venice first or last

Sep 21st, 2004, 03:55 PM
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venice first or last

I see that others have posted their itineraries for your critque so I'd like to ask an opinion about mine. We ( 2 adults and 2 teenagers)are flying into Milan in early June. Our first trip to Italy. I initially planned on first day (arrving at 9:00 AM)in Milan and travelling by train to Venice the next day for 3 nights. We were to spend one week in Tuscany near Siena to relax and have fun by car which we might pick-up either in Venice or Florence (suggestion?). Then on to C.T. for 3 nights, back to Milan to drop off car and catch night train to Paris for 4 nights before flying home. Now, however , I wonder whether I could simplify by reversing the itinerary- first night Milan, pick-up car,3 nights C.T., one week Tuscany, drop car off at Venice, and catch night train to Paris after 3 nights in Venice. Does anybody see merit one over the other ? Also, I am very tempted to catch train to Venice our day of arrival into Milan and just skip Milan. I am concerned, however, that we may be too exhausted after flying from Honolulu.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 03:59 PM
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clarification- we would take night train from Venice to Paris if we did the reverse itinerary. Also, if decided to drive to C.T. first from Milan, would definitely spend first day in Milan to recuperate from our flight.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 04:09 PM
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Hi okoshi-

I can tell you that on our honeymoon in 2003 we flew from Western Canada (Alberta) to Frankfurt and on to Milan. We opted to go directly to Venice that morning after our arrival. We took the bus from the airport to the train station. We did not pre-purchase the train tickets and we had no problem taking the next available train(first week of September). It was not a Eurostar train but it did not have many stops along the way.

A couple of things, we flew business class so we got some rest on the flight over. I have been to Italy and specifically Milan before so I was familiar with the train station and travelling by train in Italy. It also helped that I printed out a train schedule so I had a good idea of what time we would get to Venice. By the time we got to Venice it had been a loooong day and we arrived at around 8 pm. For us it was worth it to have that extra time in Venice. Ultimately, that is the question - how much are you willing to do in a day and what cities/destinations are a priority?
Hana is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 04:27 PM
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We flew into Rome and out of Venice. We spent a week in Tuscany between the two. We were very glad to have done the trip this way. The beauty of Venice is no cars. We spent a week there transporting ourselves on foot and via water taxi. I have never felt so relaxed coming home from a long trip as I did then. Enjoy's one of my favorite spots on Earth.
PamSF is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 04:33 PM
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My one opinion about traveling to Venice first is that you will be carrying all your purchases with you the whole journey.

My purchases ended up going on
3 ferries (4+hrs)
4 different trains (11+hrs)
numerous taxis and buses
and that was just in Italy!
Then there was the two planes (11+hrs)
and the couple hr ride from the airport.
We actually ended up naming one of the purchases Baby as I had to carry it like one.

Your plans sound a bit confusing to me, and it may be that you would do better with the second plan.

Other wise it seems as if you will be doing alot of to-ing and fro-ing!

I was not impressed with milan, except for the Duomo of course.
But with your super long trip over from Hawaii, it would be a good place to spedn your first day, and then starting out early the next morning.

Whatever- have fun!!
nanb is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 05:58 PM
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Night train from Venice to Paris? See - - one fourth the time at one-third the price.

I like Venice last.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 07:23 PM
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I am not familiar with I did check it out- 80 Euros to fly from Venice to Paris one way (including tax, etc).Is this a charter flight ?
okoshi2002 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 08:15 PM
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i like your second choice....venice is such a fantastic place that i would not want to spoil it by being tired from the overnite flight and jet lague....same could be said for CT, but it is much more laid back and less intensive and physical than is venice---so much area to cover in venice...
both have plusses and minuses as i am sure you have figured out....
the driving is easy from milan airport, but signs are sadly lacking once you leave the main roads i find....have a good atlas map book....i find that if you rely on michelin maps that they are too difficult to deal with in the car....stop at a gas station and buy a book of italian maps---an atlas type...
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 08:58 PM
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No - - it is not a charter flight - - it's one of the MANY new "no-frills", low-cost carriers in Europe (a la Southwest Airlines, or Jet Blue) - - and believe it or not, that fare is HIGH, compared to some of the fares you might find on carriers like or

See for a good overview of who flies where.
rex is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:32 AM
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Hi Okoshi,

I suggest that you fly into Milan and train immediately to Venice. I find that if I keep going until bedtime local time that I don't suffer jet lag.

