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Can't Wait Jan 8th, 2003 09:22 AM

Will Seeing Venice First Put A Damper On The Rest?
For first timer to Europe, if I see Venice first, everything else be a letdown, you know just not measure up? I know Venice is unique and every place is not Venice and that every place should be appreciated for it's own. I'd like your take on it.

elaine Jan 8th, 2003 09:33 AM

There are some who post here who don't like Venice much, but they seem to be in a minority. We're all strangers; hard to say that what I like is what you would like.<BR><BR>Here's my reaction<BR>I went to Venice after having been to several other locations in Italy and in Europe. I fell in love with it. It is still #1 in my heart, even slightly ahead of my beloved Paris. But it's impossible for me to compare fairly other cities to Venice. For one thing, it is particularly unique, being in and around water, but secondly, every city really IS different. It doesn't mean that I didn't love Rome or London or..., Actually, I love most places I go to and I tend to want to return to most places I've been. So loving Venice doesn't keep me from really liking other places. I hope you feel the same.

K Jan 8th, 2003 09:36 AM

NO! Venice is beautiful, but so are a lot of other cities. I loved Florence more than Venice, and I went to Florence directly FROM Venice! <BR><BR>Venice is so unique that when I go to other places, it never really occurs to me to compare them on an overall basis. However, in my first day or two in Rome I thought it was SO hectic, because of all the traffic (vs. no traffic in Venice), but once I got used to that, I loved Rome as well. <BR><BR>If you ask what peoples' favorite city in Europe is, you will get hundreds of different answers, even if they've been to Venice.<BR><BR>Go, have fun, and look forward to many return trips to Europe. <BR><BR>Karen

Ann Jan 8th, 2003 09:42 AM

I think you bring up a good point, one that I had not thought of before. Yes, I think I would save Venice to the last of my trip, if I were to do my first Italy trip over again. To me it is the Grand Finale, you can relax and just take in the ambiance after seeing all the rest of your places.<BR>Good idea.

Rex Jan 8th, 2003 09:43 AM

I agree with Elaine that loving Venice doesn't diminish the experience of other places.<BR><BR>Having cheesecake on Tuesday has no bearing on the enjoyment of a steak on Wednesday, nor a pizza on Thursday.<BR><BR>But I would worry a little about putting Venice as the first day off the plane. I typically think that certain &quot;middle-of-the-road&quot; destinations make the most sense while you're getting through that first day's sleep deprivation/time-zone adjustment.<BR><BR>For that very reason, I have made this recommendation for how to see the &quot;big three&quot; in Italy.<BR><BR>Day 0 - departure<BR>Day 1 - arrive Milan, map on 2.5 hr train ride to Florence; night 1 there.<BR>Day 2 through &quot;x&quot; - in Tuscany<BR>Day &quot;x through y&quot; - in Venice, or possibly a day in between Tuscany and Venice in Verona.<BR>Day &quot;y through z&quot; - only now are you ready for the intensity of Rome.<BR><BR>Of course, there might be additional days scattered in before or after Rome, in other destinations.<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

dotti Jan 8th, 2003 09:49 AM

On my first trip to Italy we went to Venice first. Afterwards we said we wished we had gone there last because it was the most beautiful place ever.<BR>Also because it is a mellow place with no cars. It would have been more relaxing than Rome, which was our last stop.<BR>My travel companions and I tease all the time saying... &quot;After Italy we are going to be SO damn hard to please&quot;....

Sally Jan 8th, 2003 09:52 AM

Actually we love to go to Venice first. It is a great city to have jet-lag in. You can just walk out your hotel door and site see, shop, and eat- no decisions have to be made about transportation, and most Venetians speak English- very relaxing.<BR><BR>However, it can be crowded, especially on weekends, so as much as we love it, we are happy to go on to Tuscany or Lake Como for a break from all the tourist commotions. We enjoy alternating staying in large towns with a quiet few days in the country- the best of both worlds.

Howard Jan 8th, 2003 09:55 AM

I recommend saving Venice for the end, not because it's the best, but because it's a more relaxed/relaxing experience, especially after the hectic pace of a Rome and/or Florence.

pam Jan 8th, 2003 10:24 AM

I feel about Venice the way I feel about lingers. There will be other cities that might grab you in much the same way. Whatever you do..allow lots of time. Many people hit Venice for two or 3 days which hardly seems like enough time to really get a sense of its splendor. I think Paris is the same. We were inn Paris for 2 weeks..not long enough and Venice for one week-not long enough.

Grasshopper Jan 8th, 2003 10:29 AM

Funny, I don't find Venice relaxing. Quite the contrary. For my restful end to Italy I like Sorrento. For many trips to Europe I end with a one night stay in Paris (since I usually fly in and out of there) with just dinner at my favorite restaurant and a long leisurely wine evening at a sidewalk cafe.<BR><BR>Italy has so much dichotomy that there is little risk of not enjoying any one part for its own charms.

