Venice - is this itinerary realistic?

Mar 3rd, 2018, 06:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 14
Venice - is this itinerary realistic?

My sister and I have barely a day in Venice before heading out on a cruise. Obviously we want to make the most of our time, as this may be our first and only visit there. Is this itinerary realistic?

9:15am - flight lands at airport

10:00 - have checked luggage, leave airport, take ATVO airport bus to Piazzale Roma

11:00 - be at hotel (Hotel Arlecchino in Piazzale Roma). Check in, drop bags and go

Take Vaporetto (slow line #1) down Grand Canal

12:00 - arrive in St. Mark's. Book tickets for St. Mark's Basilica for 12:15-12:30. Plan to spend until 2:00 in St. Mark's Basilica, including going to the San Marco Museum.

2:15 - book tickets for Campanile

3:00-4:00 Visit Doge's Palace

Take vaporetto to Peggy Guggenheim Collection

5:00-6:00 Peggy Guggenheim Collection

6:00-7:40 Gondola ride in the back canals (this is a MUST DO for my sister)

7:30 Dinner near the Guglie Bridge

I hate to have to plan things down to the minute, but I want to go ahead and book our St. Mark's Basilica and Campanile tickets online so we can skip the lines. We will be going in mid-June, if that impacts what you think.

Thank you SO much for any input!
iujen94 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
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All on one jet lagged day? That is very ambitious and assumes that all or your travel arrangements go smoothly, but if you have one day to see all the biggies, go for it. Unless you really need to see the Guggenheim, I would at least skip that and spend more time just strolling around.
letsgeaux is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 08:03 AM
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When are you going to eat?

I agree about skipping the Guggenheim. I much prefer the Ca' Pesaro, which you can visit easily from the Rialto market, which is great fun, and can involve strolling around some fantastic back streets, plus you can grab a coffee or glass of wine on its peaceful canal-side café.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 08:05 AM
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I agree to skip the Guggenheim. The line can be massive and it's crowded inside. Better to spend that time walking around and absorbing Venice. After seeing the Basilica you can walk over to Dorsoduro, from there up to San Polo. Or, if it's not Sunday or Monday, first walk or vaporetto down to the Rialto market and book the tickets for later in the day. That way you will not have such a time crunch.

that is a pretty long gondola ride. Usually they are more like 30 minutes. Yiu could combine dinner with a rowing lesson... Check out the cichetti tour from Row Venice.
rialtogrl is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 08:27 AM
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I would skip the Guggenheim and the campanile. You'll see plenty in St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace. The earlier you can get to the Rialto market, the better. You might consider getting off the #1 at the Rialto market, checking it out, and walking from Rialto to Piazza San Marco.
greytop13 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Realistic - NO !! Where are you flying in from and on what airline? 45 minutes from landing to retrieving checked luggage to going thru Passport Control and Customs is very ambitous, and in my experience, overly optimistic. You are trying to do a sprint day thru what I think is a fabulous city to visit. 8 to 10 hours, even with your plans, doesnt give it justice much less the ability to savor the feel of the city. Having been to Venice 20+ times over the years, I would limit myself to St. Mark's Cathedral, a vaporetto and gondola ride, finding a canal side restaurant and enjoying a good lunch or dinner, and just strolling thru the alleyways of Venice exploring. Cross the canal and visit Santa Maria della Salute. Anything more will be lost in the rush.
nygvic0326 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 11:15 AM
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Actually, I never plan anything for my arrival day that has to be booked in advance. I've learned this from experience. I once arrived in London on the last day of an exhibit I really, really wanted to see. Even though I never suffer from jet lag, I was tired from the trip, and I was literally falling asleep on my feet in the museum. I've also several times had delayed arrivals which would have blown apart any itineraries set in stone.

For this reason I would even skip the Basilica, and certainly the campanile and any museum. You can have a wonderful day in Venice without reserving anything in advance. Other museums to consider, if you feel up to it, are the Ca'Rezzonico and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. These are small enough to see in a short time, have no queues to get in, and are not crowded. The gondola ride, and some strolling around will easily fill the day.
bvlenci is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 11:37 AM
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I agree with the others. For me, the best thing about Venice is just absorbing it as a unique city. You get that by walking around the canal-lined back alleys, cruising down the Grand Canal on the vaporetto, etc. While many of the sights and museums are worthy, with only a day, I would not focus on them. I would visit St. Mark's Basilica, but skip Doge's palace and the others. "Venice" is the most important sight to see in Venice, probably moreso than any other city, and you simply can't see it when you are inside a museum, if that makes sense.

