Please sign in to post.

Venice or Verona?

I have an embarrassment of riches. We've been able to add 4 more days to our vacation in Italy in September. First is a week long stay with friends in a Tuscany villa. At the end of the week,. we are motoring back to Florence to drop off our car rental and plan to take the train to Venice for a few days. I'm not sure I want to spend 3 1/2 days in Venice; thinking of doing 1 or 2 nights in Verona. My questions, should we do 2 nights in Venice and 1 in Verona? Or vice versa? Thinking that after 7 days of relaxing in Tuscany, the hustle and tourism of Venice may be too much. But I've heard and read on this site that it's a city not to be missed. We are spending 3 days in Florence before the Tuscany week, so my head will be exploding with the beauty of Italy by the time this vacation ends. Or should we just skip Verona, leave it for another (hopefully) trip and spend our extra time in Venice? We have visited Rome in a past trip and my husband doesn't want to return - I dragged him into too many churches........
thank you for any and all advice!

Posted by
363 posts

Hi Cheryl, if you have never been to Venice, I would suggest that you stay in Venice, wander away from St Mark's Square and explore the less busy areas. Even in the busiest time of the year, it's quite easy to find a tranquil spot if you just let yourself take the time to wander. Leave Verona for another trip. Be sure to take a vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal after sunset. Buon viaggio!

Posted by
1804 posts

Spend the entire 3 1/2 days in Venice. Buy a 72-hour vaparetto pass and explore the islands in the lagoon. Use the vaparettos like a hop-on, hop off bus, and get off at various stops and just wander, to find your own personal favorite sights. Sit by a canal with a glass of wine (and a cigar if your husband is so inclined). Stand on the Accademia Bridge just before sunset, and see the caravan of gondolas, with singing gondeliers, make their journey down the Grand Canal (not sure they do this every night, but I suspect they do. They came from the San Marco area, I think, and headed toward Rialto). As Susan said, ride a vaparetto down the Grand Canal after dark, and watch the glittering lights reflect in the water. The areas around the Rialto bridge and San Marco can be hectic and crowded, but a 5 minute walk and you can have a street to yourself. Venice is magical and a great way to end your vacation.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you, Susan and Charlene! I forget there are always little alleys and places to get away from the crowds. Someone told me Venice was dirty and not worth it, hence my hesitance about staying there at all. We are just starting to travel the world, now that the kids are all out of college and on their own. So much to see, so little time, so I want to make the most of every trip. Will take your advice on the vaporetto ride as well.
Grazie, Senoras!

Posted by
23833 posts

Someone told me Venice was dirty and not worth it That's a shame. I've never seen that. Its a shame to be poisoned before ever having had a chance to judge for yourself. Were they reporting first hand, or what they had "heard?"

Posted by
96 posts

We've spent 6 visits in Venice and we will never get enough! I feel sorry for those who only see the city by the light of day and then get herded off before the fun begins. Venice is safe, lovely, romantic, mysterious, magical, and delicious! Walking through San Marcos square at night and stopping to listen to (or dance if you choose to do so) the various orchestras that take turns around the huge square is so memorable. On our first trip to Venice (and it was September, BTW!) we planned to stay for 3 days but ended up extending it to four. Now when we visit we rent an apartment for a week and become temporary residents. Our favorite restaurant on earth is just a short 40 minute boat ride to Burano Island. Known for its colorful houses and lace making school, they also have a restaurant, Da Romano, that is over 100 years old. They make a fish risotto that is out of this world and you are welcomed to go into the kitchen and watch the chef work magical feats in the preparation of your meal! One more thing to think about: I once heard someone state that the French are extremely rude and hate Americans. "Really", I asked with surprise. "What did they do to you that was so bad?" The person had never been to France. They were parroting something that a friend of theirs had said. Enjoy Venice and before you go, watch two films: "Summertime" with Katherine Hepburn and "The Tourist" with Johnny Depp (make sure to watch the special extras on the DVD). Both are great travelogues of Venice.

Posted by
1201 posts

Venice is truly a wonderful magical place. Stay there the entire extra time. Get up very early one morning and take in the rialto Market as it sets up. Try to arrive before 07:00. even that early the vegetable market will be mostly ready fro business, but the fish market will still be getting ready. Folks hauling all sorts of strange and squiggly things off boats and being laid out in ice. Pick up rick's Venice guide for some good self guided tours. Also the small Top Ten Venice book is good. For another film that is real Venice try Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips), a wonderful modern comedy. The Tourist has wonderful scenes but runs rough shod over the actual geography of Venice. We have been visiting Venice for more than 30 years and each time we go we stay longer than the last. We still find sites to see and things to do. You will find folks that don't like Venice, but I'm betting you'll find that she is great and your time there not long enough.

