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Florence for a day from Rome

Florence for a day from Rome

Old Mar 1, 18, 3:22 pm
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Florence for a day from Rome

Hello - First time to Italy. We are staying a week in Rome and have 1 free day to spare and would like to take the train to Florence for a day.

Any suggestions on what to do for a day, areas to walk to or must see places while we're there?

I know we need more than a day to see the city but our time is limited (8Hrs) to at least experience Florence for a day.

FYI - we're pretty athletic family and have older teens with us as well.

Appreciate any recommendations.

Grazie!
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Old Mar 2, 18, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by jemgazo View Post
Hello - First time to Italy. We are staying a week in Rome and have 1 free day to spare and would like to take the train to Florence for a day.

Any suggestions on what to do for a day, areas to walk to or must see places while we're there?

I know we need more than a day to see the city but our time is limited (8Hrs) to at least experience Florence for a day.

FYI - we're pretty athletic family and have older teens with us as well.

Appreciate any recommendations.

Grazie!
Easy to do, and a great idea. It's hard to say what to do, since you don't say when you are going. There's a big difference between summer, winter, etc. Unless you have a specific thing in mind, like seeing the art in the Uffizi, or the Statue of David in Academia, just get off the train, and walk to the Piazza Duomo, and look at that. Then, ask to be pointed towards the Arno River, and see Ponte Vecchio, and go over it and walk a bit. Walk a little on both sides of the river. I think it would be foolish to try to pack in an itinerary. Just go, and walk around, Duomo, to Ponte Vecchio. You don't want to get back to Rome too late, so just walk and enjoy. Stop for coffee. Stop for a glass of wine. By all means, go to Mercato Centrale, Central Market, and save a lot of appetite for food and wine for when you get there. It's just a few blocks from where you'll be, and engorge. Make a vacation out of it. You don't need a script, or an itinerary. If you see the Duomo, walk along the Arno, see Ponte Vecchio and learn a tiny bit about it's history, and eat at Mercato Centrale, you will have a memorable day. No script, no timetable. You are on vacation. All you need to know beyond this is the time the train leaves Rome, and the time the train you want to take comes back from Florence. Otherwise, I'd just wing it but see Duomo, Arno, Ponte Vecchio, Mercato Centrale. That will be a very fine day trip from Rome.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 4:07 pm
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Assuming a same day arrival/departure, I'd probably try to squeeze in two meals, a long walk, and one place of interest.

Since you're going to start and end at Firenze SMN, I'd stop at the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella first. Its close to the station (obviously), but really underrated because the Duomo is nearby. Not enough people stop to see this building, IMHO. After that, lunch at Sergio Gozzi (they are not open for dinner) near Piazza San Lorenzo, or the Mercato Centrale as a backup choice. After lunch, take a long loop thorugh the historic center - walk generally toward the Duomo, and from there zigzag through the central streets, going south, through Piazza della Signoria, through the courtyard of the Uffizi, cross Ponte Vecchio, down through Piazza Pitti. From there you can turn back on Via Maggio - that crosses back over Ponte Santa Trinita and turns into Via Tornabuoni. That street lights up really nicely at night, and is also an avenue of high end shopping and former palaces. Have dinner at Cipolla Rossa before heading back to the train station (Mercato Centrale also being a good secondary plan, or a primary). That walk is probably a couple of hours at a reasonable pace, so obviously stop to see anything you like along the way.

The historic center of Florence is really compact, so it is doable as a day trip. There won't be much depth, but you can always go back. We usually spend a week per year in Florence and haven't gotten bored yet.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 8:56 pm
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Definitely see David at the Galleria dell'Accademia. It was a highlight of my life.

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Old Mar 3, 18, 3:55 am
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"I know we need more than a day to see the city but our time is limited (8Hrs) to at least experience Florence for a day."

PS (Post Script): If you only have 8 hours, keep it simple. Don't stress it out with a major itinerary, just enjoy.

PSS: (Post Post Script): The reason why your plan is a good idea is because you are staying 7 days in Rome, which gives you time for a day trip. If you were spending a week in Italy and wanted to squeeze in Florence, Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, Milan, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa all in one week, you wouldn't get to see anything. However, seven days in Rome, with one side trip, is great trip planning.

Last edited by Perche; Mar 3, 18 at 4:06 am
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Old Mar 5, 18, 7:44 pm
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Have you considered a day trip to Pompeii instead? Much more practical to see all of the ruins in one day, plus a stop at one of the Amalfi Coast towns (Positano? Sorrento?) in the bargain. Then you can visit Florence on another trip when you have time to see more of it. You can get to Pompeii either on an organized day trip, which lots of companies offer, or by train to Naples and then a half-hour trip on the local Circumvesuviana train to the ruins.
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Old Mar 6, 18, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
Have you considered a day trip to Pompeii instead? Much more practical to see all of the ruins in one day, plus a stop at one of the Amalfi Coast towns (Positano? Sorrento?) in the bargain. Then you can visit Florence on another trip when you have time to see more of it. You can get to Pompeii either on an organized day trip, which lots of companies offer, or by train to Naples and then a half-hour trip on the local Circumvesuviana train to the ruins.
No way. Strenuous, exhausting, and depending on the time of year, hot muggy day, leave in the early morning, get back to Rome late at night. Pompeii is not a day trip from Rome, while throwing in Positano on the same day, and Sorrento, which is not even part of the Amalfi Coast. Nothing ruins an Italian vacation more than trying to do too much. Get on the train in Rome heading to Florence? Easy. Get off the train in Florence and see at least some of its major sights? Easy, it's so small it's just a few hours to walk. Back on the train to Rome before sunset? Easy.

