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Planning

Ciao!
This will be our first time heading to Europe. We are taking a 9 day Mediterrean Cruise out of Rome. Our Italian ports are Rome and Naples. We are coming to Italy 6 days before the cruise. We would like to visit Florence and Venice.
My questions are: what is the best airport to fly in? Should we use multiple home bases? Or should we stay in Rome and do day visits to Florence and Venice? Oh and we are traveling early May 2022. Thank you

Posted by
1858 posts

Sorry, but how far do you think Venice is from Rome? An high speed train will take you from Rome to Florence in 1 hour and 35 minutes, but it's a 4 hours train journey from Rome to central Venice.

You could fly in Venice Marco Polo Airport, stay in Venice and then take a train to Florence. A couple of days later take either a direct train from Florence to Civitavecchia or change in Rome. After the cruise, fly home from your port of landing. A map will show you that this way you can avoid backtracking and save the time needed to transfer from the airports to the city centers.

Posted by
1083 posts

Hi Tammy,

Welcome to the forums.

Seems like a straightforward trip. I would suggest flying into a Venice then work your way down south. Train to Florence and then train to Rome.

Have a great trip.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you Rocket! Flying into Venice makes sense! We can stay two nights in Venice and catch the train the following day to Florence. Stay over night or two there and take the train to the cruise port. On return from our cruise back to Rome we will spend another two nights there and explore the archeological sites! Thank you! I just needed a little reassurance on my planning. ☺️

Posted by
24623 posts

I'm glad it is coming together for you.

Both replies above are the best option in my eyes.

A day trip to Venice from anywhere isn't a good idea; a day trip from Rome to Venice is a nearly impossible day.

You are looking at the best choice.

Posted by
17869 posts

I know you have a lot of things you want to see in Italy before and after the cruise, but I have to point out that your plan of only two nights in Venice will give you just one full, reasonably non-jetlagged day there. Folks who spend just one day in Venice often don't like it much, because they are surrounded by the mob of other tourists all the time. Venice is magical if you allow yourself time to wander away from the crowds--something you'll hardly have time to do with such a short visit at the beginning of your trip when jetlag may be a major issue.

Can you manage an extra night or two in Europe so you can give Venice more time?

Posted by
1596 posts

I don't know your travel style, but for me, a couple of days in Venice wouldn't be nearly enough. We stayed there for 5 days prior to a cruise in 2017 and never ran out of things to do and see. In 2014 we started a cruise out of Rome and then afterwards stayed in Rome for a week. Honestly, you can easily find enough to do in Rome plus a daytrip to Florence. Consider the pros and cons of wasting valuable vacation time travelling from Venice before committing to trying to do it in one big trip.

Whatever you decide, I hope you love the trip as much as we did.

Posted by
504 posts

Luv2travel, the perfect way to begin your sightseeing adventure in Venice is to hop on a vaporetto (water bus) either at the train station or San Marco Square and get off at the opposite end. Do this at twilight so you can see the interiors of the palaces that line the canal with their big chandelier lighting fully eliminated that will take you back in time.

Posted by
24623 posts

To elaborate on MaryPat's post just above, a vaporetto is a public water bus which has a fixed ticket price (at various levels and durations) on a timetable and route; and a water taxi is just like a land taxi - tell them where you want to go and pay what they ask and they are a private transport - take up to 7 friends for the same (high) price.

But they are quite different...

Posted by
7950 posts

When I flew to Venice with a friend we took a shared water taxi from the airport. It was fantastic entering Venice on the water and it wasn’t very expensive. I booked it ahead of time.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you everyone!
I’m so glad I came here for resources. You guys are awesome. Venice is sounding more and more amazing. We are thinking of going into Italy 4 more days earlier to see more of Venice. Our next trip we will have more time to see the others beautiful towns.

Posted by
17869 posts

That's wonderful! There are so very many great things to see and do in Italy. More time is always fabulous, if you can swing it.

Posted by
6098 posts

So glad you are considering more time pre- cruise, especially in magical Venice. I’m betting you like it more than a cruise! Please let us know how it all goes.

