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Florence or Venice both?

(42 Posts)
gillybeanz Wed 01-Mar-17 23:19:26

Ok, 13 year old dd wants to go to both and can't decide which.
I know it will cost a fortune and I know it may seem strange to some.

However, that aside any ideas on how we can afford it?
How to not get fleeced.

TheFullMrExit Thu 02-Mar-17 16:17:12

Tough call both are lovely but I would say Venice in this instance. Venice is also full of tapas style bars, so if your willing to eat like in Spain you can save ££££ on sit down meals.

The doges palace etc - the canals are gorgeous, basically dont have a coffee on st marks square, plenty of gorgeous back lanes and places to get refreshment.
I adore both places but its Venice I would say everyone should see before they die. Also the romance of the masks, the dressing up balls....I dont think its strange at all, cant wait to take my DD's. We had lovely hotel called Ca Amadi or something like that.

LIZS Thu 02-Mar-17 16:21:24

Tough choice but I'd vote Florence. The art galleries are free to under 16s and it is possible to eat less expensively. Book online ahead.

NotCitrus Thu 02-Mar-17 16:53:36

Both will have cheap places to get food away from the main tourist districts. If she is into archaeology, then go to Florence and then Fiesole for a day. And you can stuff bags in left luggage in Pisa on your way to/from the airport and admire the Leaning Tower.
Venice has the islands, even more romance, fun of boats.

Could get an apartment and buy food for breakfast, sandwiches or similar for lunch, eat out for dinner, or a hotel with buffet breakfast, stuff yourself, small snack at lunch, then dinner.

Which has the cheapest or more convenient flights from where you are?

willconcern Thu 02-Mar-17 16:56:26

Look on air bnb for somewhere to stay, make sure it's on transport links in. We stayed in an Airbnb apartment in Florence on a tram line. 20 mins into the centre, cheap, clean and v good value. Entire holiday cost £600 all in for a week (including flights & eating!)

viques Thu 02-Mar-17 17:01:15

Please please DO have a coffee ( or better still a hot chocolate) in St Marks Square, it is part of the experience !

Florence is fabulous, make sure you go to The S. Maria Novella Pharmacy. I also have fond memories of wonderful icecream shops, sadly not there long enough to taste them all, rice pudding was my favourite, or possibly just the last one I tasted.

I could not choose which is my favourite, but I would say only go for one, you don't want to rush either experience and they will both still be there for next time.

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Thu 02-Mar-17 17:03:42

I've been to both and would say Florence. Much cheaper to stay as you can go a little further out and save a fortune, public transport is reliable and cheap. Eating out doesn't have to cost much, remember that in Italy you pay a huge premium to sit somewhere famous or with a nice view, but turn down a few side streets and you can eat better food for literally a third of the price. Cheaper to fly to as well.

Frillyhorseyknickers Thu 02-Mar-17 17:04:24

Florence. Florence!

massistar Thu 02-Mar-17 17:06:50

Venice! But if you want to do both you could stay on the mainland in Venice, in Mestre, not very pretty but easy access to the islands and way cheaper.

cingolimama Thu 02-Mar-17 17:28:39

Been to both many times. They both suffer terribly from overtourism, so half the trick is avoiding the crowds and following what the natives are doing. Personally, I prefer Florence, but I'm probably in the minority. Here's my advice:

Venice: definitely definitely get an apartment over a hotel. Generally, hotels aren't great unless you have an unlimited budget. Also, a lot of the restaurants are really bad, the worst in Italy - catering only for the tourist trade. But of course there are lovely places - Venetians have to eat - but you do have to do your research. You could go to Rialto food market (fantastic!) and load up on wonderful veg and fruit, fresh pasta, salamis and cheeses. You'll eat very well and be able to save your money for a really lovely restaurant. PP mentioned tapas like places - they're called bacaris, and they're terrific for wandering about the quarter in the evening, soaking up the atmosphere and chatting to total strangers.

Get a vaporetto (the commuter boat) ticket for the duration of your stay, This, and walking (lots of walking) is how you'll get around. I love the vaporetto, especially at night, when it glides by the palazzos and you can peer in.

