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Venice for 1 night?

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Mar 27th, 2016, 02:05 PM
  #1
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Venice for 1 night?

Hi
We will be staying in Siena for 4 nights in August and will be taking some day trips before heading to Rome. While in Siena we will be staying at a hotel outside of town with a pool with my 2 teens. We anticipate spending some time in Siena and also taking 1 full day going to some Tuscan towns and possibly Pisa.

We are looking for another day trip and was wondering if it would be worth taking a 1 day trip to Venice instead of a day trip to Florence as the museums and art are not a high priority since we will also be in Rome. If we went, I feel we would definitely have to extend the day and stay over Venice for 1 night as just a day trip from Siena seems too rushed and too much travel in one day to make it feasible.

While in Venice we would be ok with just exploring the city and I don't feel we will need to see every major site since we would end up waiting in lines all day. Maybe just a boat ride and some exploring around the city and square. I've read mixed opinions about going for 1 day but I feel my teens would enjoy seeing Venice more than Florence as it is so different and I don't know when we would be getting back to Italy again. I would be willing to pay the extra night hotel even though we have the Siena hotel if it would be worth the trip. I did also consider staying in Venice the last night instead of Siena but I think it would be more difficult doing Venice in 1 day with all our luggage vs taking a backpack for the night. Would be interested in suggestions or thoughts on this idea. Thanks in advance.
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Mar 27th, 2016, 02:28 PM
  #2
 
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I can't make your decision whether you should 'eat' the night's lodging for you but I would not go to Venice UNLESS we stayed over night. Venice w/ the day trippers is a mob scene, Venice at night is sublime.
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Mar 27th, 2016, 02:46 PM
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There are so many fascinating places and things to do closer to Siena than Venice that I think locking yourself into a very long day trip to Venice in August-- on a day where you could end up having a wretched heat wave or downpouring thunderstorm -- could be quite a mistake.

If you posted something some specifics about what your teens enjoy or what piques their curiosity, people could probably come up with some very good suggestsions of nearby destinations that would be treat for your family -- which while it wouldn't be Venice, might be a huge amount of fun and be easy to get to from Siena.

Are they superactive teens or maybe interested in science? Music? Horses? Swimming in a wild hot spring? White water rafting? Shopping? Photo workshop? Arthurian legends? The Twillight series?
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Mar 27th, 2016, 03:15 PM
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I love Florence. But Venice plays in another league. If you have the opportunity to go there, do it.

Other cities have their attractions. In Venice, the whole city is the attraction - the largest historical city in Europe.

The train from Siena to Venice takes 4:17, so you need an overnight stay in Venice. From Venice to Rome, the train takes 3:45, so, travelwise, it would make sense to train from Siena to Venice to Rome. I admit that luggage might be a problem, especially since transportation from the train station to a hotel in Venice might be a problem. For your family, a water taxi might be a convenient solution. Look for a hotel with a water taxi stop.

You will enjoy Venice. It is breathtaking, just walking and riding the vaporetti (water buses). Do it.

And forget the post above. SL hates Venice. And she hates everything else. Just click on her profile.
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Mar 27th, 2016, 03:32 PM
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In fairness to the OP, my feelings about Venice -- which I hardly "hate" -- aren't the basis of my advice. I explained my advice is based on locking one's family into a "day trip" that takes 5 hours each way.

By all means, click on my profile, sunshine, and you will see I enjoy a great many things, including so many things that traveller1959 hates, whether that be cakes or pretty seaports and the list goes on and on. His feuds with other forum members is irrelevant to your plans. I hope you will post more about your teens and what they and the rest of your family most enjoy -- but if you prefer to quit now, I wouldn't blame you.
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Mar 27th, 2016, 03:33 PM
  #6
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Hi Sun

> instead of a day trip to Florence as the museums and art are not a high priority since we will also be in Rome.

I would trade all of the Rome days for Florence and Venice.

Yes. You should do at least an overnight in Venice.

Enjoy your visit.

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Mar 27th, 2016, 03:48 PM
  #7
 
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Added clarification, sunshine:

I do understand that you are already committed to spending the night in Venice if you go, but that does mean you will be taking your luggage with you and then needing to take it back again to the train station. People can only make their own calcuations as to what is worth it when it comes to travel, but you might want to first take look at train schedules and make a realistic assessment of the amount of time you will be spending getting to the train station in Siena to catch an early train, getting to a hotel in Venice, getting your luggage back from the hotel to the train station and what time you want to arrive in Rome. And poll the family if will still be okay with everybody if it rains the whole time you are there. Some people would be happy with the choice, come what may. But I would say better to get everybody on board first about the effort it will take.
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Mar 27th, 2016, 03:55 PM
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>>if it rains the whole time you are there<<

Pretty unlikely in August. And enough to do indoors in Venice anyway (my last visit was in November, however with no rain).
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Mar 27th, 2016, 04:10 PM
  #9
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Thanks for all the quick responses. We are definitely open to other places closer to Siena - I am just trying to give a good balance to city vs museums/churches and medieval towns. I realize their attention span to art and history will be limited at this age and of course want it to be a memorable experience for them. Rome is a must at this time as we will likely be meeting up with some family who will be flying in later than us.

My girls definitely like to be active and horseback riding, hiking, biking, kayaking are things they like to do (as long as we do it early with the heat). Any interesting ideas are welcome. We will not likely have a car unless I can find an automatic as I do not drive standard. Thanks again.
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Mar 27th, 2016, 04:16 PM
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Why on earth would any family want to take their kids away from a pool in August in Italy? If my parents did that to me, I would divorce them.