Posted by
861 posts

Things about Venice in no particular order:
Get seats on the right/starboard side of the aircraft, you will get a view of the lagoon and Venice as you arrive.
The shared water taxi is great, and the route may not be so direct, so you see more. Booking is here: https://www.venicelink.com/en/products/shuttle
Do get a paper map of Venice, you can buy one for a couple of euros at the Tabac at arrivals. Google maps is crap in Venice. You will get lost; everyone gets lost at some time and a paper map makes it easier to ask for directions.
Do give yourselves at least two full days plus arrival and departure days, Venice takes a bit of time to get a handle on. It’s the “streets full of water” thing.
Do get a vaporetto pass for your time, you can buy a 48 hour pass, the time starts when you first use it, not when you buy it.
You can’t avoid the big things, Rialto, the Piazza, Doge’s palace, the Basilica, and the less well known places are great. The Querini Stampalia Foundation, the Tre Oci photo gallery on Giudecca if photography is your thing, the lesser known churches. Get a Chorus Pass, allowing entry into a bunch of churches.
The sacristy of the church of San Polo is quite something, the Tiepolo Stations of the Cross are like a news reel, a political assassination depicted in fourteen frames.
Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin in the Frari is alone worth a visit.
“Venice” by James/Jan (gender reassignment an’ all) Morris is regarded by many including me as the best ever book written about Venice.
The novels set in Venice by Philip Gwynne Jones give a great feel, start with The Venetian Game. A caveat, Phil is a mate, we have shared many spritzes and negronis with Phil.
And Paolo Sarpi, Venetian philosopher who also discovered the contraction of the iris once observed, “I never ever tell a lie, but the truth, not to everyone”. Which rather sums up Venice.

Posted by
6 posts

These are all great ideas! Thank you everyone for all of the info. We're trying to do too many things on just one trip I guess. We will see what we can on this trip and just fly in on the next to really enjoy all of Italy. It looks so beautiful! I hope Italy can recover this year.
Anyway, We feel very excited and blessed to be able to travel there next year. We need this vacation very badly. lol
Aussie, thank you for all of the extra info. We are checking it out now!

Posted by
1600 posts

hey hey luv2travel
welcome to the forum, right place to be and learn about how many different answers you will get. where are you traveling from, USA Canada and how many people are you traveling with?
good idea to fly into venice for 3 days to get a taste of it. lots to see and do, walking along thru the canals, getting lost and finding you way out, it's fun don't get frustrated just laugh.
aussie and andrea have mentioned the shared water taxi from airport (venicelink.com/shuttle), best way to arrive in venice and worth it. keep the address/phone number of hotel you are staying at, it will take you as close to hotel as possible. we have used them 3 times. i also have whatsapp.com as many in europe use, download to your phone, text & calls are free.
we have used booking.com for hotels. don't know your budget in euros, just know that european rooms are smaller, any mobility issues stairs/steps to climb with luggage, not many elevators/lifts, shared bathrooms, read fine print carefully, cancellation policies book all refundable not knowing what will happen when italy opens, keep up on covid-19.
camacana.com you can make your own mask
withlocals.com/treviso charms: history, tiramisu & processco
gpsmycity.com/venice plan your walks to different areas/districts of venice
facebook.com/cocaeta makes crepes on the canal on fondementa cannareggio, just walking and roaming
ride a gondola, pick up in back canals (80E daytime) set price or you can email luckyluca6@hotmail. he's the singing gondolier, we loved it.
schezzini.it email alessandro, he does a cicchetti "bar crawl" wine history and small bites.
destination360.com/venice/cicchetti tour an old article but gives you info what it's all about, it's fun
isoladiburano.it take the vaporetto to the island of burano, things to do and curious things. my favorite island, maybe you can go to both murano and burano. taste the famous bussola cookies, the cute pastel houses of fisherman, watch your time to get back to venice
streaty.com food & market/ood & wine tours.
bacarojazz.it near rialto bridge. we had a meet up for happy hour with about 12 fellow greek isle cruisers from cruise critic. it was a fun place, they had so so many bras hanging all over, we brought a purple large size one, decorated with sequence and fufu lace, to hang up and leave our mark. we all had a good laugh
you'll be kept busy, see the rialto bridge and san marco square but walk away to the outer areas, sit at a cafe, have a drink, people watch. i sat right across train station on the grand canal at ristorante da nino with the "best" tiramisu and prosecco.
just some other options for you, you have time to research, make a folder for each place, what are must sees, if time sees, and no sees. check train schedules, use italian names for stations ( venice venezia santa lucia, florence firenze santa maria novella rome roma termini)
i'll gather a few more things and send you. you'll have a fun fun time, you'll have done your homework which helps, give yourself time to acclimate to new area, you can't see and do everything with cramming, breathe the italian air, slow down, don't just go go go. when you get lemons make lemoncello.
aloha

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you! let the count down begin! You guys having giving so much insight on Italy. I love it!