Rosa Thu 02-Mar-17 18:43:26

Venice..but I would say that! It can be done cheaply ...and depending on when you are thinking of coming you can get good hotel deals. Eat off the beaten track and it is cheap ( and also reasonable quality...and even good ...I am a Venetian resident and I do eat out!) check out Ca Macana if she is into craft things.

Somerville Thu 02-Mar-17 18:48:12

Depends on the time of year you plan to visit?

And no, not strange places for a 13 YO to want to go. smile

NickMyLipple Thu 02-Mar-17 18:49:13

I got a fast train between Venice and Florence a couple of years ago. It took about 2 hours from memory and a first class seat which I booked about 2 months in advance was €16. It was much more expensive to stay in Florence than Venice, though!

SooticaTheWitchesCat Thu 02-Mar-17 19:45:33

I have been to both and although they are both beautiful I liked Venice best. We have just come back with our almost 13 year old daughter and she loved it. We stayed in a private rental apartment in the centre of Venice and it was cheap enough to eat out locally.

Awks Thu 02-Mar-17 19:49:50

Venice is THE most beautiful place in the world. Absolutely stunning place.

YolandiFuckinVisser Thu 02-Mar-17 19:51:17


gillybeanz Thu 02-Mar-17 22:21:36

Oh thank you all for the replies, I'm sorry it's taken me until now to read them, but checked back a few times and there were none, so went off to work.
I'm sorry I said it was strange, it's just that it will be our summer holiday, we couldn't afford another one.
She likes Opera and made me take her to Rome a few years ago. Also classical music, Art, and I think my ds2 would want to come too as he likes architecture and Italy in general grin
It's great to know that it would be doable for a day trip from one to the other if something unmissable was happening.
We may be able to go before main school holidays though as she should be finished by end of June, first week in July.

BeMorePanda Fri 03-Mar-17 00:19:12

Absolutely Venice.

Florence is also very popular but over rated IMO. ITS THE MOST "touristy" place I have been too in Italy, possibly anywhere.

Venice is unique, magical, amazing - I can't wait to take my kids there.

BeMorePanda Fri 03-Mar-17 00:20:35

Yes train between the 2 is cheap and not too long.

LIZS Fri 03-Mar-17 07:12:49

If she likes opera how about Verona?

IAdoreEfteling Fri 03-Mar-17 10:08:29

I think Venice/Verona better combo but also you can do stuff in venice where opera singers are in a house and you follow them round.

popflos Fri 03-Mar-17 10:22:35

you can get a taste of either in just a few days, depends how ambitious you want to be and how much you want to see, we have had new year in Florence, freezing but fab and because time was limited i paid someone to take us around the highlights so DH and I wouldnt argue about what to see and how to see it, (he likes buildings i like paintings) we had great cheap apartment right in the centre. Venice we did on a long weekend cheapy ryanair flight to bologna, airbnb with train/day trip to venice and another train/day trip to Ravenna. fabulous weekend and cheap. took some military planning but had train app on my phone and maps and restaurants all saved and it was perfect.

shovetheholly Fri 03-Mar-17 10:26:41

There's a quick and cheap train between the two. Do both, and book an Airbnb for half a week each! DH and I did Venice, Florence and Rome in about 8 days, and it was superb. But we felt saturated by art by the end of it - total case of Stendhal syndrome.

Skyllo30 Fri 03-Mar-17 15:56:27

Yes to the suggestion of Verona and Venice - lots of cheap flights to Verona as it's a ski resort base. I'd suggest 2 nights in Verona (no more as you can do it all in a day) and 4-5 nights in Venice. The train is an hour and a bit between them and you can get it very cheap if you book in advance and get a super saver fare.

I also loved Florence though so you won't go wrong with whatever you go for.

gillybeanz Fri 03-Mar-17 20:47:32

Oh, Verona?

I'm an Opera philistine I'm afraid, just learning for dd sake.
I will definitely look at this and huge thanks . The idea of following opera singers round a house sounds intriguing.
It sounds like venice and Verona then.

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