Posted by
7184 posts

Venice vs. Verona - are you kidding? There's no comparison.

Posted by
100 posts

Lois, we will be in Venice in a couple of weeks, where do you go for fish risotto in Burano? i have heard it's great!

Posted by
7737 posts

We love Verona, but in a head-to-head match, Venice wins handily. Do the 3 1/2 days in Venice. You'll be soooo glad you did. And if you want a green break, go to the public gardens in the Sant'Elena district (SE of St. Mark's, past the Arsenale). You'll be the only tourists there.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks. To all who answered my posting. Venice it is! No, I'm not kidding. Asked because I Chad heard and read opinions on other travel sites that Venice was overrated, dirty, too touristy. We have been to several cities in Italy and found we enjoy the quieter ones (eg Verona), but also read that Venice was a gem. Will post here in late September and let you all know. Thank you for the hints and tips!!
Will definitely pay this forward.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks. To all who answered my posting. Venice it is! No, I'm not kidding. Asked because I Chad heard and read opinions on other travel sites that Venice was overrated, dirty, too touristy. We have been to several cities in Italy and found we enjoy the quieter ones (eg Verona), but also read that Venice was a gem. Will post here in late September and let you all know. Thank you for the hints and tips!!
Will definitely pay this forward.

Posted by
934 posts

For a place that is dirty and not a good place to visit it seems that a lot of people havnt got that message because Venice is full of poeple. Dont miss it

Posted by
252 posts

If you've never been to Verona, I would do a day and maybe a night there. It's just an hour from Venice by train. The highlight is, of course, the amazing and beautiful Arena of Verona built in the year 30 A.D., and still used today for concerts, ballets, operas, etc. A truly amazing structure to have survived 2,000 years and still be in use! Verona is a beautiful city with less crowds than Venice, and would be a nice departure from the hustle and bustle of Venice. Lake Garda is nearby with the Dolomites reflecting upon it. Lovely lakeside towns offer quiet passaggiate.... there just is never enough time! It seems to me that people either love or hate Venice; there seems to be no in-between. I LOVED it. but I also loved Verona, where I spent more time. I don't think you can go wrong either way; but Verona does have some unique qualities that will not disappoint!
have a great trip! Wish I were going back sometime soon! =-)

Posted by
264 posts

Cheryl, Venice is dirty, but when you have been around as long as they have, it's to scrub all of the dirt off it. The big three are Rome, Florence and Venice the rest are side trips and I would plan them for a future trip if you haven't spent time in those other two cities. Rick Steves talks about visiting these small towns and staying over night, it's romantic. Butit can be time consuming packing and expensive if you've already paid for a hotel. As a day trip yes, but to pass up all the goodies and churches (just kidding about the churches) in Venice? NO! As far as too many churches? That's were the art is. Don't just look at it as a church. As far as doing something different for your husband try a classical concert (www.classictic.com) at night in a church, the acoustics are great. Try a combination walking and Gondola tour; http://www.expedia.com/pub/agent.dll?qscr=tsdt Go enjoy Teatro La Fenice Opera house
http://www.teatrolafenice.it/ basically find something different to do and getting lost in those tiny alleys in Venice is part of the experience. Walk slow, look up and savor that old decaying city. To not give Venice the time... and just run through it, what can I say? It really is a special place to visit. The same goes for Florence.

Posted by
7737 posts

I guess different people have different definitions of dirty. I found Venice to be one of the cleaner cities in Italy. You want dirty? Go to Naples. You want spotless? Go to Switzerland. :-)

Posted by
791 posts

Of course you'll see some litter in the streets, the canals can be smelly at times (for what it's worth I read somewhere thats due more to the mold that builds up along the canal walls) but I would'nt say it's dirty. Compared to a place like Palermo it's clean as a baby's butt! Venice is unique and, in my opinion anyways, you can't really say you've seen Italy without having seen Venice.

Posted by
7737 posts

We were in Venice late last month and I took a lot of pictures. I've posted a few here. Venice pics May 2011 There's a slideshow icon you can click in the upper right. You can see for yourself if it looks dirty. (Most of these were taken in the Cannaregio district.)

