Venice and Florence itinerary help

Old Mar 16th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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Venice and Florence itinerary help

Hi

I'll be going to Venice and Florence for 7 days and 6 nights in the middle of September this year. My flight arrives in Venice at around 2.30pm on a Saturday and leaves from Venice at around 3.30pm on the following Friday. I know it's hardly any time at all, but this is all I can spare for this trip.

I have been debating on how I should split my time between Venice and Florence.

Should I train directly to Florence on Saturday itself (realistically speaking, I'd need to aim for a 6pm train at the earliest right? And I'd reach Florence at 9-10pm - so my entire Saturday's spent travelling). For this option, the itinerary would be something like this:

Sat: Arrive Venice, travel on to Florence, reach Florence late night.
Sun: Florence
Mon: Florence
Tue: Florence
Wed: Train to Venice early morning.
Thur: Venice
Fri: Leave Venice at around noon.

Or should I spend the remaining evening in Venice and then proceed to Florence on Sunday evening or Monday morning?

Sat: Arrive Venice. Spend evening and night in Venice.
Sun: Venice. Train to Florence in the evening.
Mon: Florence
Tue: Florence
Wed: Florence
Thu: Train to Venice in the morning.
Fri: Leave Venice at noon.

Both doesn't look very "right" to me; or maybe there's just no good options for merely 6 nights. I hope some of you would have input that may help. I appreciate your comments. Thank you!
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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Hi JG,

If you are locked in to RT Venice, no matter how you do it, you have to take the early train back to Venice Mestre to get to the airport by 12:30 or so.

I think that I would spend the first nights in Venice.

If you don't have your tickets yet, can you fly into one city and out the other?

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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 06:43 AM
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Hi,

Thanks for your suggestion, but I'm really locked into the RT Venice ticket. It's on sale and beggars can't be choosers.

I have no intention of training back to Venice on departure day itself - it'd be too risky for me...

I was just wondering whether it's worth going straight to Florence on the evening of arrival and whether a late-night arrival in Florence is easy (taxis easy to get at night from the train station?)

But thanks so much for your response. And also for your recommendation of B&B Peterson - it's on my short list.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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I think that training to Florence upon arrival would be fine. The train station in Mestre is only a 15 minute bus ride from the airport and the bus leaves from right in front of the arrival level. You will have no problem finding the right bus and you can purchase your ticket from the driver.

So, if you arrive around 2:30, you should be able to get to the train station by 4:30.

There are plenty of taxis at the Florence train station, day or night. If all goes well, you will arrive in time to check in to your hotel and enjoy a late dinner (9:00p) in Florence.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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I mis-typed. You should be able to get to the Mestre train station by 3:30, 4:00 at the latest.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Thanks alot, zoecat, that's reassuring.

Should I pre-buy a train ticket to guarantee a seat or wait to purchase when I have arrived at the Mestre train station so that I coulc gauge my timing better?

This is keeping in mind that I would have my hotels booked prior to arrival and would likely not be able to cancel or even grab a free room in Venice if I could not make it on a train to Florence that very day...

I am very excited, planning's (or obsessing is) always the fun part!
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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I think you would be fine in waiting until you arrive at the Mestre station to purchase your ticket. September can be a busy time, but I have never had a problem getting a train ticket at the station. The self-serve ticket machines at the station offer directions in English and accept credit cards or cash. Be sure to notify you credit card and ATM companies that you will be traveling to Italy. There are cash machines at the airport for picking up your euros.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 09:04 AM
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Unless you are are real Renaissance groupie, I'd cut Florence by one day and add it to Venice.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 09:18 AM
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I agree with RufusTFirefly.

I just returned from 12 days in Venice. I am a big fan. If you need a great place to stay-

http://tinyurl.com/dyx5wn
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Remember this is all for pleasure. Once off that plane, I would get that little bag to my hotel in Venice and enjoy the afternoon and evening, wandering and sitting in the piazza with a prosecco. After a long ride and days of rushing, you are finally in Italy! No clock to watch, no stress if the plane is late, etc. That next afternoon, you could go off to Florence after a lovely walk around the city. This way, too, you can gauge how much more time you want to spend in Venice on your return.
Enjoy, relax, and enjoy,
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 12:34 PM
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I'm with louise723! Personally if I had only 6 nights I would spend them all in Venice with a side trip to Murano & Burano. We would highly recommend B & B Sandra (www.bbalessandra.com) Have a wonderful trip. Italy is magical no matter where you end up!
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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Let me add that Sunday in Venice, IMO, is better than Sunday in Florence.

I know you think it is too dangerous to head back to Venice from Florence on flight day, but I think I would do that. Land in Venice, stay there, then go to Florence.

You could take this train from Florence with no trouble at all:
Leave Florence 08:37

Arrive Mestre 11:06

Time elapsed 02:29
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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ttt
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 04:59 AM
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Thanks all for your input.

I understand all the advice re: rushing with onward travel on the day of arrival.

Regarding travelling back to Venice on Friday morning as advised by tuscanlifeedit, to be frank, this plan would be ideal - but isn't Italy famous for train strikes and whatnots? I really don't wish to spend 6 days stressed about whether I could catch my flight in the event of some problems with the train.

Sigh! This is difficult. I'm so sorry I only have 6 nights.

ps: What is good to do on Sunday in Venice, tuscanlifeedit?
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 05:11 AM
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Personally I would go to Florence first, then Venice, saving the best for last. After a visit to la Serinissima, all the rest of Italy is too noisy with all the cars and traffic.

The train strikes usually occur during the weeks before tourist season opens -- this way the strikers can remind owners how important train service is to the country. So I think you'd be ok in September.
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 05:22 AM
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Another question: If I pre-buy a train ticket for a certain departure time, would I be able to change it to an earlier train if my schedule allows me to depart sooner?
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