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Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

Miami Beach, Florida
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Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

Can anyone suggest or recommend free walking tours that might be offered in both Florence and Venice perhaps tours offered by freelance tour guides or historical societies.

Suggestions also welcomed for downloadable tours we can do on our own using an ipod or ipad

Is it easy to find wifi hotspots around Florence and Venice. In museums, cafes, etc.

Is there one general pass that we can use for local transportation in Florence and Venice or do we have to purchase them in each city. In either case, which would be best we plan on spending 4 days each in Florence and Venice.

This may seem silly, but any suggestions about how to not look like a tourist when we are in either city.

Lastly, our flight back to the states departs Venice Marco Polo Airport at 7:30am. Can we take a chance using the less expensive water taxi or do we need to opt for the private one.

Thanks for any help and advice

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Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Marco Polo Airport
Marco Polo Airport
Venice, Italy
Mansfield U.K.
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1. Re: Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

Dear Travelguy, I come out of retirement because non of the gang seem keen to help you.

I would forget the walking tour thing, they can actually get in the way of the pleasure of just doing it. With 4 days at each I don't think you will miss too much.

But do a lot of reading up first and get the layouts fixed in your head.

Florence is so compact that the 24hr bus ticket that you could buy is not really needed. In Venice though a 3 or 4 day Vaporetto pass is vital as the cost of separate journeys would be prohibitive. Also many Vap stops don't have ticket booths and you could be caught out if they have one of their purges!

As for looking like a tourist, I doubt you will cure that. Italian men wear long trousers and proper shoes ! In any case 90% of all the people you will be rubbing shoulders with will also be tourists so who cares !

Learn a bit of Italian though, it goes a long way in shops and hotels.

On your early flight back I would bite the expensive bullet and book a water taxi. If you had all day to play with it would be different .

Good luck, that's a nice trip you have,

Bob.

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Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Vaporetto
Vaporetto
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Venice, Italy
Miami Beach, Florida
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2. Re: Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

Thanks for your suggestions and advice.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

Go to www.veniceconnected.com to read on the various transportation passes (and other passes) for Venice and discounts you can get if bought 7 days before.

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Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Liguria, Italy
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4. Re: Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

I think if you didn't look like a tourist in either city it would be because you were selling things from a blanket on the ground or waiting on a table or wearing a police uniform.

I live in Italy and plenty of Italian men in Florence wear shorts and sandals in the summer.

I don't know why you don't want to look like a visitor, but if it is to avoid being the target of pickpockets, it's actually better to follow good advice about protecting your valuables (don't carry them when you are out sightseeing, wear a moneybelt, etc) and to be especially alert in train stations, outdoor markets and right around the most crowded attractions. Don't move a wallet in and out of your pocket where others can see you doing it. Don't get so abosorbed in taking photos you haven't checked out who is right next to you and behind you.

It is certainly not silly to want to escape being the target of pickpockets and it is also not silly to not want to add to the impresion that tourists are jerks, egomaniacs and clowns. In addition to learning Italian courteous phrases, please don't treat every historic monument and church and public piazza as a place to take a hilarious picture of yourself doing something stupid, and if you aren't interestned enough before you leave for your trip to read up a little on artworks, save yourself and everybody the tediousness of you wandering around a museum yawning or gabbing about your golf score. Also do some research so you know what prices are in restaurants, how many courses are in an italian meal, and how the bill is toted up for bread, water, taxes, service so you don't yelling at people you're being robbed when you are asked to pay what you consumed in a restaurant.

One could go on and on, but you get the idea....

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Italy
Italy
Europe
Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

You do not need to take an expensive water taxi to get to the airport for a 07.30 flight. The vaporetto (water bus) service along the Grand Canal to Piazzale Roma runs all night, and the first bus from Piazzale Roma to the airport leaves at 04.40.

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Piazzale Roma
Piazzale Roma
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Venice, Italy
Miami Beach, Florida
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6. Re: Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

Thanks again for the information. I just meant we would prefer to blend in and if possible find restaurants and other places that locals would go to if that's even possible. Clearly we also want to go to the popular destinations but would love to also just enjoy some time as locals would.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

Excellent advice from itrav and MomCat but I wanted to add that free Rick Steves tours of Italian sites are available for downloading in the Podcast section of the iTunes Store.

UK
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8. Re: Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

In Venice it is better to eat away from the San Marco area, for value , but really very hard to find anywhere that has no tourists about, Venice really is not big,

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Venice
City of Venice, Italy
9. Re: Logistical and general questions for Florence and Venice

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