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Old 02-23-2008, 06:06 PM
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What can any one tell us about going from Livorno to Florence and touring Florence at our owm, with 2 kids.
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:29 PM
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How old are the kids?
You can do it on your own. Not that difficult and not that expensive. Touring around Florence will require a lot of walking as most of the historic area is pedestrian only. If the kids are young (stroller age) you will find many of the streets less than smooth.
Livorno/Florence Trains
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:00 AM
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I'd be interested in any tips on doing this - how to get to Florence from Livorno (train or bus?), where to find the transport, frequency of service, time of journey, where one arrives in Florence in relation to the main sights / places to visit, etc. Haven't been to Livorno before, so don't know what to expect or what is practical to achieve in a day.
Thanks
We'll be arriving on April 24th (8am to 6.30pm) on P&O Ventura Maiden cruise.
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Darn good questions. The biggest problem with taking the train to Florence is the resistence of the local taxis to take you from port to the train station. They are mostly looking to get full-day hires (for about 300 Euros) and do not want to waste their time with a 7 min ride. When you get off the ship you will see the taxis lines up at the end of the pier. There is usually one Italian guy that kind of takes the lead and tries to match-up passengers with taxis. You might need to be a little assertive and keep pestering for a taxi to the local "stazione." You will need to have Euros, so make sure you get a supply at a prior port. Once you get to the station you want to buy same-day-return tickets which can be done at the ticket window (they are very used to dealing with cruise passengers) or by using the newer self-serve machines. You will get a seperate ticket for each way. Before you board the train you need to validate one ticket (do not validate your return ticket until you are ready to leave Florence) by inserting the ticket in the validation machine (it puts a time/date stamp on your ticket). The machines are located either right at the door to the platform or on the platform (it varies from station to station throughout Europe). Failure to validate your ticket can get you a hefty fine from the conductor. When you arrive at Florence, the station is within a few blocks walk of the main tourist area that is along the Arno River. The only major tourist site not within an easy walk is the Academia Museum. Make sure you check the return schedule and get yourself back to the station on time. Plan on getting back to Livorno at least an hour before your mandated boarding time, since you will again need a taxi to get you from station back to the ship. There is only a limited number of taxis waiting at the Livorno station, so its a good strategy to be one of the first off the train, and than rush right through the station to get one of the waiting taxis (they have no problem making the short trip back to the ship). As to Florence, you should read a decent guide book and there is tons of info on the web. If you are "museum people" you might want to pre-purchase admission tickets for your museums (Ufizzi, Academia, etc) which you can do on-line (check Google) in order to save some time waiting in possibly long lines. We find Florence to be a delightful city for just walking, admiring the architecture, eating the best gelato in the world, and having a nice lunch in a well-located outdoor cafe. There is also lots of good shopping (but these days everything is expensive) and this is the place for buying leather goods.

Hank
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:06 AM
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Hank - thanks very much - that is EXACTLY the sort of info we needed.
Good to hear from someone who knows his way around.
We had a similar taxi experience in Bombay (Mumbai) when my wife and I were mobbed and separated by hoards of taxi drivers outside the dock gates. Scary for her, but we had pre-planned for that eventuality and just ignored them and walked on down the street for about a block until we found a regular taxi rank and got taken where we wanted at an acceptable price.... You just have to know the ropes.

Just one last question please, if you have the time to reply - I have just looked up train times from Livorno to Florence (Firenzi) and the Florence station referred to is called Firenze Rifredi. As far as you know, is that the main Florence station or are there more than one?

Thanks again - happy cruising !
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:09 AM
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Hi Chris,
I'll jump in for Hank.

Firenze SMN is the main station in Firenze. It is just a few blocks from the historic district. It will be your second stop coming into Firenze. There is a several kilometer distance between it and Firenze Rifredi. Also keep in mind that you are traveling to/from Livorno Centrale.

Enjoy your cruise and your visit to Firenze.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:33 AM
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Thanks ftroute, for that info. I guess we're settled on this way of getting to Florence - that's got to be a better deal than the coach transport offered by the cruise ship - UKú34 (US$68 / Euros 45) per person just to take us in and bring us back - no guide, no visits or anything included.
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cruise, firenze, florence, florencia, journey, kids, livorno, port, rifredi, station, taxi, tips, train

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