Can't Wait Jan 8th, 2003 11:23 AM

Loved your answers. Isn't it great that there really isn't only one right answer? I'm leaning toward the best for last, but having not been there it's impossible to know what that would be for me since best is different for different people. Good points made in maybe priority should be given to other things like the pace of things when dealing with jet lag, etc. Living at a fast pace, it usually takes me a day or so to wind down on a vacation to enjoy the rest. So maybe the fast pace places are best put first (but allow time to recover from jet lag) and end with the soft pace I have wound down to. I usually concur with popular opinion, but certainly respect alternative opinions since I have been one myself at times. Everyone raves over San Franciso, but it was a bad experience for me. My family walked up Lombardy St. which nearly killed me! They are in better shape and I and kept calling me to catch up. I'm in fairly good shape, but I thought I would have a heart attack! Waited 45 minutes in COLD wind to ride the cable car. Once inside, it was so crowded that my face was practically pressed against someone's butt rather than pressed against the glass marveling at the sights! Stayed at Fisherman's Wharf (mistake) in what I thought would be a sufficient hotel for the high price (knew prices are high so opted for a Holiday Inn type hoping for clean but no frills necessary this time). After a day I started seeing the grime and it only grew on me the next 4 days. In McDonald's (not in FW) a homeless man sat gazing at us from a nearby table and grabbed our leftover drinks almost before we left the table. Although I love really old buildings &amp; architecture, I saw too much housing on the bus tour that looked like they were built in the 70's and never updated. Depressing. I did enjoy the bus tour, and points south of SF. Don't know how I went wrong since I had a good guide book. I'm sure I missed many wonderful things and SF likely lives up to it's reputation. I just need to forget that trip and try it again the right way! I rarely if ever complain about a destination and have always wished to go back everywhere I have been. Oh, well!

Tina Jan 8th, 2003 11:33 AM

From reading your last post, I think you had better sit yourself down and have a talk with yourself. You are going to come across alot of frustrating situations on your trip to Europe and a relaxed/ready for anything/open minded/amused attitude is essential for a good trip. <BR>I have had the same situations on my trips that you had in SFO, so the best way I found is to write in a journal every night the &quot;interesting&quot; things that happened during the day. This and another way (talking it over with a good friend/spouse/whatever and laughing over it) is the only way you can really enjoy in spite of the pitfalls.<BR>My traveling partner and I have a column in the journal for the odd things that annoyed us and we write them down in a funny way, kind of like Irma Bombeck (remember her?)<BR>I know just what you mean about not always agreeing with the rest of the group, so have a private journal where you can write down these differences.<BR>I would hate to see your trip get ruined in any way!

sandi Jan 8th, 2003 12:11 PM

Our first family trip to Italy we wnet to Venice after 1 night in Verona. We were so captivated we thought about cancelling all the other reservations (2 weeks worth) to just stay there. We went on to Florence and were a little annoyed with the cars and scooters and noise in general..Venice can be very serene, especially at night. After a few days the feeling lightened a little but we often thought, during that trip, about running back to Venice.

Alan Jan 8th, 2003 12:22 PM

I don't think starting in Venice is a problem, since there are many other great sites you'll see afterward. <BR><BR>I do agree with those that suggest not ending an Italy trip in Rome. It's so big and hustle-bustle that it's not a relaxing ending. CT, the Lakes, a Tuscan farmhouse are all great and relaxing endings.

vgt Jan 9th, 2003 01:45 AM

very good thread.<BR>

Can't Wait Jan 9th, 2003 07:37 AM

Tina is right in that it is best to view negative experiences with a sense of humor. I'm sorry I wasn't able to convey that in my writing. I certainly don't blame anyone else or any place for my experiences. Although, squabbling pre-teens may have contributed to my disposition at the time. It was an enriching experience - the good, bad, and the ugly. Yes, Irma Bombeck makes me roll with laughter. Her books kept me sane between graduating from h.s. &amp; my first year in college. I was a very feminine 18 yr old blonde driving a red corvette. My dad worked for an oil co. on the north slope and I was to get one of those jobs offered to employees kids - hopefully an office job on the slope. Instead, I was sent to work manual labor on an offshore drilling rig in Alaska. Yikes! I was 1 of 2 females among 40 men. I hated it but survived the summer and am grateful now for having had the experience. AK is a beautiful place and got to see much more of it than the drilling rig.

Ellen Jan 9th, 2003 08:08 PM

Not as long as you realize that it could put a damper on things and then just don't let it. In all of Italy, Venice was the only city I RAN from in less than 24 hours. Could have been a combo of alot of things, but it didn't put a damper on the rest of my trip. Just made me appreciate it that much more.

Can't Wait Jan 9th, 2003 09:37 PM

Ellen,<BR>If you don't mind my asking, what was your experience with Venice? I'm curious because I have noticed a few posters who didn't care for Venice while an overwhelming majority not only liked it but were absolutely smitten!

Val Jan 10th, 2003 02:12 AM

Leave Venice until last, it is beautiful but as some previous posters have said it gets into your head, the whole atmosphere of the place and it stays with you and I dont think you will get the benefit of other locations.

Nutella Jan 10th, 2003 03:25 AM

Another vote for leaving Venice for last. Especially on your first trip to Europe, you are going to want to hit the ground running. (I couldn't bear the thought of finally being in Rome and not immediately running over to see the Collesseum, Trevi Fountain, etc.) As others said above, Venice will allow you to just soak in the atmosphere, take it easy, and provides a beautiful ending to your trip.

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