Travel from Florence to Venice

Mar 30th, 1999, 01:07 PM
  #1  
Amy
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Travel from Florence to Venice

For our honeymoon, we are renting a car and traveling through the South of France and into Italy down to the Almafi Coast. We are going to go to Venice from Florence for a day and a half trip. Is it better to drive or take the train to Venice from Florence? Also, we will be in Sienna for my fiance's birthday, any suggestions on restaurants or special things to do or see. I want to surprise him. Thanks for any tips!
 
Mar 30th, 1999, 01:20 PM
  #2  
MARIA
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DRIVE! DRIVE! DRIVE! THE FLEXIBILITY YOU GET CANNOT BE MATCHED ANY OTHER WAY. I HAVE DONE IT BOTH WAYS, BUT SINCE I GOT MARRIED AND MY HUSBAND IS NOT AFRAID TO DRIVE (NOT EVEN IN PARIS) I HAVE ENJOYED MY TRIPS SO MUCH. BUT OF COURSE, HE NEEDS A GOOD CO-PILOT - ARE YOU GOOD AT READING MAPS?
 
Mar 30th, 1999, 01:55 PM
  #3  
Becky
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Funny, or not, I completely disagree. If you had more more time I would say yes, meander, get lost, be lovers, etc. However, since you have only a day and a half in precious Venice take every minute of the time available in this wonderful city. The train trip is just long enough and picturesque...no map reading and time to look forward to Venice, not frustrated and futzing about with the Piazzle Roma and parking. I VOTE THE TRAIN! Whatever you do have fun. I am going to Venice and Florence on my honeymoon in May...only I am 51 and this is my husband's first trip to Italy!
 
Mar 30th, 1999, 02:27 PM
  #4  
Rod Hoots
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Amy: If you have a place to park in Florence and can return to it without a problem, I suggest driving as you'll get a better feel for the countryside. You might try returning by a different route. When you arrive in Venice do not park in Piazzale Roma. Instead, park in the Tronchetto lot. Venice is an island which is reached by a causeway from the mainland city of Mestre. Since there are no vehicles in the city, you must park your car at the end of the causeway and then go by ferry boat to your destination in the city. As you approach Mestre, watch for direction signs to Venice rather carefully. The route is not as well marked as you would expect. Once you get on the causeway, look carefully for signs to the "Tronchetto" parking area. Again, it isn't marked as well as you might expect. The Tronchetto parking garage is very large, clean and well organized. You take a ticket from a machine on entrance and pay at a payment office on departure. After you enter the Tronchetto garage go as close as you can to the far end, because that is where the ferry boats depart. Just park your car (of course lock it and don't leave anything in sight) and then walk out to the end of the garage. You will see a one story building in front of you (this is where you pay on departure) and the ferry boat dock is just beyond it to the left. There are signs in English for just about everything. If you stay in a hotel near San Marco square, get a nice free tour of the Grand Canal by taking ferry boat #1 from the Tronchetto to San Marco.
 
Apr 6th, 1999, 02:46 PM
  #5  
Paulo
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When in Italy, I don't even consider other intercity transportation means other than a car ... Considering your particular constraints though, I completely agree with Becky ... leave your car in Florence, pack a small bag and take the train. You have no time whatsoever to fool around driving!

Regarding Siena, you may try:
-Al Mangia (Piazza del Campo) - we had the Bistecca alla Fiorentina
-Al Marsili (Castoro, just off Piazza Duomo) - Ribollita soup & Boar
-Le Logge (Porrione, just off Il Campo) - Rabbit with cappers
The Al Marsili is where we had the best dinner. The Le Logge was surely the prettiest one and also very good. Having time available, going to the Enacoteca is lots of fun (if it's full of people at night). I recommend booking the hotel without breakfast and have it on a cafe overlooking the Il Campo instead. Email me if you care for a one-day strolling itinerary suggestion.

Paulo
 
Apr 6th, 1999, 07:05 PM
  #6  
Denise
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We did both, drove and trained in/out of Venice last year, but I would recommend you train from Florence seeing you have such short time in Venice. A couple of hours to sit back, have a drink, and watch the beautiful scenery go by. You can both do this, but if you were driving, only one will see anything. More time, next time, then drive. Out of the train station, onto a vaparetto. Suggest if you are staying near San Marco, you buy a 24 hour pass on the vaps. You can then get on and off as often as you want,and you also will get back to the station with your luggage. Hard to drag a case that distance if you walk.
 
Apr 7th, 1999, 07:55 AM
  #7  
John
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Amy, Florence to Venice is like 150 miles ... 2 to 2 1/2 hrs. I thought the drive was one of the prettiest I had ever taken. As for all of this parking business, I did not park. I took the car ferry to the Lido and drove right to a nice hotel. No parking fees. No emptying the car and no lugging our bags around. Just pull up to the hotel, pop your trunk and the hotel takes care of the bags. You can drive around the Lido which also has stores and restaurants or you can take the water taxi over to San Marco square or wherever else you would like. It was all very easy to do!
 
Apr 8th, 1999, 11:13 AM
  #8  
Debbie
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Amy-just took the train trip last week with my family from Florence to Venice.We took the Eurostar out of Florence train station for 43,000 lira a person one way. The Eurostar is the high speed train which made two stops in Bologna and Padua for about 4/5 minutes and was so easy. The train cars(we rode in 2nd class) were comfortable,had tables at some seats and even had an older lady from the train passing out ice tea juice boxes and cookies for free).The scenery was beautiful and the trip went quickly. We got off train in Mestre(before you go over causeway to Venice-8 minutes away and stayed at the Hotel Bologna across the street so we wouldn't have to hassle with porters,water taxi,etc. particularly when we were leaving early (5 am) several days later for the airport.Parking is a real problem in Florence and other big cities-sit back and drink the wine and enjoy the ride to Venice! Debbie
 

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