If you had to pick .. Venice or Firenza?

Oct 24th, 2000, 02:31 PM
  #1  
liz
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If you had to pick .. Venice or Firenza?

I have a long weekend free while I am in Italy for work (mid Nov). Venice & Firenza sound interesting, which do you prefer?

I like art, architecture, exploring "off the beaten path", people watching, live music, good food & wine.

Hotel recommendations gladly accepted.
 
Oct 24th, 2000, 04:21 PM
  #2  
Jan
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Liz:
My husband and I just returned from 28 days in Italy and were in both Venice and Florence. Venice is nothing short of spectacular!! It is the only place we heard live music (except for a guitar solo in an art store) and my husband is a musician. St. Mark's Square has several 4-5 piece groups that alternate playing throughout the day and evening-classical, show tunes, and international type music. It is nice to listen to but expensive if you sit at one of the cafes for a drink. We stayed at the Hotel Galleria(a B+B which came highly recommended on this site) and loved it!! We had the room shown on their website. It is quiet even though it overlooks the Grand Canal at the Academia Bridge (which made it very convenient for the Vaporetta as well as walking, which is a must in Venice) It was very Inexpensive for Venice $97.00 USD. Stefano and Luciano and their staff are great! See their web site www.hotelgalleria.it.
I would stay there again and would take Venice over Firenze for a weekend or a week. Email me for more info if you need it. We were on a budget trip so we could stay longer--I did all the planning and reservations myself and with help from this site with a total all inclusive cost for 2 adults of $5800 USD for 28 wonderful days.
 
Oct 24th, 2000, 05:00 PM
  #3  
Thyra
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Boy this is really a tough question and I expect you will get die hard fans of both cities. However given 1 weekend if I had to choose I would definately pick Venice, though Florence is a great city with lots to do and tons of terrific art, Venice is unlike any other place I have been. To get off of the train and wander into the sunlight, with the Grand Canal before you for the first time is overwhelming! The best thing to do in Venice is wander about utterly lost and falling in love with the city. I would add the caveat that I was in Venice at the end of March and so it was nearly empty, the canals didn't smell foul, and our hotel was resonable, however I have heard that during the peak of summer it is packed beyond belief, really super expensive and the canals are full of mosquitos and odor. I would say for Art Florence, for Architecture Venice.. people watching Venice, Food Florence, live music Venice but neither are "off the beaten path". Bon Voyage.
 
Oct 24th, 2000, 06:09 PM
  #4  
Ashley
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Liz,
This is a hard decision and I asked many people the same thing when I took my short trip to both cities. I couldn't decide which to spend more time in. Since you are going in mid November, which is the same time I went last year, both cities are going to be a little chilly. Venice, nor Florence, are going to be nearly as flooded with tourists as they are in the summer months. If you are taking this break from a business trip, I suspect you will not be with someone else. Doing this city by yourself may be difficult. I was with a group of girlfriends and said the next time I cam would be with a romantic partner since every niche of the city is just so darn romantic. I would choose Florence between the two, by far one of my favorite cities in Europe. The museums are amazing and the shopping is really fun. I found fun people watching, live music, and great food and wine in both cities. The architecture in each city was also beautiful, but as far as art Florence reigns.

For hotels, it was much more difficult to find somewhere to stay in Venice than Florence. I did make my plans very last minute though. In Florence, as soon as you get off the train there are plenty of people offerring you a place to stay. At first, it seems a little sketchy but the people are really nice and really hospitable. I stayed with a family that rented out different apartments. It was clean, quiet, inexpensive, and didn't have any curfews (many hostels do). Have a great time either way.
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 04:24 AM
  #5  
Mary Ann
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No Contest. Venice! They have the music (see above comments) which was wonderful when we were there last year. Towards late afternoon the bulk of tourists are gone (buses and boats leave) and the city is even more magical. Architecture is great, food was wonderful. We were there two nights which were not enough, where as firenza we were done much earlier than planned. People were more friendly in Venice also.
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 04:36 AM
  #6  
martha python
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I think Thyra has the breakdown right in her next-to-last sentence. I'd pick Florence rather than Venice, but my two main concerns are museums and food.
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 07:08 AM
  #7  
jwagner
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I vote for Florence. I dearly love Venice but don't know how you can argue against David and Tuscan cuisine. Great history in Florence, lots of cool markets.
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 09:49 AM
  #8  
Carol
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If Florence didn't have its art, why would I ever return there; Venice still lives in my imagination. It's the most extraordinary place.
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 10:37 AM
  #9  
JJ
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This one is easy. Florence is a fabulous city to visit. BUT, Venice is off the scale. Do yourself a favor and go to Venice.

