only 30 min.
For our day trip to Pisa, do we take a train or a bus? Do I need to purchase transportation tickets ahead of time? I'd rather wait until the last moment in case we change our minds. Also I believe we need to make reservations to climb the Tower of Pisa, can I do that at the last minute?