More time in Florence or Venice?

Mar 13th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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More time in Florence or Venice?

We are going to Italy for our honeymoon in November. We will arrive in Venice on the 13th, travel via train to Florence, and then to Rome, and we will leave Rome on the 23rd. We want to spend 4 nights in Rome. We know we want to travel to all three places, but just aren't sure about how to divide up the other days (between Venice and Florence). This will be the first time to Italy for both of us, so we would like to see and experience as much as possible. Any advice?
yoshimurask is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Hi Y,

If it were me, 4 nights in Venice, 3 nights in Florence, 3 nights in Rome, especially on a honeymoon.

ira is online now  
Mar 13th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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I would vote for V4/F2/R4. V3/F3/R4 if you want to take a day trip from Florence to Siena or Pisa/Lucca etc.
mjs is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Ira, you've never been in Rome, let alone on a honeymoon...

Logically, I would say 3 nights in Venice, 3 nights in Florence, and 4 nights in Rome. (There are 1001 romantic things to do in Rome, sitting in cafes on beautiful piazzas, wandering the beautifully lit streets, having lovely long dinners in small, intimate restaurants.)

But: If you prefer a uniquely magical setting and seeing the many wonderful forms that art and architecture have taken over 12 centuries, you will spend 4 nights in Venice and 2 in Florence.

On the other hand, if the Renaissance holds particular fascination for you, then you will spend 2 nights in Venice and 4 in Florence.

Personally, I am not that taken by the art of the Renaissance, and I also find Florence's stone palazzi almost oppressive in the narrow streets, so my vote would be 4 nights Venice, 2 nights Florence and 4 nights Rome.
Eloise is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Hi Eloise
>Ira, you've never been in Rome, let alone on a honeymoon...

Actually, I have. However, just passig through.

I have been to Venice (about 8-10 times) and Florence (for 11 nights).

>Logically, I would say 3 nights in Venice, 3 nights in Florence, and 4 nights in Rome.<

What laws of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Economics, God, Nature or Man make this the "logical" choice?

So there!

ira is online now  
Mar 13th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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OK, Ira, "logically" was not the right word.

But mathematics would dictate that if one has 10 nights less 4 nights in Rome, leaving 6 nights, division by 2 would result in 3 and 3.

As far as that goes, I have been in Venice at least 10 times, once for a week, once for two weeks.

And I've been in Florence, despite the fact that I'm not that fond of it, at least 6 times, twice for a week.

So there!
Eloise is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Having been to all three several times and loving all three, I would spend 3 nights in Venice, 3 in Florence and 4 in Rome. Venice and Florence are much easier to see and enjoy than Rome so you need an extra day in Rome just to do it justice.
mamc is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Venice is so much more enjoyable in the down season, and so difficult to include in almost any Italian itinerary, tip the scales as much as yuo can toward Venice. You are unlikely to have another opportunity to go when it is uncrowded. Firenze is so centrally located, you can easily revisit during future trips to Italy.

I'll change my advice if you tell me that you know that the art of Firenze means more to you than the art of Venice. But if that isn't the case, take advantage of this window in Venice.

nessundorma is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 01:06 PM
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Hmm, I think that if you enjoy art, Florence definitely has more to offer. However, if you will arrive in Europe tired from the wedding and want to just relax, Venice has great ambiance and is a delight to wander. I would suggest picking up a guidebook and trying to decide what are your "must sees" in both locations -- that may tip the scale towards one or the other.

KathrynT is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Let me preface my remarks by saying I much more enjoyed Firenze as an Italian city than I did Venice. If I ever go back to Venice, I will probably spend less than a day there, just to see some art and architecture I didn't see the last time I was there. By contrast, I could spend several months in Firenze, I'm sure.

But what I want to say is that I don't know what you mean by art, but Venice has one of the five top art museums in Europe, plus the Piazza San Marco, which surely is the most beautiful piazza in all of Italy, it has the basilica, plus Torcello, its scuolas, several critically important churches with important examples of the art of some of Italy's greatest painters. And, unlike Firenze, it has an important contemporary art presence in several important ways: it has the Venice Biennale, the Venice film festival and remains the premier center of the world for glass art.


I get tired just thinking about how the long days I spent in Venice one winter doing nothing but looking at art, and I only scratched the surface.

And I thought the ambience of Venice mainly was a tourist trap.

Just to provide another point of view here for voshimurask
nessundorma is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:21 PM
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It was nearly 10 years ago, but my husband and I went to Italy for our 10th anniversary. At first, we thought we'd do 3 city/regions: FLorence, Rome and Venice. But upon reflection, we realized we wanted to see each city and also nap every day! We narrowed down our choices to half the time in Venice and half the time in Rome, thinkiing that a FLorence + Tuscany side trips would be another future trip. It was perfect. We loved Venice. We were there end of October and it was gorgeous and empty and clean-smelling and dreamy). After 3 or 4 days there, we flew to Rome and when we were over our first 5 hours of feeling "homesick" for Venice, we had a ball in Rome. Gelato every night, strolling through the plazas, amazing eating, and just enough sightseeing to make it atmospheric and fascinating, but also to get those naps in!