However, Rome to Naples, to the Circumsuviano to Pompeii, Pompeii to Sorrento to take the bus to Positano on the Amalfi coast, take the bus from Positano back to Sorrento, take the Cirumsuviano at Sorrento back to Naples, take Trenitalia from Naples back to Rome. Oh my gosh, that's a heart attack. It would be like an episode of Survivor.
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Last edited by Perche; Mar 6, 18 at 9:06 am
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Old Mar 6, 18, 12:12 pm
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Yup, Rome to Florence is an easy day trip. Probably one of the few that I see as reasonable over that type of distance.
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Old Mar 7, 18, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
Have you considered a day trip to Pompeii instead? ...
Originally Posted by Perche View Post
No way...
I would normally yield to someone from that area, over the considered opinion of a tourist who has visited Italy several times, but I don't want to let this go by with no comment. First, the perspective of a local often differs from that of a visitor. The visitor perspective can sometimes be more valuable to another prospective visitor than the perspective of someone who lives there - even though the visitor may come up short in terms of detailed knowledge or specific facts. Also, consider the reviews here of a typical day trip from Rome to Pompeii on TripAdvisor. I am quite aware of the pitfalls of relying on TripAdvisor reviews and the fact that some reviews are paid fakes, but when 279 reviewers (13 on TripAdvisor, 266 on Viator) give a day trip such as this an average rating of 5 - not 4.9, but 5, therefore at least 4.95 before rounding - it goes beyond the practical ability of any company to fake them and suggests that this would not be a waste of a day.

That said, I have nothing against visiting Florence. I've done that. I just suggested that they look at this option. I get no commission from the Pompeii ruins people and have no vested interest in someone going to one place or the other. I simply hate to see people do the first thing that comes to mind. If they end up doing the same thing after they look at other options, great!
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Old Mar 7, 18, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
I would normally yield to someone from that area, over the considered opinion of a tourist who has visited Italy several times, but I don't want to let this go by with no comment. First, the perspective of a local often differs from that of a visitor. The visitor perspective can sometimes be more valuable to another prospective visitor than the perspective of someone who lives there - even though the visitor may come up short in terms of detailed knowledge or specific facts. Also, consider the reviews here of a typical day trip from Rome to Pompeii on TripAdvisor. I am quite aware of the pitfalls of relying on TripAdvisor reviews and the fact that some reviews are paid fakes, but when 279 reviewers (13 on TripAdvisor, 266 on Viator) give a day trip such as this an average rating of 5 - not 4.9, but 5, therefore at least 4.95 before rounding - it goes beyond the practical ability of any company to fake them and suggests that this would not be a waste of a day.

That said, I have nothing against visiting Florence. I've done that. I just suggested that they look at this option. I get no commission from the Pompeii ruins people and have no vested interest in someone going to one place or the other. I simply hate to see people do the first thing that comes to mind. If they end up doing the same thing after they look at other options, great!
Point taken. I know this forum can be an echo chamber to a certain extent, and it's totally not my intent to gatekeep. Visiting Pompeii is itself a great idea. In my opinion, Florence is just an easier day trip and you can be a bit more open-ended about what you're going to do there. Plus, I tend to be a city traveler, so most of my recommendations here are going to be cities.
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Old Mar 7, 18, 8:31 pm
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I did something similar (overnight in Florence after Rome trip) and it worked fine.

I too would have liked (much) more time in Florence, but the evening I spent there was enjoyable none-the-less. It's a compact, very walkable city, full of beautiful buildings, art works, etc.

If you do decide to, for example, go to see the statue of David, check the gallery schedules, and buy tickets in advance. As I recall, the museums are not open every day, and many only allows limited entries.
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Old Mar 7, 18, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by kalderlake View Post
If you do decide to, for example, go to see the statue of David, check the gallery schedules, and buy tickets in advance. As I recall, the museums are not open every day, and many only allows limited entries.
There's always the replica in Piazza della Signoria, too!
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Old Mar 13, 18, 9:23 am
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To add on to the aforementioned walking destinations, I throw my vote in for the Piazzale Michelangelo. It has my favorite views of the city, a replica of David (one of many in the city), and could incorporate a walk along the Arno while enjoying gelati. Its on the order of a mile (20-25 minutes for an athletic walker), and you can go through the Rose Garden from the Piazzele. It adds on a little time for a loop, but is also closer to seeing the Facade of the Basilica di Santa Croce.
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