Rushed, but balanced
Small-Group Tour: Florence and Pisa Day Trip from Rome | Dec 2019
We had lots of things on the agenda. I was surprised that we were able to get in as much as we did. Our guides were very nice and accommodating for our whole group. There was another guide besides the one in our van who met us in Florence to show us the sites on the walking tour through Florence. Although he was nice and very knowledgeable, I think one guide could have handled the whole thing. Just an extra person to tip really. I say this because the time spent on each attraction in Florence was so short, we received only superficial information.
The van was very small and you are hip to hip with the other guests. Since the seats only seat 3 people. the back seat is very cramped and if you're claustrophobic, forget it! There's no way to get out of the back seat without folding up one of the middle seats. Since people often travel in pairs, one of the pairs will be separated as my wife and I were for the whole trip. Fortunately, our travel mates were very nice, but if one was not nice, it would make for a long day.
The roads along the coast are bumpy. And when I say bumpy, I'm talking teeth-shattering bumps. There are no signs to let the driver know where the bumps are, and there's no way to avoid some of them, so be prepared for a spine-crushing ride on the way to Pisa. On the way back, it's dark, but you're on more of an interstate. There are some sharp curves and our driver made me feel like we were going over the edge several times. He lane-straddled very often and passed within milimeters of other cars. Scary for highway speeds of 140+KPH. Yes, I was watching the speedometer. The good part was that the GPS told me we had 2.5 hours to go and it took a little more than 1.5 not counting our stop at the gas station.
I wish we had a little more time for souvenir shopping, but like I said, we fit in a lot of attractions. A LOT. Great photos and we'll have to return for more! Our guide Michaela was very nice and patient with our tourist questions and was quite knowledgeable on Etruscan history in the region. I recommend this tour for the above reasons!...Read more