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can someone recommend a local tour company

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San Francisco
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can someone recommend a local tour company

Hi, we are first imer, and would appreciate if anyone can give

us specific names of good local tour companies. WE are

arriving by cruise ship and only have a few hours there.

Which are the must see site for first timer ? Is it feasible to

combine Florence with Pisa in one day, or should we just

focus on Florence. ? Is Florence very easy to navigate on our

own without using tour companies

Florence, Italy
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1. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

You only have a few hours in Florence??

Well I think that would cancel out any tour company as it would be difficult for you to fit in with most schedules for tours. And it would be extremely difficult to see Pisa AND Florence in the same day with just a few hours!

I would suggest: Focus on Florence. Get a guidebook that has a good map of the centre of Florence that you can study before you arrive. It's a small town, everything in within walking distance, and you can see quite a lot just by walking from the Duomo to Piazza Signoria to the Ponte Vecchio (which in total is a distance of half a mile, about a 10 minute walk if you don't stop!).

San Francisco
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2. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

Hi, just to clarify. We will be there approx. 12 hours in port. Since we do

not speak Italian , nor we know our way around Florence, we figure out

we can make best use of our time by joining a tour.

Is that enough time to join a tour.

If I should do it on my own, how do I get from port to the center of interest

( the cathederal, musuem etc) . From there, I understand everything is

pretty much walking distance ?

Florence, Italy
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3. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

Not speaking Italian is not a problem for getting around and enjoying Florence. Most people do speak English and it is easy to get around. Again, joining a tour will be tricky to time properly because it depends what time you get in to Florence and many tours of the city depart first thing in the morning.

I'm assuming the port you mention is Livorno. You can catch a train from there directly to Florence's Santa Maria Novella train station. You can look at the timetables here (the timetable is about to change for the summer, but just look up todays or tomorrow's dates to get an idea of the frequency of the trains and times - basically one every hour and it takes about an hour and 20 mins): www.ferroviedellostato.it/homepage_en.html

From the train station, the Duomo and everything else you want to see is within a short walk.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

Florence is made for walking and it is next to impossible to get lost. Get a good guide book and study it. Check out the Google Maps street view feature to plan you virtual tour. The DK Eyewitness guide is my fave with excellent maps and info. Also Very good is the AAA Spiral Guides.

If that fails and you can find the time the Artviva Tour Company has some very good smaller tours of the City.

Do some planning and research and you will be rewarded.

5. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

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Florence, Italy
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6. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

the Artviva tours go out first thing in the morning, like most tours, as I stated in my posts already... so unless you can get in to Florence before 8:30am to catch any tours, I think your best bet is to do it yourself.

Savannah, GA
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7. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

You can hire a private guide. There are excellent ones - with great English - who will meet you at the train station (with your name on a sign - you won't miss him/her) and will help you to see the maximum amount in the time that you have. It would be an excellent investment. You won't have to worry about maps, street signs, getting lost and losing valuable time. The guide will then assist you back to the train station so that you'll be in good time to get back to Livorno (and will be certain you're on the correct train - sometimes a bit of a trick!). Using maps, guide books, following street signs and getting wonderfully lost in Florence are all a splendid part of a Florence experience - if; you have a few days. Given your short time a guide can get you where you want to go flawlessly and show you the most in the time you have. If you communicate with the guide in advance - use this site to get a good one - an itinerary that is personalized can be formulated for you in advance and tickets to certain sites acquired if - for example - you wanted to visit the Academia to see the David. The additional advantage is that a licensed Florence guide can get you past crowds....they have an "in" that will be worth their fee to you, given your time constraints.

8. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

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San Francisco
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9. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

Thanks everyone for the wonderful idea.

Can someone give me a few names and internet address of a few local

tour guide, or show me how to search for it.

thanks so much again.

10. Re: can someone recommend a local tour company

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