Florence or Venice


Aug 6th, 2011, 03:23 PM
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Florence or Venice

Hello Experienced Travelers,

I'll be traveling to Italy in October and will be spending a few days in Rome. I have to head north to Switzerland but have the opportunity to spend a day and half in another Italian city. I'm a 28 year old male and I've never been to Italy before and will be traveling alone while I'm there. If I had a day and half to spend in another Italian city would you say Florence or Venice is a better choice? Or would you recommend another Italian city?

Thanks for your help!
inggolfer is offline  
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Aug 6th, 2011, 03:28 PM
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We could advise better if we knew your interests. Each place has different things to offer and some may be of more interest to you than others. . . love or hate: art? seaside? architecture? shopping? hiking? museums? history? wine? food? cars?
ellenem is online now  
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Aug 6th, 2011, 03:39 PM
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If you are a lover of Renaissance art and history, go to Florence. But Florence has to grow on you. Its buildings are somber stone. The streets are packed with cars except in the pedestrian zones in the center. The Duomo (cathedral) is a sight to see. someone described it as looking like a huge medieval spaceship plunked down in the middle of town. But it's mainly an art lovers' town, with wonderful museums.

Venice is flamboyant, colorful, with those amazing canals. The views along the water are lovely. You can wander around back streets, getting lost, without cars in the way. The architecture is very different fromFlorence.

Does that help you decide?
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Aug 6th, 2011, 03:59 PM
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Charnees must have been to a different part of Florence and Venice than I was in.

But I think ellenem is right about stating your interests in Italian culture, and also your travel likes and dislikes. It might be that you would adore a completely different Italian city.

I'll also just toss out that you might enjoy staying y in Rome, because after a few days there, you will have just begun to learn to navigate the city, and you will have spotted a few places you might want to spend more time exploring.

Whatever you learn here, can you wait to book the next place until you've actually seen Rome?
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Aug 6th, 2011, 04:19 PM
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The historic centers of Florence and Venice are quite different and I think most people would agree that Florence is not renowned for its beautiful buildings, but for its art. Venice is spectacular visually. I don't know what zeppole means by her remark, although she tends to be a bit condescending. BTW, I have been to both places several times. I am speaking of what a one-day visitor would experience.

Frankly, I prefer Florence, but it takes getting used to and exploring, which you will not have time to do.
And of course you could stay in Rome longer, as there is an overwhelming amount to see and do there. But if you want a brief introduction to another city, that's what I am trying to help you with.
charnees is offline  
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Aug 6th, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Flip a coin; you can't go wrong with either.
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Aug 6th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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I love Florence and totally disagree that it takes getting used to. I loved it at first sight and I think the architecture there is wonderful and beautiful.

For a one day stopover definitely see Venice; there's no other city like it. I don't know if you're flying or taking the train but I've done both and one of life's wonderful moments is exiting the train station and seeing Venice before you. Approaching by water did not have the same impact.
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Aug 6th, 2011, 05:42 PM
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I went to Italy last September for the first time, and went to Venice and Florence in addition to Rome.

Personally, I would do Venice. It's just SO different.

I think if you were keen on seeing the David, for example, you would have already made the choice to go to Florence.

So if art isn't particularly your thing, I would go for the whole experience of Venice. And that's how I felt in Venice - it was an experience for me that was totally different from any other city I've been in.
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Aug 6th, 2011, 06:30 PM
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I agree with all the comments that it depends on your likes and dislikes. I just got back from my 5th trip to Italy and would suggest if not Venice and you only have a day or so you may want to consider Orvieto or one of the larger hill towns. I do not know if you’re driving, but if not Orvieto is accessible by rail. In my view if I had the choice of Venice and Florence or Venice I would choose the latter for its uniqueness

On this last trip I used Montepulciano as a base to visit the Tuscan Hill Towns and then took a train from Chiusi to Orvieto where I spent two lovely days.

Good Luck
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Aug 6th, 2011, 06:51 PM
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I will say right up front that Florence is not one of my favorite cities and Venice is. Yes, Florence is packed with the best art in the world but, do I hear screams? art is not everything (I know, I know, it is for some of you). I like great walking and hanging out places. Venice is a fantasyland for grownups. Everywhere you walk and get lost, or ride by vaporetto, or cross to islands is like a dream. For just a day or 2 there's no contest.
joannay is offline  
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Aug 6th, 2011, 07:58 PM
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Haven't been to Florence yet, but I loved Venice. For my family it is one of our fav places - and we were there in the cold of winter!
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Aug 6th, 2011, 11:06 PM
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If your goal is to see an Italian city, I don't think Venice and Florence are the best choices merely because they are mostly composed of foreigners. However, Venice is a visual delight for wandering and churches, and Florence is an art and church lover's paradise. They are both fascinating places. Venice is more expensive.
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Aug 6th, 2011, 11:17 PM
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Oh "The Serene One" of course.
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Aug 7th, 2011, 12:50 AM
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susiedq is offline  
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Aug 7th, 2011, 01:21 AM
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IF between Venice and Florence...IMHO Venice. But totally agree that yo might get a betrer "feel" by staying in Rome, and perhaps taking a train up to Oriveto for the day, for example.

Adrienne, i know just you mean about the jaw dropping first view of Venice as you exit the train station.
CaliNurse is offline  
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Aug 7th, 2011, 02:54 AM
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I'm with joannay.....VENICE. Just so beautiful and apart from art (& we are not into art) and the Cathedral we found Florence to be 'another' city but VENICE WOH.
aussiedreamer is offline  
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Aug 7th, 2011, 04:36 AM
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I am not sure I understand your full itinerary but it sounds as though you'll be in Rome for a few days then would go to Florence or Venice then on to Switzerland. If you really don't have a strong sense of what you'd like to see I would say stay in Rome which is hard to enjoy in fewer than three or four full days and maybe take a day trip to Orvieto or Ostia Antica from there. It is also possible to go to Florence from Rome on a long day trip which would avoid having to change hotels.
Vttraveler is online now  
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Aug 7th, 2011, 05:10 AM
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Hi Ing,

I suggest that you either stay in Rome or skip Rome and split the time 1/2 and 1/2 between Florence and Venice.

You are not going to get more out of a flying visit than to be able to say that you have been there.

ira is offline  
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Aug 7th, 2011, 05:42 AM
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Get EXPERIENCED yourself, Inggolfer, and here's one way to do it:

IGNORE posts that whine about some place or other being full of "foreigners" (which undoubtedly INCLUDED the person who made that comment, no?)..what does being full of ANYBODY have to do with this other than to tell you there's obviously some reason a lot of people GO to these places (or are they all just stupid?)

Secondly, if you really want HELP, get off your duff and RESPOND on this thread. people are actually trying to help you and when they ASK you what your interests are it is at least POLITE to answer the question.
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Aug 7th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Dukey1, you don't have to be rude. I was making a simple point about the fact that you're going to hear other languages half of the time in Florence. If you can still have an "Italian" experience surrounded by that, good. Some people are annoyed by it so I mentioned it. If you want to see Florence's art and history, great, but I don't think of it as a quintessentially "Italian city". Sorry it bothered you so much.
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