What to do in Venice and Florence?

Aug 17th, 2012, 03:44 PM
  #1  
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What to do in Venice and Florence?

Hi All,

Im flying in a couple of days to Italy and will be staying for 3 nights in each of Venice and FLorence.

What are the must-do and must see's? Your help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Kiwier is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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What enticed you to go there?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:07 PM
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1. Read the destination guides on Fodor's:
http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/italy/florence/
http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/italy/venice/

2. Search the forums and read some trip reports:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ly-trip-report.

3. Post more information on this thread and tell us what interests YOU in general (love/hate art, photography hiking, scenery, shopping relaxing) as well as any must sees on YOUR list ("I must ride in a gondola. I have to see Michelangelo's David.")

We want to help you create the best itinerary for YOUR interests.
ellenem is online now  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:09 PM
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what do you mean? im going for a holiday
Kiwier is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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ok basically i would like to do some hiking, shopping, swimming if possible and scenary.
Kiwier is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:12 PM
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I think bob means what made you choose these two locations from all the thousands of places to go in the world? What attracted you to them? If we know your interests we can help with better suggestions.
michele_d is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:14 PM
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Ooops...posting at the same time. There is no hiking in either of these two cities, or swimming to my understanding. Are you sure you want to stay in these cities and not out in the country where you can hike and swim and enjoy beautiful scenery? You can really only enjoy shopping in these cities.
michele_d is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Agree that there is no hiking in either city and obviously no swimming in Florence. As for Venice - there is swimming off the Lido - but the water isn;t very pleasant.

And you don;t mention when you're going - will it even be swimming weather.

the scenery will be cityscapes and the shopping will be very expensive - but great quality if you have big bucks.

I think the point is you decided to go to these cities. There must be some reason why. If you tell us we can be more help.

And these aren;t places I would go if I didn't have a significant interest in Italian History and art - as well as fine dining.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:25 PM
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Florence is the birthplace or Renaissance art, and Venice, aside from being such a beautiful city, is full of wonderful churches filled with paintings and sculpture. So, the "must sees" in both cities is Art (painting and sculpture) and Architecture (churches, cathedrals, basilicas).

If hiking, swimming and beautiful scenery is what you are looking for, these two cities might not be what you want. Look at the lakes area, CT or Amalfi instead.
Sassafrass is online now  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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If you click on your name you will see the comments/suggestions on a similar thread you started. I hope you are taking a Fodor's Italy book with you to read along the way as it has many suggestions for Venice and Florence. Have a great trip. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 06:40 PM
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You want to hike and swim? Have you done any research at all? What are you thinking? Get a guidebook and see what the possibilities are.
StCirq is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 09:14 PM
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Reminds me of a soft skills class I once took in Maine.

I asked the facilitator 'what are we supposed to do?'.

He said 'What do you want to do?'.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 09:32 PM
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Never visit places just because they're famous or everyone else says they're great. They need to appeal to you personally.

Grab any guide book for a list of the highlights of Florence and Venice. And then wander around aimlessly and see if you can find places that appeal to you that aren't on the tourist trail.
dreamon is online now  
Aug 18th, 2012, 02:36 AM
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ok, Kiwier, if you're going in 2 days, learning that there's no swimming and hiking in Venice and Florence is not going to be helpful, though it is more or less accurate.

Venice - you can swim on the Lido - it has a beach, and at one or two of the very swish hotels if that's where you are staying. you can also get a boat out to the island of Torcello and walk round it, [worth going for the mosaics in the 1000+ year old Basilica, IMO] and walk round Venice as well of course, but there's no hiking as such. your guide book/s will doubtless give you some ideas of what to see there, but I would definitely ensure that the islands were part of it.

in Florence you have more hiking but fewer swimming opportunities [unless there is a pool at your hotel of course]. one possibility is to get the bus up to Fiesole where you can walk up to teh monastery of san franscisco and then walk down to the roman amphitheatre and museum through the gardens, [and then you can also walk back down to Florence if you like]

the other possibility is to walk up to the Piazzale Michelangelo above Oltrarno, and then keep walking up to the churches on the hillside. I'm sure that the TI will also have some other ideas or you could try google, but there is plenty of walking to be done around the centre of Florence itself, if you are going to see all the sights.

remember that it will be hot, and you should carry some water with you and sunscreen at all times.
annhig is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 03:03 AM
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I'm really surprised to hear there is no hiking around Florence. I would have sworn I've done it lots and lots and lots of times. Easiest place to get to Fiesole. Take the bus from the center of Florence and walk from Fiesole to Settignano and take the bus back. Or just walk through Boboli gardens.

Problem is the heat wave Italy is now experiencing, which may send you flying to the beach as fast as you can get there. Best trains from Florence to the beach at Viareggio are under 90 minutes. Personally, I would go after lunch, or in the early morning, not midday.

Another possibility is to do a day spa at Montecatini Terme. Lots of swimming pools and an easy train ride from Florence. Take the old funicular up to the old town for a cocktail.

Or consider taking a one hour train ride to Certaldo and hike to the upper town if you don't mind the heat and prefer a pretty small town with pretty country views.

For Venice, hiking over all those bridges will be a good workout for the legs. Unfortunately, all the nice beaches require a car to get to them. But you might enjoy a breezy boat trip across the lagoon to the colorful island of Burano as a break if you get weary of the crowds in Venice.
matera2019 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 06:23 AM
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Here's a link to a series of suggested hikes through the hills close to Florence. cClick BOTH links at the bottom of the page. The "description" describes the routes in detail ("Turn at the corner of Via Garibaldi" and so forth), while the "documento.pdf" link shows a very UNdetailed map.

http://www.firenzeturismo.it/en/terr...ance-ring.html
ellenem is online now  
Aug 18th, 2012, 07:48 AM
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ellenem - thanks for posting the link to that website - really good information there, which I have bookmarked for my next trip.
annhig is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 08:11 AM
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The hike that seemed easiest to do in my opinion was the one from La Certosa to Piazzale Michelangelo. On my last trip to florence, I visited the Certosa and so scoped out part of the route. Pat in through a town, but then then the route goes over the hills--fun to follow on satellite view of Google maps!
ellenem is online now  
Aug 18th, 2012, 09:21 AM
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PaRt is through a town . . .
ellenem is online now  
Aug 18th, 2012, 10:38 AM
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Kiwier, I don't want to be negative but my response was the same as the initial ones above - why have you decided to go to places when you apparently don't know anything about them? Had you heard about certain aspects which appealed to you - in which case you'll presumably be covdering those. Otherwise, just get a guidebook to Italy and read it on the plane to see what you fancy. 3 nights or 2 full days in each is not much so you certainly won't be short of things to do, even if you just stick to the top 4-6 attractions which most first-time visitors to each city do.
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