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Visiting Florence, Italy for the first time in June. Should I skip the popular tourist attractions and just explore the actual city?

It's my first visit to Italy. I'll be on a business (sightseeing) trip in Rome and Venice for 2 days each, then I'm going to Florence on my own for 2-3 days. I am considering skipping some of the "must see" tourist attractions in the city in favor of more time just exploring the city. I'm also considering a day trip to Siena.

I just don't think it would be a good use of time to spend 2 days among crowds of tourists, standing in lines to see the same attractions every other American sees while in Florence.

I don't know what I would see instead, but the idea would be to explore the city itself instead of hitting specific attractions. If someone asked my advice about NY, I'd recommend they explore neighborhoods rather than wait in line for the Empire State Building.

Does this make sense for Florence?

One other piece of information - I am hoping to go back to Italy for 2-3 weeks next spring with my fiancee.

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10 Answers

  • +1

    Florence is a beautiful city and is well worth just taking some time for yourself on the river front and just having a coffee.

    I was there in April and it was full of tourists so I can only imagine that June would be more packed.

    There are plenty of fake Davids around the city. The Ponte Vecchio is pretty cool and you don't have to line up.
    Piazzale Michelangelo and the Rose Garden have a nice view of the city. Some beautiful statues in the Boboli Gardens. Also some nice galleries in Pitti Palace below Boboli Gardens

    The problem is Firenze is pretty small and the good things to see have generally become touristy. So you will be amongst English speakers unless you find a hidden alley-way.

    Another thing you might want to do is actually get out of the town a bit. Try getting to the hills overlooking the city. Haven't done it myself but I would like to the next time I am there. over 7 years ago

    Answered by Nicholas Roberts via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    Florence is a beautiful city, you can't really avoid the tourist attractions but why would you! I recommend the 'touristy' double decker bus tour it gives you a great insight to the city and you can hop off and on anywhere, and explore any area that takes your fancy. The bus will take you to the hills overlooking the city and you can descend to the town by foot exploring as you go. I was there beginning of June and it was not overly crowded. over 7 years ago

    Answered by via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    Florence is amazing. So many little shops. In italy there are so many tourists it is hard to get away from them. We were there in August and it was packed. Still you can find so many places to chill out and watch the world go by... over 7 years ago

    Answered by Rachel Christian via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    Take a 20 min. walk to San Miniato, a 'basilica' standing on one of the highest points, from there you will have a great view of the city, away from the crowd.
    Piazzale Michelangelo is a bit more of a touristy destination, but you will get a wonderful panoramic view of the city. over 7 years ago

  • 0

    And Siena... it is a wonderful town, if you can, spend one day just exploring it... beautiful architecture, colours and not so crowded. over 7 years ago

  • 0

    Florence is really beautiful, but the tourist crowd make me mad. It's not that it's bad per se... the worst part is that it's not really an italian city anymore. They change their way of being, they change their costumes just to please tourists and get their money.

    My suggestion is rent a bike (but make sure you have enough space for it) This way you can see all the landmarks (they're worthy it e.g. Ponte vecchio) in a very fast way. Like all italian cities, you should try pizza and ice-cream.

    Make the most

    Ps. Near siena ther is a very beautiful fort: Montereggioni over 7 years ago

    Answered by Tiago Carvalho Tiago Carvalho via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • +1

    Hello :)

    When we went there we only had one day to visit everything we wanted so it was a very tight schedule.
    What we did is that we booked online uffizi (galleria was sold out) and we entered really fast and had lots of fun. Before going there we walked around a bit (we had a map so we just picked some places; went to Santa Maria Novella Church but didn't entered and crashed a couple of bazaars that were lots of fun)
    Later we walked all the way to Piazzale Michelangelo where we saw the sunset while having a beer (i dunno if we were supposed to do that mmm) and walked back to our locanda.

    What I would suggest is to pick either the galleria or uffizi and crash the very touristic places you feel like (churches and stuff) early on the day cause most of the tourists are lazy and such.
    Then walk around the city with a map, just pic a street and follow it and then pic another one and so on. The city is not that big and you'll be able to see lots of fun stuff and also perhaps find a couple of really good local restaurants. over 7 years ago

    Answered by Mafer Kendel Mafer Kendel via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    I would definitely see the statue of David then head out to the countryside. I would recommend calling this guy: carlo Odevaine wither italia 877 831 9710. He's Italian and lives in USA. He put together the most incredible trip to Italy for me and a friend. He knows exactly what to do that is non touristy while you get the full flavor of Italy. Ask him about Luigi wine tasting and a private cooking glass at a private old estate in the countryside. Amazing. Not sure what ur looking for but carlo is the guy. Tell him Michelle Manire sent you. Good luck and keep me posted! about 5 years ago

    Answered by Manire via Site_iconAsk a Nomad iPad app
  • 0

    By foot! Definitely!!! about 5 years ago

  • 0

    We went everywhere on foot as everything is close by. A pair of good walking shoes is all you need. To get into museums, get tix online to avoid long queues. Florence should be savored slowly. As you walk along, you'd discover many more things other than the usual touristy sites. about 5 years ago

    Answered by via Site_iconAsk a Nomad iPad app

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