3 or 4 nights in Venice

Feb 23rd, 2016, 08:35 AM
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3 or 4 nights in Venice

Hi everyone,

Thanks a lot for the help, I enjoy reading this forum!

We looked at Venice's attractions, and am wondering if we should be 3 or 4 nights in Venice.

The Centre of Venice seems to be possible to see by walking in just a day*, including a gondola tour.

*I'd note that we are not interested in visiting museums / basilicas / churches.

On the 2nd day we will do a day trip to Verona and (on the way back) Padua.

We still want to see Burano Island which is said to be a 3-4 hours trip (1-2 transportation + 2 hours strolling around), however, other than that, we don't see other attractions that attract us, and we wonder if we should stay another night in Venice just to see Burano Island, or perhaps if we catch the 13:25 train to the Cinque Terre, we'd manage to see Burano, and make it to S. Lucia to catch the train?

I'd appreciate your advice.

Thank you.
catj is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 10:03 AM
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I think it would be rather rushed and a bit stressful trying to see Burano in the morning before your departure for the Cinque Terre. Since it takes a good six hours to get to the Cinque Terre, missing a train might be a real problem.

Why don't you visit Burano on your first day, and leave some of the tour of the center until your last day? That way you'll be near the station and won't have any panic if there's a delay of the vaporetto service. The gondola tour could easily be done in the morning, for example. You might even decide you don't want to do it after you see some of the gondola traffic jams.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 10:39 AM
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Thank you very much BVlenci.

If we do postpone Burano to the 3rd day, after covering Venice Centre on the 1st day, are there any other attractions to see? (for non-museums/churches fans).

Murano might sound nice among the few islands, but we're weren't that excited of it.
catj is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 11:28 AM
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For me, the best attraction in Venice is Venice, the whole city. Do consider giving yourself hours to walk away from the usual sights with no particular destination in mind, maybe go over to Lido. There is also the cemetery island, St. Michele, walking in the countryside on Torcello, near Burano. I think Venice is a city to have fewer plans and as much time as you are willing to allow to wander.
MmePerdu is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 12:20 PM
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I'm not really sure I understand your question. Do you mean is there anything else to see on the third day if you postpone Burano to that day? The answer is, "No", because I think you'd be hard pushed to even see Burano. Maybe you had a typo in your post? I had suggested that you do not postpone Burano to the third day.

If you meant was there anything else to see on the first day, I don't know how to answer it, because I don't know what you were planning to see in the first place.

My suggestion was to see Burano on the first day, and spend any free time after that walking around the center. I suggested postponing the gondola tour to the third day. Or you could do the gondola tour and the trip to Burano on the first day, and spend the morning of the third day walking around the center. I just wouldn't want to be on Burano in the morning with a train to catch at 1 PM.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 12:32 PM
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I agree that Venice is most enjoyable when you wander away from the main tourist sights.
If you want to get up early to watch the sunrise, it is really a magical time to see Venice coming to life, and to take photos without hordes of people in view. The fish market is great fun to see as the vendors prep for the day.
Take a vaporetto to San Giorgio Maggiore and climb up the less touristed bell tower for a gorgeous view of Venice and the islands.

Even if you don't like visiting churches, the Scrovegni Chapel with Giotto's frescoes is a sight to behold, if you go to Padua.

On the other hand, you may find that you really enjoy Verona with its beautiful piazzas and a lot of good shopping, and want to stay there for the whole day.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 02:18 PM
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The Centre of Venice seems to be possible to see by walking in just a day*, including a gondola tour.

*I'd note that we are not interested in visiting museums / basilicas / churches.>>

But as others have said, the city itself is the attraction, and you need more than a day to do it justice.

And are you really going to stand in St Mark's Square, look at the amazing structure that it the Basilica, and not go in?????

