If you had to pick .. Venice or Firenza?

Oct 29th, 2000, 08:00 AM
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Was in Venice 3-2000, without a doubt take the Venice trip. You will not regret it! You will remember it for a lifetime. The architecture, people, food, shopping,and art are worth any price for this trip! Waiting to return!
Oct 30th, 2000, 01:19 PM
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This one's in response to Jwagner--I'm afraid you and I just don't agree about what makes a great city--IMHO Florence just isn't in the same class as Venice qua city--and your list of the elements that make Florence great for you just don't work for me. Florence is the treasure-trove of the Italian Renaissance to be sure and I am sure I will return again (for my 4th visit)--but it's too small, too austere, too crowded, too commercial, overrun with tourists now all the time, for me to love it's "non-art" qualities. Venice is an extraordinarily romantic and fascinating (Big R and little r)city and I just don't think Florence can compete with it in that area. Now, the hill towns of Tuscany...ah, that's another story.
Oct 30th, 2000, 04:54 PM
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I, too, find it hard to single out one city above the other-- but given the choice between the two, I also say-- Venice.
Don't get me wrong; I love Florence. I think it's one of the most liveable cities in Italy, even with all the mopeds. It has more art per square inch than you can imagine, and the size of the city is perfect. But Venice, well what is there to say? It is so unlike any place else, and that's why I also side with those who say "go to Venice". It's a magnificent place to be-- to stroll around in-- to watch people-- and yes, there's plenty of art there, too.
I know it's cliche to keep saying it's magical, but it truly is. And you'll probably find that not having the crowds around will be a blessing (though I was there mid-summer and never found it to be such a problem, as long as I slept away from the major tourist spots(.

Hotel recommendation: La Calcina, especially rooms on the canal (The Guidecca, not the Grand Canal). It's in the Dorsoduro region, which I HIGHLY recommend staying in. Easy to walk to everything, yet feels quieter. Of course, you'll be going in a quiet time, so that's less of an issue. But the region is one I really like.

You can't go wrong with either, and you'll probably be back, right? But if you had to see one or the other, consider Venice as the first!
Oct 30th, 2000, 10:46 PM
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I've been to Florence three times, but I never liked it. I would never have gone back after my first visit but for the fact I was with people who insisted we visit there as they had never been.
I have never, never understood why people seem to like Florence. It certainly never seemed special at all to me.

And then there is Venice!!!!!!!!! Magical alluring Venice. No matter how many times you go there or how long you stay there it never loses any of its magic. There is no other place on this planet like Venice.
Nov 1st, 2000, 10:48 AM
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You mention that Florence is overrun with tourists. When did you visit Venice? I've never been there when it wasn't wall-to-wall stretch pants and fanny packs.
Nov 1st, 2000, 10:53 AM
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There is no city in the world like Venice.After the tour busses leave and in the off-season it is the most magical urban environment in the world.
Nov 1st, 2000, 11:38 AM
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I think Carol and I were in Venice at the same time!! If I were to choose...absolutely, no question Florence!! The museums, food and ambiance in my opinion were all far superior to Venice. I felt like Venice was one big tourist trap. Although we were there in the height of tourist season, it was just too overwhelming for us which I thought made Venice lose a little charm. It is also a hard city to navigate, and we got lost everytime we tried to go anywhere. Seeing as though you have a weekend to spend, Florence is a much easier city to walk around. Maybe your time would be better spent seeing the beautiful artwork and culture in Florence rather than being frustrated trying to find where you're going. Additionally, we walked into random restaurants all over Florence, and never really had a "bad" meal. In Venice, we couldn't find a decent restaurant. We thought Pizza would be safe since we enjoyed it in every other city in Italy, but no way...it was as though it was taken out of the frozen food section of the grocery store. I think Tombstone pizza was better!
Nov 1st, 2000, 12:02 PM
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I find that the farther south you get, the better the pizza.
Nov 1st, 2000, 12:32 PM
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Florance is great, the art beautiful, the city attractive from across the bridge up on the hill, BUT I think as others have said that Venice is Unique in the world (at least Europe). Go there, have a great time and you will want to return with a SO. It is by far the most Romatic city I've ever been in.
Nov 1st, 2000, 12:35 PM
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I've done a thorough comparison of the two cities on my non-profit website (which happens to sell books that I get a wad of cash for). Check it out at www.twenj.com. Click on Amazon.com button to buy some books on my non-profit website.
Nov 1st, 2000, 12:42 PM
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Based on her original message, Liz is interested in art and architecture and exploring. In my experience, Florence has much more to offer in terms of the interests she described. I understand pizza is better the further south you go...but not being able to just stumble across a good restaurant in Venice turned me off. Wasn't anyone else turned off by Venice???? Again, I thought it was way too touristy. You know it's bad when you ask a store keeper to recommend a restaurant that is not overloaded with tourists and they can't! Or, when the conceirge describes his city as Disney World!! How charming and magical are glass stores every 2 feet???
Nov 2nd, 2000, 06:03 AM
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Harrison--I'm beginning to think that folks like you are turned off by the very things that delight me about Venice. For example, I love to "get lost" in Venice because wherever I land there is always a glorious surprise--an exquisite little church, beautiful bridge, charming vista (and I know that if I walk a few steps, I'm either gonna find a giant arrow pointing to the Ferrovia or San Marco--so that I never feel really lost). What I also love about Venice is that once you get off the "tourist track", there is still so much to see--e.g., the Ghetto, the Arsenale, Torcello, Santa Maria del Orto, the Strada Nuova, Cannaregio, etc., etc., etc. Thus, I find it hard to understand how you can call it a tourist trap and be done with it.
Nov 2nd, 2000, 08:08 AM
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Carol, I'm glad that it's "people like me" that make you realize how much you love Venice. I by no means am trying to discount the uniqueness of the city or the nooks you run into by wandering around city(which we did go to the ghetto etc etc etc etc). In my opinion, I liked Florence much better. The art and architecture was breathtaking. The Arno, going into the hills outside the city, the countryside was all amazing. And the food, just can't compare to Venice.

There are so many places to visit in the world, and each city/country will have different appeals to every person. Again...the original message was that she was interested in art and achitecture. When choosing between Florence and Venice for art and architecture, I think the choice is quite clear.
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