Venice and Florence, two of Italy's "big three" art cities, are joined by 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.
Stop at Popular Cities Along the Route
The route between the two cities is an interesting one; it takes you through some very compelling cities you might want to visit. Padua, Ferrara, and Bologna all have their charms. 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 as they represent the best big cities of the Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, and Tuscany areas.
Take the Train
The train between Venice's Santa Lucia station and Florence's Firenze Santa Maria Novella station takes a mere two hours and five 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, consult a rail map of Italy to determine all travel times, departure times, and ticket prices for your trip.
Try a Venice Day Trip From Florence
You can also opt to take an independent Venice day trip from Florence by high-speed train. With this tour, you receive round-trip transport by high-speed train, a vaporetto (water-bus) ticket, and a meet-and-greet session with a local Florence host (prior to travel).
What about if you want to go the other way? This independent Florence day trip from Venice by high-speed train includes all transport and a hop-on-hop-off tour bus in Florence.
For a slightly longer version of each of these tours, consider an overnight independent Florence tour from Venice, an overnight independent Venice tour from Florence, and a three-day tour of Venice and Padua from Florence.
Drive 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 a bus service between Florence and Venice, but it costs the same as the train and takes considerably longer. The bus ride takes about four and a half hours.
Stay at a Hotel in Florence and Venice
If you are doing this trip via train, you might want to stay next to either train station for convenience. In the Cannaregio area, check out hotels near Venice. If you're in the Firenze Santa Maria Novella area, look at hotels near Florence.