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Venice by train to Florence OR Venice to Rome and Day trips to Florence, Which is better?

Venice by train to Florence OR Venice to Rome and Day trips to Florence, Which is better?

Aug 5th, 2006, 04:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 33
Venice by train to Florence OR Venice to Rome and Day trips to Florence, Which is better?

I ask this question because you all have said that dragging our luggage (while at a suggested reduced level) is propably better, we are trying to minimize it. We will be staying 2 nights in Venice after we get off the ship at Venice (after staying overnight).

So instead of Venice to Florence by train and Florence to Rome by train, we are considering Venice by train or plane to Rome staying extra days (5 nights + total) and doing day trips to Florence and other sites (recommendations on other sites and on transportation options will be appreciated)

While money isn't a hugh consideration, we don't want to give it away...

Whatever you recommend we will consider seriously because we haven't done this before.

Thanks again for sharing all your knowledge. Love this site...
Marjean is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,322
If you have never been to Italy before I would probably suggest skipping Florence and spending your time in Venice and Rome. If you must include Florence I would stop for one night in Florence before going to Rome. Would stick with the Eurostar train to get between these cities.
mjs is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I would NEVER skip Florence. Venice to Florence with at least an overnight stay, then on to Rome. The Eurostar trains are indeed the way to go.

With your short time in Rome, I would not take more than one day trip out of the city... too much to see and do.

Of the options, Ostia Antica is the easiest and closest, IMO. Well, it's not my opinion that it's closest, but you know what I mean.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Aug 5th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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People always debate over Florence vs. Venice. They are very different cities, but so amazing each of them. I say see them both if you can possibly manage it. I would not do Florence as a day-trip, as it deserves two or three nights at least. We recently took the train from Rome to Florence to Venice, staying three nights in each. It is the shortest stay I would recommend in any of those beautiful cities. I also wouldn't take day-trips, as each city has to much to offer in itself.
Aug 5th, 2006, 09:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 33
I would rather take a train from venice to florence and then florence to rome but the thought of dragging our cruise luggage is daunting and we haven't come up with a good way to lighten it or store it..But we will consider your ideas....thanks
Marjean is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 04:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,216
Hi Mar,

I shall accept that you have too much luggage and can't reduce it.

Here is my suggested daytrip in Florence:


I expect that you will dock in Livorno.

Take a cab to Livorno Centrale and train to Florence SMN:

From Piazza d' Stazione, walk up via Nazionale to via d'Ariento and the Mercato Centrale, wander through.

Take any street going NE to Via Degli Alfani and go right to the Accademia for The David.

Take via Ricasoli SE to the Duomo, the Baptistry and the Opera Museum (Originals of the bronzes on the doors)

From the Campanile, take via Calzaiuoli S (do some window shopping) to the Piazza d' Signoria. Look around, take a break.

Continue S to the Uffizi. Visit.

From the Uffizi, walk W along the Arno River to the Ponte Vecchio.

(You can walk up to the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens if there is time. Great views of Florence from the top of the Gardens)

If you have time, walk E along the S bank of the river to Ponte alle grazie and cross over to visit Santa Croce.

If not, go W along the Arno from Ponte Vecchio to Ponte S. Trinita and go right. Go left on Via d'Spada to via d'Fossi and go right to Santa Maria Novella. Look around.

SMN is across the square from the train station.

Be sure to have lots of gelato (in a cup, not a cone), take some wine breaks and a light lunch.

Train schedules, prices and tickets are at www.trenitalia.com

Bus routes are at http://www.ataf.net/
Buy your ticket before you get on the bus. Stamp it in the yellow box on the bus.

Uffizi and Academia Museum Reservations
The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 1016868 (dial around number), 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH. This is through the reservation service at the Uffizi and costs beyond the normal entry fee only about 3 euro for the service. This is MUCH cheaper than the commercial booking services.

You will not be charged for the reservations unless you use them.

Have a nice visit.

ira is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 04:58 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,973
You will be leaving your ship in Venice, right? With 5 days (this is after your nights in Venice?), I would not attempt to see both Florence and Rome if you think you will return to Italy one day. Spend mazimum time in Venice, then take Eurostar or other fast train to Rome and spend the time there. Forget a day trip to Florence unless you absolutely have to see a specific work of art. You will be far too rushed to really enjoy; yes, you will be able to say you have "been there" and gotten an overall view of the city, albeit for a few hours, but I think your time will be better spent delving more fully into Venice and Rome and leaving Florence for your next trip.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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People tend to have a fixed idea that "if you have never been to Italy before" you have to do certain "highlights" (as if Italy were Disneyland with A through D rides) even if it means tearing through cities so fast you don't have time to enjoy Italy. You just walk around with your feet hurting, getting lost and "hitting" the hightlights.

Okay. Rant over.

My advice is that you look a few guidebooks with lots of pictures of Venezia, Firenze and Roma. Then decide what kind of Italian art experience you would most like to come into contact with. These are 3 very different cities offering 3 very different attractions. A bit like saying: "Which should we choose for a day trip: New York, Los Angeles or Chicago?" Would you consider it enjoyable to 48 hours in each of those cities if you had never been before -- and please consider that Roma, Venezia and Firenze are easily 20 times richer in treasures and enjoyments than any of the American cities I named.

If it were me, I'd divide the time between Firenze and Venezia, and save Roma for another trip.
nessundorma is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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Posts: 91,810
I still think you can (& should -LOL) figure out some way to ship some stuff home, or take less to begin with for the cruise. That said, you can take a big suitcase on a train, people do it all the time, it's not impossible.

I would pick Florence OR Rome and split the time 50%/50% with Venice.

You have to get to Rome for your plane ride home? Is that correct?
suze is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 09:29 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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I agree with Suze..pick Rome OR Florence; do not try to do both with so little time. If you go home from Rome, then leave Florence for next time. I think 5 days is a minimum time to get to know Rome.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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I'm with suze and ekscrunchy.
nessundorma is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 10:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 33
Thank you so much for your replies and rant Based on your comments, we will be staying a total of 3 nights in Venice and taking eurostar to Rome for 5 nights...yes we are going home from Rome. I have spent time in Florence so it is our friend that really wants to see it. Unfortunately when our ship docks in Livorno, it is a Monday and the Accademia is closed so we can't go to Florence; so we have opted to go to Lucca and Pisa.

A day trip from Rome to Florence without luggage is the best we can do. Though I will send this link to my friend and see if she still wants to do it. But Ira had a great itinerary for Florence...particularly liked the wine and gelato.

I agree there is so much to see in Rome. I have been reading up on all the wonderful places and am exhausted but elated just thinking about.

Thanks so much for your thoughtful responses. When we have our itinerary more resolved, I'll put it on this forum....
Marjean is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 10:40 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Sounds like a good plan Marjean. I hope you love Rome as much as I do. And am sure you will love Lucca plus everyone should see the Leaning Tower of Pisa plus the gorgeous duomo and baptistry. That should be a wonderful day. Best regards.
LoveItaly is offline  
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