There is SO MUCH to see and enjoy in-and-around Siena (assuming you'll have a car). Four days goes by SO FAST. I wouldn't even bother with Pisa. I would never do Venice in August, given your itinerary.

Stop the madness. Rest and relax. Take your time, and don't take your kids away from that pool for too long, especially in the month of August. If you heed my advice, you'll be doing your family a HUGE favor.

Rome in August is intense. Plan accordingly and pace your time with care.
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Mar 27th, 2016, 05:32 PM
  #11
 
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How far outside of Siena? How do you plan to get around?
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Mar 27th, 2016, 05:36 PM
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They said I the post above yours that they will have no car.
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Mar 27th, 2016, 07:31 PM
  #13
 
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I am a 'go to Venice' advocate. It is 2.5 hours from Florence to Venice. When you get off that train you are literally standing in front of the Grand Canal.
Get yourselves a hotel near the station, drop your bags and start exploring.
You can horse ride anywhere. A family gondola trip IN Venice is an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else.
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Mar 28th, 2016, 08:37 AM
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"they will have no car"

I didn't quite read it that way. It sounds like a rental car is a possibility (if the family can find an automatic, and for that, you'll need a car from Florence, or possibly Pisa or Chiusi). However, if this is your first-time driving in Italy, you're going to need a lot of luck and a really great map (plus a reliable GPS) to navigate safely in-and-around Siena. IMO, Siena is one of the most challenging hill towns in Tuscany to master. There are many ways in and all have different ways out, thanks to one-way streets and ZTL. Some are much easier than others. Some are dreadfully congested. Driving efficiently in-and-around Siena requires time and experience. Once you learn the lay of the land, navigation becomes much easier, like anything else, but Siena took me quite a few trips to fully grip and grasp.

Without a car, basing oneself in lodging "outside of Siena" will create additional layers of traveling challenges. There are modes of transportation options to get you up the steep hill and close to the fabulous city-center. But all of the options will eat away at the clock and you will have to learn proximity and how they work. Nothing is as easy around Siena as many bloggers pretend it is.

Most tourists don't stay overnight in Siena, and they miss a lot of morning and evening magic this city has to offer. Siena is known for its college vibe and youthful exuberance, but that won't exist much in the month of August, and many of the locals will be gone, too. But that's the way it is in August and in other large cities throughout Europe.

The area around Siena is breathtakingly beautiful, but to see it, you need a car. Within a thirty-minute drive in any direction, the beauty of the landscape has the power to captivate at almost every curve in the road, and there are tons of curves. I'm not saying that all children will react to landscape scenery the way I did as a child and still do as an adult. But since I grew up with a pool, having a pool to relax in after a tourist jaunt or two, no gift can tame the wildest, most A.D.D. ridden beast like a swimming pool in the August heat.

Trying to visit Pisa and Venice while staying outside of Siena for only four nights, with or without a car, seems utterly insane to me. But many travelers like to endure much pain to simply say they saw something, like the Leaning Tower or the Grand Canal.

As much as I love Venice, well documented on this board, a visit on the wrong days in August can be sheer torture. But no one can predict the weather.

Good luck with your planning.
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Mar 28th, 2016, 09:23 AM
  #15
 
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I guess the only thing I can add is: Florence is nice; Venice is unique.
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Mar 28th, 2016, 09:46 AM
  #16
 
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I was just hoping the OP had some ideas on getting around from outside Siena IF she didn't have a car.
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Mar 28th, 2016, 09:55 AM
  #17
 
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I did a similar trip to Venice from a base stay in Tuscany and stayed over one night and my kids loved it-it was voted the favorite day of our Italian trip that year by the kids. It is a busy day and half, but we enjoyed the train ride and seeing Venice, even for a day, is something special IMHO.
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Mar 28th, 2016, 06:13 PM
  #18
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Thanks again for all the suggestions and advice. Definitely lots to think about and I will definitely be bringing my kids into the decision making for their thoughts.
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Mar 28th, 2016, 06:55 PM
  #19
 
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Viatour does horseback riding excursions that pick people up in Siena. There may be other options you could find by googling. But it sort of begs the question, if your family is interested in horses: Will you be in Siena during the time of the Palio? Even if you are not, there is a lot of horse related activity leading up to the event itself, so you might want to read up on that online and figure out if your daughters are interested.

There are plenty of guides who offer bicycling excursions that start in Siena which you can find by googling.

I don't know where you will be coming from before you go to Siena, but you should be able to get an automatic transmission rental from Florence, Pisa or Rome airports. If you call AutoEurope you might even be able to arrange for a pick up right in Siena. Having a car would be a great asset.

You might find this link helpful:

https://www.discovertuscany.com/sien...rom-siena.html
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Mar 28th, 2016, 07:22 PM
  #20
 
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I'm am also a "go to Venice" advocate. If you don't know when you'll be back to Italy again, this could be a trip to remember with both Venice, Sienna, and Rome on your itinerary. Venice is so unique and historical, that it is worth seeing, even if it's just for a day.

I might suggest the Hotel Abbazia (http://www.abbaziahotel.com), which is just a two minute walk, and right around the corner from the train station. It is in a former abbey, and quite charming. This gives you easy access to your hotel when you arrive, if only to store luggage until a room is ready. Then the next day when you're ready to leave, it is an easy walk to the train station. This will give you more time to explore Venice on your short visit.
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