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Florence was the 2nd stop on our tour of Italy after visiting Venice and before visiting Rome. We were able to walk from the train station to two of the Airbnb’s for our group before our host drove us to the 2nd location where I slept. Our Airbnb was the furthest from the train but closest to Duomo Square. New to Airbnb? Save $40 on your first stay by signing up here. Read my 8 Tips to Guarantee a Great Airbnb Experience! Here is a photo of one of the rooms in the Airbnb we stayed in.
Day 1: Accademia, Duomo Square, Vecchio
Our first day in Florence was spent exploring the city. We first went to the Duomo with hopes of going to the top. However when we arrived the line was an estimated two-hour wait and we found on the only way to the top was to climb 463 steps as there is no elevator. The wait time is what really scared me off, the Duomo is open from 8:30am – 7pm Monday-Friday, 8:30am – 5:40pm Saturday and 1-4pm on Sundays.
After our failed attempt at climbing the Duomo Bell Tower, we made the quick walk to the Galleria dell’Accademia which is home to the famous Michelangelo’s David. It’s closed on Monday’s and open every other day from 8:15AM to 6:50PM. While you can’t purchase advanced tickets directly online on the Museum’s website there are an array of online distributors who sell them and they range in price. We didn’t feel comfortable committing to a specific time to arrive so we forwent the option and ended up waiting in line for an hour in the burning sun. Purchase online or be there by 8AM.
We planned on watching the sunset at Ponte Trinita or Vecchio but we were so exhausted we ended up taking a nap before dinner. In hindsight, I wish we would have sucked it up and went but you live and learn. These are the views we missed.
Day 2: Full Day Tuscany Tour
We couldn’t imagine visiting Italy and not visiting the countryside and the Leaning Tower of Pisa so we decided we would do a tour. We took this Full Day Tuscany Tour which visited Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa. It was a really long day, 12 hours, but it was totally worth it.
We drove an hour from Florence to Siena, famous for its medieval streets. Here we had a tour guide who took us through the city. We passed through the market and square before arriving at the infamous Cathedral.
We left Siena and headed to Chianti, an hours drive. Here we explored the vineyards, olive groves, and wine cellars. After the tour, we had lunch at the vineyard which was included in the tour. I usually don’t enjoy included lunches but the meal was freshly prepared, pasta with your choice of various sauces with or without meat. The pasta was unlimited so no need to be concerned about still being hungry afterward. In addition to pasta, there were cold meats, salads, and bread. During lunch, a tasting of various wines was offered at no additional cost. Here was the view from lunch.
After lunch, we had a 40-minute drive to San Gimignano to digest our lunch. Here we had free time to explore the cobbled streets and small squares. San Gimignano is home of two gelato stores who have been going back and forth with winning the World’s Best Gelato Award. They have so many flavors, good luck choosing which ones to indulge in.
Our last stop was visiting Pisa. It takes almost an hour and a half to get to Pisa from San Gimignano, perfect for a nap :-). We got about 45mins to explore the Leaning Tower. If you want you can climb the tower, it takes about 30 mins and there are 296 stairs but children under 8 are not allowed.
Carrier or Stroller
While you can definitely get around Florence with a carrier alone, the streets here do allow the use of a stroller easily. Since I used the carrier the entire time in Venice and I was 16 weeks pregnant I took a break in Florence and used my stroller. As you can see I had a cheap umbrella one. I loved that it was lightweight however I didn’t like that there was no recline. Being out all day, Jordyn was bound to take a nap but in this stroller, her head was bobbing up and down.