Venice Alternatives?

Old Jun 6th, 2024, 03:09 PM
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Venice Alternatives?

We are doing a two week trip in Slovenia and northern Croatia and we pass right by northeast Italy of course and my wife insists that we stay in Italy for a couple nights. She had first said Venice but I talked her out of it due to the hassle and the large crowds in August. I would rather add nights to the towns we found in the other countries but my wife is hung up on Italy. Any other towns we could visit that maybe are not as big of a problem and not a soulless resort town? Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old Jun 6th, 2024, 03:20 PM
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I have heard good things about Trieste but haven't been there. I hope someone else can chime in who has visited there.

We really enjoyed both Bologna and Ravenna. Bologna is known for its delicious food and has interesting sights to visit. Ravenna has its wonderful mosaics. I would happily return to both cities.
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Old Jun 6th, 2024, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for the input! I'll check out Trieste. The other cities sound great but a bit far out of the way.
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Old Jun 6th, 2024, 04:25 PM
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You might consider Padova, a smaller town and about half an hour by train from Venezia. Treviso also is great, about 3/4 of an hour from Venice by train. So both would work as day trips.
Treviso has great examples of the architecture of Palladio. His style is reflected world wide, Congress in Washington for example.

In Padova, the Scrovegni chapel is outstanding, you have to book. Also in Padova, the central market is fun, can be a bit quiet on Mondays.

Also Padova, two botanic gardens of remarkably different style.
The Orto Botanica, a World Heritage classified garden, dates from the 1600’s, has all sorts of plants, medical and also poisonous.
Then just over a little bridge, the new glasshouses. (New, as in about 10 years old.) Five glasshouses, each with a different micro climate, ranging from the greenest of rain forests to the driest of deserts.
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Old Jun 6th, 2024, 04:32 PM
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Consider also Verona, a most elegant town. You can check out Juliet’s balcony, which is the most God-awful piece of tourist rubbish.

A real gem in Verona is the Castel Vecchio museum. The museum was renovated some decades ago, to the design of Carlo Scarpa, Venice’s best known modern architect. The works are often displayed in a most subtle way, paintings that almost creep up along side you and introduce themselves. So there is a three way conversation happening between the viewer, the work of art, and the manner in which it is displayed.

Apologies, I am a Scarpa freak, his work has drawn me all over the Veneto.
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Old Jun 6th, 2024, 04:35 PM
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There is no place on the planet like Venice. Don't even think about passing it by. The crowds are predictable & easy to avoid. Stay in Venice. You won't be sorry.

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Old Jun 6th, 2024, 05:19 PM
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Thinking about Venice, the 80/20 rule applies. So 80% of the visitors will be in 20% of the places. And that does leave the 80% of places not all that crowded. The trick is to discover those places.
It so depends what you are into. There is no mandatory requirement to visit the Basilica, Doges Palace, the Piazza, Academia, the notorious Acqua Alta bookshop, and in many ways the second rank of attractions are both great and under visited.

The Querini Stampalia is a delight, the Frari as impressive for me as the Basilica, a traghetto trip is fun, the Rialto market at 5:00 AM a hive of activity.

The book Secret Venice by Jonglez is great. If you buy it, get the hard copy, the e-book does not work well.

Last edited by Peter_S_Aus; Jun 6th, 2024 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Added publisher, Jonglez, to book recommendation
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Old Jun 6th, 2024, 05:39 PM
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A goodly number of visitors to Venice are day-trippers. If you stay in the city you can visit the well-known places early & late. The rest of the time the streets away from the path between the train station & Piazza San Marco will be delightful to explore, the farther from the beaten path the better it will be & will get you to real neighborhoods where real people live. Your own secret Venice. Do not deprive yourself of that pleasure.
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Old Jun 6th, 2024, 06:09 PM
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In reading your other thread and assuming you have made no other adjustments (I only read the initial post), Trieste makes the most logical sense, especially considering the amount of time you are already in transit with your current plans; which, imho is a lot of moving. I am referencing your other thread, here: Slovenia Itinerary Maybe even ask the Mods to combine your threads since you are working the same itinerary.

Trieste: I will be honest, though, I found Trieste to be a bit underwhelming. I did go there directly after Venice, and well... underwhelming in comparison. That is not to say that it is not a great city in it's own right, it absolutely is. The city was part of Slovenia (via Austria-Hungary) until post-WW2 and Castello di Miramare housed Allied soldiers once Trieste was liberated. But, because it was part of Austria-Hungary, a lot of the city has the Hapspurg-imperial "feel" to it. I felt less like I was in Italy and more like I was in Austria, just to give an example.

Another option: I know you are considering part of the Istrian peninsula, namely Rovinj. But you might want to consider spending more time in Istria. This region was part of Italy, again post-WW2 where it became part of Croatia (albeit Yugoslavia at the time). Italian IS still spoken (though is getting less and less common) and many of the street signs have both Italian and Croatian/Slovenian, depending on location. Piran, Slovenia is a nice enough town or you could consider going into the hills such as to Movotun. Or even adding more time in Rovinj. It is not Italy, but it is an option.

