How many days in Venice?

May 15th, 2004, 09:00 PM
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How many days in Venice?

We will be traveling to Italy with our 2 year old son in September. We will be staying 7 nights outside of San Gmimignano. We would like to spend the other half of our trip in Venice. I am wondering how many days is ideal--I am imagining 3 days? Also, any good hotels/apartments with a young child? And, as far as our flights go, is it best to try and get an open-jaw ticket and fly into Pisa and then fly out of Venice or is this unrealistic? We are planning on renting a car for our week in Tuscany and then returning it upon our arrival in Venice. Any help is appreciated!
nmchile is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 03:53 AM
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I and many others on this board are crazy about Venice, so "ideal" for me would be to stay as long as you can! Seriously, while Venice is compact, there's so much to see. I think it may also be more relaxing for you because you will not be driving. If you want to explore the outer islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello that would take a day. (you don't have to do that all-or all in the same day). I personally found it took about 3 days to start to understand the city.

The hotel La Calcina evidently has an apartment. I would suggest investigating that possibility. It's in a good location in Dorsoduro on the Guidecca Canal & there are lots of restaurants & food shops in the area. There's also lots more apt info here if you do a text search for venice AND apartment.

Have a wonderful trip.

I don't know why you ask if an open jaw ticket is "unrealistic." You don't say from where you're flying but if you can manage it, it certainly would be good. There are a few direct flights between NY & VCE.
mclaurie is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 04:23 AM
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Our first trip to Venice was four days (one of which was taken up with our vow renewal) and we felt it was the perfect amount of time to see the things we wanted. Our next trip, however, is going to be for a week so that we can really venture into the unexplored areas that we didn't get to the last time.

Venice is a compact city, so it really depends on what is important for you to see. Three or four days can be ideal to see the main sights, as well as leave time to just wander and relax. If you fall in love with it, as so many of us have, you can always return to see even more.

We rented an apartment from Venice Rentals and were very pleased with them ( We will be using them again on our future trip, as well.

I also agree that open jaw tickets typically come out cheaper than round trips from the same city. You'll just have to research and see what is available.

Good luck in your planning!
Statia is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 10:31 AM
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I've been to Venice twice, both times for 4-5 days (and would have liked a bit longer but no shorter). I stayed at Pensione La Calcina both times and loved it. Open jaw tickets work great to avoid backtracking time and expense. I know this is a little vague, but it's my two cents. Have a great trip.
suze is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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This is not an objective opinion, even if one were possible: I love Venice.
How many days is ideal? I suggest four.
Two to see principal sights, one to go to one or more lagoon islands, one to just wander around back in Venice without an agenda.
elaine is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 11:23 AM
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what I really meant, rather than "ideal", is "minimal."
elaine is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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Three full days in Venice.
CafeBatavia is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 01:03 PM
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I think you will find 3-4 days will give you enough time to see much of what Venice has to offer. My famly of 2 adults and 2 adolescents stayed this spring at the San Clemente Palace Hotel and loved it. It is located on its own private island with 24/7 free boat service to San Marco. The grounds are gorgeous, the rooms very large and beautifully decorated, delicious buffet breakfast, heated swimming pool, putting greens...a peaceful haven just 12 minutes from the heart of Venice. And the staff was excellent, friendly and professional. I think you would love it.
May 16th, 2004, 11:37 PM
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Here's a you really need to take your car from Tuscany to Venice. I think it will be far easier to return the car in Florence and take the train to Venice. To my memory it was 3 hours. I'd absolutely fly open jaw and return from Venice. Simply do not book a very early morning flight as it does take some maneuvering via boat to make it to the airport. My one suggestion might be to try and save the $$ for a water taxi from the train station to your hotel with a two year old. While the view when one emerges from the tain station in Venice is breathtaking, lugging your luggage, your kids and his accessories on the vaporettos could try your souls. I've stayed at La Calcina and there were small children there. It might be late to book there but it's worth a try. I think an apartment there could be a great thing. It's in a very good location and in easy access to most of Venice. I am a Venice fan and say three days at the very least. We were there for a week and it was not enough.
PamSF is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 12:13 PM
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Thanks everyone for your great input. I have never done an open-jaw ticket, so by "realistic" I more meant "affordable" (flying from Albuquerque, so not that affordable anyway!). I'll do some research on that. Good point PamSF about returning the car in Florence and traveling via train to Venice...I'll look into that too. From everyone's notes, it sounds like we won't be needing our car in Venice. I was interested in the Augustus Atlanta...not sure of its location....sounds like a boat ride away to San Marco which could be problematic with a toddler, though someone with a child posted they found that hotel peaceful (beach nearby?)after the hustle and bustle of San Marco. I'll also look into La Calcina--the apartment sounds nice. Unfortunately, most apartments need a 7 day stay still in Sept. and we will be there 5 I think. Any other ideas of apartments with short rentals? Ideally, I'd like to have 2 bedrooms instead of a single hotel room with 2 beds (my son will obviusly go to bed earlier than us). Not a huge deal, but would be nice! I have checked a few other threads for places to stay in Venice. Thanks everyone!
nmchile is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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nmchile: Venice Rentals does short term. We used them last summer. We were very pleased with their service both before and during the trip, and will be using them again hopefully in the spring.
Statia is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 11:29 PM
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we also thought it would be a huge price difference to fly "open jaw" and it was no more! You will not need a car in Venice. We took a cab to&from the train station(Maria Novella) to our rental car place(across the river). It was an easy departure then onto the Florence-Siena hwy. One extremely important piece of advice..if you are returning your rental car to Florence, ask them to map out for you the return back to Florence from Tuscany. Oh my goodness..almost filed for divorce over trying to navigate back to the rental car place. So many of the streets are one way and those round abouts caused us to ponder abandoning the car by the roadside and taking a taxi to the rental office. One other piece of advice..if you are travelling on weekend days, make certain the rental office is open..even our travel agent missed that detail. Enjoy Venice(it can't be helped)..I recommend (with a toddler) a stroll over to Santa's filled with locals and lots of kids in strollers and prams.
You can pop into Margaret Duchamps and have an espresso! IMO, stay far afield from San Marco..I seem to think my in laws with kids stayed at an apartment
in the Doursoduro..I'd recommend it anyway as a neighborhood. Try the search for apartments in Venice and see what you can find. I know my in laws did not stay for a full week.
PamSF is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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My experience is that open-jaw fares often cost a little more, but not enough to outweigh the convenience of not having to return to somewhere you've been. An exception was our initial trip, where we found an unbelievable round trip fare to Venice, so we just flew there and hopped on a train to our week in Florence, then returned for our week in Venice. We also found that most return flights from Venice were early morning departures, and it takes a couple of hours to reach the airport by the slow boat, but we were able to make our connections.