As well as the non-museum/church/basilica attractions mentioned above, the Rialto market is well worth a visit - if you want to see all the fist displayed I would suggest getting there before 10 am or so. [oops, sorry, sundries - I se that you mentioned that as well]

There are also the Ghetto, the Arsenale, all the various little "calle" to get lost in - to answer your question I would definitely suggest staying 4 nights.
annhig is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2016, 02:26 PM
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I suggest you go to Padova in the morning (when you can see the market) and then return to Venice and go to Burano. The next day, pack up your bags and head to Verona, put your luggage in the train station, visit Verona, then take the train to le Cinque Terre.
sandralist is offline  
Feb 24th, 2016, 07:14 AM
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That would also work.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 25th, 2016, 07:14 PM
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For a first visit three nights in Venice is enough. It's a wonderful place, but expensive and frustrating after a while. If you are never coming back again, spend four nights.
FHurdle is offline  
Feb 25th, 2016, 07:42 PM
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And I'd say, we don't know what the future holds, stay as long as you can. In other words, there really is no definitive answer.
MmePerdu is online now  
Feb 25th, 2016, 09:01 PM
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Our first visit was for six nights.

Our second visit was about sixty nights.

Ditto for the third and fourth visits.

Fifth visit about 35 nights.

I'm back there in September for two weeks plus.

Some people think that three or four nights is enough. Others just get seduced by la Serenissima. That's us.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Feb 25th, 2016, 09:20 PM
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I rest my case.
MmePerdu is online now  
Feb 26th, 2016, 12:59 AM
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Hi fellows,

I enjoyed much reading your posts!

Bvlencie, Sandralist, Annhig, MmePerdu, Peter, sundriedtopepo

Thank you very much!

As for your questions, it'll be our 1st time in Italy.
I tend to go for 3 nights, and perhaps leave Venice with a taste for more, rather than going through the same streets again.

I definitely think that your suggestion (Thank you Bvlenci!) to visit Burano on the 1st day is better rather than on the last day before the afternoon train (13:25).

Sandralist, regarding your great suggestion to visit Padua in the morning for the market, which morning market please do you mean?
I read about the Saturday market, but we will be there probably on Thursday.

What do you think of that 3-night (mid-May) itinerary to Venice, is it doable?
* Day 0: Land at 21:00 in Venice airport, and go straight to hotel in the centre.

* Day 1:
- Morning to Noon: Walk through Rialto Fish Market, Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marc, and the through the nice canals. Have lunch in Venice
- Afternoon to evening: take a vaporetto (departs every 1/2 hour) to Burano, stroll there for 2 hours, and come back
- Evening: have supper in Venice

* Day 2:
- Day trip to Padua and Verona (Start in Padua, for the market)

* Day 3:
- Morning: 2 hours to stroll in Venice
- 13:25: Take train to CT

Thank you very much for your so kind help!
catj is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 01:15 AM
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The food market in Padova is open every morning except Sunday

sandralist is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 02:52 AM
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>> rather than going through the same streets again.<<

Sorry, if the following may sound a bit harsh, but I have to say it: You are like a blind man talking about colours.

Venice is by far the largest historical city in Europe if not in the world. Other cities have their "Old Towns" and "historical districts", but all of Venice is historical. It is huge. And it is not just old buildings - Venice used to be Europe's richest and most influential city for a few centuries. So, it is full of splendour. The facades of houses and palaces, the squares and, yes, also the churches are simply breathtaking.

Even if you stay 5 days in Venice, you would not go through the same streets again.

First, most of what you do is not going but taking the vaporetti. A vaporetto trip is both transport and sightseeing. And you have four major vaporetto routes:

- The lines through the Canale Grande.
- The southern routes through the Giudecca Canal.
- The northern routes.
- The routes to the islands (Murano, Burano, Lido etc.).

For these routes alone you would need two or three days (with stops at interesting points).

Second, Venice consists of many islands and neighbourhoods, each of them with a different character of its own. What about going to the traditional gondola factory - it is very picturesque and maybe Venice's best photo spot? What about visiting one of the two traditional mask shops? Walking through the Ghetto, the neighbourhood that coined a word which is used worldwide?

Third, you wrote that you "are not interested in visiting museums / basilicas / churches". If this is the case, why do you want to go to Verona and Padua?

And why are you not interested in museums? Do you think, all the cabinets with tiny objects and written explanations are boring? I could understand that.

But what about entering a 500-year-old building, decorated with fantastic period furniture and splendid paintings? I can assure you, even if you are not church & museum people, you will be overwhelmed by the Palazzo Ducale or the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. You have not seen Venice without going inside some of the most splendid palaces.

