Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Welcome to Mumsnet's holiday forum. Discuss all international travel here, including both shorthaul and longhaul trips. Related topics: UK holidays & day trips, skiing, camping & campervans.

Holidays

Florence and surrounding area - adults only

41 replies

rookiemere · 09/05/2022 13:24

I'm hoping to get some flights to Florence using airmiles and companion ticket for next June for DH and I.
We'll hopefully go for a week in June, DS will be 17 so will stay at home.
DH isn't particularly keen on cities so thought we'd maybe spend a couple of days in Florence then head out to Tuscany. Wondering if it's possible to build up an itinerary without hiring a car - any smaller towns or villages we could base ourselves in that we can get the train to? Or indeed any thoughts on an itinerary.

We aren't particularly good in the heat, so I was hoping start of June would be ok - we can cope with about mid twenties.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Roystonv · 09/05/2022 13:29

We have just booked a holiday in Montecatini and trains from there to Florence, Pisa and Lucca. Hoping it all comes together!

Please
or
to access all these features

MarpleFan · 09/05/2022 13:30

I think you might be underestimating the heat... it's already 27/28c at the moment, and the last time I was there in June it was mid-30s...

Please
or
to access all these features

OrangeLampshade78 · 09/05/2022 13:31

You simply must go to a tasting at Fattoria Al Dotto - absolutely wonderful.

Please
or
to access all these features

rookiemere · 09/05/2022 13:32

Oh @MarpleFan that's hotter than I had fondly envisaged. We can't go any earlier as DS will be doing exams. Would September be likely to be any cooler than June ?

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

rookiemere · 09/05/2022 13:33

@Roystonv when are you going? Can you come back and report please ?

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

rookiemere · 09/05/2022 13:36

@OrangeLampshade78 www.fattoriaaldotto.it/en/visiting-the-winery-and-tastings/ that looks like fun !

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

MarpleFan · 09/05/2022 13:36

@rookiemere I have personally never been in September, but I would have thought that towards the middle/end of the month would be much more comfortable.

Please
or
to access all these features

Ohsugarhoneyicetea · 09/05/2022 13:43

The Cinque Terre are not far from Florence and very beautiful.

Please
or
to access all these features

ENoeuf · 09/05/2022 13:57

I would probably do :
one day (half) to Fiesole by bus www.visitflorence.com/fiesole/top-things-to-see.html
one day (half) long walk up to piazzale Michelangelo and the church
general meandering round - cathedral, markets, ice cream, museums (one day)
day trip to Pisa - super boring but has to be done just don’t expect much By train
cinque terre are lovely but maybe too far for a weeks trip?
maybe Bologna? By train

Please
or
to access all these features

OrangeLampshade78 · 09/05/2022 17:08

rookiemere · 09/05/2022 13:36

@OrangeLampshade78 www.fattoriaaldotto.it/en/visiting-the-winery-and-tastings/ that looks like fun !

It really is, and the view is amazing. I want to go back!

Please
or
to access all these features

rookiemere · 09/05/2022 21:56

Thanks folks for the ideas, some good suggestions

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

TizerorFizz · 09/05/2022 23:24

No one has said Sienna. It’s fantastic. There are numerous hill top villages. San Gimignano is amazing. Pisa is worth a day. Bologna is actually a brilliant place to stay. You can get to Ravenna, Modena (Ferrari museum), Ferrara, Parma snd Bologna itself is great.

Please
or
to access all these features

Geamhradh · 10/05/2022 06:19

I was in Florence the beginning of September last year and it was mid 30s every day.
Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Lucca, all reachable from Florence by car or trains. You won't want longer than a day in Pisa. I'd have liked longer in Siena which has a really good feel to it. If you're going beyond Tuscany and into Umbria, lots of similar places there. Bologna in summer is known as the hottest place in Italy and can hit 40 easily from June through September.

Please
or
to access all these features

RampantIvy · 10/05/2022 06:29

We visited Florence at the beginning of October years ago and it was 25 degrees - perfect for sightseeing.

Please
or
to access all these features

TreesAGreenInTheNorth · 10/05/2022 06:39

Perugia is beautiful too, 35 mins on the train, Assisi is fab, 20 minutes from Perugia. Bologna and Modena too. I never drive in Italy, the trains work perfectly, sometimes I get a cab, Perugia to Assisi for instance, a cab is about the same price as the train for two.

