Venice and Florence, two of Italy's "big three" art cities, are joined by a fast and efficient rail service, as well as a fast toll road called the Autostrada. The distance between Venice and Florence is about 258 kilometers, or about 160 miles.
Popular Stops en Route
If you had only a week or two to see a bit of Italy, you might want to concentrate on the cities along this route, they represent the best big cities of the Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, and Tuscany.
Taking the Train
The train between Venice's Santa Lucia station and Florence's Santa Maria Novella station takes a mere 2 hours and 5 minutes. It is more efficient than flying when you consider the train's city-center to city-center service. If you reserve a hotel in the vicinity of the train station, you can get off, check into your hotel, and go off sightseeing in a very short period of time.
To plan your rail itinerary, check out this Rail Map of Italy, which will give you all travel times, departure times and ticket prices for your trip.
Can I take a Venice Day Trip From Florence (and vice versa)?
Well, yes, you can. Round-trip transport by high-speed train, including "a Vessel 'vaporetto' (water bus) ticket and a meet-and-greet session with a local Florence host (prior to travel) are all included in this tour: Independent Venice Day Trip from Florence by High-Speed Train.
Or how about going the other way? This tour includes all transport and a hop-on-hop-off tour bus in Florence: Independent Florence Day Trip from Venice by High-Speed Train.
For a slightly longer version of each of these, take a look at these:
Driving from Florence to Venice
You may be surprised to note that the cost of driving between the cities is slightly more than for one person taking the train--and this does not take into account parking fees you might have to pay on either end. Of course, if you load up your car with family, you'll save money driving and you'll be able to stop in some smaller cities and towns if you wish. Even on a good traffic day, driving will take longer than a fast train, almost three hours. (Good traffic days are more likely to occur in Italy on Sundays, as the enormous European trucks are absent from the autostrada on that day.)
There is bus service between the Florence and Venice, but it costs the same as the train and takes considerably longer: allow about four and a half hours.
Hotels in Florence and Venice
If you are doing this trip via train, you might want to stay next to either train station for convenience. Here are the links to lodging next to the stations:
- Venice Train Station Hotels Map (Cannaregio area)
- Florence Train Station Hotels (Santa Maria Novella area)