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Itinerary planning - Pisa in AM and PM train to Venice

Itinerary planning - Pisa in AM and PM train to Venice

Old Mar 31, 18, 7:43 am
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Itinerary planning - Pisa in AM and PM train to Venice

My kids want to see the leaning tower of Pisa during our trip to Italy. I know it is a side trip from Florence. We are staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Florence. I am considering Pisa on the day we check out and head to Venice.. I want to check out of the hotel in the morning and go to Pisa in the morning and then take a train from Florence to Venice that late afternoon/early evening.

What is is the optimal to book the train from Florence to Venice so we aren't rushed and stressed trying to get back to to Florence? Realistically, I can me on a ~ 10AMish train from Florence to Pisa if that helps with the timing. I don't want to book a last minute train the day or because of it is more expensive (there are 5 of us).

Also, is taking the train the best option from Florence to Pisa or should we join a guided morning bus tour instead?

Kids only want to see the leaning tower and don't want to climb it. I have done both in my younger days so mainly doing Pisa for my kids.

Suggestions welcome.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 9:29 am
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Here's the link to the Italian 'Trenitalia' official Website, which should give you most of the answers you're looking for:
Trenitalia - Homepage English - Trenitalia
You can book Florence to Pisa and Pisa to Venice through this site.

Take the train to Pisa. It takes around an hour.
Going from Pisa to Venice you'd have to go back to Florence in any case to change trains. The journey from Florence to Venice is around two hours.

As you don't wish to feel rushed, calculate at least three hours between arriving at and then departing from Pisa station.

Personally, I wouldn't make the detour to Pisa, but if your kids really want to go I guess you have little choice
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Old Mar 31, 18, 1:54 pm
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Figure out someplace to stash your luggage (perhaps the train station?). The trip to Pisa will be a lot less of a hassle if you don't haul your bags there and back.

I concur with Up in The Air that it's not really worth the detour but certainly understand the kids curiosity (one doesn't want to stifle that) and a parent wanting to please their kids!
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Old Mar 31, 18, 8:57 pm
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Not the question you asked, but do note that the HGI is kind of out there and not located in the historic center. It's located in a pretty clean area, with absolutely nothing going on around it. It's a couple of miles out past Santa Maria Novella station, which is itself where the historic center of Florence "begins" when coming from the direction of the Airport and HGI. You could theoretically walk, but I wouldn't recommend it at all.

As far as optimal train times, just look at Trenitalia's website and choose what works for you. Everyone's going to have a different definition of optimal, and there aren't many generalizations about time and price to pass on, other than booking earlier means that discounted fares are available. Pricing is a bit more transparent than an airline - it's easy to see on the website all of the different price levels for a given itinerary and whether they're being offered or not.

Going to Pisa en route to Venice actually means you'll have to double back from Pisa to Florence and change trains there. If you're set on seeing this, and you haven't yet booked travel, I'd recommend exploring options to fly into PSA. See the tower on your jetlag/arrival day, and then either train to Florence that evening or the following morning.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 9:42 pm
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Another option is to skip Pisa and explore the leaning towers in Venice. My children loved Venice and were fascinated by the more than 1 leaning church towers which leaned; albeit, not as dramatic as Pisa, but there is so much more to enjoy in Venice than 1 leaning tower. Just my opinion FWIW.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 10:05 pm
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Originally Posted by obscure2k View Post
Another option is to skip Pisa and explore the leaning towers in Venice. My children loved Venice and were fascinated by the more than 1 leaning church towers which leaned; albeit, not as dramatic as Pisa, but there is so much more to enjoy in Venice than 1 leaning tower. Just my opinion FWIW.
+1

In Venice, I'd recommend this for your kids as well: VENEZIA

The show is in English and gives you a brief history of Venice, mostly cultural and political history, but includes spending some time on specifically how you put buildings on top of a marsh.
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Old Apr 6, 18, 8:43 pm
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I concur with all the others here. Pisa can be interesting if you dig under the surface, but when going there with kids it's all that effort so they can spend a minute looking at the tower and then take selfies. At least the Macdonalds at the entrance to the Piazza dei Miracoli has clean public bathrooms, which can be hard to find in Italy.
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Old Apr 6, 18, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Gargoyle View Post
I concur with all the others here. Pisa can be interesting if you dig under the surface, but when going there with kids it's all that effort so they can spend a minute looking at the tower and then take selfies. At least the Macdonalds at the entrance to the Piazza dei Miracoli has clean public bathrooms, which can be hard to find in Italy.
McDonalds restrooms are this country's greatest export. Discuss.

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Old Apr 7, 18, 6:24 pm
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I did a similar trip last October. Take the regional train from Stazione Firenze Rifredi to Pisa Centrale. It’s a 20 minute walk from the Firenze HGI to Stazione Firenze Rifredi or the hotel van may drop you off if you pre-arrange it with the front desk. There are 2 to 3 trains that head that way per hour, depending on the day, and it will cost around 9 per person. It’s an hour trip. The Pisa Centrale train station has a luggage hold located in the east wing. As I recall it was €5 per bag. Look for the “deposito bagagli” sign. We took a bus to and from the Leaning Tower. Sorry I don’t remember the number.Take a regional train from Pisa Centrale to Firenze S. M. Novella and change to a Frecciargento train to Venezia S. Lucia. Total travel time <4 hours.PS - Di Poneta Novoli is an awesome place to eat and only a 10-minute walk from the HGI.
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Old Apr 28, 18, 5:57 am
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Thank to everyone for all the feedback, really appreciate it.

We decided to spend that night at HGI Florence and do the tirp the next morning to Venice so there is no stress about being back to catch a train.
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