I'm trying to decide between Florence or Pisa! Ideally, I'd like to do both, but it just doesn't seem feasible & after doing 2 days of tours in Naples & Rome, a third might be pushing it. I'm torn between Florence, which I've heard is amazing, but probably would warrant a return trip in the future to see & do more. Or, Pisa seems neat, but seems like it would be a half day trip. I've also looked into Lucca & Cirque, as possible alternatives to couple with Lucca & Cirque, but I'm not sure. Any recommendations?
Florence vs. Pisa
If you can do both----do it... Italy is an expensive trip by land or sea. That in mind, you probably wont be going back to often. I've been to Rome before because it was part of a London, Paris and Rome trip (13 days). My mother and I are going to do a land tour of Italy starting in Milan and ending in the Isle of Capri in 2018. Yeah, Pompeii is in there too. That's my dream stop. She only wants to see Florence. Living on the east coast saves me a little bit in air fare, but that bill for the both of us is a bit staggering. So, after that I wont be going back to Italy no way shape or form for a number of years. So, with that in mind, see all that you can see when you can see it. You may regret it later.
When I went (Celebrity Cruise Line) they had an excursion that gave you a couple hours in Pisa and a few hours in Florence. This was not a tour, just a buss to both places and back to the ship. This was good to get a sampling of both places since we just had one port day. Both were good stops. In Pisa we stopped near the leaning tower and had enough time to look around but not enough to climb the tower stairs tour. In Florence we had time to see "The David", the Cathedral, walk around, shop and get some lunch. It was a long day but was a good day. It is great stuff to see, when I read the Dan Brown books I could picture in my mind the areas they went through as I had been there before.
Well, mostly remembered as Mrs. Brady on the Brady Bunch, you have Florence Henderson. I don't think you can compare her to Pia ( Zadora I presume ) on any level.
It's hard to see Florence in one day. We did three nights there ahead of our cruise. It was truly worth it. I understand your plight. Pisa is nice and you can see it all in about 4 hours. Even if you only to get to spend one night in Florence, it's worth it. There are 3 must see things in Florence, and if you're there only one day, you can probably get to all these: Statue of David in the Accademia, The Duomo/Baptistery, and the Ponte Vecchio/Pitti Palace area. One you've visited Florence, you'll understand why we would recommend it over Pisa.
Thank you! We're staying in Barcelona for a couple days prior, but feel like we'll probably make our way back to Italy at some point..I've heard the food is especially good in Florence!!
We're doing Pompeii as part of the Naples stop, sadly I almost wish we were doing all Italy stops vs. the two France stops (Cannes & Marseilles)--not due to anything that is going on over there, but I'm finding myself so frustrated not to be able to do all & see all in Italy. & to be limited with the cruise time frames each day. I think it's definitely a place we'd go back to I'm sure in the future, do Venice, Tuscany etc. But that's also our hindrance--we're on the East coast, but with kids in the future at some point, I don't see us spending the money or really having the time for a veryyy long time to do another large scale European trip. & our travel is also limited to the summer time, which means expensive flights. Thank you for your feedback!
Some cruise lines offer excursions that visit both, though the stop in Pisa is typically just long enough for the requisite photos and little else.
Unless you really really want to impress your friends by holding up the Tower, you won't regret having a bit more time in Florence and skipping Pisa.
Italy is so beautiful and has so many must see things that it's truly hard to do in just a short amount of time. We were glad we did our three nights each in Venice, Florence, and Rome prior to our Western Med. cruise. We highly recommend Florence over Pisa and were lucky we didn't have to choose between the two. Pisa is nice, but Florence is truly special. We plan on returning to Italy someday to visit places like Milan, Assisi, and the Cinque Terra. Some more buck list stuff we want to cross off.
I have to agree, Italy is a place where you need time, not just to see it but to experience it. Over a couple trips I have spent a few weeks in Rome. I have done all the sites to see the first trip, after that I was then able to experience it, take my time and walk around the city, stop in a cafe for lunch and a liter of red wine, sit outside at a cafe and watch time go by, do some shopping, go to the farmers market to get some fresh fruit, take the subway around town and go to some of the bars and clubs at night.
On a port day you just get to hit the highlights to see them, if you can extend your trip (since the air fair is expensive part) stay a few days or a week in Rome or Florence. When your in port in France if you do not do an excursion get lunch or go to a bakery for French pastry (best pastry I ever ate was at a hole in the wall cafe in France)