In case you miss it, take a gander HERE and check out my suggestions and tips when in Rome and Florence.
After getting back from a full-day trip to Tuscany, I looked thoroughly at my self-made itinerary and was happy that we had been able to see quite a bit and everything was going swimmingly. The weather had been beyond fantastic thus allowed us to enjoy Florence, Cinque Terre, and Tuscany to the fullest. However, there were several other high-priority places that had to be visited such as Uffizi Gallery, Galleria dell’Accademia, Piazzale Michelangelo, and Garden of Boboli, to name just a few. I mean who would want to leave Florence without seeing the real David statue in the flesh? Or catch the most glorious sunset that Florence has to offer? We surely didn’t want to miss out on those, so were quite determined to make them happen at whatever costs on our last day in town.
Uffizi Gallery is open at 8:15AM everyday. The inner tourist in me figured that not a lot of tourists would wake up really early to line up especially on Sunday, which in hindsight was such a naive and silly miscalculation. We woke up early and took our time to prepare and have breakfast. The day started off rather chilly and gloomily, which made me a tad anxious whether we would be able to do everything we had planned to do since some required weather’s cooperation. It began drizzling when we were making our way to the Uffizi, so I thought “This is just perfect. We can hide in the museum until it stops raining.” Upon arrival, we were completely floored at how obscenely long the line was and even more so after learning from the guard that it’d take at least 1.5 hours to get in. I almost blurted out: “That’s a freaking joke, right? We won’t get in until 11, so when can we finish? We’re leaving Florence tomorrow and there’s a long-ass list of places we have yet to see.” Being a civilized person that I am, I stopped myself short of course and silently cursed myself why I didn’t reserve tickets at one of the most crowed places in the world. But really, even if I had said so, he wouldn’t have cared. We waited for approximately 10 minutes before impatience got the better of me. There must be another way. I told my sister to wait in line as I made my way to the ticket counter and asked. Among a few pearls of wisdom that I have attained during the past 24 years of existence, one that has proved to work like a charm every single time is that every problem is solvable if you ask the right person. After a 2-minute conversation, the queue-up issue was fixed. Here is how it works: For those who forget to reserve tickets online before you visit, there is this option of making ticket reservations on the spot for a specific time slot on the day assigned by the museum. There are different time slots throughout the day, each of which is 15 (or 20) minutes apart. You pay an additional $4 reservation fee on top of the ticket itself, which I believe you will have to pay anyway when you book your ticket online. You arrive at the chosen time and are able to get in right away without having to line up. We booked ours at 1PM so that we could have a proper lunch to get mentally and physically ready for the otherworldly arts inside the Uffizi. Afterwards, we quickly headed to Galleria dell’Accademia and did the same thing. With reservations at both places in hands, we felt very assured and spent the rest of the morning either wandering around aimlessly or hiding somewhere when it drizzled steadily and watching the world go by. Which was immensely pleasant. [Read more...]