Struggling with the decision to add on a two day trip to Venice after 9 day Heart of Italy tour. We are going one day ahead of tour starting in Rome. Have read one is worn out after tour, and extra days at home before return to work would be great...but so close to Venice, two hours by train. Seems to be two schools of thought on Venice: a must see vs giant tourist island. Advice please. (Ha, lots of two’s in the post)
There is nothing like Venice. Why would you not go and explore? Once you remove yourself from St Marks square and meander, crowds dissipate.
I suggest you actually have 2 days in Venice and that means 3 nights accommodation (plus, make your return home from VCE Aeroporto Marco Polo di Venezia). Adding another stop to your itinerary is always a good idea in my book, and more so for La Serenissima, if you give yourself enough time to enjoy yourself ON your travels. Leave recovering once at home to chance, I say!
Ah, Venice. 3 nights added on would be a wonderful way to end your journey. We avoided San Marco by either going through the early am or pm. So much to see "off the beaten path." Wandering the neighborhoods was relaxing. Pick out the attractions you are interested in and enjoy!
Definitely go to Venice. It is an amazing city and I regretted not going on my first trip to Italy. If the opportunity is there, I would go for it. I am sure a lot of people have wished they would have seen Notre Dame before the fire. Don’t have any regrets. If you get tired in Venice, there are lots of places to rest and people watch.
I wouldn'y miss venice either. You can make timed reservations for san Marco on line- can't imagine skipping that - crowds or no - but skipping the line is great. enjoy Sue
Oh, I wish we had done this! It was our first RS tour and in those days the tour went north to south. At the time it seemed like it would be a hassle to add Venice before the tour started but in looking back we regret that we didn’t. You’ll have the added benefit of having already been immersed in Italy, so it won’t be as confusing as if it was the start of the tour.
I can’t imagine being so worn out to miss going to Venice! Definitely go. There’s no place like magical Venice!
Note- We’ve taken longer RS tours and always added some days upfront, so I really think you would regret not going and will have ample energy.
By all means, go. Your tour is really only seven days as the first day is your afternoon meeting, a stroll, dinner. And your last day is breakfast, no activity. You’ll have energy left. Take that train and spend as many days as you can spare. If you have more than two a day trip to Padua (short train ride) would be wonderful. Yes, Venice can be crowded and if a cruise ship is docked, very crowded. Use your time to wander off the beaten path and get lost. You’ll be away from the crowds and eventually will find your way back (it’s an island after all). As far as departure-beware of very early flights from Venice.
I would definitely add the 2 days on. Of course if you wanted an alternative you could always add those days on the front end instead to Rome and just get home after the tour. But, if you have time definitely go.
Are you seeing a pattern here? Absolutely do it! I spent several days in Venice last fall before a different RS tour and fell unexpectedly in love. Stay on the island, try for at least three nights, get vaporetto passes, keep clear of Rialto and San Marco in the middle of the day, and wander. By then you'll be fluent in Italian and comfortable with everything about the culture. ;-)
A day trip to Padua is a good idea if you're into Giotto and/or have plenty of time, but with only 2-3 nights in Venice I'd stick to that city. And, as advised, be careful to leave ample time to get to the airport on your flight day, because all or part of the trip will be by water.
Thank you everyone, I think the fire yesterday spurned me to reconsider the flights I have already made. I stayed for 10 days in an apartment on the Ile de la Cite with my mom and sister. Many trips to ND, It was my third trip to Paris and how I wish we had visited ND more often.
Out tour ends on a Thursday am, plan to train to Venice. I have to change our flights back to the states from Florence to Venice. Was thinking of a noon flight out iof Venice on Saturday, will now see what flights are available on Sunday.
Any advice on where to stay? Just have to convince my travel partner it’s a once in a life time opportunity and pay the airlines a change fee.
We spent a week at Hotel Flora eight months ago and loved it. Located near San Marco, but far enough away to avoid the crowds. 3 generation family run hotel, quiet, well appointed, charming outdoor courtyard to enjoy the fabulous breakfast and walking distance to major attractions. The Vaporetto was less than a 5 minute walk to the hotel (St. Maria del Giglio Vaporetto stop). Recommended by many contributors on the forum as well as RS. www.hotelflora.it.
I’ll second the Flora. But a few rooms are very tiny so avoid those. The ones off the street with a view of the garden are primo.
We did Heart of Italy last spring as our first RS tour. We stayed an extra night in Florence at the end to wind down before traveling home. Oh, how I wish we'd taken a few days to add Venice. Several folks from our tour did and all loved it. My vote is you go for three nights.
Hi Jill, we’ve stayed multiple times in Venice (you will probably want to return, too!) and our last time we stayed at Hotel Ala. It’s really easy to find from the train station. Just take the ferry down the Grand Canal, and it’s the St. Maria del Giglio vaporetto stop. You don’t need to walk over any bridges to arrive at your hotel. We noticed a RS tour was staying there, too, and we even ran into our tour guide from the RS Best of Italy tour we took several years ago!
You might want to consider the Pensione Guerrato near the Rialto Bridge. We've stayed there several times and have always been pleased. It's far enough away from the crowds at the bridge to feel "isolated", but close enough to a vaporetto stop to be convenient. If you stay there let us know and we can give you specific directions to get there while avoiding a long walk and the crowds around the bridge.
Travel partner finally on board! We leave Florence on Thursday and for some odd reason, no flights into Kalamazoo after 1:15 pm on Saturdays in September. So...was able to convince Bob we need to stay in Venice until Sunday. Now to Delta to give them $ to change our return flights to Sunday.
Thanks for all your help and advice. Reviewing hotels the over the next week or so. Keep your comments and advice coming.
Yes. I have visited Venice several times on my own. Loved it. Such a beautiful city. Many outer islands to visit. Great place just to walk around and get lost. I got VERY lost! In Venice. Such great food.
Yes! Venice is amazing. Staying there for a few days is magical.
Hi from Grand Rapids. I’m glad you’ve decided to add some days in Venice, you won’t regret it. During our RS family tour in 2014, we stayed at Hotel Paive. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the center of Venice. So quiet in the evenings. In the early morning I awoke to the smell of fresh baking bread. Multilingual staff. We loved visiting The Peggy Guggenheim museum. It’s her Palazzo and filled with interesting art. I second the poster who suggested you just walk and get lost, you’ll find the quieter sections of the island.
We stayed at B&B Da Nina before our Village Italy tour. We liked the location because it was so close to the bus and train stations. It was nice to be able to drop off our luggage, especially since it was raining.. It was off on a side street where it was quiet.
Definitely go to Venice. Unlike any other place. I also stayed at the Hotel Ala, very close to vaporetto stop, so no lugging bags up and over bridges. The included breakfast buffet was very nice. Good location for walking to the sights but on a quiet square.