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help - arriving at san lucia at around 11:45 pm

help - arriving at san lucia at around 11:45 pm

Nov 19th, 2005, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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help - arriving at san lucia at around 11:45 pm

need some help friends .... yes again ....

DH ad I are all set to leave for Italy on Monday for our 8 night trip. 4 nights each in Rome and Venice. Now the twist - instead of going directly from Rome to Venice by train as originally planned, we would like to leave Rome early in the morning on the 7 am train which gets into Florence around 9 am. We plan on spending some time in Florence and then take the evening 8:40 pm train to Venice which arrives in Venice at around 11:45 pm.

(1)How do I get to my hotel (just off San Marco) at that hour once I get off at San Lucia?
(2)Is this totally crazy? It does give us more than 9 hours in Florence. But, we will have one piece of luggage AND I'm 5 months pregnant.

This is a planned "take it easy" trip for the most part but DH seems to have his heart set on catching at least a glimpse of Florence. What do you say?
lifetravel is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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I'm going to take a chance on this one...there is a night schedule for the vap, so you won't have any trouble getting one. Do contact your hotel and be certain they understand how late you are coming-many places operate on "a bird in the hand" philosphy about renting rooms. The hotel can also tell you about vap times at that time of night. If you are staying in a more upscale place, they might offer to meet you. If you have big bucks, take a water taxi-also ask hotel about ordering one for you. Anyone else have suggestions??? Good luck!
donco is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for the response donco.

We would rather not take the water taxi. Pretty much budget travelers. Also, we are not staying at a fancy place. The place is Hotel Antico Panada. I was planning on calling the hotel to confirm my reservations and letting them know that we will be arriving late ---- thanks for the reminder

DO I find the vap right outside ?
lifetravel is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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I meant .. will find the vap outside/close to san lucia?
lifetravel is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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lifetravel -
Carrying a piece of luggage around Florence all day is not going to be fun - or easy. Some of the sidewalks in Florence are so narrow, we had to walk single file to let others pass the other way.

If you really want to try this, though, get yourself a good guidebook and figure out what will be open while you are there and when it will be open.

If I had only 9 hours in Florence, I'd spend them seeing the Duomo, the Galleria del'Accademia (Mostly for David, you'll have to run through the rest of it), Santa Maria Novella, Cross the Ponte Veccio, and spend an hour wandering around the Boboli Gardens. (Not necessarily in that ordrer. Check your map and see them from North to south, hitting Santa Maria Novella either first or last, it is right next to the train station.)

You'll still be rushed for time, but you'll have seen the best of Florence. If you decide to stop in the Accademia or Uffizi gallery, make sure you reserve your tickets ahead of time (as soon as possible, before you leave home) and be there a little early.
MrGreen is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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First of all, you do not have to carry your luggage around Florence. The Santa Maria Novella train station has a left-luggage office, which should still be open when you leave Florence, but before you leave your luggage, check to make sure that it is.

Second, there are vaporetto night services {"Notturno"). They leave from the front of the Santa Lucia train station, but there are several boarding points, so make sure you go to the right one. There are two vaporetto stops that serve the Piazza San Marco: Vallaresso and San Zaccaria. One of the "Notturno" vaporettos goes to both from the train station; one only goes to San Zaccaria. When you tell your hotel about your late arrival, ask them which stop would be closer for you.
Eloise is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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And, ask them which station has the vap going in the correct direction and whether you can buy tickets onboard (can't imagine why you couldn't).
Look at Mr. Green's trip report. Do buy reserved seats on train for Venice in advance-particularly if there's any kind of holiday or weekend travel-just to be safe so you can rest on the train. Get to train station around 30 minutes in advance if poss and confirm your res if you have any doubts. Sighing for Italy! Enjoy!
donco is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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Skip the Boboli Gardens in Florence. It's the end of November. Save that for a spring/summer/or fall visit.

As for the vaporetto tickets, the ticket booth right outside the train station will likely be closed at that hour. You will need to ask the person working the gate on the vaporetto for a ticket as soon as you get on. If you wait to see if they're going to check for tickets, and then they do check, you will be perceived as trying to steal a ride, and treated accordingly.
Holly_uncasdewar is offline  
Nov 20th, 2005, 04:34 AM
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Hi Life,

Since Dh wants to get a glimpse of Florence, I suggest that you

Leave luggage at the SMN station. Left luggage office is to your left as you exit the train.

Exit the SMN onto Piazza della Stazione. Via Nazionale is on your left. Walk up to via dell' Ariento and the Mercato Centrale.

Continue on Ariento to the Capelle Medici. Go E through the Piazza S. Lorenzo to Via de Pucci, continue to Via Ricasoli and go left to the Galleria Academia and see the David.

Walk down Ricasoli to the Duomo.

Take Via del Calzaiuoli to the Piazza del Signoria.

Continue S to the Uffizi.

Exit the Uffizi and go right, along the river, to the Ponte Vecchio.

Cross the PV and go right on Borgo S Jacopo. Stop at Cinghale de Bianco for lunch (if open).

Walk W to Via Maggio and turn right to get the bus at piazza Frescobaldi (foot of the Ponte S. Trinita.

Take the 11, 36 or 37 bus over the bridge to the train station.

This should take you about 6 hrs.

You will have plenty of time to take the 18:39 ES* to Venice SL, arriving at 21:28.

Map of Florence with bus routes is at

Uffizi and Academia Museum Reservations

The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH. This is through the reservation service at the Uffizi and costs beyond the normal entry fee only about 3 euro for the service. This is MUCH cheaper than the commercial booking services.
You will not be charged for the reservations unless you use them.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Nov 20th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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I am taking printouts of each and every suggestion. Thanks so much folks! Very valuable tips especially since this was a last minute change and I truly needed all the help.

I'll post the pics and eventually the trip report when we get back.

Thanks once again!!
lifetravel is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 02:53 AM
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I just got back from Venice yesterday with my boyfriend. We decided to to walk from the Train Station to St. Mark's Square. It is quite a walk and depending how tired you are you can catch the Vap. It looks like it is available at that time of night. Check out this site!


The biggest suggestion that I have is to make sure to transfer from Bologna if your train ticket says to do so. I booked a train ticket from the US prior to leaving, which was a hassle and waste of money. The ticket did not tell us to transfer so we ended up in some little town and then went to Verona via train. We had to sit in the train station from 12:30am to 5:55am until the next train arrived. It was freezing, we were tired, and it was my boyfriend's birthday

You may want to stay one night in Florence and then get up in the morning and take the 3 hr train ride. It's up to you.
Kimberly1881 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 03:41 AM
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My sympathies, Kimberly

In 10 years or so you will be able to laugh about your misadventure.

ira is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 515
Yes, do make certain you get a no change train! We were afraid we'd missed our stop one time so, DH and I stood and practiced saying "What is the next stop" many times whilst an Italian smoked nearby. When we turned to asked, he said "Bologna" before we even got a word out! We laughed, as did the senor, right away!
donco is offline  
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