Venice/Florence Train Stations

Oct 12th, 2001, 08:12 AM
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Venice/Florence Train Stations

My wife and I plan to take an a.m. Venice-to-Florence train on Saturday 10/27. For some reason (my web browser?), the Italian railway web site is difficult to access. Found the Swiss and German rail sites to have what appears to be good information for most of Europe; both show several a.m. trains to Florence.

Know I've seen this before in other posts but cannot get the Fodor 'search' to work. Is the 'main' Venice station San Lucia? If so, anyone know about how long a walk or vaporetto ride it is from Hotel Iris near San Tomas vaparetto stop (in S. Polo area)?

Do the Eurostar trains require advance reservations?

Once in Florence, it looks like there's only one big station. We'll pick up rental car at Avis' downtown location (Via Borgo Ognissanti). From a map I found, looks like Avis is not a long walk from the train station. Correct?

Sorry for so many questions. Thanks in advance.
Oct 12th, 2001, 08:46 AM
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I'm not especially good at estimating distances or time, but I can tell you that yes, the
Venice railroad station is Santa Lucia.
You don't want to get off at the one called "Venice-Mestre".
From the Santa Lucia station you can cross the Grand Canal on the Ponte Scalzi (Scalzi Bridge) and enter the San Polo sestiere.
The San Toma stop would be less than a half-hour walk without luggage or getting lost--your pace and your ability will be largely determined by the weight of your luggage. It's longer than I would want to walk with anything more than a totebag, but that's me. The distance doesn't account for the up and down steps on the bridges.
The vaporetto ride from the station wold be 30-40 minutes, but it's a glorious ride and a wonderful introduction to Venice. Have your camera accessible from the moment you exit the station, literally.

The main station in Florence is Santa Maria Novella. I don't know where the Avis place is, but the Borgo Ognissanti is closer to the Arno River than the station. Florence is pretty small, but with luggage take a taxi--it won't be very expensive.
Oct 12th, 2001, 09:02 AM
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Have you tried to access Italian railway site thru both OR ? I usually prefer going in thru 'trenitalia' but either one will get you to same website.

Good idea to get an advance reservation (ticket and seat reservation) on the Eurostar for your trip -- and even though late Oct, current travel climate, etc. usually makes for less tourist traffic, the Venice-Florence route on a Saturday morning is quite popular. You don't necessarily need to obtain your ticket before you get to Europe --- I'd do so over there a few days ahead of when you plan to depart for Florence.

When you do arrive in Venice, you really must take the vaparetto down Grand Canal to San Tomas stop. It's part of the entire Venice experience. Don't have info at hand, so not sure if both Vaparetto No. 1 (makes all stops) and No. 82 (only selected stops) will get you to San Tomas.
Oct 12th, 2001, 09:35 AM
Steve James
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Hello Steve,

I've just checked the FS website and it lists the following departures from Venice (S.Lucia):-
06.33 ES
08.33 ES
09.41 IC from Mestre
12.33 ES
Journey time is 2hours 50mins. The IC (Intercity) takes only 5 minutes longer, so would be an alternative to the Eurostar (and cheaper), but departs from Venice Mestre.

There are other departures at:-
- but these are slower and require a change at Bologna.

Vaporetto 82 does stop at San Toma', so you could catch that or No.1, as Robin says. I think it's too far to walk!

You can check vaporetto timetables on the ACTV site:-

Hope this helps ...

Oct 12th, 2001, 11:19 AM
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I highly recommned making reservations for trains. My sister and I went on Tuesday to reserve for Saturday from Venice to Florence on the Eurostar, and the only thing available was smoking.

Use the American Express offices in any big city to get tix. I do think the one in Venice no longer does that, but there are 2 travel offices that do.
Oct 12th, 2001, 11:28 AM
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Susan is right - the American Express office in Venice does not sell train tickets but there is a CIT travel agency only one block from the AmerEX office. The people at the American Express can give you the directions. We found travel agencies to be the best place to buy tickets in Italy - no waiting, no extra charges. Be aware though - for some reason the CIT office in Venice made us pay cash for the tickets while all of the others accepted Visa. Not sure why.
Oct 12th, 2001, 03:24 PM
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The Borgo Ognassanti is a few minutes walk from the train station in Florence. Go right out the front of the terminal and walk toward the river. You can't miss it. The Avis place is few blocks down to the right, in the same direction as the traffic.
Oct 12th, 2001, 03:36 PM
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Steve: If you do decide to purchase train tickets thru a Travel Agency and can access the "trenitalia" website. You can click-on "Agencies" for the names and addresses of TA's that sell tickets. HTH Regards, Walter
Oct 12th, 2001, 04:06 PM
richard j vicek
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Good evening, noted Susans remoarks
relative the American Express Office
in Venice does no longer see railway
tickets. Is this true of the other
American Express Offices in Italy???
Richard of LaGrange Park, Il..
Oct 12th, 2001, 07:08 PM
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Avis is pretty easy to find. I jsut picked up a car there two weeks ago. Getting out of Florence is not that difficult. The distance is walkable with a small rolling suitcase. Taxi fare should only cost a few bucks. I found that internet reservations were about one and one half times the price of reserving at an Italian travel agency. Get your schedules by the internet, but get your tickets there. 1st class is well worth it and thank God there was no smoking.
Oct 13th, 2001, 03:10 PM
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It is true that the AmEx office in Venice does not sell train tickets but I can tell you that the one in Florence does. I tried to buy tickets there but the line was a mile long and not moving so I walked down the street and found a travel agency and got the tickets. No waiting, no extra charge. Travel agencies are the way to go - only problem is they are not open as late in teh evening or on weekends.
Oct 15th, 2001, 08:04 AM
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Thanks to everyone for their great comments/feedback. Just now checking Fodor's site again; I'm one of the surf-at-work Fodorites. We really appreciate the advice.


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