Enjoy your trip!
caze17 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 12:04 PM
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I don't think the plan is remotely possible -- but that's a good thing. Throw it out and just enjoy Venice. As bvlenci says - lots of things could go wrong including late arrival, long lines at immigration, jet lag, etc.

I wouldn't go to the Guggenheim or the San Marco Museum, I would want to be mostly outside 'seeing' Venice. AFAIK aren't pre-booked tickets to the Basilica timed? If so, what if you miss your time slot (I personally don't know if they honor tickets more than just a little after the allotted time).

A gondola ride (which is much shorter than you've scheduled) and just riding vaporetti around and walking would be a better overview/introduction to Venice
janisj is online now  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 12:46 PM
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Does one need an itinerary to see such a compact city which has sights at every few steps?
Whilst I understand you may need to reserve entrance to some sights. There are just too many things to be done at a leisurely pace.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 12:54 PM
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You've received tons of good advice. I disagree with some of it, because I think you should visit the Basilica San Marco. It sounds like it's important to you and it is awe inspiring. But certainly skip the Guggenheim, the San Marco museum, and the Doge's Palace. Instead, find a couple of churches and palazzo museums (wonderful recommendations above). I especially like the idea of heading straight to the Rialto Market upon arrival. You can wander from there, and visit San Marco later in the day, thus possibly eliminating missing your timed entry. As everyone said, your gondola ride won't last nearly an hour. Don't forget to eat! Try cicchetti and tramezzini.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 01:16 PM
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DH and I visited all these places over the years when we traveled in March. And it took years to find them without lines. Except for the Campanile (where we just walked in), we were never able to make a same-day reservation. iujen94, have you pre-reserved any of these venues? And do you have a Plan B in case the plane is late? Does your hotel have a concierge service?

If modern art is your thing, then the Guggy is probably a must see. We always did our "musts" first so we wouldn't be disappointed if we ran out of time. Please report back about how it goes.
TDudette is online now  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 02:15 PM
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I agree that you are pre-planning too much. apart from booking the Basilica which I would definitely try to see, perhaps later in the day, I would not book anything else. There are as others have said so many wonderful things to see in Venice that you can do without booking, it seems a shame to spend time waiting in queues and being inside when you could be wandering around enjoying being outside and perhaps popping into the odd church or palace.

One idea that I do like is to hop off the vaporetto at the Rialto Bridge and head over to the market. Even at lunch time there will be plenty to see though the best fish will probably have gone. When I was there about 3 weeks ago there was a fantastic sword fish on display at one of the fish stalls and the range of fruit and veg has to be seen to be believed.

Then get back on the vaporetto and go down to San Marco. If you buy a 24 hour ticket [don't forget to stamp it when you use it for the first time] you can use the vaporetti all day long and as much as you like, so from Santa Maria della Salute you could get the boat over to the Isola di San Giorgio where there is a beautiful Palladian church, and a campanile as good as the one in Saint Mark's square but with far fewer people trying to climb it. no need to book, just turn up. Then you can get another boat back over to the Zattere and sit in the sunshine eating an ice-cream. Then wander back to your hotel through the back streets of Dorsodoro, Santa Croce and San Polo. It will be easy to find as you just follow the signs painted on the sides of buildings saying "Ferrovia" [station] - the Piazzale Roma is on the way.

I was slightly intrigued by your mention of having dinner by the Guglie bridge - I stayed near there during my trip and though I found a couple of good restaurants, [and my hotel recommended a few more] I wonder what the attraction is for you. It seems a bit out of the way seeing that you are staying on P. Roma but I'm sure you have your reasons.
annhig is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 04:57 PM
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Sadly, I agree with the others that this itinerary is overly optimistic. I think you need to prioritize what are your one or two priorities and fit in a few others if you have time. I wouldn't schedule tickets at St. Mark's until at least 1 pm or even later. If you get there early, there is plenty to see strolling around the square.
KTtravel is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 06:59 PM
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So much great advice, some of this is repetitive for emphasis.
First though, a question. What are you planning for the next day, cruise departure day? I have not heard of any ship departing before 4:30 (many are a bit later, some as late as 8:00 pm), so check in by 2:00 - 2:30 for the early departure. That gives you several more hours that day to explore. Get up early and you have at least 5 or 6 hours.