Posted by
51 posts

We just returned last night and I would pick Verona over Venice. We stayed in both cities and I have no desire to go back to Venice. I was surprised because I was really looking forward to Venice. We enjoyed it, but were happy we didn't plan as much time there as other places.

Posted by
100 posts

Robin, what happened in Venice to make you feel that way?

Posted by
6 posts

Robert- Wonderful pictures. Thank you for including the link. No, it doesn't look dirty - old, but not dirty. As I looked through your pics, it dawned on me that Venice has that issue with high tides and flooding, hence the decay and moldiness on some buildings. I'm thinking that just adds to the charm.
So far, the responses have been favoring Venice over Verona. I think I will take the suggestion of one other poster and visit Verona on another trip to Italy - and combine Verona with a tour of the lake region. Thank you all for your feedback and suggestions. I cannot wait to get there.....

Posted by
38 posts

Cheryl:
We too were in Venice in May. While I have never been to Verona, Venice is a very charming, unique city. I was sorry that we only had 2 days there. I would spend all of your time in Venice. There is so much to see and it is so different from other cities. While I did not find Venice to be dirty, it was sad to see grafitti on the walls of ancient palaces. I hope to return for a long period of time some day.

Posted by
7737 posts

No offense taken. :-) And thanks for the compliments on the photos. Venice is sooooo photogenic.

Posted by
4356 posts

I would definitely suggest Venice - and you could make a day trip to Verona (1 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the train) and leave the crowds behind, if you wanted...just be sure to spend some time wandering the back streets of Venice...Remember that both will be crowded - they are very popular tourist sites! Prepare yourself ahead of time! To check out your transportation possibilities: http://www.trenitalia.com/ Click on the English flag at the top of the page. In addition to your actual travel dates, be sure to also check dates within the week that you are checking them (as in, b/n now and 7/8). The cheapest, and oftentimes slowest, train prices aren't posted more than about a week out. You could take a fast train to Verona, then a slower train back to Venice...For around $40 MAX (less with preplanning, if you're up for that) and $19 MIN each, you could take this daytrip, and come home whenever you like (note the schedule first!!!). If you've seen the videos and your heart just sighs when you see Venice - GO!

Posted by
7737 posts

Eileen's right that only parts of Venice and Verona are crowded. (Juliet's balcony area is just insanely crowded, in Verona.) But as you can see from the pics I posted of Venice, ( Venice pics May 2011 ), there are lots of parts of Venice that are practically deserted. And for good measure, here are some photos I took in Verona. Verona in May 2011 We really enjoyed Verona, but nothing beats Venice in my book.

Posted by
36 posts

I have visited both Venice and Verona, and would return to them both in a minute. But, I left my heart in Venice, so my vote is to spend your time there and save Verona for a later trip. Can't wait to get back to Venice and spend more time there, possibly a week and hopefully next year. Michael, I enjoyed your photographs very much, and was thrilled to see the home of "Guido Brunetti"! I love him and his adventures! Thanks for sharing your images. Cheryl, if you do get to Verona, be sure to check out the opera season held every summer in the first-century Arena. I spent a magical summer's evening sitting high on the marble steps, under the stars, enjoying Aida! Bravissimo! Buon voyaggio!

Posted by
36 posts

I have visited both Venice and Verona, and would return to them both in a minute. But, I left my heart in Venice, so my vote is to spend your time there and save Verona for a later trip. Can't wait to get back to Venice and spend more time there, possibly a week and hopefully next year. Michael, I enjoyed your photographs very much, and was thrilled to see the home of "Guido Brunetti"! I love him and his adventures! Thanks for sharing your images. Cheryl, if you do get to Verona, be sure to check out the opera season held every summer in the first-century Arena. I spent a magical summer's evening sitting high on the marble steps, under the stars, enjoying Aida! Bravissimo! Buon voyaggio!

Posted by
1747 posts

We just returned from Verona and also went to Venice in 2008. We loved them both. Both are beautiful, and both are touristy but you can leave those areas behind to walk the back alleys. One distinct difference: there are cars driving throughout the city in Verona (except one pedestrian area), so you get the exhaust smell, have to watch so you don't get hit, etc. In Venice there are no cars, and for me, more peaceful for that reason, even despite the crowds. But, we did love them both! I"d say Venice and take your gondola ride in the little, back canals late at night. Wonderful!