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Looking for a small-ish town btw Venice and Florence

Looking for a small-ish town btw Venice and Florence

Apr 5th, 2007, 10:02 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 249
Looking for a small-ish town btw Venice and Florence

We have our flight reservations for our first trip without the kids! As they are both being stinkers today, I'm wishing it were sooner

We will be flying into Florence on Sept 15 and out of Venice on Sept 22.

When we travel, we get burnt out on big cities very quickly. I would like to add one (maybe two) nights in a smaller town or city in between our time in Venice and Florence.

I'd love suggestions for a smaller town that would be on the train route (or at least not terribly out of the way) between the two cities. We'd are outdoorsy-types and would like to mix some hiking and scenery in with our city visits.

If you have suggestions for towns, I'd also welcome ideas for lodgings in said town! We are definitely budget travelers, but we're also past the dorm-style hostel lodging. We'd like to find cheap-to-moderately priced, clean, safe lodging. I value convenience over fanciness, and local over chain. Suggestions?

As always, Thanks!
TravelingMom is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 10:07 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 656
We didn't stay overnight but did visit Lucca for a day and we loved the town. It has a very small town feel in the city center and the city wall has a bike/walking path that was fun. Lucca would be my top choice for a small town feel between Florence and Vencie.
jdraper is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 10:16 AM
  #3  
ira
 
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Hi Mom,

Both Florence and Venice are fairly small cities.

You only have 6 nights - 3 each.

If you feel that you must get out of town, would Ravenna, Parma or Modena be too big?

ira is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 10:43 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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How about Monselice on the edge of the Eugenean hills on the train line from Bologna to Venice. I've stayed in the area with a car, and it's very nice walking country. There's a hostel there with individual rooms, Venetian Hostel:
http://www.venetianhostel.it/en/index.php
There's also a castle:
http://www.castellodimonselice.it/home.asp?language=eng
lovisa is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 10:54 AM
  #5  
 
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I agree with Ira: you're already splitting the week, and neither Florence nor Venice is really all that frenetic. Venice especially is really quite small, and because there's no traffic it doesn't feel like a conventional city (especially if you stay off the crowded route between the train station and Piazza San Marco).

For a little taste of the countryside while you're in Venice, I'd recommend a trip to Torcello. If you really wanted to get some hiking in you could arrange a day trip to the Dolomites, but again, your time is limited and so I wouldn't do this myself.

While in Florence I'd consider hiking up to the Belvedere Fort on the other side of the Arno. You'll get some exercise (keep going up the adjacent hills to the churches) and it's got lovely views.

Some budget but nice places I've stayed recently include:

Hotel Caravaggio in Florence

B&B Al Saor in Venice
Therese is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 11:01 AM
  #6  
 
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Here is another place to stay in Monselice:
http://www.bebaitigli.it/pagesen/home.html
lovisa is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 11:40 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Lucca is not on the way from Florence to Venice. And I agree, Florence and Venice, especially, are smaller than you might expect, so you might be just fine.

You could stop in quieter Bologna for some world-class food and a very nice old center, or Ferraro or Padova for truly smaller towns.
capxxx is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 09:02 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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As always, great advice! When we are in cities, we seem to be unable to slow down...we try to "do it all" - which is always virtually impossible in one visit!

I will definitely look into Torcello and the fort for activities that are a bit different than usual. I will definitely also do some research on the other cities - it may be enough just to have an afternoon "off" between the two cities.

Thanks!
TravelingMom is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 10:02 AM
  #9  
 
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I'd put your "extra" time towards Venice, and try to slow down. It is a perfect city for wandering, getting lost, having no plans. IMO that's the way to see Venice.

And sure plan a long lunch stop somewhere along the 3 hr train ride Venice to Florence. That would be nice, without having to get one more hotel reservations, etc. etc.
suze is online now  
Apr 8th, 2007, 10:25 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Fiesole outside of Florence is nice if you really want to get out of the city there--not on the way between the two
I agree Torcello (lagoon island) is a good trip out of Venice
Vicenza, Padova both on the way to Venice
Vttraveler is online now  
Apr 8th, 2007, 02:52 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,149
Yes, Fiesole is a nice break from Florence, and you can get there on a city bus !! I don't remember which one, #8 or #11, I believe. Fiesole is small and sits on a hill over looking Florence. A short street with sidewalk cafes, an interesting small archealogical site and a monastery on the hill which you reach by climbing through gardens.

I agree that I would not break up my week into three places. You lose the 15th and the 22nd because they are travel days, and you lose some time traveling between Florence and Venice.
jtrandolph is offline  
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