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Author: redqueen

Joined: 12/21/2010
Posts: 18
Traveler Since: 2009

July 20, 2013

I've read all the reviews but I'm still trying to decide if I want to take the two optional trips out of Florence (San Gimignano and Siena).  I know I'd enjoy them, but there's so much to see in Florence that's not covered on the tour.  I'm thinking in particular of the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi where I could happily spend a day at each.  I guess what I'm really asking is if there'll be enough free time in Florence to see these treasures and still take the optional trips into the countryside.

 

Decisions, decisions!  Please help if you can! 

Author: sugarplum7

Joined: 4/4/2013
Posts: 9
Countries Visited:

All over USA, Mexico, Carribbean, Hawaii, Canada, So. Korea, Thailand, Europe

Traveler Since: 2013

July 20, 2013

 Just got back from that trip and the trip to San Jem is really nice. We also went to Sienna but we were there on a very special day. They were preparing for The Palio horse race.

True, there is a lot to see in Florence and there is not enough time to do both. I personally would stay in Florence for the extra day. While Sienna is very nice, a lot of time is spent in churches and you do see a lot of churches on this tour so your time might be better spent in Florence. Just my opinion. The trip is wonderful and you will love it.

Author: redqueen

Joined: 12/21/2010
Posts: 18
Traveler Since: 2009

July 20, 2013

Thanks, sugarplum!  Did you take the Genoa trip?  I'm wondering if they allow time to take a peek in any of the museums there. 

Author: halfpint

Joined: 9/25/2010
Posts: 49
Traveler Since: 1989

July 28, 2013

I am leaving for Rome on this Italy, Tuscany, Alps and Riviera trip August 12th (I know I have made a mistake because of the possible heat, HOWEVER) but am wondering those who have been to the listed hotels, the Victoria in Rome, the Tigullio in Santa Margherita the Londa in Florence and the Luna hotel in Bolzano, am wondering if anyone encountered any difficulty in charging their digital cameras and or batteries?  t am Just trying to cover all bases .  It looked on the literature that one might need 3 different variants of plugs, etc.  I guess I just like to worry.  Anyone with recent advise on this?   Thanks much.   Halfpint

Author: sugarplum7

Joined: 4/4/2013
Posts: 9
Countries Visited:

All over USA, Mexico, Carribbean, Hawaii, Canada, So. Korea, Thailand, Europe

Traveler Since: 2013

August 17, 2013

 All the hotels are nice and no problem with electronics. In Bolzano, wifi was not very good. You only need the euro plug for your electronics. However if you have any other appliances, you may need an adaptor. Hair dryers are in ALL of the hotels. It is a great trip, you will love it.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 234
Traveler Since: 1995

August 18, 2013

This is for Halfpint.

We're thinking of booking this rivieras trip.  Please let us  know on your return what you thought of this small ship cruise and what to expect, and maybe pros and cons.  Thanks.

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 135
Traveler Since: 2005

August 19, 2013

Singsling, I think you might be mixing up two trips.  This thread is about a regular Grand Circle Land Tour...."Italy: Tuscany, the Alps, and the Riviera."  The Italy trip on the small cruise ship, with fewer people in the group, is called "The Rivieras: France, Italy, and the Isles."   They are two entirely different trips.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 234
Traveler Since: 1995

August 19, 2013

Thanks for the information.  I saw "riviera, and thought it was the small ship cruise.  I wondered why there was a trip to Siena, thought it was a previous smal ship riviera cruise.  Thanks again.

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 82
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

August 21, 2013

Hi Redqueen, I'm late with this reply so you may not be checking anymore. Of the two optionals...I would do Siena because of some very unique historical & cultural features not encountered in other hilltowns. Regarding the Uffizi...there was enough free time in Florence,when I took the trip...however, strongly suggest that you ask your PD to help you make a reservation in advance. (Days in advance!!)The lines just to get a ticket can stretch for blocks and you could spend precious hours just waiting in line and never see the inside of the museum before your free time was gone.

Best of luck and enjoy!

Cate

Author: redqueen

Joined: 12/21/2010
Posts: 18
Traveler Since: 2009

August 25, 2013

Thanks, Cate!  I've already taken your advice -- sort of.  I decided to skip both optional tours and bought a Firenze card instead which hopefully will get me past the worst Uffizi lines and into the rest of my "must see" places as well.  I  

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 82
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

September 03, 2013

Hi Redqueen,

The Firenze card sounds like a good way to go...I wasn't aware of it myself. Well....have a fantastic time and I hope all your Italy travel dreams come true!

Cate

Author: kristenc

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 65
Traveler Since: 2012

September 04, 2013

The Firenze card currently sells for 73 euro and is good for 73 hours from its first use. You would want to check the itinerary and determine how much free time you will have to see those museums and sites covered to determine if it is worth it. It does ensure you won't have to wait in long lines for tickets, and it does include bus/tram travel as well as free wi-fi spots around Florence.

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