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Florence Scheduling Help

If you were short on time in Florence, and had already seen/done the main things you wanted to, how would you prioritize these four sites? My family's interests lean more towards history than art. We are in Florence before Rome, so will have only been to Venice prior to Florence.

Santa Croce Church Complex (already have entry ticket as part of Duomo combo ticket)
Pitti Palace
Brancacci Chapel
Palazzo Vecchio

Posted by
2294 posts

I've only been to Santa Croce and part of the Pitti Palace. For history buffs, those are both great choices. During our one and only visit to Florence, we did them both on the same day. To me, Santa Croce felt like the Renaissance Hall of Fame, so many luminaries are entombed there. Our Tuscan Trails wine tour included a visit to the winery where the Pazzi revolt against the Medici was planned, so we enjoyed the Pazzi Chapel.

After doing Santa Croce, we crossed the Arno and had great lunch somewhere in the Oltrarno. as we made our way to the Pitti Palace. In a normal city, the Pitti Palace, with its four museums and the Boboli Gardens, could consume multiple days. We visited one museum and the Gardens and left a few hours later, completely sated.

Posted by
677 posts

Did you already tour the Palazzo Davanzati? I've been there twice and greatly enjoyed seeing the inside of an earlier, not all fancy townhouse. A bathroom, an indoor water well, painted "wallpaper," kitchen equipment, and all kinds of other stuff from daily life.

Otherwise, choosing from your four, Santa Croce and the Brancacci Chapel (take binoculars!) --- I've never been to the other two (despite living in Florence for a total of 7 weeks).

Posted by
66 posts

This is all so interesting to me. I don't know enough about each place to choose well, so I'm glad I asked!

Thanks, Christine (and confirmation from Janet). This order is not what I would have thought, so that's very helpful.

Estimated, "Renaissance Hall of Fame" sounds perfect for my family! And our hotel is on the Oltrarno side of the river not too far from the Pitti, so we might be able to do a quick run by when we're near it at some point.

nancys8, I haven't heard of Palazzo Davanzati. I'll look into it!

Thank you all!

Posted by
12506 posts

Coming in late here but I'd absolutely go with Christine's order. The Pitti's Palatine Gallery has 28 rooms of art that even this art-lover had issues getting through. That doesn't include the other galleries: Costume, Treasury, Modern Art, and Royal Apartments. It probably didn't help that it was uncomfortably warm inside the day we did it. That's not to say that it doesn't have some impressive works but as art isn't top of your family's interests, this one should be bottom of your priority list, IMHO.

Posted by
9 posts

I was actually really impressed with the Pitti Palace. I bought the combo ticket with the Uffizi which allows you to go to the Pitti without a reservation. I literally only went because I had bought the ticket and it was my last day in Florence. It is overwhelming so I only went to the Palatina Gallery and was blown away by some of the works of art. There was a fantastic display of the the newly restored painting of the Medici Pope Leo X with Cardinals by Raphael. I only spent a little over an hour there, but certainly could have spent much longer. I guess the point is that you do not have to try to see it all to enjoy.

I also loved the Brancacci Chapel, but it was a little bit of a disappointment because I was only allowed a few minutes inside. This was not communicated beforehand, but there are only so many people allowed at one time, so when people started lining up, they just told everyone that was in there to leave. Everyone inside was confused and clearly annoyed after paying 8 Euro just for the close up view. You can also see the frescos for free, but from a distance inside the church.

Posted by
66 posts

Kathy, thank you, that is helpful! I think my family might already be a little tired of art by the time we hit Pitti, especially placing it at our end of priorities. I didn't realize it is mainly art, so that's good to know.

Ciao_Jane, I appreciate the reminder that you don't have to see everything in a site to see something wonderful. I am trying to remember that my family will appreciate it more if we go slowly and savor things rather than jamming in as much as possible.

Posted by
58 posts

Santa Croce was great! We stopped late in a jam-packed day trying to fit in as much as we could a couple years ago with the Firenze card. We will definitely go back again on our trip next month when we have a little more time. I've never been to the Pitti Palace and had planned to go there this time, but the Royal Apartments are currently closed so will wait until next trip.