Side trip from Rome to Venice and back to Rome
I have checked rail and they seem to leave in the afternoon and arrive in the evening, meaning I'd have to stay over a night.
Are there any trains that leave early in the morning and return late at night? Or should I just bite the bullet and get a hotel in the Venice area for the night? I guess the advantage of traveling in the afternoon is one would get a good view of the country, along the way. Just wondering how convenient it is to go from Rome to Venice and back to Rome.
I wouldn't go to Venice for a day. 2wanderers is right, you'll spend most of it on the train. I don't know how well you travel, but I'm in fairly good shape, and usually after spending 5 hours on a train I'm a little tired, which is not ideal for cramming an entire city into one afternoon. Plus Venice is kind of tricky, you'll need to be able to orient yourself, and you can't do that if you've only got a couple hours.
Lastly, and I say this a lot, I read it in the very first book I picked up when I decided to go to Europe: you only get to go to ______(Venice) for the first time once. Don't ruin it by rushing around and not really seeing anything.
I recommend staying 2 nights there, which isn't really ideal but you've only got a week. If you can't do that, I'd spend the time in Rome. Actually, if it were me I'd do just Rome--your first day is shot because of travel, your last day might be shot for similar reasons, so now you're down to 5 days. Rome's got plenty of stuff to fill 5 days with.
You can read about Venice on the BootsnAll Italy Travel Guide (beware, I love Venice and tend to gush a bit), and on my last trip I stayed in the Hotel Astoria and toured the Hotel Dalla Mora. For a more budget option, try the only HI hostel in Venice, Ostello Venezia.
And on the other hand, there's the argument that there's plenty to do in Rome to keep you busy for a week (or more), and Venice will be there the next time you're in Italy. There are also other day-trip options that are closer to Rome & which you really could do in a day. Just a suggestion.
North-Eastern Italy as a whole is a fantastic itinerary- with stops like Verona, Bologna, Padua, Ferrara and of course, Venince, you could make a lovely holiday out of that region of the country. To echo what has been posted, there are many exciting daytrips in the Lazio and surrounding areas, and Rome itself has an ENDLESS amount of things to see and do- with the limited time frame, I might consider Venice for the next trip to Italy. (February, during Carnivale is particularly nice!)
"we shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.."
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