Venice worth it? 2 or 3 nights?

Old Aug 11th, 2015, 06:17 AM
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A friend and I went stayed a few nights in Venice in 2012. Another friend had recommended a particular hotel (and highly recommended a room with a window). We stayed and absolutely loved it. We are going again in October 2015 and considered staying at another hotel, not because we weren't happy the last time, but just to experience something different. I went to TripAdvisor and got a list of the top 120 hotels in Venice. I then went to every hotel website and started eliminating hotels based on price, location, reviews, etc. We wanted to be close to either Piazza San Marco or the Rialto Bridge and we wanted a room with a window on a busy canal so that we could see and hear the gondolas go by and hear them singing, maybe playing the accordion. We considered that to be a big part of our experience last visit. Anyway, we narrowed it down to about 5 hotels that met our criteria (in our budget) and we ended up picking the same hotel as last trip. We know we won't be disappointed. It's your preference whether you want to be where the action is or someplace more quiet. I do highly recommend a room with a window on a somewhat busy canal. Our hotel is along the same canal as the Bridge of Sighs.

Also, be sure to visit Piazza San Marco late at night. My favorite memory of the last trip was being in the Piazza at 11pm/midnight, hearing the orchestras at the restaurants, watching couples dancing in the square, a painter painting the Cathedral, friends laughing. Just observe what's around you and take it all in - it's an unforgettable experience. I'm looking forward to doing that again.

Enjoy getting lost in the alleyways. You never know what you'll discover at the other end.
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 09:22 AM
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Bean6278, your description of San Marco sans crowds is as magical as the experience.

Our first experience of Venice was arriving at San Marco in the fog after midnight. Not something we will ever forget.
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 09:28 AM
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let's address the order of your trip first.

flying into and out of Rome, it makes sense to put the Rome part of your trip at the end so that you are in the right place for your return flight. so that bit is fine.
But IMO if you are going to include Venice, I would go there first from Rome which means that you spend the day when you are most likely to be suffering from jet lag dozing on the train.

I believe that you can get trains there straight from Fiumicino now, instead of having to go to Termini which is another reason for doing this - though most of the trains require you to change at Tibertina; anyway, here's the website:

from there, head to Florence, then Sorrento [again, direct train between Florence and Naples] then back to Rome.

then the big question - Venice or not? I wonder what the people who have given mixed reviews of Venice didn't like about it? IME the longer you stay, the more you like it, because you have the time to get away from the hordes of cruise passengers that crowd into San Marco, so I would favour 3- 4 nights. [actually I favour 3 weeks, but that's another thread].

it then won't take you very long to get back to Florence so even with 3 nights you will have 2 ½ days. if you want to spend a day in tuscany, then you really need 4 nights, so you will probably have to take one back from Venice.

hope that helps!
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 10:11 AM
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I once took 5 visitors to Venice who didn't enjoy themselves.

They really like fancy restaurants and the price/quality in Venice wasn't pleasing to them.

They enjoy lots of wine and found navigating Venice impossible when slightly tipsy.

They take taxis in other cities, and hated using the vaporetti. Not public transport people.

I arranged a taxi boat to dinner for them and they hated that the water dock at their hotel wasn't usable that night, and they hated walking to the vap stop to get the taxi, and they hated being dropped off away from the actual restaurant, and they hated climbing in and out of the boat.

They went in San Marco, but no other churches or museums.

There you have reasons why some people I know didn't like Venice.

Me, I've lost count of my trips and I'm returning in October. However, the Biennale may be my favorite event ever. Better than the Super Bowl for me.

We are all so different.

I usually don't plan a trip to Italy that includes cities or areas both north and south of Rome.
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 11:05 AM
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You are spreading yourselves so thin and shortchanging each location. Of course Venice is "worth it." Three nights is a bare minimum for this special city.
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 12:11 PM
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As with most things its a matter of to each his own. Venice is a must see for me and I'd do 3 nights. I agree with the post that with only four days in Florence and Tuscany you won't have time to see much.

