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Rome or Venice?

Dover, United...
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Rome or Venice?

A couple of us are planning to visit Italy for the first time on a short break, 3-5 days. One of wants to see Rome the other Venice! The multi-centre packages are too long and expensive for us so we would appreciate advice on which of the two towns we should fly to first and whether it is easy to travel by train to the other destination. Any advice on travelling and/or suitable hotels, locations etc would be much appreciated.

St Paul, MN
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1. Re: Rome or Venice?

Rome has a lot more to see from many periods of the past

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Rome or Venice?

Not surprisingly, it depends on what you enjoy doing. I love both Rome and Venice and they've both been on our itinerary for each of our four trips to Italy.

Venice is much smaller and more intimate than Rome. It has a much more laid back pace, esp. in the evening, and is more beautiful. Lupaling is absolutely right that Rome has a lot more to see and do, (it would take a lifetime) but Venice and the surrounding islands have plenty to keep you busy for 5 days.

You can't go wrong either way.

Here are some photos I took in Venice to give you a taste: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjy9aJqz

And here are some I took in Rome: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjv1XhAF

Edited: 30 October 2012, 16:00
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3. Re: Rome or Venice?

Really flying into one and flying out of the other will be best what ever way you choose to do it. I will give Rome 3 days and Venice 2 days, although I love Venice Rome needs more time.

In Rome stay in the city center, Piazza Navona, Campo d' Fiori and Pantheon areas because they have easy access to most things you will want to do. In Venice I will stay in the Dorsoduro area although the other neighborhoods are good as well but generally the San Marco area is more expensive. Train travel between the two cities is easy. Prebook tickets for sites that need tickets so you save time and not end up in very long lines.

Destination Expert
for Venice
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4. Re: Rome or Venice?

Being this is the Rome forum you will probably get more Rome supporters,

both cities have so much to offer very different, do read up on both and see what you feel appeals to you,

Ontario Canada
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5. Re: Rome or Venice?

We were at both in the past few weeks and enjoyed both. Our thoughts:

Both: full of tourists, even late Oct. Venice has less sights and the busy areas seemed more crowded than Rome. Venice has the disadvantage that you can't walk on the roads, they're canals so everyone is crowded onto the sidewalks.

Rome has the advantage in that you have many archeological sites, the Vatican plus an enormous amount of history every time you turn a corner. If you get sick of visiting museums, you can tour the coliseum or a dozen other really good sites. The Vatican collection, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's makes the jaw dropping stuff in Venice look 3rd class.

Rome is much cheaper to stay and eat. I found rooms in Venice were way more expensive and very hard to get to unless you pay for a watertaxi which is the expensive alternative to a waterbus. Venice is very hard to get around if you are lugging suitcases. Some bridges are ramps but many are steps and suitcases are a huge PITA. The advantage of Venice is that there are no cars, trucks, scooters, etc. so less noise and less pollution. Central Rome is not enjoyable in the traffic.

Transport systems in both cities were very good although in Venice, we had problems with high water on our last day and the waterbus stop was closed due to high tide so we were forced to walk 20 min. to get to the station.

We went to Murano (island near Venice) on a Sunday morning and it was much nicer with less crowds and we enjoyed just wandering the canals almost alone.

We did a short stop in Florence and left early. I know there are many that love Florence but we didn't. Just in case you were interested.

Travel by train is easy but we rented a car because we spent a week in Tuscany and another along the Amalfi coast. Both cities have train stations very close to the center and easy public transport from the stations. Download the transport maps and take a copy with you.

Can't give much more advice on hotels than what is posted here. We used the map view on hotels.com a lot to locate hotels near where we wanted to stay. Once you find the hotel/price point you want, then go back to TA and check out the reviews. Remember that if you want American standards you need to book an American hotel chain, otherwise you will find tiny showers, tiny elevators and harder beds.

Best to see: we're not religious but absolutely loved the Vatican tour. Statues & art covering every square foot. Simply amazing.

Best advice: do lots of homework on everything. My wife wishes she had heeded my advice and done more reading prior to the trip. The background info on why both cities became what they did and how art evolved is essential.

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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6. Re: Rome or Venice?

Since you live in Europe choose one city and make the most of your visit. Return again to the other city. I think you really need to decide on what kind of visit you want. To totally different experiences. Rome is amazing and there is more to see and do. It is also alarge and very busy city. Venice once you get away from the crowded spots is very quiet. what I love about Venice is (and I have been there 6 times) is for me it is like walking through a dream. What month are you planning your visit? That can make a difference too. If you choose Venice and someone does not mind sleeping on a sofa bed, I can recommend a great apartment for about 100 pounds a night.

Edited: 30 October 2012, 16:25
Nottingham, United...
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7. Re: Rome or Venice?

In that short time I would just choose one of the options.

I have been to both and Rome gets my vote absolutely!

An amazing unique City which would keep you more than occupied even in 5 days.

Venice although lots of people love it didn't do much for me and I think the prices are ridiculous.

I certainly wouldn't go back there but that is just my view.

Surrey, United...
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8. Re: Rome or Venice?

HI there

I would choose Rome, more to see, less crowded -although lots of tourists in both, Venice felt more crowded, seemed more touristy and was more expensive.

I'm pleased that I have seen Venice, but wont be visiting again, but I would go back to Rome again tomorrow...just wonderful :-)

Hong Kong, China
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for Holiday Travel, Food and Travel, Macau
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9. Re: Rome or Venice?

I'd do everything in my power to add 2-3 days to your trip so that you could do both. Shame having to make a choice.

Destination Expert
for Rome
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10. Re: Rome or Venice?

I think that "voting" for one or for the other one doesn't make much sense; each person may have one's preference, but basically both are unique sites, definitely recommendable to anyone. Try to look for information about both and maybe you'll feel which is better for you.

I would just avoid to try to see both in so few days. You risk to stay too little time in both and to enjoy neither. Choose one, and enjoy the one you choose the best way you can.