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Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

Franklin, Wisconsin
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Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

Looking to once again enlist the help of TA for our trip to Italy!

Husband and I are traveling this September – staying in Siena as a base for 7 nights – and doing Florence for only one day (train to Florence in the morning, train back to Siena in evening). Need help with one-day itinerary! Of all of the days we’re trying to plan out, our day in Florence has proven most difficult. There’s just so much to do!

Is the outline below too aggressive? Note that times are for planning purposes only – we don’t want to short change anything and are open to lingering longer any place and then skipping something else, should the mood strike us.

9:00am: Arrive by train

9:30 – 10:30am: Accademia (will make reservations)

10:30am-2:30pm: We plan to make our way from the Accademia to Ponte Vecchio, essentially doing Rick Steves’ Renaissance Walk, with a stop at San Lorenzo Market and the Bargello, and throwing in lunch as well. Enough time? We aren’t planning on climbing the duomo or campanile, only because we’re heading up to Piazzale Michaelangelo later in the afternoon to take in the view.

2:30pm-4:30pm: Continue with Rick Steves’ Oltrarno Walk, probably with a stop at Pitti Gola for a glass of wine and to soak up Pitti Palace. Maybe pop into Boboli Gardens for a stroll? Enough time to do so?

4:30pm-5:00pm: Branacci Chapel (will make reservations)

5:00pm-6:30pm: Piazzale Michaelangelo & San Miniato – maybe we’ll grab a bottle of wine at some point, and stop here for a rest, a drink, and take in the view – is this allowed?

7:10pm: train back to Siena

9:00pm: Late dinner in Siena

I know we’re missing the Ufizzi, but based on what I’ve read here on TA, doing both museums (Ufizzi & Accademia) in one day doesn’t allow one to truly explore Florence and just take in the city. Plus, I think we’d really enjoy just exploring and seeing the city, rather than be in lines and museums all day.

Your thoughts, suggestions and recommendations are highly appreciated!!

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Franklin, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

Anyone out there with ideas/thoughts for us? :)

Toronto
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2. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

Very aggressive! I think it may be doable, though. The Bargello is amazing, and I would budget at least an hour of your 4 hour walk to go through it. We found we enjoyed it even more than the Uffizzi (my husband, in particular, was more into sculpture, and this hit the spot for him).

Unless you're major shoppers, walking through some of the San Lorenzo market shouldn't take you too long. I would, if you can, fit a side stop into Santa Croce in on your way down to Ponte Vecchio. If I were ever to return to Florence for just one day, it would be my first stop: an abundance of gorgeous artwork, and a beauty that is only partly compromised by the mobs of tourists :) Wandering the city just to soak in its ambience would be my second stop. You'll have a fantastic time.

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3. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

It is very busy, but with so little time, you need to make the most of it. I can't see how you could possibly fit Santa Croce in too though. It might be worth considering visiting the newly opened Bardini Gardens on the Oltrarno, rather than the Boboli Gardens. They are smaller, less crowded, with just as good views over Florence and have more flowers.

You can take wine to the Piazzale Michelangelo, but be warned you will be far from alone. I was there at Easter and the place was absolutely packed with mainly young people who had bought their own bottles. It is probably too busy to be the romantic experience you might be imagining.

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4. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

Thanks for the great input! I think it will be a full day, but as you mentioned PeggyPatch, with only one we have to fit in a lot!

Regarding Santa Croce - I have heard a lot about how great it is. Would you recommend adding more time to our walk and visiting Santa Croce, and maybe cutting out the Branacci Chapel? Hard to say for me, as I've heard wonderful things about both!

Thanks also for the idea of Bardini Gardens instead of Boboli - fewer crowds sound appealing! :)

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5. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

This is a highly aggressive itinerary....IMO I would save the Accademia and Uffizi for another time. I know this doesnt include the Uffizi, but I think you need more time to deal with crowds and to truly enjoy the Accademia. You could spend 1/2 hour or more at the David alone. I really enjoyed Della Croce, but I tend to enjoy the history of tombs and burial sites of famous people more than others. As much as I love Pitti Gola, Zeno is a superb host, crossing into the Oltrarno isn't something I would do with 1 day.

I would stay outside......Piazza Signoria, Della Croce, Baptistry & Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, San Lorenzo, lunch outside, cafe for an espresso, grab a gelato.

I could go on and on and everyone has their favorites, but we'd all agree

1 day will leave you short of time.

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6. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

I think he means Santa Croce.

I don't think you can compare Santa Croce with the Brancacci chapel, and certainly not timewise. You have to pre-book a 15 minute slot for the Brancacci chapel, but could easily spend well over an hour in Santa Croce.

The way I see it, you only have time to hand pick a few things that appeal to you, so don't stress about trying to get it exactly right, just go with what you think you'll like. You are bound to fall in love with this beautiful city and plan to return one day. Then you can do some of the things you haven't had time to see this time. Just relax, do what you have the time and energy for and most importantly - enjoy!

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7. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

Ooops, slipped in a random della.

Franklin, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

Great advice - thanks! I think we'll keep our list of "musts" short, so we can see those, and sneak in a few more if time allows. We've never been to Italy, but already are certain we'll love it and will want to return! We'll definitely have to allow more time for Florence on our next trip!

Thanks again all!

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9. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

I'd keep the itinerary, but be prepared to dump it if you're having fun just walking and "being".

My favorite thing to do in Florence is to just wander and see where my mood takes me.

Personally, the time I've spent at the Accademia and seeing David was well worth the time. I also try and consume as much gelato as possible :)

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10. Re: Please Help! One-Day Itinerary in Florence

We thought the highlight of Piazzale Michaelangelo was being there at sunset (with all the other tourists, lol)

Thank God, it appears you are young!

I wouldn't be afraid to deviate from the schedule if you find something that appeals.

Everyone has their favorites...............we thought the Duomo Museum was wonderful.