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a VirtualTourist member from Kuala Lumpur asked on Mar 29, 2016


4 nights in Florence.

Hi Vters,

We are planning for a four nights stay in Florence in October 2016 and doing day trips exploring

1) Pisa and Lucca - DIY or take a tour ?
2) Sienna and San Gimignano - any recommendation for a day tour ?
3) Tuscany wine tour - any recommendation ?
4) Sightseeing in Florence

Appreciate any advice. Thank you.

7 Answers

answered on 3/29/16 by
a VT member from Caldonazzo

There is no need to book any private tours to visit Lucca, Siena and San Gimignano.

Have a look here [original VT link] to check what you can see and do in Florence.

answered on 3/29/16 by
Mary Smith from Leicester

1. Pisa and Lucca - DIY or take a tour ?

No reason whatsoever imo to take a tour. You can do both n one day by train if you wish, or make two separate trips.

For both in one day:

Train from Firenze (Florence) Santa Maria Novella station to Lucca. Station is just across the road from the city walls. Explore Lucca then take the train to Pisa San Rossore. Station is less than 10 minutes' walk from the Tower etc. Walk back through Pisa (about 25 minutes, assuming you don't stop) to Pisa Centrale to catch the train back to Florence. If you catch the train back from Pisa S Rossore you'll almost certainly have to change trains at Pisa Centrale, so it's better to explore the town a bit (there's more to see than just the Tower) and return from that station.

For separate trips:

Train from Firenze SM Novella to Lucca and back.

Train from Firenze SM Novella' to Pisa Centrale. Then walk (about 25 mins), take a taxi or take the LAM Rossa bus from opposite the station to the Tower etc. LAM Rossa bus route and pdf timetable (orario) here:

Train times, details and fares in English on the official italian railway website. Use 'Firenze SM Novella in the searchbox.

No need to buy tickets in advance online.

[original VT link]

[original VT link]

answered on 3/29/16 by
Mary Smith from Leicester

2. Sienna and San Gimignano - any recommendation for a day tour ?

Again, there is no reason for you to take a tour unless you particularly want to do so. If that is the case just choose the tour which best meets your budget and other preferences.

Assuming you want to do both in one day:

Bus from Florence to Siena. There are express buses and those which take a bit longer. Bus is better than train because Siena station is quite some way away from the historical centre...a 25 minutes walk or a bus/taxi ride. Buses stop by the city walls, within a few minutes' walk of the hstorical centre.

Bus timetables here:

Click 'Mostra Alti' at the bottom to extend the page. 131 is the express service, 1310 is the ordinary bus.

The bus from Siena to San Gimignano. Timetables on the same link. Bus 130 to and from S Gimignano, get off at Poggibonsi and then take bus 1310 (or the train) back to Florence.

Alternatively, you can do the trip the other way round and take the train from Florence SM Novella to Poggibonsi and pick up bus 130 there.

answered on 3/29/16 by
Mary Smith from Leicester

4. Sightseeing in Florence

Florence is compact and very walkable indeed, so it is unlikely you will need to use any public transport other than up to Piazzale Michelangelo (buses 12 & 13) or up to Fiesole (bus 7). Bus routes, times and info in English on the official site:

If you want to visit the Uffizi then I'd advie you to book your tickets online in advance, to avoid wasting time in the inevitable lengthy queue. Official site:

There's a great deal to see but, with only 3 full days, you're going to be pretty pushed to see much if you want to visit Pisa, Lucca, S Gimignano and Siena as well as take a wine tour? Unless you are happy just to 'tick boxes', which is fair enough if you are.

You should at least visit the Duomo and Baptistry, Santa Maria Novella, the San Lorenzo market (though do be aware it is totally tourist-focused and thus be particularly wary of pickpckets), Piazza della Signori, Pomte Vecchio...but thre is much, much more.....and Fiesole, up in the hills, is a lovely

[original VT link]

[original VT link]

answered on 3/30/16 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

I will agree with Leics that with only 4 nights in Florence (3.5 days, subtracting travel time from wherever you'll be the night before) you'd be hard-pressed to see much of what it has to offer with the amount of day trips on your list. The city is a wealth of Renaissance art, Medieval architecture and history, and is well worth making time to get to know. We spent five nights there without doing any day trips at all but your interests may also be different.

answered on 3/30/16 by
a VT member from Pistoia

HI, ciao!

I try to answer with my suggestions:

1) Pisa and Lucca, try to do it yourself and discover the real Pisa (Murale Tuttomondo by K. Haring, San Piero a Grado, Borgostretto, Boccadarno and Piazza dei Miracoli). Lucca take a trip around the city walls and discover downtown walking. It's a fascinating city
2)Siena and San Gimignano. I suggest to take one day more and add Volterra, Pomarance and Montaione (if you can, enjoy all the charming countryside near Villa Ciggiano, it's an authentic Tuscany environment!)
3) Chianti! Chianti! Chianti! Don't miss Greve, Volpaia in Chianti and Radda in Chianti. Have a light lunch at Colle Bereto. Here you can find "what we are talking about when we talk about Chianti", it's in italian, but I hope you can enjoy:
4) Giardino delle Rose, one of my favourite place in Florence.

Enjoy Tuscany!

answered on 3/30/16 by
a VT member from Palatka

I agree with goodfish and Leics. Plan to limit yourselves to one day trip and do not be surprised if you decide to cancel that. Florence is worth all four days and more.

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