Expert Travel Advice to Florence
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Mary Ann answered:Florence is about 200 miles from Venice. I would suggest taking a train from Venice to Florence. Depending on the time of day, it will take more or less 2 hours and cost between $60 (economy) and $85 (comfort). The hotel is about a 20 minute walk from the station or reachable by a 5 minute taxi ride. The other option is to rent a car in Venice and drive to Florence. It is a beautiful drive and involves mostly super highway. BUT, driving in Italy is not for the feint of heart and, at some time, you will need to leave the highway and navigate the streets of the city.
My gut tells me it's better to wait, too. You may save yourselves some headaches by getting tickets ahead of time, but bear in mind that Italy at the end of October is much quieter than in high summer so you should be fine getting into most attractions quite quickly. Plus, yes, you will pay a service fee by booking ahead, and you lock yourself out of that sense of spontaneity that makes vacations great! After all, if it's raining cats and dogs, why take a tour of the Tuscan countryside when you could hole up in a fascinating museum, historic site, or trattoria?
Answer this1 AnswerFlorence is one of those cities that is extremely popular with people studying abroad, so it's chock full of students who are either going to a school in the city or visiting while studying elsewhere in Italy. It's also chock full of tourists almost year-round, but especially in the summer months. What this means, in my experience, is that the locals are totally used to lots of foreign students taking over their city. But as to your more specific question, about whether they're "nice" to American students, that's going to vary depending on the locals you happen to be dealing with and the kind of American student you're talking about. Some people in Florence are going to be sick to death of foreigners, and are therefore probably going to seem rude. Others will be chatty and helpful. If you're someone who's polite, who attempts to speak Italian whenever possible, who isn't too loud, and who generally tries to fit in, then the chances are better you'll have a good reception. Having said that, for the most part, Italians all over Italy are exceptionally warm and welcoming - they're willing to help out with language issues in a way that's not condescending, & they're also often eager to practice their English. They love their country, & most of them are thrilled to share what they love with you. Be open, inquisitive, and respectful and there's no doubt in my mind you'll have an exceptional experience & return home thinking the Italians are the nicest people you've ever met. You can read more about travel in Italy on my website, WhyGo Italy: http://www.italylogue.com/
Tuscany, Florence, Venice, Rome, Sicily, the Amalfi Coast, Milan, Turin, Bologna, the Dolomites... the list of places to see in Italy is pretty endless. If you've never been, maybe hit the big guns like Rome and Florence, which will give you a taster -- and plenty reason to return for more! Also, you don't say how long you've got to travel around, which will naturally affect how expansive you can make that itinerary. I hear the southeast regions of the country are pretty special, with slightly fewer tourists and a unique regional flavor. I loved Venice, though my wife and I visited in November when there were hardly any tourists (it can be a zoo in the peak season).