Three choices.
Leave your luggage at the hotel and retrieve it on your way to the ship.
Put luggage in storage at the train station, but check hours and allow for a wait retrieving it.
Go ahead and take luggage to ship and drop it off. Head out and return in time to check in.

The big issue with your itinerary is that it is so much an agenda of sights that it misses the heart and soul of Venice, just being there and absorbing it. That takes time to take a breath.

1. Unless you are a beyond belief lover of modern art, skip the Guggenheim.
2. The Rialto is crowded and busy, but unique and beautiful. See it first.
3. Walk to San Marco. I do think it is worth the time to see Inside and to go up to the outside area of San Marco. Therefore, if you are going to have the morning of the cruise departure day, book it for early that day. If not, make it late afternoon your arrival day.
4. Check with a Gondolier in the morning as to best time for back canals. I know nothing about tide times, but sometimes it is too high for them to get under the smaller/lower bridges on the small canals. 50 minutes is the longest ride usually. If you are not too tired to enjoy it, and timing is good for water level, do the gondola ride after Rialto and before San Marco.
5. Skip going up in the Campanile. It is a beautiful view, but takes too much precious time that, IMHO, is better spent walking and touching Venice close up.
6. If you have time to wander over to Dorsoduro, to Santa Maria Della Salute, etc. it is away from crowds and has wonderful views.
7. After dark, do a last vaporetto ride down the Grand Canal when everything is all alight and you can see in the windows of grand palazzos.

Honestly, If you visit Rialto, take a gondola ride, see San Marco, do the evening vaporetto and walk around on a jet lagged day, that will be a lot!
Sassafrass is online now  
Mar 4th, 2018, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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One other are going in June which is the height of tourist season (though Venice now feels like its high season year round with the crowds of people that envelop the city). If your day to be there is on a weekend, so much worse. Just fighting thru the crowds will exhaust more time than you think.
nygvic0326 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2018, 09:47 PM
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Is this realistic? Well if the planets align perfectly, the weather is fine, you pick a day with no cruise liners, it might just work.
I would forget the San Marco campanile. The view from there is mostly tile roofs, not a whole lot else. But if you are near Rialto, on the San Marco side, to the left of the bridge, is a department store, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Take the escalator to the top floor, and go onto the roof deck. A great view up and down the Grand Canal.

3/4 hour from touchdown to exit at Marco Polo is an absolute minimum.
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Mar 5th, 2018, 07:18 AM
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Hi Peter - Rats - I must have walked right past it. Next time!!!
annhig is offline  
Mar 5th, 2018, 07:57 AM
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If you want to go to the roof of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi it is better to book in advance then to just show up, if you have limited time. Just showing up they might give you a time slot for much later and tell you to come back. You can book the time slot here.
Maybe book it for sometime before the gondola, when the light is nice.

The terrace has great views but please do not be put off by the mall, its like being in a mall in Las Vegas, no offense to Las Vegas.
rialtogrl is offline  
Mar 5th, 2018, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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I happen to LOVE the Peggy Guggenheim home

It is site to behold if you are a student of contemporary art as this was Peggy Guggenheim's personal home.
She was friends with all these artists whose works you will see upon entering her home.
Just walking thru the back Garden , you see a sculpture by Henri Moore and that's just the beginning..
We saw this museum 20 yrs only by accident as it really wasn't listed as a top priority of museums to see..But a shopkeeper
told us the home was 5 min from us and we did it..It's amazing to just see all this art up close and personal but to have
imagined someone friendly with these artists and the art and furniture was made for her to live with blew me away.
Personally I would NOT miss this as you are walking literally thru a home vs a large museum with paintings on the walls.
We are going back in Sept and will take a slower walk thru the home...Please's a treat.
AndySSS is offline  

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