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Taking my mum to Florence, advice gratefully received!

(27 Posts)
Kdubs1981 Sun 14-Jul-19 17:43:16

I'm planning on taking my mum to Florence for her 70th. I have a young son, so can only manage two nights. Could anyone recommend a good mid range hotel and must sees (apart from David!wink

CalamBalam Sun 14-Jul-19 17:51:20

I stayed here. It's no frills but really clean, really lovely, and in the best possible location.

Buy your tickets for the Uffizi ahead of time so you can skip the queue. I found it pretty mind blowing to stand in front of The Birth of Venus. They have a gorgeous roof top coffee shop when you're done being wowed by Renaissance art. grin

As well as Michelangelo's David you can also see Donatello's David. Just spectacular.

So much to see and such a gorgeous city to wander about on foot.

TickleMyFanny Sun 14-Jul-19 17:59:27

I stayed at hotel pendini

onemouseplace Sun 14-Jul-19 18:00:57

We stayed here when I went with my Mum a couple of years ago - it was nice and walking distance of everything (although we got a taxi from the station with our luggage as we flew to Pisa and got the train).

We mainly went to go to the Uffizi which was our must-see, but that took a full morning and a bit but we did break for early lunch in there. We got tickets in advance. We also went round the Duomo, the Galleria dell'Accademia (which is where David is) and Santa Croce (as I'm a massive Room with a View fan and couldn't miss it).

Greenteandchives Sun 14-Jul-19 18:14:40

kdubs it really depends on what your mum likes. If she is into art and sculpture then Florence has it in spades. Il Duomo and Baptistery, Uffizi, Bargello, Palazzo Vecchio, San Marco, Santa Croce. I could go on and on. If you want to go to see David, (awesome. Pictures never do it justice) book ahead. Try and prioritise. Maybe take a guided walking tour? The tourist office should have info on this. Florence is quite compact.
Depending when you are going, expect crowds.
My favourite place is the Palazzo Medici Riccardi with its amazing frescoes.There’s also the Michelangelo staircase, in the Laurentian library which is unusual.
If that’s not your thing, then there is shopping and food as well. Lots of leatherwork.
I would go back every year just to stare at things in Florence. It’s my favourite city.

Kdubs1981 Sun 14-Jul-19 20:32:51

Thank you everyone! @CalamBalam, this place looks great!

Kdubs1981 Sun 14-Jul-19 20:33:29

@Tickle, would you recommend?

Kdubs1981 Sun 14-Jul-19 20:34:55

@onemouseplace and @Greenteandchives thanks so much for the recommendation. My mum is all about the art and culture! As am I. But never yet been to Florence

Greenteandchives Sun 14-Jul-19 20:56:26

This is my favourite. Fra Angelico’s Annunciation in San Marco.
If you want to go to the Uffizi, don’t forget to pre book.
When are you going?

Greenteandchives Sun 14-Jul-19 20:57:45


RippleEffects Sun 14-Jul-19 21:18:40

We went last Easter as a family so slightly different break. I really enjoyed the Indoor covered market loads of food stalls downstairs and places you coukd buy a takeaway hot snack. Upstairs there are lots of cafe type eateries with a wide range of fresh cooked food. The place had a really vibrant feel.

SorrelForbes Sun 14-Jul-19 21:25:54

My sister and I took our mother to Florence for her 70th a few years ago and split her rotten (saved for two years!). We stayed at the Golden Tower hotel which is right in the centre. We flew BA, Heathrow to Milan and had a driver meet is there and take us to the hotel.

That afternoon we just walked around, had gelato etc. The next day we did the Uffizi and Academia in the morning (both prebooked) and used the hotel spa in the afternoon (booked mum some treatments as a special treat.

The last day we did a private tour to San Gimignano and Sienna followed by a drive around the wine growing area.

It was a wonderful trip and our mother couldnt quite believe she was there. Seeing the statue of David was something she never thought she'd experience.

Ellmau Mon 15-Jul-19 08:26:46

As you're pressed for time avoid being there on Monday, when most of the museums etc will be closed.