It was a beautiful beautiful trip and very romantic. I still get misty thinking about it. So bottom line, whichever destinations you pick, I urge you to consider limiting them to 2. You lose 2 days in travel both ways and you'll both be exhausted after wedding. Have a wonderful time
kflodin is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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I agree with the 2 city plan. It is just overwhelming to contemplate a wedding, then travel/jet lag, then trying to "do" all three.

Rome can totally daunt the first-timer (speaking as one who lived there for a year and still remains somewhat daunted by its sheer wonderfulness!) and adding just one other is plenty.

For me, that second city would be Venice because this is a honeymoon. Save Florence for the first anniversary (or the fifth, tenth or twenty-fifth, like us). It will still be there...
LJ is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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i would spend 4 nites in venice. i liked venice more than florence. we decided to take a 5 or 6pm train so we could have as much of the day as possible in venice. we were there in november. it can be a little chilly. have a great time & congrats
mwoodrowe is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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Normally I'd say listen to Ira, who I adore, but this time I'd have to say that I can't agree.

I've been to all three, spending one night in Venice, one in Florence, and 4 in Rome on my way to Greece and beyond.

If I had the extra time you do -- I'd spend 3 nights in Venice, 2 in Florence and 5 in Rome.

1 day alone will be spent at the Vatican, so you'll need the other 4 touring to see the rest.

Happy travels,

jules4je7 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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You have received excellent advice above. Venice can't be beat for R&R and ambience unlike you've ever experienced. And for the art lovers, there's lots to see, especially in the churches. Florence is great if you're really into Renaissance art. If not, the highlights can easily be seen in 2 days. Part of Florence's appeal is the ability to take a side trip to one or two or three of the nearby hill towns which are charming and romantic (Siena for example). Luca Garrapa of would be the perfect guide at reasonable rates. Rome is an amazing city. It has it all, romance, history, art and incredible food. I think 4 nights there would be fine.

Basically, it comes down to how much hussle and bussle you want to go thru after the wedding. With 10 nights, it's very doable to cover all 3 cities as long as BOTH of you enjoy being on the go. Some folks just want to crash after the wedding and would be reluctant to do a mini-whirlwind. If you're up for an itinerary which will allow you to cover all 3 cities using a pretty good pace, I'd recommend 3 nights in Venice, 3 nights in Florence with a day trip to a hill town or two plus a winery, and 4 in Rome. We did roughly the same trip last March but in reverse order. You can click on my name to pull up the trip report.

Congrats on the marriage!!


dcd is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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Hello everyone. I am enjoying this thread since I have the same question, but I am taking my 70 year old mother instead of my DH. I have read many times how so many of you didn't care for Florence. Why?
uptowngirl2418 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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I cant speak for those who never warmed up to Firenze, but as one who does like it, I just wanted to mention one of the reasons I liked it -- which may be the same reason others don't:

Firenze is and has been for centuries a city of wealth, commerce and government administration. Italians get up there, put on suits, and go to work. It's not a playground or a dreamscape.

What I enjoya about both Firenze and Rome is the startling juxtaposition of dead cultures and a very lively modernity. Tourists have a lot of fan, and always have, putting on masks and dancing in the theatrical backdrop of Venice. Firenze is 21st century Italian city.

But the real reason I posted again here was because I thought my previous remarks may have come across as harsh. What I really was trying to convey to youshimurask is that if you really care about the art in Venice, it is easier to see and appreciate in the less crowded months.

nessundorma is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 04:18 PM
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But I've always thought there were two kinds of people in the world: Those who liked San Francisco, Boston, London and Venice, and those who like New York, Paris,, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Rome.


I know there's no one or two types.
nessundorma is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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These comparison threads are always the same thing. The Venice/Florence/Rome lovers battling for position.

Yoshimurask, it's purely personal preference. Do some guidebook research and decide for yourself which city offers what you're most interested in and how to divide the days. Note the days museums you want to visit will be closed so that you can make a plan for each city. You won't see everything anywhere -- even if you spent the entire time in one place. Bear in mind that you lose about half a day moving from city to city, but it's possible to check out of your hotel, leave your bags to retrieve later, and catch a late afternoon train.

And just to register my vote(s), Rome, Florence, Venice (in that order of preference). My husband and I will be in Florence and Rome for our anniversary (#28) this year.
Jean is online now  
Mar 13th, 2006, 10:29 PM
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Hmm, in response to my posting about art in Florence, I guess I just find Michaelangelo's David and Botticelli's beautiful paintings pretty hard to beat. It's not that Venice doesn't have great art, but I think it is its other wonderful qualities that make it so special.
KathrynT is offline  

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