Too much time in Venice?

Nov 15th, 2009, 03:45 PM
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Too much time in Venice?

I looked again at our itinerary...because of the night train we are planning to take out of Venice, we'd have 4 nights, with 4 full days in Venice plus whatever time we have left on the day we pull in by train from Florence (so probably 4 1/2 days). My daughter wants time just to wander around as well as sightsee, but is that *too much* time? Someone suggested to me that Venice isn't necessarily pleasant in the summer (we'd be there in early July). Might our time be better spent someplace else?


beeswing is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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I haven't been to Venice in the summer, but it's hard to imagine 4 or 4.5 days could be too much. There are several great daytrips you can take as well. There is a lot to see and do besides St. Mark's and the Rialto Bridge.

By all accounts, the major tourist sights will be crowded. It might be worth getting off the beaten path. When I was in Venice in December 2004, I could tell when I was getting near to a tourist sight because I'd hear a hubbub of voices. Then I'd walk away, and it was perfectly silent.
WillTravel is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 04:13 PM
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If you've posted your itinerary, I've missed it.

In principle, 4.5 days is not too long in Venice, but it's difficult to say where a day might be better placed without knowing where else you're going.
Zerlina is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 04:18 PM
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Right now we have 5 nights in Rome, 4 nights (but only 3 full days) in Florence, 4 nights in Venice, 4 nights but 5 full days in Paris, and 3 nights with 3 full days in Barcelona.

Venice is a biggie with my daughter, who has talked for years about seeing it "before it sinks."


beeswing is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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Venice is not so much in danger of sinking as of becoming a Disneyland of sorts (see below), but if it's a biggie for your daughter, leave things as they are. As WillTravel said, it's possible to get away from the crowds.
Zerlina is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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Venice in July will be mobbed and hot and humid. However, the alternative is not to be in Venice. There s certainly plenty to keep you there for four days (just seeing the outer island, Murano, Burano and Torcello) can take 2 days. But it really depedns on what you want to do/see.

All you have is large cities - with nothing of the countryside. I might take a day from Venice and add to Paris - so you can do a day trip from there - besides Versailles.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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We spent nine weeks in Venice last December and January, and the time was too short! We found it fascinating, the most rewarding town that we have ever visited. Let your daughter "just wander", and you'll find all sorts of worthwhile things.

If you click on my name, you'd find the trip report that I wrote.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 05:19 PM
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There is never enough time for Venice. You are just scratching the surface on ALL the places you have chosen to visit. If your daughter has wanted to see Venice all her life, give her the opportunity to savor it. That said, your crowd-averse DH will probably freak at what Venice is like in high season.

Since he IS crowd-averse, I am wondering why you planned this trip to hit only major European cities at the height of the tourist season. Wouldn't renting a gîte or villa for at least a week during all of this made more sense?
StCirq is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 05:41 PM
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We're taking this trip to hit my daughter's "must-see" sights. She'll be 15 at the time of the trip (so she'll be in college before we know it), she's an only, and she's a leukemia survivor. We know more than most that time is often shorter than it appears. So it's not so much for my husband and me, it's for our daughter and the time we're lucky enough to spend with her.

Barcelona, for example, was one of her top choices for her Make-A-Wish trip (we were able to go to London for a week courtesy of this amazing organization). Because of money my dad left me when he died, we're able to give her this trip, and it's something we want to do.

Outside the cities, we're hoping to make daytrips to Pompeii and the Normandy D-Day beaches, if we can work it out. I'd love to see more countryside, but we can't do everything.

beeswing is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 05:54 PM
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Oh, yeah. As far as the timing of the trip -- well, that's simple. That's when The Kid has summer vacation!

beeswing is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Dear beeswing, with the time you and your husband and dear daughter will have in Venice you will have time to walk away from the heavy tourist areas and explore the quieter side of Venice. Plus if you desire you can go to the other islands as nytraveler posted about. I would not shorten your time in Venice, especially since visiting Venice is a strong wish of your daughter. By the way, our daughter when a teen absolutely loved "head over heels" loved Venice and I am sure your daughter will also. We spent a week in Venice when she was with us. Not to long at all!
LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 06:37 PM
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Not everyone needs a week in Venice. Everyone has different travel likes and dislikes. Some people do find the crowds in Venice intimidating. I have several friends who HATED Venice for that reason. Me? I like about three days at a shot in Venice but find I need to return there on subsequent trips; I've been there twice, three days each time. It's a unique place for sure and I will probably go back yet again, but I've never wished I had more time there. Better for me in smaller doses.

