We are getting into Venice a day early for the Venice, Florence and Rome tour and I am wondering about day trips from Venice. We arrive at 11 am and by the time we get settled I’m guess it will early to mid afternoon. Is a Padua a doable trip? Any other ideas? We also have Monday before our tour group meets at 4 pm.
Stay in Venice - we flew in 3 days early for that same tour - Venice has tons of exploring to do. Get a Vaporetto pass and get lost along the canals. The tour will take you to Burano, but not Murano = you could always do 1/2 day trip there if you are interested in the Glass Blowing. We want to go back and spend more time in Venice - Venice and Florence may be our favorite European cites.
This seems to be a common misconception of new travelers. That is...to arrive at a destination, check in and then jump on the train and go visit some other place.
So no, don’t immediately go away from Venice. Stay in Venice and explore the entire island since you’re “already there”.
Padua is a fine day trip if you have a day for it, but you won't. Other ideas -- San Giorgio Maggiore with its bell tower, Santa Maria de Salute Church, Ca' Rezzonico, the Correr Museum (where you can get a combo ticket that will speed entry to the Doge's Palace after you've been to San Marco on the tour), the Frari Church, the Ghetto. Wandering around and getting lost -- especially if you've flown overnight and want to be outside to get adjusted to the time change.
Padua might be doable on Monday but you'll need to get a very early start and an early timed entry to the Scrovegni Chapel (assuming that's the main reason to visit Padua, but there are other sights too). Be sure your train returns early enough to get you back to the hotel in plenty of time for the 4:00 meeting. My own Padua day trip took longer than that. I'd suggest more of the Venice sights above for Monday. Maybe Murano if it interests you enough.
The train schedule is located at www.trenitalia.com. Your stations in Italian are Venezia S. Lucia & Padova. Select one of the 26-minute trains, and I wouldn’t take one back any later than a 2pm arrival for your Monday group time.
We have stayed overnight at Padova for five nights and have been to Venice multiple times. Personally, I can’t think of a reason why I would take a day away from Venice to spend it in Padova, although it is a nice town.
mysticman, I've only taken one RS tour, but found with the exception of Bacharach that I would have enjoyed at least one or more additional days to explore the cities on our chosen tour, which included V, F, and R.
A visit to Burano and Murano would be fun to do and it might be really nice to use that extra day before the tour begins to wander, get the lay of the land, and enjoy the locale. We barely had enough time in Venice (2 nights) to realize when we left that we knew just enough about it to know that a trip with further nights would be necessary to really know much about it. It is my opinion that you will be short changing yourself and probably regret if you arrive and then take off to get a taste of another city.
You will have the opportunity for an optional evening gondola ride in Venice. I would do it. I think we each paid 24 euro as arranged by our guide and it was wonderful. In fact I would encourage you to take advantage of any optional activities your guide offers.
It appears you have a good amount of free time on your tour in the afternoons. I would research each city for additional things you might want to see - markets, museums, etc, check opening times and map them, and add them to your itinerary. Although our guide had suggestions of things to do during free time some people on our tour were sort of left floundering as they had done no research and were then not sure what they wanted to do, wasting time over trying to decide. We already knew and were out the door like a shot.
Will you have some additional days in Rome after the tour ends?
Have a marvelous time on your tour!
I have been to Venice a few times and on this tour twice. There are so, so many areas the tour has no time to explore, so many areas of Venice I have not been and would like to at least walk through. Get some notes or a book on walking Venice and do that instead of trying to visit Padua.
I have done the Venice-Padua visit but in reverse. It is a long day. Note that the train stations are not necessarily close to where you will be staying (in Venice) or to sites you want to visit (in Padua). The agitation of learning to navigate new transportation in cities never before visited may be compounded by timed tickets, say for the Scrovegni Chapel. Have you seen what is open on Sunday in Padua (I have not looked).
I would stay in Venice for that extra time - stroll, eat, relax, ease into your trip.
Definitely stay in Venice; you are going to spend more time traveling than seeing anything. Either take a self guided walking tour and maybe a trip to Murano.
Tim is right - don't think about how to get out of Venice on your arrival day, but what to do in Venice itself.
Look at Rick's Italy book, which has LOTS of major sights not covered on your tour, from the outer islands to the Peggy Guggenheim museum to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. Or, if jet lag hits you hard, you may just want to walk around and take vaporetti around. You can explore the Dorsoduro area, or the area around Fondamente Nova, two of Venice's quieter quarters (you actually feel you've escaped the hoards here). Or go to San Michele, the cemetery island (very interesting).
Thanks for all the suggestions. So many things to do and places to go. Yes, we will be spending an extra day in Rome at the end of the tour and then heading back to Venice for a day because we bought round trip tickets to Venice.
We loved Padua, but like the others here, I would recommend staying in Venice. There is so much to see and do! Besides, when we flew into Venice a couple of years ago for our Village Italy tour, it took about three hours to get through passport control. That may have been unusual, I don't know. But I wouldn't count on just zipping through the Venice airport.
Relax and explore Venice. There's never enough time anywhere. (Except maybe Bacharach, as Nance suggested. I would add Rothenburg, myself, but other folks loved it and wanted more time there.)
Yikes, three hours! What time did you fly in there? Worst I ever had was 90 minutes at Heathrow.
I agree with everyone else. In researching Venice and the area, there's so much to do that you really need a week in the area if you want to build in a daytrip to a nearby city.
Justin, I had to go look it up, but we got into Venice right about noon. Maybe that was the problem. For quite a while there was only one person at the passport control booths. After a couple of hours more showed up, and things sped up quite a bit. Luckily, everyone was in a holiday mood and took it well.