Now, I know it has been mentioned in this thread AND you were likely also told to eliminate Venice because of crowds and the day trippers and your short time there. I agree with all of that absolutely 1000% percent as the city often gets a fly-by and it deserves just so much more time. But, as a last resort, you could, conceivably, use Venezia Lines from Piran (or Pula, Rovinj, etc.) and go to Venice as a day trip. I normally do NOT suggest this. You could consider spending more time in Istria to accommodate this Again, I really dislike this idea but it might be the "best option" given your spouse's desires and plus allows you to have more of a "base" since you are spending so much time moving. You already are aware it will be crowded. I do not need to repeat that. YMMV.
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Old Jun 6th, 2024, 07:53 PM
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There is absolutely nothing on this planet that compares to sitting in the Piazza San Marco on a warm night, listening to the dueling chamber orchestras and the pealing bells of San Marco at the end of the evening. Nothing.
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 12:41 AM
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Chioggia only just compares but way smaller
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 12:56 AM
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You told us in your other thread that you will stay August 16th/17th at Caporetto and visit Lake Bled from there in a day trip. This long drive over mountain roads (hairpin curves!) doesn't make much sense.
It would be easier to visit Bled in a day trip from Ljubljana.

Then you have 3 days for the move to Rovigno and are looking for good beaches for the kids. Rovigno, a very charming small "Venetian" town has mostly stone and pebble beaches which will be crowded in August.
If you are looking for good sandy beaches for your kids, you can drive from Caporetto to Bibione, Lignano or Grado.

The cities to visit en route would then be Cividale, Udine, Gorizia and Aquileia.
On the way from there to Rovigno, Trieste, Pirano and Parenzo are well worth a visit.

If you like caves, you may visit San Cassiano, close to Divazza.
The stud of Lipizza is even closer to Trieste.
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 06:05 AM
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I am a fan of Trieste because it is SO different from anything else we ever saw in Italy or Slovenia. It's like a bit of Vienna got slapped down in the middle of nowhere.

We used it as the end stop of our second Slovenian trip. On that particular trip, we started in Venice, to the train up to Friuli to begin our cycle tour, crossed over into Slovenia, made our way over to Lake Bled, and then finished in Ljubljana. We had been to Ljubljana on our prior Slovenian tour, so we to a train south to Trieste for a few days as a convenient stopover before we returned our daughter to the Venice airport.

I think part of my appreciation for it was having read the book, "Cafe Europa" while we were cycling through the Czech Republic and Austria a few years prior, and I was amped up to see the place. Every country around Trieste has claimed ownership, and Italy just barely (and depending on who you talk to, quite unfairly) got it at the last second as a reward for giving up in WWII. I agree with Travel_Nerd with the descriptions, negative as they seem, of the Hapsburg "feel" in the public areas, but those negatives, a leftover from its haphazard cultural history is what made it fascinating to me. In one city you can easily...
  • Take a free city tour that really gives a great overview of its cultural clash
  • Tour a concentration camp
  • Visit the Castle of Miramare (and learn about all the tragic ends of the inhabitants)
  • Experience the typical evening passengiata while sipping your favorite wine or eating luxious gelato
and more.

It has a good food scene. Our standout experience was dinner at Al Bagatto, where we had the tasting menu WITH the wine pairing and the bread pairing. The restaurant is into ancient grains bigtime.

I like Venice. I really do. As as others have said, there are ways to avoid some of the crowds. But that crowding has now become insane, and whenever we visit now, we grieve a little. We have to work harder to dodge tourist insanity now.
I like Padova for the points named above. Heck, I enjoy Milan.
But getting to Trieste would not require any work, and you might find it to be fascinating.

No matter what, please enjoy your trip.
AZ
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 07:07 AM
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perfect! i'll check them out thank you!
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 07:10 AM
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wow thank you so much this sounds amazing
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Travel_Nerd
In reading your other thread and assuming you have made no other adjustments (I only read the initial post), Trieste makes the most logical sense, especially considering the amount of time you are already in transit with your current plans; which, imho is a lot of moving. I am referencing your other thread, here: Slovenia Itinerary Maybe even ask the Mods to combine your threads since you are working the same itinerary.

Trieste: I will be honest, though, I found Trieste to be a bit underwhelming. I did go there directly after Venice, and well... underwhelming in comparison. That is not to say that it is not a great city in it's own right, it absolutely is. The city was part of Slovenia (via Austria-Hungary) until post-WW2 and Castello di Miramare housed Allied soldiers once Trieste was liberated. But, because it was part of Austria-Hungary, a lot of the city has the Hapspurg-imperial "feel" to it. I felt less like I was in Italy and more like I was in Austria, just to give an example.

Another option: I know you are considering part of the Istrian peninsula, namely Rovinj. But you might want to consider spending more time in Istria. This region was part of Italy, again post-WW2 where it became part of Croatia (albeit Yugoslavia at the time). Italian IS still spoken (though is getting less and less common) and many of the street signs have both Italian and Croatian/Slovenian, depending on location. Piran, Slovenia is a nice enough town or you could consider going into the hills such as to Movotun. Or even adding more time in Rovinj. It is not Italy, but it is an option.

