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Should we cut Venice out of our itinerary??

Should we cut Venice out of our itinerary??

Old Oct 9th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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Well, Fodors is nothing if not full of animated and passionate opinions.

I'm glad that you are working things out for yourself as a result of posting here, but I have some feedback nonetheless:

I am finding your question a challenge to answer because you keep giving out critical information in dribs and drabs. Such as, where are you going the rest of the 4 weeks? Thus far, you have mentioned Switzerland, Italy, and Barcelona (I'm still unclear as to how you are going to link to Barcelona - it will make a difference to my answer.) What stands out for me is that you are wise to have realized that you have to look at your trip as a whole and then decide.

I liked, more than loved, Venice, but I was very glad to have gone (twice, so far) so as to be able to make up my own mind.
So I would advocate it for that reason alone, EXCEPT if I thought I had to twist my itinerary into a pretzel to accommodate it, or if it caused the trip as a whole to be more rushed than I'd like.

Generally, asking questions like this after you've already cemented in critical decisions (like your arrival and departure gateways) is a bit like asking if one should lock the barn door, when the horse is long gone.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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St. Cirq-- lol I got a good laugh from your last comment. You all may not have been successful at convincing the original poster but--- I so want to go to Venice now! Hmm, maybe for my 21 year anniversary next year. Could never quite make it to Italy with the kiddos because it is just beyond our budget. That's another post though. If we do go to Italy, Venice will definitely be on the itinerary!
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 06:52 PM
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Sort of off topic, but...well, we started our international travel a little late, so now, after 27 years together, our hope is that each trip is a honeymoon...just sayin.

So, right now we are just waking up at Sofitel, Heathrow. We chose to layover and get a good rest here, and arrive in Venice mid-day and rested rather than dark of night and crabby. So, look out Venice, here come the Hanabillies!
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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All the places on your list are magnificent; you can't wrong in that regard. They all have a lot to offer, and Switzerland/Venice/Milan are each very distinct. And you are so fortunate to have 4 weeks for your honeymoon. Regarding being tired, though, you can minimize this by keeping to about 4-5 destinations over those 4 weeks, booking an apartment or hotel for 5-7 nights each would minimize the packing/unpacking and checking in/out and finding your way to your next destination. That can be a little stressful, plus it takes up your holiday time. The only caution I would have is to check on the weather in the areas of Switzerland you plan to visit as it can get cold there. Even summer is cool there. If I were designing a trip for four weeks, I wouldn't cut out any of the places you mentioned in Italy. I'd probably leave the Spain part for another trip, not because it wouldn't be nice, but due to the geography. Keeping the distances short and the number of stops fewer makes a trip a little more manageable for me.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 10:14 PM
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Wow, lots of opinions here. Here's my 2 cents. We were in both Milan and Venice during the last week of May of this year. We spent only a day in Milan. While what we saw was pretty industrial, I think the Duomo alone was worth a visit. Can't believe they allow you to climb to the tops of the Duomo unescorted in this day and age. We cut our Milan visit short to spend several days days at Lake Como (1 hour away) which was probably the best part of our 3 week trip to Italy. The scenery was breathtaking and so romantic. The double rainbow over the lake after a brief rainstorm sealed the "romantic" deal. And one of the least touristed places we vistited (I understand this changes as summer progresses). Stayed in Bellagio several days with day trip to Varenna. I beleive Lake Como is on the Swiss border so this may give you a little TINY taste of Switzerland??? never been to Switzerland so I cannot comment on to go or not to go. Venice. Hmmm. It was our least favorite of the cities visited on our trip but I dont want to say this to discourage you. I think our trip was poorly planned. First of all, we thought we would be there just prior to peak season. If this was off peak I do not want to even imagine what peak is like. Perhaps October is considerably slower. I have never seen so damn many tourists!!! And I live in San Francisco! I must caveat this with the fact that we stayed on the Grand Canal just steps from St Marks Plaza which is probably the worst decision if you are crowd averse. We stayed at Londra Palace which was nice enough especially considering the moderate price, but talk about in the middle of everything! This can be good or bad depending on your taste. If you have been to Fishermans Wharf in SF, think SF Fishermans Wharf on steroids! The hoards of tourists, TACKY tee shirt and trinket shops really distracted us from the true beauty of Venice. Kitchen apron's for sale at every corner with blown up shots of David's private parts. REALLY??? I cannot think of anything less romantic. We did wander off the tourist track and started to see what others have eluded to about the romance of Venice but we had a difficult time clearing our palettes of our intial experience. Perhaps if we had had a few more days we may have found the better parts. We did experience the most amazing thunder and lightning storm ever (very romantic ducking into alleys to avoid the downpour). All said, I would consider a return to Venice but it would definitely have to be in the dead of winter/ off peak season. I generally agree with the other posters here suggesting not moving around too much. We thought 3-4 days in a given location was fine for a first trip. Wish we had done less with a week or more in each. Too much time traveling/packing/unpacking vs enjoying. Happy honeymooning Keedm002!
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 04:59 AM
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In Italy we went to Rome, Florence, Venice each for 3 nights. Venice is a pain to get in and out of but is unique and worth seeing.
To me, those are the 3 main cities to see in case you don't get back there. As far as what we want to see when we go back to Italy, probably Tuscany small towns and then drive down to the Amalfi coast stopping in Rome again for the Vatican and the coliseum (want to see them both again)
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 05:17 AM
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"Venice is a pain to get in and out of but is unique and worth seeing."