We spent a week in Venice, and didn't get to see everything we wanted; I would not want to have spent less time there, but we didn't have children with us, and I don't think there is much there for children, except for feeding the pigeons and perhaps visiting the beach at Lido, but then I think that most tourist activities are not interesting for young children.

One problem with apartments is that you are tied to their schedule. If they rent Saturday to Saturday, for example, and you want Thursday to Sunday, you are taking up two of their weeklong slots, so they are reluctant to make that deal. On the other hand, if they rent weekly and you are only staying four or five days, it may be economical to pay for the whole week and leave early. There are some that rent on a daily basis, but their rates seem much higher.

Enjoy your trip.
clevelandbrown is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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I agree with those who say that too much Venice is never enough. But I think that in the context of your limited time constraints, there is a point of diminishing returns somewhere in the evening of the fourth day.

Then again, day-tripping to places like Verona, Vicenza and Asolo is also highly recommended. So maybe more days are in order.

Hope this helps.
mr_go is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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We flew British Air out of Venice. I think our flight was around 11 am. We did stop over in London for a night which made a huge difference for us. Our bus from Gatwick to Heathrow was delayed and eded up taking 3 hours. We had plns to go into London that last night but ended up staying at the Sheraton at the airport. Much to our surprise, world travellers we had fancied ourselves,we ordered roasted chicken,mashed potatoes and peas from room service and sat in bed watching english speaking TV..happy as little clams.
PamSF is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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Thanks for the info on open-jaw flights. From the research I've done already, I can tell it won't be more $$ for our flights by booking this way.
I have heard back from an agency ( and they have a couple short stay apartments in our price range, however, I need some help with the locations.
Ca'Rubino apartment is in the Cannaregio district?
Ca'Grassi apartment is just off the Campo Santo Stefano (it says downtown, 5 minutes from Accademia Bridge)?
Ca'Cerchieri apartment on the Gran Canal in the Dorsoduro area, close to the Ca'Rezzonico Museum and the Accademia Bridge?
Can anyone tell me if these areas are safe/conveniently located to main attractions/easily accessible to airport, etc.? It's hard to pick a spot you have never been before and the photos of the apartments themselves look decent, but you never can tell! Anyone used before and have any feedback? Thanks everyone, you've all been a tremendous help!
nmchile is offline  
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