On our last trip we flew into Rome (4 nights)... trained to Tuscany (4 nights)... rented a villa and a car and drove the Hill Towns...dropped the car and trained to Cinque Terra (3 nights)... trained to Venice for 3 nights then flew home. Chose Cirque Terra over the Amalfi Coast for logistical reasons.
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 02:19 PM
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I'm another who would put Venice as the very top of places I've seen so far in my lifetime. For me personally it would come in above anything else on your list. I have only been there twice, for 5 days each time, and would return in a heartbeat if I could.
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 04:09 PM
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Now that you've decided to visit Venice -- and it is a very special place! -- you might consider dropping Sorrento from your itinerary. That way you should have time to visit the highlights of Rome, Florence, and Venice. Just a thought!
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 04:31 PM
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I'm glad you've decided to go to Venice, but in response to other comments in this thread, while I don't claim to speak for everybody who doesn't enjoy Venice, I can say from my own experience that my liking it less and less every time I go (and I didn't particularly like it in the first visit) has nothing to do with not spending enough time there, or with crowds, or with not liking public transporation (I don't own a car) or with preferring fancy restaurants.

I can easily see why millions and millions of people visit Venice and want to go back, but I also fully understand why other travel destinations -- and in particular other Italian destinations -- would be ones many of us cherish and yearn to go back to miles ahead of Venice. And there are millions of us too!

I am tempted to say to those who have spent years being puzzled by negative reactions to Venice: You should get out more.
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 04:39 PM
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(PS: I think what some of you are missing is that many people simply don't like what Venice is -- and not just what it has become, which I hope most of us can agree is awful, but what it has been in the past as well. It doesn't stop people from appreciating the many achievements of Venetian craft and art, and its lovely watery setting -- also, some people apparently really have no way anymore to escape motor traffic and yet be safe at the same time unless they travel to Venice, so they probably feel very releived there. Just a guess. But people who don't like what Venice is don't enjoy spending a lot of time there -- wheares Italy is overflowing with places that they adore. They just have a different take on what's beautiful on the planet than the people who rank Venice very highly do, and their take is totally valid.)
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Old Jun 23rd, 2016, 10:56 AM
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FYI Fodorites-constantly commenting on people's length of vacation is 1) unenlightened (most Americans only have 2 weeks vacation per year) 2) unnecessary

I've seen this on so many threads and I find it unhelpful

People can't help the amount of vacation they have and commenting that you'd never take a trip that short yourself or it's a 'style choice' is poor form

Feel lucky you have more so much travel time that you get to feel sorry for those who don't and give constructive advice. I've had a few people pull this on me when I've asked for advice on 2 week trips also and I find it annoying, condescending and un-educated. That's the first slightly negative thing I've said on here also, because I find there to be no point to being negative on a travel help forum. But I think I finally found the ignorance about vacation time in other countries too hard to bear
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Old Jun 23rd, 2016, 10:59 AM
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So you decided to drag up a year old thread to bitch about Fodors?

weird . . .
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 09:16 AM
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I wondered why this oldie popped up again.
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 02:32 PM
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Brooke, I don't remember seeing replies consistently saying "your vacation is too short," but rather "you're trying to do too much in the time you have." Those are different opinions. But I assume when someone asks for comments on their plans that they are open to the possibility of well-meaning but critical appraisal. Maybe I'm wrong. Either way, the OP is free to disregard comments or cherry-pick the ones they like.... I do think the occasional bicker-fest as if there were prizes to the 'winner' to be rather unhelpful.
Jean is online now  
Old Jun 24th, 2016, 05:30 PM
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While it is true that american generally have less vacation time that europeans that is not a universal truth - given the number of travelers who are retired, teachers with the summer off or people who have more vacation (my last job I got too weeks). In any case, americans can by putting together 2 weeks, 3 weekends and a monday holiday get 17 days. Or if they want to take a day or two without pay even more.

And agree that I don;t see a lot of people saying "your vacation is too short" (unless it's someone trying to do europe in 4 or 5 days) but that they are trying to do too much in the time that they have.
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