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Old 02-28-2013, 04:34 PM   #1
jmpaula
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Florence or Lucca/Pisa

Hi-
We are going on the June 8th 7 night Mediterranean trip! My boys are 11 and 8. We are trying to decide if the 3 hour ride to Florence is worth it this time or go to the Midieval Castle in Lucca and Pisa. Has anyone done either of these? Is it worth it to hire a private van or do the tour group? Any input appreciated!!

Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
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Hi ! Ive been to Florence and Pisa. Florence has really great spots and is more interesting than Pisa. The place with the leaning tower is very touristy... I would advise you do a tour with a group if Disney offers one. You're sure to be safe and enjou everything !
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
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Going to Florence is worth it if you've never been. You really need to decide what you want to see in Florence or Lucca & Pisa to be able to make up your mind. It will be challenging to do both.

When I went on the 2011 DCL Med Cruise, I did Florence with the ABD add-on. We saw the major sites in Florence(Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, different squares, etc.). Unfortunatley, the Academia was closed so we didn't see Michaelangelo's David. We also had lunch and about 1.5 hours to shop. What we didn't do was go to Pisa.

I'm going back to the Med with DCL this year and have opted to do Pisa this time so I can see the Leaning Tower. Looking at the excursions, there really isn't one that allows you to do both and see everything. That means I will still have to go back to Florence, at a later date, to see David. Oh well... Good luck with your decision.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by abdgeek View Post
I'm going back to the Med with DCL this year and have opted to do Pisa this time so I can see the Leaning Tower. Looking at the excursions, there really isn't one that allows you to do both and see everything. That means I will still have to go back to Florence, at a later date, to see David. Oh well... Good luck with your decision.
You totally do! Michelangelo's David was the best thing about Florence for me (and, honestly one of the top highlights of my 2010 Med cruise). So absolutely, totally amazing! I'm so sorry your ABD missed it.

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Old 02-28-2013, 05:32 PM   #5
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We have decided to do Pisa/Lucca because too much of the day is lost going to Florence. The tranist system looks great. We are going to take the train to Lucca, rent some bikes and go around the ramparts a couple of times, take the half hour bus to Pisa and climb the tour and visit the Duomo/Bapistery in Pisa. We will then take the train back from Pisa to La Spezia.

A couple of guidebooks have mentioned that the travel is much easier doing Lucca first.

Train schedules are availablehere


http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

Lucca Pisa bus schedule

http://www.vaibus.com/pdf/Extraurbano4feb13.pdf
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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we did Florance and it was so worth it from seeing David, Medici church, Point Vecchio, gelotto, other churches, squares, petting the boar statue:
I would do Florance again.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:57 PM   #7
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I visited Pisa, and stayed several nights in Lucca and Florence. For one day in port, I recommend going to Florence.

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Old 02-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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We also went to Florence on the 2010 Med cruise and saw David. I could have sat there all day - it was much more than I expected. We also saw quite a lot of Florence and had a great lunch in a Renaissance Palazzo. This time we'll go to see Pisa and climb the tower but I wouldn't have missed David and Florence for anything. At the time, I wasn't sure if we'd ever be back and I really wanted to see the city and David. Just the city architecture made me feel like I'd stepped back into the Renaissance.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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Unless you absolutely don't care about art at all, I would go to Florence and go to the Uffizi Gallery (first priority) and the Accademia IF you think there is a good to high likelihood that you will never go back to Italy.

That being said, the Field of Miracles in Pisa is well worth a look and will mean far less time in transit; everything there is to 'see' is eminently 'doable' in the time allotted on a cruise excursion. If you plan to see Europe via a land based trip at some point in the future, Florence deserves more time.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
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While Florence is my very favorite city in Italy, given how long it takes to get there and with your kids' ages (this is based on my own experience going with my three kids) I would choose Pisa.

My kids were quite impressed with Pisa. We didn't climb it because two of them were not old enough, but I bet your kids would love to do that! I plan to find something (Duomo or tower of some sort) for them to climb this summer!
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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There's so much to do, so little time. If I had to make a choice, it would be Florence. Although, I could easily spend a week in Tuscany.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbidibobbidibecky View Post
While Florence is my very favorite city in Italy, given how long it takes to get there and with your kids' ages (this is based on my own experience going with my three kids) I would choose Pisa.

My kids were quite impressed with Pisa. We didn't climb it because two of them were not old enough, but I bet your kids would love to do that! I plan to find something (Duomo or tower of some sort) for them to climb this summer!
I agree. DH and I have been to Pisa and Florence, and we are choosing to take our boys (9 and 11 when we go) to Pisa. They really want to see the Tower and climb it. They are obsessed reading about it now, and we aren't going until 2014! I admit, I was awestruck when I saw it. You really can't imagine until you see it in person. The thought of traveling 3 hours with them (is that one way or total?) and then dragging them around to look at art. Just shoot me. I can see disaster spelled all over that. For my kids at least.

But train to Pisa, climb a tower, wander around there a bit? They will enjoy that much more. they can see Florence when they are older and may appreciate the art.

This Lucca thing... have to check into this castle. Sounds good.

I am sad because I REALLY REALLY want to go to Cinque Terre. Don't know if I can squeeze that in with Pisa. My guess is no, since I am too afraid to book an early tower time and miss it. Dangit. Missing the Cinque Terre again. Ugh. Maybe next time!!

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Old 02-28-2013, 08:16 PM   #13
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I remember Florence as being very museum oriented. I don't know that your boys would really appreciate Florence. Don't get me wrong, i really did love seeing David, but I don't know if 2 kids would get it. We did Italy about 10 years ago, and visited Rome, the amalfi coast, Florence, Pisa, and Venice. The one i probably have the least desire to go back to is Florence. If you love Museums and art, than Florence is the place for you. I like seeing museums and art, but I don't need to do it for the whole day.

We had fun in Pisa. It is a bit touristy, but i think the boys would love climbing the tower (can you still do that? it has been a few years since we have been). I think that tower would stand out more in their minds that the statue.

You probably know your boys best though. When we do the med cruise in 2014, we are going to do Pisa (with a 6 and 4 y/o)
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
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I have been to Lucca many times. We walk the walls, climb the tower, visit the churches, shop and eat at our favorite Italian ristorante...La Buca di Sant'Antonio.

OP, what "castle" are you referring to...?
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfreud View Post

I am sad because I REALLY REALLY want to go to Cinque Terre. Don't know if I can squeeze that in with Pisa. My guess is no, since I am too afraid to book an early tower time and miss it. Dangit. Missing the Cinque Terre again. Ugh. Maybe next time!!

Kim
We did Pisa and Vernazza in 2011. We did not climb the tower though, but if you really want to see Cinque Terre and Pisa, it's possible. We screwed up on our train going from Pisa back to La Spezia, but if we hadn't done that we could have easily squeezed in two towns, which was our original plan. Just FYI...it is possible!
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