Sicario Mon 15-Jul-19 08:36:26

Another recommendation for the Mona Lisa hotel. Very well located, lovely staff, great value.

If you go via Pisa (although you can fly direct to Florence), the train is directly outside the airport and very easy. You must validate your train ticket before boarding (ticket machines on the concourse).

Everything is walkable. Book gallery tickets in advance on the internet. The Boboli Gardens are stunning but involve lots of uphill walking.

SJane48S Mon 15-Jul-19 08:42:24

We stayed at the Hotel Kraft - it's mid range (4 star), close to the river and in easy walking range of the main sites. As a hotel it's fine (not wow!) but w hat does make it great is a roof too pool with views right across the city - really nice place to be at 6pm with a big glass of wine listening to the bells ringing across the city!

As PP's have said, book ahead and get up early. While it's not 100% accurate, the Medici of Florence on Netflix is worth a watch before going

SJane48S Mon 15-Jul-19 08:42:39

TickleMyFanny Mon 15-Jul-19 23:23:39

Yes I would - it’s right in the centre so easy access. It’s reasonably priced and is actuallly dead opposite the savoy so you know the location is great! I’ve been countless times to Florence. It’s my favourite city

TickleMyFanny Mon 15-Jul-19 23:26:26

The train station is actually a short bus ride away unless it’s changed since January. My preferred is flying direct to Florence but it’s more pricey. The bus is ok to be fair though as is the train, just more faffing and time consuming

Goingonagondola Wed 17-Jul-19 23:31:01

I'm taking my mum to Venice in October for 3 nights for her 70th so no advice but just a high five. When are you going?

Knittedjimmychoos Thu 18-Jul-19 11:38:44

In short time I'd stick to uffizzi which could take days and the sites of Florence only eg ponte vecchio, the beautiful squares and so on. Don't over stretch its living walking art gallery. Enjoy. Its gorgeous

Knittedjimmychoos Thu 18-Jul-19 11:40:05

Weather will play role, when are you going. If its hot take it easy. Walking tour sounds fab.

zafferana Thu 18-Jul-19 13:00:34

There are such artistic riches in Florence that you're going to be spoilt for choice. The top museum and the one with most of the really famous stuff in it is the Uffizi. However, Michelangelo's David isn't in there, annoyingly it's in the Accademia! However, across the piazza from the Accedemia is the Museo di San Marco, which as mentioned above has beautiful frescoes by Fra Angelico. It's a former monastery and it's a really serene and beautiful place and much quieter than the big museums. With only 2 nights those are the places I'd focus on. Make sure you go to Vivoli for a gelato and pop your head into one of the famous churches (Santa Croce is only one block away from Vivoli). Take a stroll through the Piazza della Signoria and look at the sculptures on show there on your way to/from the Uffizi. There's a replica of Michelangelo's David in the middle. For views I'd recommend the Piazzale Michelangelo for a drink at sunset. There is a little cafe on a terrace on the left.

SarahMused Thu 18-Jul-19 21:49:09

If you want to visit several museums and galleries the Firenze Card is worth a look. We were really glad we had it as you don‘t have to queue and the queues for the most popular sights were hours long even in January. The Mercato Centrale is great for food and drink. Have a plan of what you are going to do each day and be realistic, you won‘t be able to cover everything!

timeforakinderworld Thu 18-Jul-19 22:03:08

Palazzo Davanzati is one of my favourite places to visit - a renaissance house. Make sure you take the guided tour to the upper floors. There are often interesting exhibitions on at Palazzo Strozzi. My favourite area to stay is San Frediano - lots of great restaurants and little shops. Try Hotel Horto Convento for hotel deals.

Beebumble2 Sun 21-Jul-19 04:28:23

You can pre buy entrance tickets on the web, to avoid queues. There a lot to see if you’re just there for two nights.
Look on line and plan your itinerary well. Stay and eat on the opposite bank of the river, it’s cheaper. We loved the area around the Bobolis Gardens.

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