Now, I know it has been mentioned in this thread AND you were likely also told to eliminate Venice because of crowds and the day trippers and your short time there. I agree with all of that absolutely 1000% percent as the city often gets a fly-by and it deserves just so much more time. But, as a last resort, you could, conceivably, use Venezia Lines from Piran (or Pula, Rovinj, etc.) and go to Venice as a day trip. I normally do NOT suggest this. You could consider spending more time in Istria to accommodate this Again, I really dislike this idea but it might be the "best option" given your spouse's desires and plus allows you to have more of a "base" since you are spending so much time moving. You already are aware it will be crowded. I do not need to repeat that. YMMV.
Thank you so much points well taken. I agree on avoiding a day trip. I'm trying to have at least two nights in each stop now, hopefully mostly 3 with maybe four days in Rovinji. Thank you!
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd
You told us in your other thread that you will stay August 16th/17th at Caporetto and visit Lake Bled from there in a day trip. This long drive over mountain roads (hairpin curves!) doesn't make much sense.
It would be easier to visit Bled in a day trip from Ljubljana.

Then you have 3 days for the move to Rovigno and are looking for good beaches for the kids. Rovigno, a very charming small "Venetian" town has mostly stone and pebble beaches which will be crowded in August.
If you are looking for good sandy beaches for your kids, you can drive from Caporetto to Bibione, Lignano or Grado.

The cities to visit en route would then be Cividale, Udine, Gorizia and Aquileia.
On the way from there to Rovigno, Trieste, Pirano and Parenzo are well worth a visit.

If you like caves, you may visit San Cassiano, close to Divazza.
The stud of Lipizza is even closer to Trieste.
awesome perfect i will check all these out
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by AlessandraZoe
I am a fan of Trieste because it is SO different from anything else we ever saw in Italy or Slovenia. It's like a bit of Vienna got slapped down in the middle of nowhere.

We used it as the end stop of our second Slovenian trip. On that particular trip, we started in Venice, to the train up to Friuli to begin our cycle tour, crossed over into Slovenia, made our way over to Lake Bled, and then finished in Ljubljana. We had been to Ljubljana on our prior Slovenian tour, so we to a train south to Trieste for a few days as a convenient stopover before we returned our daughter to the Venice airport.

I think part of my appreciation for it was having read the book, "Cafe Europa" while we were cycling through the Czech Republic and Austria a few years prior, and I was amped up to see the place. Every country around Trieste has claimed ownership, and Italy just barely (and depending on who you talk to, quite unfairly) got it at the last second as a reward for giving up in WWII. I agree with Travel_Nerd with the descriptions, negative as they seem, of the Hapsburg "feel" in the public areas, but those negatives, a leftover from its haphazard cultural history is what made it fascinating to me. In one city you can easily...
  • Take a free city tour that really gives a great overview of its cultural clash
  • Tour a concentration camp
  • Visit the Castle of Miramare (and learn about all the tragic ends of the inhabitants)
  • Experience the typical evening passengiata while sipping your favorite wine or eating luxious gelato
and more.

It has a good food scene. Our standout experience was dinner at Al Bagatto, where we had the tasting menu WITH the wine pairing and the bread pairing. The restaurant is into ancient grains bigtime.

I like Venice. I really do. As as others have said, there are ways to avoid some of the crowds. But that crowding has now become insane, and whenever we visit now, we grieve a little. We have to work harder to dodge tourist insanity now.
I like Padova for the points named above. Heck, I enjoy Milan.
But getting to Trieste would not require any work, and you might find it to be fascinating.

No matter what, please enjoy your trip.
AZ
Thank you for the insights. This may be the ticket. I grieve crowds too but then I remember I am the crowd....
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 12:33 PM
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Re Crowds
I had to remind myself of that we ourselves are part of the problem when I waited in line for the Pompidou on our last visit, only to see tourists taking selfies UNDER the installations. Of course, the last time we were in Venice, a tourist bride was trying to get her picture taken in front of a church altar during Mass.
Sigh.

Anyway, we stayed at the Savoia Excelsior Palace in Trieste. I have no idea what its reviews are like now, but the location was to die for. If I recall, we only stayed two nights and we wanted to hit the ground running plus get our kid to the Venice Airport, so access to the train station, other transport, and local sights and restaurants was key. We lucked out with large room with a view. Plus some kind of competition was going on in the hotel--every time we entered and left, paparazzi were taking our pictures just in case we might be important (NOT).

We bought some pass that included transport, a free walking tour and admissions to things (I had my daughter and my husband take charge of our Trieste activities--I had gotten them everywhere during the previous days; this was their turn to make MY STAY and plan everything out) so I'm unclear about the specifics. Anyway, it worked out. And our guide on the free tour was outstanding. She could speak four languages. She told us that was common in Trieste.

AZ


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Old Jun 8th, 2024, 03:20 AM
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Go to Venice.

Stay in Mestre |

Visit St Marks EARLY via vaporetto

Walk back to the train station via Rialto bridge

From Mestre the train to Padua or Verona is easy

The vaporetto is now 9.50 Euro!!!
If you donít go you will regret it.
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