jp4120, could you clarify that? I can't think of another city in Europe that is more delightful to arrive in. Fly in and take a boat to your hotel! Drive in, park or return a car right at the edge of the city and take a boat. Take a train and step off right on the Grand Canal. To me the boats MAKES it a wonderfully delightful place to arrive in or leave from -- beats taxis and traffic any day!
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Old Oct 17th, 2012, 06:13 PM
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NeoPatrick, I too found that an odd statement. Getting into/out of Venice by train is as easy as it gets. Even from the airport is easy. I guess arriving by plane very late at night or a very early departure, after or before the vaporettos are running, might be a bit more problematic, but even then, isn't any more difficult than many cities.
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Old Oct 17th, 2012, 08:14 PM
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Getting into and out of Venice IS a pain. Yeah the Alilaguna is awesome, but you still have to drag stuff over bridges. And down calles. And up stairs. I love arriving on the train, but the vaporetto? Not fun with luggage.

I love Venice and spend a lot of time there, but I would not say it is easy to get in and out of, unless you are staying extremely close to a vap stop or have the cash for a water taxi.

Having said that, it is all worth it for a honeymoon trip. Or any trip, really.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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OK, what I consider a pain (needing a boat, having to walk across crowded bridges with luggage, etc) others are saying that is a unique travelers adventure and should not be considered a pain.

I prefer to be able to drive into a city or taxi directly into a city without the hop, skip and jumping required for Venice. Travel into Rome and Florence were much less hassle for me personally. also have traveled into many other cities in UK, France, Amsterdam, Germany and found them easier to get into.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 11:23 AM
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OK, it's sort of a pain to get into and out of:
a. in that you can't get to the city center directly
b. you do have to walk, with luggage, over bridges (with steps) to get to your residence if you take a vaporetto or the alilaguna
c. there's really nothing romantic or exotic about the vaporetto, in that it's utliltarian transport.

That said, it is a unique place. You're not going to see anything else like it.

BTW, the last time we left, we sprung for the water taxi to the airport. It was worth every penny.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 11:35 AM
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I am a guru hater.

I hate Florence, too hot, too full of tour parties.

I hate Barcelona.

Etc, etc.

But after 42 years of being in denial. I went to Venice for the first time last October, it was cold, wet and windy......

It is the most beautiful place on earth.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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Just a word to add for OP: when you are ready to go to Venice, the best advice we got was which area to stay in. We stayed in Dorsoduro, which a delightful neighborhood for sightseeing and wandering around. Not to forget trying (and loving) our first Aperol spritz at Bar da Gino,which became our favorite place to stop. ;-) We ate at tiny restaurants, loved the food and the TLC.

So when we finally made it over to San Marco, it was a big shock. I couldn't believe the masses of people herding their way through the basilica, ignoring the notices about being quiet and not taking photographs. The mosaics were beautiful, but we just wanted to escape. Much better when we found a cafe on the piazza to sit and have an Aperol, and listen to the competing orchestras in the various cafes around the piazza.

The big surprise in Venice? How quiet it was, with no cars, buses, taxis. It's a wonderfully scenic city.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 01:13 PM
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Even if you find getting to Venice a pain, I would say it was well worth it.
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Old Nov 28th, 2012, 07:15 AM
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Arriving at the Venice train station and walking out to the view of the Grand Canal is one of my most memorable travel experiences. Followed by the vaporetto trip down the Grand Canal.

Another time we flew in. The airplane circled over Venice and the view of the city from the air was marvelous.

In either case I can't say I noticed any huge inconvenience. But I'm used to taking buses and walking.
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