Of all the places across Italy that I had visited my favorite was Florence (Firenze). If ever I decide to pen a book then I would love to spend lazy afternoons gazing across the Tuscany landscape and think about the next line. Somehow this place connected to my inner self and I felt in heaven for that day. People often do a day trip to Florence from Rome and that is not a bad idea but if you really want to feel Florence then stay a couple of days, there is a lot to see out here if you look closely.
Italy is one of the most visited places in Europe and there are plenty of Europe Tour Packages available which for sure includes a number of destinations in Italy. I and my wife always wanted to visit Europe for our honeymoon but could not manage it then but this year we are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary thus you can say better late than never. Florence along with Rome and Venice is also a preferred destination for the newlyweds and there are plenty Honeymoon Packages which would take you around this town.
How to Reach
For most people touring the country they would either be coming from Rome or if you are traveling from the north they will be coming from Milan, for both the cases you have to first come to Florence or as the locals might call it Firenze. The most common mode of travel is by train and in Italy broadly there are two types of long-distance trains, the high-speed one, and the regular one. The high-speed ones cost more and are obviously fast whereas the regular trains are relatively slow with multiple stops. If you are tight on time factor then your best bet would be to take a high-speed train. The price difference can be significant but remember the earlier that you book the cheaper the tickets are thus planning ahead.
Alternately you can take a short flight to the either Florence Airport or directly to Pisa through Galileo Galilei International Airport.
We took a morning high-speed train Frecciarossa 9504 from Rome (departure 6.20 AM) to Florence (arrival 7.51 AM) early in the morning since we wanted to go to Pisa as well as Florence. Remember that Florence station is known as Firenze S. M. Novella thus when you are booking the train tickets search for this name.
Since we had already checked out of our rooms thus we were carrying all our luggage to Florence and for sure we did not want to carry them around Florence. To avoid this we kept our luggage at the luggage (cloak) room at Florence station. The luggage room will be indicated with a signage Deposito Bagagli and is located at the end of the track 16. You will see a McDonald’s restaurant, just walk ahead. The luggage room operated between 6 AM and 12 Midnight and the charges depend on the timing.
Price (per baggage / 20 Kg per baggage) = First 5 hours: € 3.80 / 6 to 12 hours: € 0.60 (per hour)/ after 13 hours: € 0.20 (per hour)
How to See?
Tourist often couple Florence and Pisa together thus for the first half they would visit Pisa and the rest of the day they would visit Florence. If you are extremely tight on schedule then this is the only option but I would always recommend keeping aside at least two days for Florence.
The best way to see Florence would be the hop on hop off buses that run on a fixed route. In Florence there are two such routes (Line A & Line B) and the best part is that with a single ticket you can switch from one route to another at designated spots where the two routes meet up.
Just walk out of the station and you will see the counter on the left side of the main exit clearly marked with bright red color.
The tickets are valid for a minimum of 24 hours and up to 72 hours thus plan you hop on hop off accordingly. Along with the ticket, you will be given a map which will have all the important places pointed out along with the red and blue bus routes. You will also be given a pair of earphones which you can connect to the audio ports and listen to the commentary. These audio commentaries are done in several languages thus would be very helpful.
If you are starting from the station then you would have to take the Line B (Blue) and if you wish to take the Line A (Red) then you have to reach Capolinea (Bus Terminal).
Tip: I would suggest that at first, you take a complete bus tour of the city which would take somewhere between forty-five minutes to one hour and then from the next trips hop on hop off at different points of interest. This way it would be easy for you to sort out the places of interest that you wish to visit.
24 Hours hop on hop off = Adult – 23 Euro Children (5 – 15 years) – 12 Euro
48 Hours hop on hop off = Adult – 28 Euro Children (5 – 15 years) – 14 Euro
72 Hours hop on hop off = Adult – 33 Euro Children (5 – 15 years) – 17 Euro
Line A = First at 9.00 AM last at 19.00 PM
Line B = First at 10.00 AM last at 19.30 PM
What to See?
Piazza Stazione FS SMN
Piazza della Libertà
Lungarno Serristori Demidoff
Piazzale Delle Cascine
Hope you have enjoyed this visual trip around Florence trust me my photographs are nowhere near to the real beauty which only you will be able to enjoy by seeing it with your own eyes. Keep visiting my blog, more Italian adventures coming soon.
Hop On Hop Off Bus Services = http://www.city-sightseeing.it
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