I personally have found day trips don't work as well for me. I have done day trips from Venice (Verona and Padua) and I didn't enjoy them as much as I think I would have had I been in those places for a night.

As for France: I don't recommend doing Normady and the D-Day beaches as a day trip from Paris, because you'd have a LONG day of driving (or being on a bus). I would do at least a night there if possible. There is much more to see there even for WWII sites (if you are a WWII buff) besides Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery above it. I personally hate feeling rushed in seeing this kind of stuff and hate long long days of driving that also include a lot of sightseeing.

Besides war stuff, Normandy is beautiful country and very easy to drive through; you can take the train up from Paris to Caen or Bayeux, rent a car and do the beaches and sites yourself, and go back to Paris the next day, if you can squeeze that in. That would feel much less rushed.
Andrew is online now  
Nov 15th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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Of course not everyone needs a week in Venice, andrew. That goes without saying. I merely stated what worked for us when we had our teenage daughter with us. And I was merely sharing our experience in regards to beeswing's questions regarding the time they had planned in Venice with their teenage daughter. And actually even without our teenage daughter we always spent at least five nights in Venice. Different strokes for different folks as the saying goes.
LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 08:26 PM
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We too had the same experience with our (now adult) daughter -only last year - and four days was not really enough - and she didn't notice the crowds after coming from Shanghai and Hong Kong!

We spent so much time just walking, looking, snacking and loving all the little corners - that when we did deal with the busy spots we were refreshed and coped quite well.

As it is on your daughter's special dream list - and this trip is for her - go for her choice. Just find places for time out away from the San Marco area - not hard to do.

As to day trips - we have done quite a few when we traveled with 3 children - and the down time on trains was often quite useful - especially if you have long daylight hours.

Decide when you get there if at all possible.

Your plans sound wonderful and I am sure she will be a very happy girl. Our daughter is keen for me to get us to Venice for a few weeks in an apartment this coming January - dreaming for me too.
love_travel_Aus is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 09:20 PM
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Beeswing, your daughter might enjoy this treasure hunt that I wrote a while ago - she can show Venice to you. Buy her a Moleskine City Guide to Venice - she'll enjoy that.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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I don't think 4 days in too much time at all. We only had 3 days in Venice and wished for a few more, at least.

A day trip to Normandy is possible. We did that our first time in France since that is all the time we had. We do not regret it at all! We hired a private driver and left Paris very early in the morning and arrived back around 9pm. Very much worth it, in our opinion. Of course overnight is better, but if this is all you can manage, then still go for it
mms is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 09:09 AM
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What a lovely gift to your daughter! It seems to me that the biggest consideration in whether to cut a day from Venice would be what you would do with that day somewhere else. If visiting Pompeii is a priority, adding a day to Rome might make sense. If visiting the D-Day beaches is a priority, then adding a day to Paris might make sense. The good news is that it sounds like a wonderful trip no matter what decision you reach. Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 09:20 AM
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hi beeswing,

ditto what st. cirq, Peter et al have said - 4 days plus will be great for your DD and you really to enjoy the city at your leisure. personally I suspect that the people who don't take to it are the poor unfortunates who try to see it all in 48 hours and so never get away from the crowded touristy areas.

My teens loved the week we spent there - the churches, museums, cafes, restaurants, boats, plus the wonderful shops that my DD could have spent all day in.

we particularly liked the boat trips out to Burano and Torcello, which would be even nicer in July.

if I were you, i wouldn't change a thing!

regards, ann

PS - if you'd like to read about what my DD and DS enjoyed doing so much, just click on my screen name, and look for my trip report, entitled "we went to venice and we saw.."
annhig is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 10:01 PM
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I don't believe that it is possible to have too much time in Venice. Leave the crowds and St. Mark's behind and wander the less touristy areas of the city. See where the locals live and really get a feel for the place. I was in Venice for the 3rd time this year and saw areas that I had never seen before, and there is still more to see.

Have a wonderful trip!
Tries2PakLite is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 12:14 AM
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To avoid the crush, choose your hotel's location carefully. You don't want to have to negotiate the Riva dei Schiavoni everytime you go out the door, the huge cruise ships unload their groups at the end of it. I would stay in a quieter area, the Dorsoduro, for example.

San Giorgio Maggiore is on the small island opposite P.San Marco and the view from the tower is stunning. Giudecca, next to it, is nice for a quiet walk and there are some decent places to eat like Alla Palanca where you sit by the canal with a wooden platform under your table to keep your feet dry.

Four days in Venice is just about right for a first visit I would say.
tarquin is offline  

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