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Pre: Ultimate Italy: Tuscany, Florence & Siena

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  • 2 months later...
Yes we did stay at Villa il Pogiale! Can't really answer your question though ... we were there in the winter and really didn't see the villa in daylight ... you might be able to take an evening walk in the summer months but I wouldn't in the winter ... it is dark early and we had a lot of chilly and damp weather.


The schedule is pretty full anyway ... the first night we got to the villa after dark and then had dinner. It was "European late" and we were all pretty "done in" by the time we were done. The second night we had dinner at a winery so it was quite late when we got "home". Night three was dinner at the Villa but again it was later and we had to get packed for an early morning departure.


Hey Mollymoo,


Do you recall when you had free time in Florence? Like was lunch 12-1pm and then how long was free time?


Hoping to go to the uffizzi and have to book times in advance, so was hoping to get an idea of specific times.

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Thank you so much! Any tips for what to do during free time in Tuscany?



It sounds like the only real free time is after the tour in Florence, before going to the winery. Hopefully it will be several hours and you can try to go, with prearranged tickets, to one of the art museums. On that note, if it's at all possible, I highly recommend paying for a guide if you do. I am not really into art, and without a guide I would have been thinking, "ok, there's the David, pretty cool. What's next?" but instead was with a group of friends and we hired a private guide that day. She spent at least 20 minutes talking to us about the statue and sharing all kinds of interesting tidbits that we would have been completely unaware of, and thus made it SO much more interesting. Likewise while viewing paintings at the Uffizi on another trip... SO much more interesting with a guide to point out all these interesting things. Whether you have time for a guided tour though is a big question mark. It's a shame that couldn't have been part of the Viking-sponsored excursion since the David (and the art in general) is such a big drawing point when visiting Florence



Hi Rhonda,

I was more interested in the Western end and any recommendations for Naples, Rome, Monte Carlo or Toulon.


There are so many things you can do in Naples, and I would caution you not to book an excursion that tries to cram it ALL in. A few years ago we stayed in Positano for 5 days. We spent one entire day visiting the old town section of Naples, including the underground scavi, and Sorrento. We spent another entire day with a driver, driving the Amalfi Coast Highway (not at all a true "highway" as we think of them) and stopping in several little cliff side towns/villages along the way including a delightful lunch at a waterfront restaurant. We spent another entire day taking the ferry to Capri and walking around, having lunch, etc. and that was without taking the chairlift up to Monte Solaro due to heavy clouds/fog on the mountain. We only got to spend 2 hours in Pompeii, during a prearranged stop by our driver on the way from the Naples airport to our hotel in Positano, but I really wish we could have had at least 4 hours there. I took two years of Latin that included a lot about the Roman culture, homes, and daily life so I found Pompeii to be really interesting but felt like in 2 hours I only got to scratch the surface. I know regular cruise ship excursions often include "see it all" options that include Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri all in one day and I think that's just entirely too rushed. I'd pick an excursion that does one, or at most two, at enjoy really getting to see those instead of racing around to try to see everything in a day.

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  • 11 months later...

Regarding the pre ultimate Italy trip.  We arrive 2 days ahead of tour in Florence. Was wondering how we would meet up with group at airport or villa?  Wasn’t sure what happens if you are already in Florence. I know transfers are included in trip but if we meet at villa we would need to pay for that ourselves I am thinking.  Thank you for any advice. 

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