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One night in Venice

Hello again everyone. As I continue to plan for my December trip to Florence, I'm considering taking the train up to Venice and spending one night there. I'm still thinking about the best way to pack for an overnight, knowing I'll probably have to carry my things with me unless wherever I stay will let me store them there. I wondered if you could recommend a place to stay for one night. It would be wonderful to have a view of the canal, but since it's just one night, I don't know if that will be possible. I haven't done much research on Venice yet, but I'd like to visit Murano and Burano and see the square all lit up. I like the idea of wandering the streets, enjoying the architecture and soaking up the ambience.

That's about a 3 hour trip on the train one way, correct? Once I get there, is it possible to walk to the city center?

Also, not directly related to Venice, but a general question, I would assume that in December everyone will be wearing masks on public transit, correct?

Thank you for any suggestions!

Posted by
1842 posts

When getting your train ticket, be sure to specify the Venezia Santa Lucia train station, NOT Venezia Mestre. The Venezia S.L. Station is right on the Grand Canal, in the heart of things.

Posted by
10290 posts

Can you possibly spend two nights? I think you will enjoy it more. The trip to Murano and Burano is not complete without adding in Torcello, IMO. Just pack one change of clothes, minimal toiletries, and nightwear, if you can, in a small carryall or backpack. It might help to know your entire itinerary so we can advise if you should make Venice a stop on your way somewhere else, or a side trip from Florence as you seem to want to do.

We liked the hotel Ca’Angeli, right on the canal and not a bad walk from the vaporetto. They have a very nice staff, breakfast, and a 24 hour front desk.

Yes, it is about 3 hours one way to Venice SMN. You can take a vaporetto, a sort of water bus, to a stop convenient to your hotel as mentioned above.

Italy has not decided, to my knowledge, whether to extend the mask requirement past September 30. We wore them the whole time we were there. Now we are in Switzerland and we are in the minority as mask-wearers. You have to do what you feel comfortable with. We have not had COVID and this late in the game would like to avoid it at least until the current trip is over so we where masks.

Posted by
156 posts

Thank you for the responses. I’ll be in Florence, arriving December 7 and leaving the 16th. My daughter in law is flying over to join me December 9-12. We’ll probably do a day trip to Siena while she’s here. I thought about going up to Venice when she leaves on the 12th, but will probably leave early the next morning. I’m flying into and out of Florence. I really just want to get a taste of Venice this visit, so two nights might be too much.

Posted by
186 posts

Two nights is NOT too much . . . it will make you want to return for many more nights/days. Having been to Florence, Naples, Sorrento, Rome, Siena, Montepulchiano and Venice (among other spots in Italy), I cannot stress enough the magic of Venice. Once you surrender (and even revel in?) the fact that you WILL get lost, the place will begin to share its secrets and its magic. While I have never been in December, the possibility of fewer tourist throngs can only add to its mystery and romance. I cannot imagine settling for only one night.

Posted by
1842 posts

You may be underestimating how long it takes to visit Burano, Torcello, etc. To do that, and also appreciate the city, more nights would be better if you can do that.

Posted by
81 posts

very doable. leave florence at 8am.

leave luggage at hotel by 12pm. Stay near San Marco sq. We stayed at RS recommended Hotel Flora. Very cozy.

Enjoy the area.

See Venice early the next morning with no tourists around - its magical.

Head back to Florence. Easy.

Only thing is Murano/Burano might not happen in 1 day. It takes atleast 1 afternoon to see those places, including 45 min on travel each way.

Posted by
3374 posts

A couple of caveats. Venice can be very cold in December. We actually experienced snow flurries once when we were there. Also, it will be getting dark quite early.

Posted by
40 posts

I was just there in May/June, spent 4 nights in Florence and 3 in Venice, and wish it had vice versa! Venice is so magical, I absolutely loved it, so much so, that I'm returning next year for 3 weeks (I really want to explore it all as well as the surrounding areas)....plus, I found a very inexpensive place near St. Mark's Square!

