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Old 12-16-2015, 02:01 PM   #21
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Wow, you guys are amazing...there is so much good advice here!


Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about my time limits for now, but I am sure I will revist this area again in future trips. I was in Rome many years ago, but this will be a different experience, as we both can afford some tours, better food, better rooms etc.


Very excited to go over these suggestions with my traveling friend. Next chore getting airfare!


Thanks to all of you for your generosity, hope you had some happy memories while helping me out!


Kitty
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:28 PM   #22
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When you are looking for air you might look at cost of flights to Milan Venice, or Rome.

Better still, if the scheds and prices permit do an open jaw with Venice as your departing airport. Check out of Florence, catch the first AM train to Venice. Spend the day/evening in Venice and fly home the next morning.

Also, forget checking bag. Travel with carry on bag only. Sooo much easier.
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:05 PM   #23
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When you are looking for air you might look at cost of flights to Milan Venice, or Rome.
Or Genoa...we scored a cheap Air France flight there/back in October......then, from Genoa by train, you could drop in to Lucca on the way to Florence.
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Decent Air Fare
Old 12-16-2015, 09:41 PM   #24
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Decent Air Fare

FYI. Got non stop tickets out of JFK to Milan in April 2016 for $817 RT. Emirates Airline. I need the slightly longer legroom on their planes.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:39 PM   #25
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Milan is good...much better than Rome IMHO. Train to Milan Centrale is at the airport.

Very easy to train to Florence or to Venice for that matter. You do not need first class train tickets...they are a needless expense for such a short trip.

Enjoy...and keep a very close eye on your purses etc. Lots of pickpockets in the stations and in/around Florence.

If you are staying overnight in Milan at any time you might want to try Priceline bidding. Two years ago we scored the five star Westin Palace Milan for 3 nights @ an incredible $89USD per night, plus taxes. Unforgettable room.
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:00 PM   #26
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Can you take the train from MXP itself to Florence?

Because MXP is like 45 kilometers outside of Milan Centrale. I also

I've been able to fly into FLR when going to Tuscany/Florence. PSA is also a popular entry point but it's an hour away from Florence itself.

Just checked, Milano Centrale to Firenze S.M. Novella is about 100-120 minutes on the Frecciarossa and not too expensive, €17-44 Euro depending on which train.

However, you have to add about about 45 minutes transit from the airport to Milano Centrale and then whatever connection time would be required.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:45 AM   #27
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You could also fly all the way to Florence, as they do have an airport. I think we changed planes in Rome. Just make sure your connection schedule allows you sufficient time to make it through passport control.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:26 AM   #28
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I would not bother with air from Milan to Florence. In order to score a decent ticket you will need to pre book. Then there is the chance or arriving late and missing your flight.

If you add up all the extra airport time you need for pre boarding etc. it will be just as fast to take the train-and it will be more flexible and faster.


If you do find yourselves in Milan for a few hours try and look in at the Duomo and the covered shopping area (forget the name) nearby (stained glass, amazing ceilings, fanstastic marble floors, and very chic stores).
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:01 PM   #29
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But if they're already at MXP, it would be easier to fly on to FLR from there rather than take 45 minutes to get to Milano Centrale and then get on a 2-hour train.

I've flown Rome to Cagliari, Pisa to Rome. All about an hour flight. You might be on a propeller plane. Alitalia should cost about $100.

And these short domestic flights in Italy should still be bookable, since the OP isn't going until April.

Though pay attention to the baggage allowance. You might get dinged on a surcharge if you have a suitcase which is too big or heavy.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:14 PM   #30
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The reality is that you are not going to walk off the Emerites plane and get on a commuter aircraft to Florence.

You would typically arrange your air for one or two hours of transfer time. First to go thru customs, second to get your luggage (unless you are carry on) and then go back though the boarding process for the second flight. Probably need 1 1/2 hrs-2 hrs of sched tme.

That assumes there is a flight at the right time AND the incoming flight is on time. There is remains the risk of missing the flight and depending on the airline loosing the value of the ticket.

Not saying it cannot be done. But from a time perspective my guess is that they are about equal. You still have to get from Florence Airport into town. So really, the only delta is between the time required for a Milance Centrale -Florence STMvs the time required for air-the flight, the preboard, etc. But with the train you do no have the risk of loosing the value of your ticket IF you purchased a discount ticket.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:53 AM   #31
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If you do find yourselves in Milan for a few hours try and look in at the Duomo and the covered shopping area (forget the name) nearby (stained glass, amazing ceilings, fanstastic marble floors, and very chic stores).
Galeria, the original. Because of a low cost flight, we decided to spend 3 days in Milan on the way to Sicily. Loved it. The fast train to Florence is amazing. We took that fast train to Naples (4.5 hours).
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:30 AM   #32
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That's it. We too were 'passing through' because of air fares. Milan is a major airline hub. We were able to score a great deal on a on way ticket to South Africa so we decided to stay for a few days.

We had two days of rain so we appreciated our frequent visits to the Galleria when it was raining.

It was amazing. What we liked was the fact that it was real, not some cheesy mall made up to look like something it was not.
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Old 12-25-2015, 04:39 PM   #33
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Florence is gorgeous! You will love it!

A great place to buy gifts for your friends and yourself is Santa Maria Novella Farmaceutica. It was the first pharmacy in Europe.

Their toiletries are made from Italian herbs and flora. The prices are nicely affordable. Soaps, potpourri, cologne, perfume, etc.

My favorite cologne is Iris. I keep their famous potpourri in my home. My friends love it.

The shop is beautiful - a destination site in itself.

Pharmaceuticals of Santa Maria Novella
Via della Scala, 16 - 50123, Florence, Italy
Tel. +39.055.216276

SMNF website in Italian
Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Casa fondata nell'anno 1612

English TripAdvisor website with article
Oldest perfume store/pharmacy in the world - Review of Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy - TripAdvisor
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:48 PM   #34
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Bumping up for Hardatit, the honeymooner asking for help with Europe.


I have been able to make some decisions, and will fly (NY-JFK) to Milan, spend a day or so there, and take the train to Florence for 6 nights. We found an apartment from VRBO we are happy with, and should be able to accomplish a lot with the help from this group!
(We paid about $800 for the roundtrip direct flight on Emerites. No direct flights to Florence and that seemed harder than it needed to be. We are excited to see a little of Milan, do a little touristing and shopping and have a nice dinner and good night's sleep before moving on to Florence). Thanks for everyone's input. Maybe some of these suggestions will help the honeymooners!
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:20 PM   #35
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Enjoy.

Our favourite time of day in Florence was just prior to sunset. The lighting is soft. The city lights are tinkling and beginning to come alive. The day trippers and tour busses have gone and it almost seems like a different place. The locals are out for a walk. Enjoy.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:04 PM   #36
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We went for 2 weeks and used Sienna as our home base and drove to the other cities nearby. However, we did spend 3 of those days staying in Florence. All the towns mentioned were awesome. Have fun!
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