a VirtualTourist member from Singapore
Hi [VT member 93f85],
I will be visiting in late October this year and was wondering how is the weather like? Also, are the queues to attractions much shorter if I head there early in the morning?
Thanks [VT member 93f85] your advice!
We were in Florence last May and experience a very pleasant day.
Found this link to weather in Italy in October that should be helpful.
Florence in October will still be pretty nice weather--warming up in the afternoon but cooler in the morning/evening. Definitely dress in layers to make sure you'll always be comfortable. Lines at the attractions are always a gamble, but you're traveling during shoulder season, so you should be fine! If you get there are see that lines are longer than you want, you can always make a reservation (at the Uffizi, Accademia, etc).
The weather in October can definitely be a little fresher, so warm clothes are a must. A couple of years ago when my son was born it was -4C in mid October! So check forecasts before you leave.
The lines at attractions in October are definitely shorter, and if you don't mind getting up early, you'll get in quickly. Book the museums and other stuff before you get here if you can be bothered. If you want to stay flexible, then yes, just go early and you'll be fine.
If you are planning on booking Uffizi or Accademia tickets, be super-careful where you buy from. There are loads of very official-looking sites that sell tickets at super-inflated prices. It's easy to lose your shirt. If you want the official sites then there are the relevant links posted on this page: patrignone.com/index.php?get... As a rule of thumb, Uffizi tickets hsould cost around €10 each, or €15 is there's a special show on. I've seen people pay twice this online. Beware!
Hi - there are always tourists in Florence. Last time we were there it was end of April and it took us a couple of days for the lines to get short enough to wait for entrance into a few places. I would strongly suggest buying any tickets possible in advance. Also be aware that cruise ships still stop in Livorno in October bringing plenty of day-trippers. No doubt, you will have a wonderful time in Florence!!
We were there in October one year and there was quite a bit of rain so take an umbrella, one of those small portable ones is fine. We also ran into horrible lines at the Uffizi so be sure to make a reservation. Heed the advice above and get your ticket at the official web site. Weather can be wildly varied in the shoulder seasons so plan accordingly. Wear layers and you'll be fine.
No-one can tell you exactly what the weather will be like so far in advance. I've experienced really quite chilly and very wet days in October Florence. Defintely take an umbrella or (better, imo, and much less of a nuisance in crowded city streets) a waterproof jacket/coat with hood.
You can get a very rough idea of what you might expect from the climate averages here:
Best to pack clothes you can layer, adding and removing as necessary during the day. It can be quite chilly in the evenings, especially if the day has been overcast.
Unfortunately, many other people think that the queues will be much shorter if they get there early..so they very rarely are! On my 4 visits I've found that queues tend to be shorter in the late afternoon. It's best (imo) to buy your tickets for the Uffizi and the Accademia online in advance, to at least avoid those queues (they can be very long indeed...Florence is a city which has thousands of visitors year-round). Official site:
If you only want to see Boboli Gardens and not the Pitti Palace you can cut the queues altogether by walking past the palace and continuing along the same road. After about 5 minutes you'll come to a separate entrance to the gardens with minimal, if any, queue.
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Thanks [VT member 93f85]! Also, I was wondering if I should make a detour to Pisa on the way from Florence to Rome. Appreciate any comments! :)
We really enjoyed Pisa. There are a million tourists around the leaning tower but it's not crowded elsewhere and there's a lot to see. Type Pisa into the VT search window above to go to the Pisa Travel Guide. There will be things to do, restaurants, lots of photos and external web links to help you decide. If you go, don't miss the inside of the church because it is spectacular. We really liked the small museum behind the tower and there are great tower views from the second floor.
Yes, do visit Pisa. There is much more to explore than simply the area around the Tower (though you should not miss the Camposanto, Duomo and Baptistry).
If you want to go up the Tower (I didn't bother..you can get close enough without) then do make sure you book online in advance. Visitor numbers are very limited per day and often block-booked by tour groups. Official site:
You don't need to buy tickets for the Camposanto etc online. Try to be in the Baptistry when the doors are closed and a curator demonstrates the acoustics: it's a spine-tingling experience:
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I used Pisa as my base for one of my visits and was surprised by how much it has to offer...there are two other leaning towers, for a start. Here's one:
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And there are also lots of very ancient churches, each one fascinating.
I think Pisa is worth at least one full day of exploration, but lots f people just stop by for the Tower etc. There's also a good circular bus service which takes in the Tower, the railway station (which has a left luggage facility) and the airport:
Click the stop name to get the timetable. You can buy tickets from the driver, from tabacchi/news stands or from machines at certain stops.