Venice or Florence?

Apr 9th, 2016, 08:23 PM
Original Poster
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Venice or Florence?

First time trip to Italy. 10 day trip in June, 5 days in Rome and trying to decide between Venice and Florence for the remaining 5 days. Thinking we could do some day trips from Florence which might get us away from what I have read as throngs of tourists. Having said that we do realize that we are travelling in the heavy tourist season. Any suggestions or advice?
melaly is offline  
Apr 9th, 2016, 08:43 PM
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You can't really go wrong, either way!

Florence is closer to Rome (some people make it a day trip, but it is worth a multiple day stay) and you do have access to the smaller Tuscan towns. However these might also be crowded, especially since they are not as spread out. Some are packed with tourists. Tuscany might be a good option if you will have a car and are particularly interested in art/renaissance.

Venice is a unique place and a great option if you will be using the train. You could spend 5 days there but you don't really need that many. If you choose Venice you could add a day to Rome. It's big and takes time to navigate and soak up the Roman vibe, find your favorite pizzeria and gelateria, etc.
mocha_dolce is offline  
Apr 9th, 2016, 11:22 PM
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It depends what grabs you - if it's renaissance art, then it'd be Florence.

But in a nutshell, Florence is a wonderful city, like many wonderful European cities. And it's closer.

But Venice is totally, utterly unique, not like anywhere else worldwide, my vote (if I hadn't been to both many times) would be Venice, no contest.

Rome-Florence only takes 3h45 these days by 186mph / 130mph train with fares from €29 each way if you book ahead at either or competitor Italo,

Mind you, I'd be tempted to stop off at Florence, even for a few hours to wander , just to get a feel for the place and its architecture - you can always come back on another trip if it grabs you.

Indeed, I personally would get more value from 2 days Florence, 3 days Venice, than 5 days Venice.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2016, 12:38 AM
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If your aim is to get away from the tourist crowds, Florence and Venice don't make much difference. In my experience Venice has more possibilities to escape them. Walk two streets from the San Marco or the Accademia, and you have found your peace.
Whether five days Venice is too much, it's yours to find out. If so, worthwhile day trips can be made to Padua (Padova) and Vicenza. Both are around the corner and can be reached by frequent and cheap regionale trains.
And it's Venice which is 3h45 from Rome, not Florence.
tonfromleiden is offline  
Apr 10th, 2016, 01:50 AM
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Lots of people have been disappointed in either Florence or Venice, so I would choose carefully for 5 days. It is easy to escape the huge tourist crowds in both cities with only a little planning, either with day trips or just going to a quieter corner of the cities, so pprobably better to root your decision on your own travel interests & values rather than the travel interests & values of people you don't know, even if they've traveled to Italy frequently. Wild horses couldn't drag me to Venice in high tourist season with summer heat but others would have reasons for wanting to go and make a beeline for it.

Libraries often have a variety of guidebooks and given how expensive it is to travel, and it wouldn't be extravagant to get buy a small guidebook that is dedicated to each city, since you will be there for 5 days, and discuss between the two of you which attracts you both more.

For so many days in either city it can be nice to rent an air conditioned apartment.
sandralist is offline  
Apr 10th, 2016, 03:26 AM
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Exactly how many nights do you have in Italy? Rome to Venice is 3:45 min a part by train. Man in seat is an expert on European trains but made a typo here. I would advise against stopping for a few hours in Florence. We once took the early train from Venice to Florence and spent the day before moving onto Rome.
None of us could remember much about Florence after a few years. Two nights in Florence and Three in Venice plus 5 nights in Rome is reasonable.
mjs is offline  
Apr 13th, 2016, 10:42 PM
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If you have ten nights, then I would suggest 5 Rome, 2 nights in Florence and finish in Venice for 3.

One of the beauties of Italy is the incredible differences between these cities. The only consideration, in my humble opinion, is mobility. If you have mobility issues, then stick to two cities (Rome 7 and Florence 3) and come back to see Venice on another trip.

Have a great trip!
sarge56 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 01:42 AM
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Oh that's a really tough decision to make! Please go both places if you have a chance! They're both splendid! However if there's absolutely no chance to go both cities, I would go to VENICE...

No words can describe the beauty and the magic that's in the air.
I don't wanna go deep into where to go and what to see there, but if you need some advice here's a nice article with all info you may need:

I wish I could go there again...
Have an unforgettable trip!
pegnotten is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 04:27 AM
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I've been to both Florence and Venice. Train from Rome to Florence then train to Venice. I see no problem doing both. Venice can be seen in two days and two or three days in Florence . I flew out of Venice on my last trip with the earlier a train back to Rome. The trains traveling at 250 klms ph. Both are completely different but Venice so so special
bogarts is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 05:31 AM
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You can squeeze in both. But if you have to make a choice, all I'll say is: Florence is very nice, but Venice is unique.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 06:48 AM
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I agree with man_in_seat_61. I prefer Venice to Florence....but think you should, at the very least, drop your bags at the station and tool around Florence for a few hours. And you probably won't want to stay in Venice for a full five days. So, I would consider either adding another day to Rome (maybe do some day trips?...Pompeii, Ostia Antica, Villa D'Este)....or spend 1-2 nights in Florence and 3-4 in Venice. Florence is nice, but it won't stay with you like Venice does. An amazing place.
uncfan is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 07:08 AM
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If I had to choose, my choice would be Venice, even thou I have been there more than 20 times...

Best option as some members suggested, I think, would be: 5 days in Rome, than 2 in Florence and 3 in Venice...

Or even 4 day in Rome in favor option taking a trip to Pompei/Naples for example. I know I would do this for sure if it was me
anchyangel is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 08:06 AM
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The train so so fast and Florence is one the way from Rome to Venice that you can easily do all three.

Rome-Florence: 1:31
Florence-Venice: 2:05

5-3-2, 5-2-3 or 4-3-3, depends on whether you take morning trains or afternoon trains.
traveller1959 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 09:15 AM
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IMO THE problem here is that the OP has said absolutely nothing about any interests; the only thing heard has been about the tourist throng.

There is plenty of art in Venice; not as much as is in Florence, obviously, but still enough for some. It would be easy to skip one of the two cities enttirely based on what things interest you.

And then there's the five days in Rome. Why that many?

Sorry, people are trying to help but without knowing why you even want to go to either of these cities, it is all conjecture.
Dukey1 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 09:44 AM
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Venice! Venice Venice Venice!!
suze is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 10:28 AM
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OK - there will be throngs of people in all major tourist cities in Italy in June. May not be so obvious in Rome since it's a larger city but the major tourist sights will be mobbed.

Agree that we are trying to work blind here. Some people like Florence, some Venice, many both - but until you tell us what interests you how can e help.

What are you major interests?

Are their particular sights that are must sees?
Ancient ruins/archeological sites?
Vatican/religious sights?
Churches for architecture or artwork?
What type of art (early roman, pre-renaissance, renaissance, gothic, baroque , modern???)
Museums with art? Or history?
Fine dining?
Small hill towns?
Biking and hiking?
People watching?
Cafe sitting?

If you can give us some clues we can make better recos.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 26th, 2016, 12:41 PM
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Both.. as I would not schedule 5 days in either of them.. 2-3 days does it for me.. but.. that is my tastes...
justineparis is offline  

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