Anyways, I walked from the train station down to St. Mark's Square as my hotel was near there....I thoroughly enjoyed the walk although there were areas (Rialto Bridge, etc.) that were very congested. I had my carry on bag with me and had to lift it up and down the many steps along the way, but it wasn't an issue for me, just keep it in mind! I went on a walking tour of the Jewish Ghetto which was interesting etc., and also went out on a tour of Murano and Burano (that took at least 4-5 hours I believe). I also went to an Opera at the Opera House! and I did a sunset tour (v. Viator, it was well worth the 25 euros. I stayed at Gio & Gio which I loved, I had a balcony overlooking one of the many smaller canals and got to watch the gondolas and other boats go up and down throughout the day.

I used Google Maps whenever I ventured out, it worked great! It uses up a lot of batter though so make sure to take a portable charger with you. (I have T-Mobile with unlimited texting and data, even in Europe)...I also used the Trenitalia app all the time!

Have fun!

Posted by
40 posts

p.s. when went to Cinque Terre from Milan, I asked the people at the hotel if I could store one of my bags there while I was in CT for 4 days (I cut that visit by one day from 5-4 so that I could spend the night in Milan so that I could store the bag at the hotel I'd be returning to)....it worked for me!

Posted by
156 posts

From reading the various replies, I almost wonder if it's even worth going to Venice. I definitely wouldn't want to stay more than one night. I secured a lovely Airbnb in Florence overlooking the Duomo and I'm looking forward to evenings there, wandering the city and seeing the lights. Maybe I'll save Venice for another trip.

Posted by
10290 posts

KRS, sounds like Firenze is going to be your special place this trip and that Venice should be for next time when you can find a great place to stay there and plan your days without rushing.

Posted by
156 posts

I think you're right Laurel. It's funny, I want to see so much of the world and Europe in particular, but there's only so much time and money and there are still so many places in just Italy alone that I want to visit. I should really have started traveling more when I was younger!

Posted by
5371 posts

Let me try to encourage you to stay with your one-night-in-Venice plan, so you'll know whether you want to return there someday or whether the taste is enough. I fell unexpectedly in love with Venice over several days a few years ago, but it's not for everyone. I would discourage you from using valuable time for Murano and Burano on such a short trip. Find a hotel a short distance from Santa Lucia station so you won't have to take bags very far. Then walk south into the city, aiming for Rialto and San Marco, understanding that it won't be a straight line. You might want to invest 25 euro in a 24-hour vaporetto pass, which will let you cover more "ground" and get off your feet any time you tire of walking. A guidebook or the "Explore Europe" link on this website can help you decide what sights to see, or you can just wander and soak it in. It's true that December will be cold and days shorter, but there should also be far smaller numbers of visitors, a big bonus.

Of course two nights in Venice is better, three better still, and so on up. But the city's compactness, and the uniqueness of its streets and canals, makes even a short visit worthwhile.

Posted by
152 posts

I also think with 9 nights you have enough time to devote 1 day & 1 night to Venice to get a flavor of it. If you make it 2 nights/1 full day there you will not regret it and then have enough time to get out to an island, maybe two. With only 1 night I think you should skip the islands. I just got back from 20 nights in Italy, 5 of them in Venice and I caution you about underestimating the time it takes to get around. I’ve been there 7 times and I still got on the wrong vaporetto line going the wrong way the first day 😆. Because of the current energy problems in Europe the squares and buildings normally lit at night were very dimly lit or not at all. I was sad to see San Marco square not its normal sparkling self and there were major repairs going on in front of the church with barrier fences around the facade. If you are rushed and figuring out how it all works in such a short time you may not find its charms. There are many hotels on the Grand Canal so maybe splurge on one so you have the pleasure of watching the boat traffic when you are resting. Have a great trip!

Posted by
114 posts

Guys, she asked some questions about Venice. Not if one night is enough. So many people do this on this forum. Some people have no problem spending one night in place, let it go. We spent 2 nights in Venice and that was more than enough. If you only want to spend one night, then spend one night. You know yourself best.

Posted by
5833 posts

We have been to Venice several times and love it. However, it is very expensive. You can save by staying in the area near the Santa Lucia train station. Since Venice is very walkable, you don't need to stay across from St.Marks.