Having said all this, I would strongly suggest spending as much time as possible in Venice. I would rather skip the quite long and exhausting daytrip to Verona and Padua and spend an additional day in Venice instead.

Honestly, if I would rank the three cities on a scale from 0 to 100 points, I would give Verona 50 points, Padua (without the Scrovegni Chapel, which is the main attraction of Padua) 40 points, and Venice full 100 points. To put things in perspective, I would give Rome 80 points and Paris 90. (The only other European city which I would rank 100, is Sankt Petersburg.)

Think again about your itinerary. And trust us - we have been to all these places several times.
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 03:16 AM
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I'd stay as much as possible.

And I'd visit Murano. Venice has a tradition of glass and visiting a manufacture on Murano plus wandering among the shop was a really nice experience for us.

I wasn't as lucky as Thin, but whatever the time we spent in Venice it was always too little.

I'd also recommend to up your budget for food and go in good restaurants : good restaurants are expensive but not that much more than good restaurants elswewhere and are good. Small touristy restaurants are expensive and not good.
Whathello is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 04:57 AM
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To want to see any street in Venice only once is so far beyond my understanding. And no museums or churches. Italy may not be for you.
PVR340PLA is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 10:35 AM
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Talk about blind! Surely there are none so blind as those who will not see, but how sad someone goes to Italy and comes back with piddly numerical rankings for incomparable cities -- and appears proud of it!

I remember a woman who used to post on Fodor's -- she was an academic -- who once wrote that it was standing in Verona, picking up a fresh orange in the food market -- that opened her eyes to all the beauty of Italy, and in a personal thunderstruck moment, it changed her life because she went on to learn Italian, learn about opera, the Renaissance and the long and wildly complicated history of Italy -- and she was still learning! Was she an unusual traveler for Fodor's? She never talked about spending hours and hours and hours taking pictures, so I think so. I think she got beyond tourist snaps and really saw.

I am not going to get into yet another pointless "discussion" with the Venice groupies about how very different individuals are in reality, all with different pleasures in traveling -- since the Venice groupies are just so dense and just so determined to cling to their sentiments and clog up internet forums with their self-flattering screeds "explaining" Venice to people I guess they imagine are unenlightened.

Just here to say a few things:

Genova is more credibly cited as having the largest medieval quarter in Europe and -- best of all -- it hasn't been turned into what the ahistoric non-city Venice of twee preserved-for-tourist amusements that Venice has prostituted itself to become to please its groping, drooling fans. Also, for those pretending an expertise in history: Genova beat the *hi* out of Venice several centuries ago, sending into the deep decline that has become such a tourist darling for letting people fantasize they are living in yesteryear.

If you are normally healthy, you will not find a visit to Padova's market and seeing the historic center "long and exhausting."

Most of us going to Venice avoid the vaporetti as much as possible, finding them unpleasant.


Do what you like, but you are not obliged to explain yourself to people who are telling you upfront that their travel minds are so tiny and their life experience is so limited that they have never met nor can imagine a person who is not as affected as they are about their travel priorities. You are absolutely entitled to skip around Venice and northern Italy doing what you want to do, and not taking an interest in what holds no interest for you, and seeing what is there for you to see -- not seeing what other people are insisting they want you to see (and I hope you will take a clear eyed look at Venice, the beautiful and the ugly).

Enjoy your trip. And I hope you love Venice and hate the thought of leaving! But if you arrive, talk a look around, and find yourself thinking how sad it all is, or what a disappointment, or even how repellant and can't wait to leave. -- don't worry. Nothing wrong with you. It's an absolutely valid reaction, and there is a long history of travel writing by some of the greatest minds of history who saw and felt the same. (And then there are Fodor's posters....)
sandralist is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 10:39 AM
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One more comment:

Italy is so much more than museums and churches, that I encourage everyone to come and find that Italy. It is an extravaganza of beautiful views, lovely nature, delicious farms and foods and wine, full of warm and wonderful people in its streets, piazze and markets and shops. Italy is definitely for you if you have little interest in museums and churches. It is a paradise beyond the walls of its museums and churches.

Only the tourists will put you down for loving Italy as it is today.
sandralist is offline  

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