Rent your car in Venice and drive to Siena for 5 days.

Drop the car and take the bus to Florence. Spend 2 nights. (Or drop the car in Florence and don't spend any time there)

Take the train to La Spezia and see the CT for 2 nights.

Take the train from La Spezia to Rome and fly to Paris. (You might want to overnight in Rome.)
ira is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:52 AM
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I prefer the second option. CT would be a good place to start since it will keep you outside in the fresh air - good for getting over jet lag. End in Venice - save the best for last!
mamc is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 08:28 AM
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Thank you for these suggestions- if we save Venice for last, it would put us there over a weekend- Sat, Sun, Mon- are sites and stores closed on Sundays or Mondays ? Would it be more crowed ?
okoshi2002 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 08:30 AM
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Venice is indeed always more crowded on weekends. It's less than a day's drive away for 100 million people.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 09:14 AM
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Here's my 2 cents:

Arrive Milan and train to CT. No car needed. I wouldn't spend 3 nights there unless staying in Santa Margherita Ligure.

Pick up car for Tuscany in Pisa or Siena. Drop car and train to Venice for last. FLY to Paris.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 09:14 AM
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I am planning a similar trip for next September. We are starting in Tuscany (with a car), driving to the Dolomites, and ending in Venice.

We live in the San Francisco bay area, and I always try to begin the trip somewhere relaxing so that I can recover from jet lag. I can't imagine how long your trip will be from Hawaii!

I have also been to Milan and taken the train to Venice. It is very easy to do.

My suggestion is to stay at least one night in Milan, see the Duomo (be sure to take your kids up to the rooftop-there is an elevator!)and see the restored Last Supper (get reservations). This is assuming that your teens have not yet been to Milan.

We are saving Venice for last because it is my sister-in-law's dream city and I want her to be able to fully appreciate it. I know with my jet lag that sometimes the first couple stops are somewhat of a blur.

jal52 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Just visited Venice with my 2 teens. My kids loved it. However, there is so much art there to see that kids (and adults) may have more energy/enthusiasm for that early in a trip. Near the end of our trip, we had a day of outdoor physical activity with no art museums (in Holland), and the kids and I really enjoyed the change of pace and lack of mental exertion. Still, I'd save Venice for last as a nice treat for the end of the trip. We did the overnight train from Venice to Paris and it was no romantic "Orient-Express" experience. It was relatively inexpensive for us because we had rail passes and only had to pay for our 6-person file cabinet (couchette), but without the railpass savings, it would have been outrageously expensive and the plane would have made way more sense.
lesliec1 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 03:13 PM
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lesliec1- Thank you, that's very helpful to know about the train. That may settle the question-and disspell my belief about train trips being fun.I also agree that all the art may be best appreciated early in the trip for us. Thank you all for your help.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2004, 11:52 AM
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Personally, I would do Venice first. You can catch a connecting flight from Milan pretty easily. I think it's a great place to recover from jet lag as it's small and everything is within walking distance. You can be very active in sight seeing, or just hang out in a sidewalk cafe and take it easy. Just make sure you allow for enough days.

The other advantage is if you're driving, you don't need to pick up a car until you've recovered for a few days.

There's nothing more amazing than seeing Venice for the first time, so it's a great way to start a trip.
linjudy is offline  
Oct 10th, 2004, 05:44 PM
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I am doing a Venice - Florence - Rome trip with my 2 teens in 2006.

My personal preference is to start in Venice and end in Rome.

I feel this way for 2 reasons:

1. I have never experienced anything lie arriving in Venice by a bot from the airport and seeing it for the first time from the water. Walking from the train station to the Grand Canal is just not the same first impression, and I want my kids to have that wonderful first impression that I did.

2. Venice os much more relaxing and laid back than Rome and I feel it is a better way to start the trip. The though of sight seeing our way through Rome when we ar exhausted is not appealing to me.

Now Ihope I can get the tickets into Venice and out of Rome.

Just my thoughts.
donnapg is offline  

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