 
Oct 25th, 2000, 10:49 AM
  #10  
Jim
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This is a no-brainer!! For a weekend, Venice is the place to go. Why spend your weekend standing in line to inspect art treasures. Leave this for another time when you can spend the necessary time to take in all the cultural sites that Firenze has to offer.
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 10:56 AM
  #11  
sally
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VENICE!!! It is quieter and more romantic to me. Don't think you could do justice to Florence in that amt. of time, but you could experience the magic of Venice, be relaxed and rested, and thankful that you were able to spend some time in that awesome place! Go for it!
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 11:35 AM
  #12  
lisa
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I vote for Venice. Both have great art & architecture and all the other things you mention, but I enjoyed Venice more than Florence. Florence does trump Venice for art in my opinion, but Venice is no slouch in that category either, and overall Venice is just so different from any other city in the world that I recommend it over Florence. You will be happy with either one though.
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 06:44 PM
  #13  
Judy
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Thyra, et.al, what's this about mosquitoes and odor? We will be in Venice in early June. Should I take mosquito repellant?
Judy
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 06:57 PM
  #14  
adrienne
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Liz,

My vote is for Venice, especially since youíre taking a weekend while working in Italy. Venice is magical and youíll leave feeling refreshed and relaxed. One of my favorite things to do in Venice was to hop on a water bus after dinner and look at the palazzi lit up. The architecture is wonderful and so are the shops, also being on the water is wonderful. I donít find Florence relaxing, thereís just too much to see and do there and I go into sensory overload. Also, Florence is very noisy, although you can find calm out of the way places such as Fiesole. Go to Venice and you wonít be sorry.

Adrienne

 
Oct 25th, 2000, 07:12 PM
  #15  
Holly
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I stopped in Venice for a weekend in '96 and have been back every year since. Matter of fact, next year I'm going to stay for 2 weeks. Maybe then I'll finally get it out of my system (but I doubt it, and I hope not!).
 
Oct 25th, 2000, 07:12 PM
  #16  
adrienne
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Judy,

I've been to Venice twice in June (early part) and didn't notice any odor except the normal way the sea smells and didn't experience any mosquitos.

Adrienne
 
Oct 26th, 2000, 03:38 AM
  #17  
anna
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hi,
you cant compare these two cities, they both has something special. take a look at www.charmingvenice.com or www.charmingflorence.com and make your choice!
good luck
anna
 
Oct 26th, 2000, 08:23 AM
  #18  
Thyra
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Judy, I am just passing on the odor/mosquito info on very second hand from a friend of mine who went to Venice in August one year, we certainly didn't notice either. Just as a note though, I always bring a tiny bottle of insect repellent when I travel to warmer climates. I got back from Greece Monday and was glad I had it.
 
Oct 26th, 2000, 08:25 AM
  #19  
jwagner
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"If Florence didn't have it's art, why would I go there?"

Uh, where should I start, Carol?

The Duomo and the view of the red roofed city from the top.
Great shopping for leather and jewelry.
The grand influence of architecture inspired by the Medicis.
The markets and street vendors, ready to loosen your wallet in exchange for some trinket that will have you wondering "why did I buy that?"
The scene, late at night, outside of Uffizi, where hundreds of young people gather to share music, travel stories, etc.
The best Gelatto in Italy.
A good, inexpensive restaurant on every corner.
Venice is a great city. But please don't diminish the qualities that make Florence a great city if you can't appreciate great art.
 
Oct 29th, 2000, 07:51 AM
  #20  
Joan
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I am trying to contact the Hotel Galleria but I cannot access the website that Jan posted www.hotelgalleria.it. Can someone help me with contact info?
 

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