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Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
105 posts
18 reviews
Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

Hi All,

We are reaching Florence on 6th Sept and have until 10th night(leaving for Venice on 11th).

I am contemplating between things to do, These are are my thoughts:

6th and 7th - Explore Florence

8th Explore the countryside places Tuscany

9th- See Pisa and go to Verona(Pisa to Verona is 3.5 hours by train, so a Half day visit to Pisa)

10th - Verona--> the Romeo Juliet Church at Verona and Sirmione beach

OR

6th and 7th - Explore Florence

8th Cheese and Wine Tour

9th & 10th - Explore the countryside places Tuscany(Pisa, San Gimignano, Siena) / Maybe stay in Agriturismo for a day?

I have read stories about the Romeo Juliet Church and am quite fascinated by them, so thought it would be a good idea to include it on our trip. Not quite sure if its worth the detour and also the bargain of taking a day away from exploring the countryside Tuscany..

Please advise:)

Thank you!!!

83 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Florence
Level Contributor
3,146 posts
6 reviews
1. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

travel_world44,

First of all, you have a whole lot less time than you seem to think you do. And there just may be a whole lot more to see in Florence than you may realize.

You have four full days plus whatever is left on the day you arrive -- and will that be shortly after a transAtlantic flight? Four days is just barely enough to scratch the surface of things to see in Florence. Your plan talks for spending one day -- plus whatever time you have on the 6th -- to "explore Florence". Why are you even going to Florence?

You talk about exploring "the countryside places Tuscany". Tuscany is big. How are you planning on seeing it? Are you going to rent a car for one day? If so, you're going to spend a huge amount of time picking it up, dropping it off, and getting through the Florence suburbs. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time to explore anything. And renting a car for one day is hideously expensive.

I simply don't understand your plans for Pisa - Verona - Sirmione. You have so little time, and you're thinking about spending so much of it in trains going through relatively boring countryside. Why?

As for Verona: It's a really fascinating town with a whole lot to see -- none of which has anything whatsoever to do with Romeo and Juliet. Anything that is claimed to have anything to do with them -- such as the palazzo with "Juliet's balcony" and your church are, of course, total myths. And I know of nothing in San Zeno that is worth the voyage. I have loved the play since I first read it in high school almost 60 years ago. I've enjoyed any number of good, bad and indifferent performances of it. It's no reason at all to go to Verona.

And your plans for a wine and cheese tour and a two-day tour of Tuscany don't make a whole lot of sense to me -- unless all you are really interested in is checking things off a list.

You simply don't have enough time to see and appreciate much of anything -- and you're talking about spending a huge percentage of that in trains or cars, or vans, or buses, or whatever -- getting from A to B in a great big hurry and not having any time to enjoy whatever there is in A or B.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
105 posts
18 reviews
2. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

Thanks Venerosi for such an honest response..

We will be coming to Florence after having spent 3 days in Rome..

We are planning to rent a car to see places such as Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca, Pisa..

I have heard of Walkabout tours which take you to 2-3 places in a day?

I can drop wine and cheese tour from my list if it makes the trip too compact..

I am not looking to check things/places off my list...not sure if my post comes across as such..I thought 5 days were a good enough time..

What would you recommend ?

Destination Expert
for Florence
Level Contributor
3,146 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

travel_world44,

Do you know what there is to see in Florence? In Rome?

One and a half days, or even three days, makes absolutely no sense to me.

You say, ".I thought 5 days were a good enough time.."

For what?

You say, "I have heard of Walkabout tours which take you to 2-3 places in a day"

If each of those places has more than a day's work of world-class to see, and the time you spend going from A to B to C means you don't have time to see anything of any significance in any of them, what's the point in going to "2-3 places in a day"?

Travel less. See more.

If it were me, I would spent all but one day in Florence, and I'd spend that one day going to Siena -- by bus -- through the gorgeous Chianti countryside.

Then I'd start planning a longer and better visit -- starting with a whole lot more time in Rome.

CA
Level Contributor
11,456 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

Juliet's Balcony was added to the building in 1934 by the government to boost tourism.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
105 posts
18 reviews
5. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

@Venerosi :

Like many others here, It's my first time visiting these places and all I know is through the posts I read on TA and the comments people have about their travels..

I had read the below link :

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Guide-g187895-k44…

and a few other reviews and therefore thought I would be able to see Florence in 3 days and then the nearby places in the rest 2days.

Any advise on the bus company for Siena and the accommodation?

@Francophool : Thanks!

You guys broke my spell, I had this fantasy story in my head all along..

Philadelphia Area
Level Contributor
2,387 posts
72 reviews
6. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

This is my advise to you:

1. Do not rent a car in Florence. You are banned from driving it in specific areas and if you are caught doing so the fines are very expensive.

2. I repeat, do not rent a car in Florence - the traffic can be crazy in Florence and not worth renting a car.

3. Make a list of things you want to see in Florence. Stick to those ideas and plan ahead by buying tickets in advance for museums etc if you plan to visit museums.

4. Do not make plans to visit outside cities / towns...BUT make a list of cities from most important to least important. Then ONLY if you have extra time, go to see them. No pressure and no plans will cause you a lot less stress. Train tickets are more expensive if you do not buy in advance, but at least you won't miss anything in Florence, being forced to use your pre-booked train ticket. If you have extra time, you can go to the bus station near the train station and take the bus to San Gim. and/or Siena. Have extra time? Great! What's next on your list? Take a train there next. The train website is Trenitalia.com.

Puget Sound...
Level Contributor
1,821 posts
231 reviews
7. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

Don't get discouraged by those insisting you don't have enough time...you'll be back. You can get a good overview of Florence in a couple of very full days. I once took a day trip via a tour company to Siena and San G; it was a long day but I enjoyed my first taste of the Tuscan countryside and hill towns. I agree with those who say not to rent a car...public transit, including trains and buses, is very good from Florence and hassle-free.

Destination Expert
for Florence
Level Contributor
3,146 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

travel_world44

Buy one or more good guide books -- to read before you go and to take with you.

I think the Blue Guide series is the best.

Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
2,734 posts
95 reviews
9. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

I noticed you had a day trip to Pisa and then to Verona and back to Florence. I don't know what your plans are in Venice, but I would just do that half day trip to Pisa from Florence and then once you are in Venice you can do a day trip by train to Verona...

Birmingham, UK
Level Contributor
519 posts
140 reviews
10. Re: Need help to plan Florence Itinerary

Unless you are absolutely desperate to see the tower give Pisa a miss, too far out of your way.

Verona is nice but I would spend more time in Venice and do there properly and perhaps more slowly.

A beach is a beach is a beach

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