Italian Vacation 2013

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped in responding to my questions for this vacation. It is almost all planned. Going to land in Roma the end of May. Staying there 4 nights. Taking the train to Sorrento and staying there for 4 nights. Taking the train to Firenze. Staying there for 5 nights. My other traveling friend will then head back to Roma and I will head to Cinque Terre and on to France. I have been to Roma, Sorrento, and Firenze a couple times in previous trips. Can anyone suggest neat out of the way places to visit that are not on the most traveled places to see list in these cities and towns? I know I want to to Tivilie outside Roma but don't know what can be seen by train or bus in the Area of Firenze. Any and all suggestions will be considered. How long will it take to get from Sorrento to Firenze by train? I can't seem to read those darn train schedules. Thank you again,

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
5403 posts

starting with your last question, from Sorrento, you take the Circumvesuviani train (about 1 hour) to Naples/Napoli, then a train to Firenze (about 2.5 hours), that goes through Rome. I've always wanted to take the bus up to Fiesole from Florence and wander around there for 1/2 day, but there's always been too much in Florence to see on my short visits there. Siena and San Gimignano are both day trips from Florence too. Each church in Florence has something special. Have you been to the Medici Chapels? The Bargello? San Lorenzo Library? The Great Synagogue?

Posted by Virginia
Portland, Maine, USA
171 posts

I walked the length and breath of Firenze but didn't see the Library or the
Synagogue. Yes to Sienna, San Gimignano (which is one of my favorite hilltop cities). Have not been to Bologna. Does anyone know how far it is by train from Firenze? Is it worth visiting?

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
6046 posts

Fiesole is great. Have you been to the Museum of San Marco? Fra Angelico's frescoes in every room. If you go to the Synagogue in Florence, you might want to see the Synagogue in Siena as well (a couple of streets away from Piazza del Campo. The towns of Arezzo, Sansepolcro and Montepulciano are good daytrips as well. Check the website or the Rick Steves video that has a clip of reading train schedules and boards (sorry I can't remember the title but it's in the latest series).

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
4870 posts

Do you have Rick Steves Italy? He lists many places near Florence, and has directions for getting there. My most memorable days out of Florence were a half-day in Fiesole, and a day seeing Lucca and Pisa. I went to Lucca first and rented a bike to go on top of the wall - wonderful. I then got to Pisa as the souvenir vendors were literally packing up, and the marble in the Field of Miracles looked great in the afternoon light.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1813 posts

In Florence, have you been to San Miniato al Monte? Above P Michelangelo. Absolutely stunning church with beautiful views. Wonderful at sunset. And the monks chant vespers in the evening in the crypt (at 5 or 6 if I remember correctly, depending on season).

Posted by Virginia
Portland, Maine, USA
171 posts

Hope all will be reading this!!! Thank you all for you wonderful ideas for places to visit while in Firenze! Super great ideas and will definitely plan to make some day trips. I very much appreciate all the help you have given me over the years. I have been lucky enough to see so many places in Italy and there are plenty more I would love to visit.
Again, thank you so much!!!