If you are travelling a long distance to attend ICS 2017 then why not arrive early or stay after the meeting and enjoy all that Italy has to offer? Florence is a wonderful city to base yourself and travel around Italy. Or you could travel around Europe. Why not have dinner in Florence and breakfast in Vienna? The possibilities are endless! If you are looking for inspiration see our suggestions to make your ICS 2017 experience even more memorable.
There are a number of day trips that you can take:
Pisa- You can quickly and easily travel from Florence to Pisa via Florence's main train station (Santa Maria Novella). The journey will take you 1 hour via train or 1 ½ hrs by car. Once in Pisa you can walk to the Leaning Tower or hop on a bus, tickets are available at kiosks at the train station and will take you around 10 minutes. If driving simply follow the free two lane highway SGC Firenze - Pisa - Livorno to Pisa. You will find the exits well indicated, and road signs for directions towards the "Torre Pendente" (Literally the leaning tower.)
Assisi- The birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi is just over a 2 hour drive or 3 hour train journey. The small medieval town is located on a hill and is known for their range of events, fairs and exhibitions e.g. March for peace (Marcia della Pace), Palio of Saint Rufinus (Palio di San Rufino) and the St. Francis Festival (Festa di San Francesco) to name but a few. As a small medieval town tourists can easily enjoy all of the sights on foot. Exploring the basilica of St. Francis and the San Rufino Cathedral in the older parts of the town though to the Roman Forum. A trip to Assisi isn’t complete without seeing St. Claire’s Basilica, where it is said that the crucifix that spoke to Saint Francis is located.
Cinque Terre- if you’ve overindulged in Florence and feel the need to work those pounds off then head to Cinque Terre! The area includes 5 villages with miles of hiking trails to explore. Four of the villages are by the coast line and there are over 11 miles of coastline to explore in this region. Cinque Terre is known for its amazing landscapes with each village offering a unique charm. If after all that walking you have worked up an appetite there are many top restaurants to try.
If you are looking for an adventure then here are a few suggestions for long distance travel:
Vienna- You can travel between Florence and Vienna via Austria Intl Night trains or Italian International trains. The normal journey time is just over 12 hours but there is a fast track option at just under 10 hours. The first train leaves Florence at 11.00 and the last train is 22.09, leaving from Firenze s m n (Piazza della Stazione, 10 50123 Florence) and arriving in Wien meidling (Eichenstraße 27 1120 Wien) Wien westbahnhof (Westbahnhof 140/1 1150 Wien).
Munich- RailEurope offers a direct train from Florence to Munich. The normal journey time is 10 ½ hours with the last train at 21:49 from Firenze SMN station. Alternatively Lufthansa and Air Dolomiti offer direct flights to Munich from Florence, prices start around £200 on way. Munich has a walkable centre retaining a small-town feel with big city entertainment and world-class sights. Whether you want to relax in one of the many Mediterranean-style street cafes or party in the world famous Mitteleuropa beer halls, Munich has something for everyone.
London- With prices starting as low as £100 one way why not fly to the UK? You can fly direct from Florence to London in just over 2 hours via a multitude of airlines, many of them budget. From there you can pop by Buckingham Palace, wave to the Queen and watch the changing of the guard. If that doesn’t take your fancy, how about a spot of shopping? London has a range of shops to tickle your fashion taste buds- from Harrods down to Camden market. Whatever your style London has something to offer!
If the hustle and bustle of the capital gets too much you can always hop on a train and visit the Cotswolds (1 ½ hrs) or even all the way up to Scotland (5hrs), the possibilities are endless.
We hope you have a fantastic time in Florence and look forward to hearing all about your ICS adventure!
Read the full guide here.