Visiting Lucca and Florence with 20-30 other guests, must see advice?


Active member
I'm making an itinerary for my wedding guest who will stay with us in a rented Villa for the 1st week in october in Camigliano outside Lucca.
Some couples will rent their own cars, others who can't we will hope can sqeeze in the spare seats.
Obviously Florence is a must, best by train, but I've been to the Uffizi last time I was there and want to see something else this time like the Domo???? Can anyone tell me about queuing, buying tickets and so on? Or something where else to visit?
I also had a bad experience with a very dirty restaurant in the square (didn't realise as we ate outside, visited the loo and had a shock, then got food poisoning). Can anyone recommend nice restaurants.
I saw the Medici family gardens on TV, is this worth going to?
We also always make the same mistake by the time we've had a relaxed breakfast and driven somewhere everything starts to close for a siesta, we've never quite managed to work out the time scales for this 1pm to 4pm? Except in Florence I guess keeps running as its busy. Does Florence have a market day that's worth visiting?
I have lots of questions but I would like to give my guests as much info so they can easily pick and choose what they want to do.
Thanks Gemma


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
lots to do!!

ciao Gemma,

Sounds like you've got lots of ideas already!

Definitely Florence is a must see for all of your guests who've never been. Even with cars, Florence is better getting to with the train, then they don't have to worry about parking.... you can leave cars at the closest train station near Camigliano or in Lucca, if that is the closest station.

Here are some itineraries you can suggest to your guests:
10 Castella in a hidden part of Tuscany
7 days in Tuscany
What to see in 5 days in Tuscany
Traveling and exploring the Chianti area
Spending a day in Siena

In Florence, you can use this itinerary for 2 days or this thematic one of seeing the city following Michelangelo's works as a starting point because there is so many things to see you really do need to make choices depending on what you want and like to do: museums vs outdoors (the Medici gardens you mention are called the Boboli Gardens and they are beautiful, located behind the Pitti Palace).

Florence as a main tourist destination does have good and bad restaurants (mostly good ones though, sorry to hear you had such a bad experience) - but like any big city, my recommendation as far as restaurants go - in Florence, Rome, Venice, wherever! - is to avoid the very tourist restaurants on the main squares!! if there's people outside trying to get you to go in, avoid them as well :) head away from the main squares into the smaller streets, along these you'll find many small "trattoria" or "ristorante" or "pizzeria" and even if these get lots of tourists, they generally care more about quality and services precisely because they are a bit more hidden. This for anywhere, not just Florence.

As for HOURS - yes, lunch time means shops and normal stores close up from 1pm to about 3:30pm for "siesta". Even restaurants have their lunch hours from around noon to around 2-2:30pm for serving lunch, particularly in the smaller towns in Tuscany. Then they don't open again until around 7-7:30pm for dinner. A relaxed breakfast is fine as long as you head out by 10am and are on your way to wherever you want to head to, but always plan to be in a city or town around noon, not on the road to somewhere so that you also won't have problems finding somewhere to eat! Most shops are then open from 3:30pm through 7-8pm.

Each small town has a market day but these generally only run in the morning. Florence's big market is in the "Cascine" park on Tuesdays. You'll find everything you want from food and produce to household items and clothes, "Italian" goods as well as those of lesser quality. You'll find a daily outdoor market in the streets around San Lorenzo and the "Porcellino" market near Piazza della Signoria where you can find more traditional goods such as leather bags and shoes, big local made items here in Tuscany.

Ok this is getting long, so I'll stop for now.... if you have any other questions, feel free to post them!! :)


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member

You're very welcome! And yes, lots to do so there is plenty of material to go through to get an idea - knowing the possibilities, then just remain flexible with your daily trips and you and your guests will enjoy Tuscany and Florence much better!