I wouldn’t stay in Florence for more than a night at each end personally.

Please
or
to access all these features

TizerorFizz · 10/05/2022 08:11

Florence has a lot to see though. Early June shouldn’t be awful but late Sept is nicer. DD lived in Bologna as a student until early July a few years ago. She didn’t experience 40 degrees but early June is nicer.

Please
or
to access all these features

fussychica · 11/05/2022 09:43

Came back yesterday, weather improved in the 3 days we were there. Very busy despite the absence of Chinese tourists. Used the train from Venice to Florence, excellent service and very relaxing. Easy city to wander around though as quite compact. Glad I've been but not somewhere I'd return to. I think I'm done with popular cities and prefer places that are less touristy now. My favourite spot was Pizzale Michelanglo for the amazing view of the whole city. David at Accadamia is a must see rather than the Uffizi if you are pressed for time.

Please
or
to access all these features

zafferana · 11/05/2022 12:47

Don't forget buses OP - they are often quicker than trains in Tuscany and bus stations tend to be in the centre of town, which is not always true of trains. There are so many wonderful towns you could visit! Pisa you can do by train, Siena take the bus, Lucca, San Gimignano, Arezzo. And yes, June can be very hot. Florence sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains so it's also very humid. Late September would be cooler than June.

Please
or
to access all these features

rookiemere · 11/05/2022 13:25

Some great suggestions here.
DH is not a big city fan so I wonder if we should base ourselves rurally for the whole trip. Good to know buses are an option as well.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

darlingdodo · 11/05/2022 13:36

We went last two weeks May and it was already 30 degrees.

We stayed on the edge of Pistoia - large town so handy for food shopping, restaurants and good transport links east and west.

Lucca is very lovely, great place to spend a day.

Volterra, San Gimignano, the mountains above Pistoia or just sitting under the shade of a tree looking at the vines, olive groves and cypresses.

Please
or
to access all these features

LeeMiller · 11/05/2022 14:12

I live in Tuscany and it’s already hot, and the Florence area is also relatively humid so it can feel hotter than it is. In early June I’d be planning afternoons inside or resting in the shade and exploring in the morning/late afternoon and evening. Late September is still very summery and nice but a bit cooler.

Trains and buses are good but can be pretty infrequent the more rural you go so I’d be tempted to stay somewhere in between. Somewhere like Fiesole has a rural feel but is very convenient for Florence. Or in/near a bigger town like Lucca and Pistoia which are beautiful in themselves and have good connections making them a good base for day trips.

If you want to stay rurally then a few days in an agriturismo (like a combination of a b&b/restaurant/working farm) is a good option as they will often collect you and drop you off at the local station if you don’t have a car. I’d pick one based in a vineyard. Most will have an outdoor pool which is nice in the heat too.

Please
or
to access all these features

rookiemere · 11/05/2022 14:20

Thanks everybody for the temperature warnings.
I went to Bologna in September a few years ago and it was around 32 degrees so far too hot for sightseeing.
We can't really go any earlier than June- going without Ds but wouldn't leave him on his own for exams - so September sounds more tolerable, but we were keen to do
Something as soon as the exams finished.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Spudlet · 11/05/2022 14:30

Lucca and Sienna are both beautiful, and I prefer them both to Florence, tbh. Florence gets so hot and crowded. I find it all a bit oppressive. Sienna is one of my favourite places in Italy though, so I’m a bit biased.

Pisa is ok. If you go, I would go into the little museum next to the tower. It’s pretty much the same as many church museums - lots of gold, vestments and manuscripts! But it has a little shady courtyard, and you can see the top half of the tower from it, sit on a bench, and have it almost to yourself, listen to the hubbub of all the bus trippers but be away from them… we really liked it in there, it felt like a real little hidey-hole.

Please
or
to access all these features

rookiemere · 11/05/2022 14:33

I've just had a look and there are some lovely and inexpensive places to stay in Lucca so I'm definitely liking that as an option

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

LeeMiller · 11/05/2022 14:40

Lucca is really lovely. And a great base for day trips to Garfagnana (nice and cool in the mountains) and the coast as well as being near Pisa, Florence, various smaller towns etc depending on what interests you. The Cinque Terre are doable in a day by train if you get up early.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?