Please sign in to post.

critique our itinerary please

7 nights total
arrive/depart Florence
4 nights in Florence, use hotel in Florence as base for day trips: Florence, Siena, drive around Tuscany countryside
3 nights Cinque Terre
get to Florence airport from CT by noon, or is it too far, better stay closer to Fl. airport on the last night?

Posted by
479 posts

D+D I would only make one suggestion. Unless you're huge art buffs, the only thing staying in Florence is going to do is make you spend about 40% more on hotels than you have to. Staying in Siena will be cheaper and more centrally located than Florence.

If you MUST stay in Florence you could do 3 nights in Siena seeing also the Tuscan countryside, then 3 nights in CT and 1 night in Florence before you head home.

Otherwise, I think you have everything in a reasonable amount of time. You'll have a blast!

Posted by
6898 posts

Note that it's a 2.5hr train journey from the CT to the Florence SMN station not counting waiting for the first train. Then, you need to get to the Amerigo Vespucci airport. There is a frequent bus to the airport but I don't know if its a bus from the terminal next to the train station or a SITA bus over a block away. A taxi will be about 30 euro. The airport is about 7 miles away.

You can make it from the CT if you leave early. You've got to be leaving the Florence train station area no later than 10:00am to be at the airport by 10:30am. Amerigo Vespucci is not a large airport so you shouldn't have trouble there.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for your responses. We would like to squeeze in a day trip to Venice from Florence, if possible. Any opinion?

Posted by
10344 posts

Florence to Venice as a day trip is physically doable, but you'll see as much of the inside of trains and train stations as you will see of Venice. It's about 2.75 hours from train departure to train arrival, but add time to get to the station, wait for the train, etc--each way. An early start from Florence could get you to Venice station by somewhere around 11am. And you'd have until about 6pm or so in Venice, if you don't mind getting back to your hotel room in Florence at 11pm. The downside of doing too many day trips from Florence is that you end up having not much time in Florence, and if you don't have much time in Florence you may end up wondering why you paid those high Florence hotel rates not to see much of Florence (although Venice hotel rates are the same or worse). The other downside is, you'll cry when you realize you have to leave Venice so soon.

Posted by
6898 posts

Squeeze is an appropriate word. Yes you can do a day trip to Venice in one day. Most on this site will advise against an excessive amount of train travel during a 7 day period just to see a few locations for a few hours. But, it can be done.

CLICK HERE to see a train schedule. Note the 8:38am train takes just over 2.5hrs to get to Venice from Florence. You can spend 7-8 hours of daylight in Venice and then return in the evening. But... I'm sure you are aware of the downsides of not spending ample time in cities like Venice and spending a lot of time on trains and in train stations.

Posted by
831 posts

D+D,
Florence is not a good base for driving in Tuscany. Driving in and out of Florence is difficult and parking can be expensive.

Your plan can be done without a car. Florence can keep you busy for four days or you can train to Lucca or bus to Siena for day trips.

Cinque Terre is not car friendly.

Posted by
6898 posts

I didn't notice above that you are driving. Just a couple of notes. With rare exception, tourist cars are not permitted in any of the CT towns. Second, many streets, neighborhoods and the historic area of Florence require permits. Florence has computerized cameras that will catch you. Make sure that your car rental agency has the permit on the car or you face very expensive tickets. The cameras catch you and your rental car agency are all to eager to provide the authorities with your name and address. Driving around Tuscany is a great idea.

Posted by
29 posts

I, too, would hesitate to spend 4 nights in Florence. Consider spending a night in Cortona, which I vastly prefer to Siena. Siena is loud and hot and crowded. You can take the bus from Florence to Cortona.

Do you really like to hike? If so, you will never want to leave the Cinque Terre. If not, then three nights in the Cinque Terre is a lot. By the way, in Vernazza, there is a restaurant with outdoor seating as far out on the water as you can get that has fantastic pesto lasagna.

You will love Italy! I am returning for the fourth time in June. Rome, Cortona, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice.

Posted by
29 posts

One more thing. When you go to the Cinque Terre, you can park for free (I's almost positive it is free) in La Spezia at the train station and take the train into the little towns for just a couple of Euros. Much easier than trying to park once you get there, though you will miss the fantastic high up views when arriving (at least into some of the towns). However, you can take a van tour to still see those views.

Posted by
11973 posts

There are great things to see in Florence but I wouldn't use it as a base. The lodging in Florence is more expensive and less appealing than virtually anywhere else in Italy (Rome and Venice included).

As was noted earlier, Florence is not a small town with easy in and out. It's a city. The center is where the sites are but you can't drive there without some work by your hotel, considerable traffic congestion and parking worries.

Spend a couple of days in Florence but base elsewhere. If you go to Venice, don't make it a day trip; spend at least one night.