Please sign in to post.

Florence Itinery Suggestions Needed

We will be in Florence in late November. We arrive on Saturday afternoon and then leave the following Saturday. Suggestions on what days to stay in Florence? In late Nov, should we try to visit parts of Tuscany? Suggested side trips? Any local events? What is a must to do or see? what should be avoided? In November will there be lines?

Posted by
267 posts

National museums, etc, are free on the last Sunday of the month; so check into what National "things" are FREE! Woo hoo! Look around and find out what's a National Site and if you go, get there early to avoid big lines!
I was in Florence for 3 days and saw a lot: The Uffizi, the Accademia, hiked the Duomo, hiked up to Piazzale Michelangelo, went to the Science Museum and saw, among other things, Galileo's finger, cruised around Ponte Vecchio, shopped in the "Porcino" outdoor market, checked out Piazza della Signoria, sat in front of the Pitti Palace (too tired to go in, tho), saw the free part of Palazzo Vecchio, and walked all over the place.
Then we stayed 2 nights in Lucca, and from there daytripped to Pisa for a bit, and then up to the Cinque Terre for a few hours. Lucca is about 1 1/2 hr from Florence, and Pisa is about 30 minutes from Lucca. The C.T. is about 2-ish hours from Pisa.
I was in Florence exactly a year ago (Sept 21 to 23) and found lines to be generous and longer than I expected that time of year. November? I don't know.... hopefully a little slower! Check out, and take, Rick's advice for getting in the shorter lines in his Rick Steve's Italy 2009 book. You'll be glad you did if you go to the Uffizi or Accademia.
Happy travels!

Posted by
362 posts

MaryL it isn't guaranteed but be prepared for rain. November can be very wet and the 2 most infamous floods of Florence happened in November. Make sure you have at least a good umbrella and some shoes that are okay in the rain.

So you have a whole week? You can see it all depending on what you are interested in (hint, hint - art, history, shopping, sightseeing, food, wine). If you ask a more pointed question you may get more responses.

In the country the wine harvest will be over but it is olive picking month and you can perhaps taste some fresh pressed olive oils if you travel outside the city to a small fattoria or agriturismo. There may be an olive oil market in Santa Croce at some point in November.

You can get some more ideas for day trips here and here.

Also I think the Florence Marathon is near the end of November - this can be a pain. You don't want to be renting a car that day or trying to get in and out of the city unless it is by rail or bus. It can get pretty hectic and lots of streets are closed.

There is also some kind of European holiday in November - maybe it is Armistice Day - and the city gets very full again during this but then is really quiet after. Usually by the end of the November most lines are gone, but the Uffizi and Accademia are always good bets to reserve ahead of time.

Posted by
1317 posts

We did a week in Florence in late Nov. on the RS tour. As much as I like Florence, I found a full week to be a bit much, so I would definitely recommend taking some day trips. We went to Lucca, but you might also consider Siena.

The weather was a mixed bag. We had some gorgeous sunny days and some rain. When it rains, the streets, especially the manhole covers get VERY slick so please be extra careful. Temps were about what you'd expect in Seattle at that time of year or slightly better. When the sun isn't shining, it can be quite chilly especially if you've been in Rome or places south prior to arriving in Florence.

There wasn't much in the way of lines in November. It's a city so there are still people around, but nothing like the tourist hordes that invade in the summer.

Posted by
168 posts

Hi Mary,

I would recommend doing a trip to Sienna & San Gimingano. These were great small towns to see in Tuscany and very easy to take the bus there.

If you are interested in a wine tasting we went to Castello di Verrazzano ( It was only a 30 min bus ride from Florence to the Chianti Region and was near the town of Greve. It was the highlight of our trip.

It was an approx. 1 hour tour of the grounds/wine making and then we did the lunch tour option (the Chianti tradition) which was fabulous. We sat on the terrace overlooking all of tuscany which was beautiful. Each person got a huge plate of a mix of meats and cheeses (there was a vegetarian version available). Then we sampled 4 wines, and after they poured they left the remaining bottles for the table to finish (and there were only 6 of us at each table). We also sampled a dessert wine and balsamic vinaigrette. And there was also bread with olive oil drizzled over it.

I would highly recommend this place. The views were amazing and the people were so friendly!

Have a great trip!