I’m planning to visit Italy in Oct 2011, i have to choose between spending one day in Pisa & Lucca or Florence &museums. Please help me choosing either of them. I don’t drink so I won’t mind missing the good wine in Florence.
Shall I take Pisa & Lucca or Florence & museums ?
A difficult choice. I think I would tend more to Pisa (which also has museums)
and the walled city of Lucca.
Florence all time.
Florence is one of the beutifull (and famous) city in the world with one of the most important museum in Italy (and the wolrd) Uffizi.
Pisa and Lucca also pretty city but not like Firenze. Take also care that Pisa-Lucca will take 1 hour and more by train and 45min by car.
In Firenze they don't have only lovely wine but also wonderfull food.
I'm italian but not from Firenze so i'm not writing as a sponsor of my city. :-).
Thanks Cyberia and Daisan, i still need one favour .
I’ll list below the program of each location, and would appreciate if you can look into it and advise
Florence & Museums:
This coach tour will carry you through the ever changing Tuscan countryside to delightful Greve in Chianti, home to Chianti's largest wine fair. Greve expanded considerably during the 14th and 15th centuries, and, after the unification of Italy, became the most important centre of Chianti. On one side of the renowned piazza Matteotti there is a statue of the explorer Giovanni da Verrazano who discovered New York's Harbour. Following a lovely local product tasting in the piazza, accompanied by Chianti wines, you will continue to the beautiful Verrazzano castle that rises nearby.
The Verrazzano Castle is located on a hilltop in the Chianti Classico area, the first grape growing and wine producing area in the world to be officially proclaimed, by the grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici in 1716. This is a land with a great winemaking tradition; in fact the Verrazzano vineyards are mentioned in a manuscript dating back to 1150 and are preserved in the nearby Passignano Abbey. When visiting the winery, one enters into the heart of the castle where selections of the best vintages dating back to 1924 are stored.
In Florence, your walking tour covers the historical center of the city and an in-depth tour of the Academy of Fine Arts, home to Michelangelo's "David". As you walk through the streets of Florence your guide will explain the ideas of the Renaissance, it’s most famous artists and the Medici family that showered Florence with countless masterpieces of art. On this tour, you will admire the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest surviving bridge in Florence. After crossing the Piazza della Signoria, the city's power hub for centuries and still the City Hall of Florence, you will stroll through medieval Florence and Dante Alighieri's neighborhood, enjoying a series of breath-taking examples of Renaissance architecture before arriving in Piazza Duomo. Here you will admire Brunelleschi's dome, Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistery's "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti. The last leg of this tour will lead you through the St Lorenzo Market, an authentic bazaar, offering a vast selection of leather goods and all sorts of other tempting items and ends at the Academia Gallery, home of Michelangelo's "David" and his "Slaves".
Pisa & Lucca :
This coach tour begins with an excursion through the fertile and picturesque Tuscan countryside to the historic city of Pisa, one of the four powerful maritime Republics of Italy, dating back to the 10th century. Today Pisa is also famed for its university, architectural beauty and as the birthplace of Galileo Galilei. The guided visit will take you through Pisa’s stunning Campo dei Miracoli. The leaning tower is what has brought fame to this city but its host of monuments in this beautiful green expanse, which include the Baptistry, the Duomo (Cathedral) and the Monumental Cemetery, are also sights not to be missed.
Your coach excursion continues through the lush Tuscan countryside to the beautiful town of Lucca whose massive 16th century walls still encircle it. This little city features some of Italy's finest Medieval and Renaissance architecture. The geometrical layout of the town and the Roman Forum date back to 180 B.C. It became a free Commune in 1162 and in the following centuries knew a new period of riches and splendor thanks to its banking and manufacturing activities. Its most stunning feature is the ancient ramparts that enclose the city and on which one can stroll or bicycle enjoying a fantastic view over this lovely town. Lucca, like most Italian cities, offers interesting shopping.
Which one is more interesting?
I suggest to avoid coach tour and visit Florence by yourself.
Florence is quite a small city, you can easily visit center by yourself.
In your Florence tour you visit Accademia gallery but not Uffizi http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/english/ and it's no good!
So i suggert Firenze, that is also better for shopping.
Daisan, so your suggestion is Florence?
You are walking into a quagmire if you think you're going to get into the Uffizi on a whim. Sounds like you're going in the middle of tourist season. The line to get in will be at least an hour wait. After you've been standing in the sun for an hour, I doubt if you'll enjoy standing and walking in the museum that is packed with tourists.
My suggestion would be to slow down and realize that the museum is all around you. I haven't been to Pisa in years, so I won't speak to it, but I will offer thoughts on Firenzi and Lucca which I am more recently familiar with.
The side streets of the historic center of Firenzi are a museum unto themselves, as are the spectacular piazzas, and so too the smaller ones, Piazza Santo Spiritu being my favorite for food and relaxation.
Whereas Firenzi is frenetic -- thanks to tourism -- and filled with shops for tourists, Lucca has a much more local pace. Although parts of it are lined with elegant shopping, it is less tourist oriented and this shopping area more just high-end Italian retail, which says something about local money.
Lucca as an outdoor museum is tangible and totally interactive. Founded by the Etruscans, later Roman, it is encircled by a magnificent massive wall, with 7 entry gates. Churches from the 1200's with pagan carvings on the outside. An old Roman amphitheatre that is now part of the heartbeat of the city and the go-to place for young couples to live.
I had a marvelous afternoon and early evening renting a bicycle (lots of places) and riding the streets and the pedestrian promenade in the early evening. The promenade, which is built on the top of the walls, is where it seems half the citizens go in the evening for jogging, walking arm in arm, riding bikes, necking, strolling.
I see you've gotten lots of suggestions. I wish you well with your decision.
thanks Trula, but i really wish to know what do you recommend for me, this is my first time to italy and i don't think i'll get the chance to be there again.
so i would really love to take the best decission.
Forget Pisa. It's too much travel time to see a single leaning tower. I love Lucca, but if I had only one day I would choose Florence. You can purchase tickets to the Ufizzi in advance - check out their website. That way you don't have to wait in line for forever. The city is a work of art in and of itself. Go to Florence! (And next time plan for more time in that beautiful city)