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Weekend in Florence

2-3 days in Florence. It falls over a weekend. Any suggestions on how best to use that time?

Cynthia

Posted by
1127 posts

Be sure to make you have reservations if you will be visiting during the weekend. You don't want to waste your holiday waiting in lines. Your hotel should do this for you.

Posted by
8864 posts

Florence is very doable in 2-3 days with reservations to see David at the Accademia and the Uffizi Gallery. Countless other museums. Bargello,
Museum di San Marco, Da Vinci, Medici Chapels, etc. Depends on your interests.
Having just visited for the first time last December here's my suggestion. Arrive, get settled and head out toward the Arno. Walk over one of the 3 bridges and head to Plaza Michelangelo. If your not walkers or climbers (the steps can be daunting, feel the burn) take a bus....anyway, the view over Florence is great. If it's later in the day you can also head father up the road to the hear monks chant at the San Miniato church. Head back down the hill either stopping in one of the restaurants, cafes en route or head over to the trendy Golden View Open Bar and watch the sunset set and the lights along the Arno. Then cross back over the Arno to walk around the Plaza Signoria. Beautiful city to just stroll and enjoy.

Posted by
564 posts

Cynthia

I agree with the others and will try not be redundant, but instead offer another lesser-known suggestion. If you like opera (and even if you're like me and didn't), consider going to St. Marks Anglican Church in Florence where they give you an experience you'll never forget. I took my wife and her mother to Italy in late 2007 and accidentally found this while looking for a church to attend when we arrived on Sunday morning. This English-speaking church puts on an incredible opera on certain weekends, using only a grand piano with a world class pianist, and in our case, the four INCREDIBLE actors in La Boheme, their favorite opera. The church has chairs instead of pews and were arranged somewhat like what we would consider "theater in the round" where the stage at the worst is 25 feet away and their are no mics. Below is the link to their website with the schedule for this year. If you decide to go, the food is wonderful, the champagne is great the the performance will make you love opera, even if you never did. It's also for a good cause, feeding hungry children in Africa. The price...26 Euros, or at today's rate, about $33 per person. It's truly a steal. I told my wife that if every opera I went to was like this, I would go on a regular basis. Here's the link.

http://eventful.com/florence/venues/st-marks-anglican-curch-/V0-001-000498662-8#box-details

Jim

Posted by
345 posts

I love exploring Florence on Sunday & Mondays because at least when I go it's quieter and less crowded. (Tourists seem to pour in Tuesday when the Uffizzi & Accademia re-open.) So, I think Sunday is a good day for shopping, (no, not everything is open, but it seems to me there's more than enough.) Shopping goes well with strolling, gelato, writing in your journal over a leisurely lunch and going out for great dinner.

Astonishingly, the store (pharmacy/perfumery) at Santa Maria Novella is open Sunday. I didn't think I'd care about it, but it's fascinating and the products are nice. I recommend it. Let me know if you want to know why. I pretty sure I went to the straw market on a Sunday, but I'm not sure.

Go on the so-called Renaissance walk on Sunday (see RS book)it will be less less crowded. I wouldn't go to Piazza Michelangelo on Sunday unless I could go in the Benedictine church and gift shop selling their handmade herbal medicinals made from their traditional recipes was open. (It's so cool!)Go there on Monday if you can.

These things change, but here goes: I noticed there was a big youth scene on the north side of the Ponte Santa Trinita on Sunday nights. I'm not implying that you would like to join, but this bridge a great local hang-out spot to people-watch and I liked experiencing how locals live in their city. There is a small farmer's market (for locals) on the Piazza Santo Spirito on either Saturday or Sunday. Drat. I'm not sure which day.. They have local honey, olives, handmade products, etc. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but I really enjoyed a taste of local life, not just checking off The Big Sights.

I don't know if I should bore you with the obvious, but I assume you know most museums are closed on Sunday and the churches are in use, so use the checklist in RS guidebook of "e-ticket attraction" closure days.

Posted by
63 posts

LOL... Kent you certainly hit the nail on the head with that one! My guys are smart, well-rounded, and good sports about trying things, but sometimes I feel like giving them a knuckle sandwich when they roll their eyes at doing/seeing something. Granted, we will be seeing lots of historical and museum-type places (we are in Italy), but their eyes glaze over when discussing yet another museum.

I just want some of their energy. That part of youth should be shared with the old! ;)

Posted by
63 posts

We also will be in Florence over a weekend (Mar 21-24) and really appreciate this information. I looked into the opera at St. Mark's per Jim's suggestion, and La Boheme is being performed during our stay (Thanks Jim!). We are members of the Episcopal/Anglican church and had planned to go there for Sunday services, but this is a bonus.

Since we will be arriving on Friday and leaving on Monday, it seems like our only options for the museums are Friday afternoon and the crowded Saturdays. Between the Accademia and the Uffizi Gallery, which would you suggest we do on which days? Also, my sons really want to see David, but are not sure about the Uffizi. Would you recommend the Uffizi as well as the Accedamia, or just do the Accedamia. While I could probably spend most of our trip in museums, we want to strike a good balance between that and other activities. (Note: we are planning to spend a day at the Vatican Museums when we get to Rome).

Thanks, Melissa

Posted by
345 posts
  1. For what it's worth, Tuesdays are crowded too--pent up demand from Sunday and Monday.

  2. With that said, there are other terrific museums and sights open on Monday--even Sunday--although they have shorter hours. (Check current guidebook.) There's more to Florence besides the "Marquee Attractions" so don't feel like you're missing out. I LOVE how Florence can go from manic on a Saturday to quiet on Sunday (unless Sunday is a special holiday).

  3. Less is more. More is more is over-rated. My personal (shocking and uncommon) opinion is even adults should choose between the Uffizi or the Accademia and make it a quality experience instead of cramming it all in and oversaturating on art. You will appreciate it more, remember more, enjoy yourself more. Good compromise for teenagers too.

  4. The last time I was in Florence the Uffizi was being renovated so the reports were that it was more disorganized. This should not discourage a true art lover, but something to keep in mind if you're choosing. (I didn't go.) Alternately, if the renovation is complete, it should be terrific. (Um, unless you're a teenager who just went to the Accademia.)

  5. I think teenagers might like the DaVinci museum better. It's smaller, so not so overwhelming. It's more science and sci-fictioney. Isn't the one with the Galileo's finger in a jar? That could be the highlight of a teenage boy's trip! I'm pretty sure this venue has Sunday/Monday hours. (Sorry, I gave away all my guidebooks last year and worry about mis-remembering and steering you wrong...)