Day Trip to Florence

We just finished a week in Rome. Tired from the congestion and traffic even though we are using all public transport. First trip to Italy. We are now in wonderful Siena and have 5 days. Would appreciate your advice regarding the challenge, for us, of a bus into Florence or adding a trip to another Tuscan village. I hear Florence is challenging on a first trip. Thanks in advance for your responses.
Biff

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2506 posts

I would say get an early start and plan on spending a day in Florence - if you love art, there's so much of it in such a small area, it's easy to walk to all of the major sites. The train/bus stations are in the north/middle of town, so just walk the rest of the way. Some highlights: Santa Croce, the Duomo complex (cathedral, bell tower, baptistry, and museum), the Ponte Vecchio, the Accademia (you'll need a reservation to avoid the line, or go late in the afternoon - there's a ticket office across the street from the entrance that can usually get you in within 15-30 minutes). My favorite small musuem is just up the street, the museum/convent of San Marco. Many other things to see, the tourist office across the street from the train station can be very helpful. If you really like museums, the Uffizi also is good but enormous. Take the city bus to Piazzale Michelangelo above the city for great views. The walk along the Arno river is a very nice way to spend a little time. From Siena it's also easy to get to Arezzo (by bus or train) for a smaller town experience.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Biff, I haven't found the Bus trip from Siena to Florence to be "challenging" at all. The Coaches are big and very comfortable, and it's a fairly short journey. There are both Corse Rapide and Corse Ordinarie Buses, so lots of runs every day to choose from. As I recall, the time difference between the two types isn't that much. The Siena Bus station is in Piazza Gramsci. You could of course also take the train, but you'd have to get down the hill to the station. There are numerous Regionale direct trains with a travel time of about 1H:30M, and current fare is €7.70. Happy travels!

Posted by Karen
Santa Rosa, CA
611 posts

We were in Italy about a year ago, stayed in Cortona for a week, and wanted to spend 1 full day in Florence (about 12 hours). Since time was limited, I was looking for a tour that would only have 6-8 people and landed on a Segway tour. It was about 3 hours (10-1), and you hear everything the tour guide says through your helmut. This was day 10 of our 14 day trip, and the Segway tour was the perfectly timed, as my feet needed a break from the intense walking. After the tour, we went back to a couple places we saw on the tour, went to the Uffizi gallery, then had a nice dinner before catching the train out of town. Not cheap, but well worth the money. Rose was our tour guide and spoke excellent english.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2506 posts

You can get to the train station in Siena by local bus or by taxi.