The easiest way to get to Venice from Florence is to take the train. There are a few answers to the questions, “How Long Is the Train from Florence to Venice?” according to which train type you take. In general, it takes about 2 hours to take the train from Florence to Venice. Driving is an option if you plan to visit a destination en route between the city, but is not a convenient choice otherwise due to the fact that Venice is a city on the water and you cannot drive cars there, and Florence has increasing limited traffic zones in the city center where visitors are not permitted to drive at all.
There are two options for the type of train to take from Florence to Venice: the fast train, or the Intercity train. The regional trains cost less, however, unless you are a real budget traveler, it’s best to take the fast train because the regional trains take over 4 hours to arrive. Italy has two types of fast trains: the Italo trains, a private train line, and the Frecciarossa and Frecciargento state fast train lines. The Frecciargento fast train line runs from Florence typically every 45 minutes from the Santa Maria Novella station and will get you to Venice in 2 hours, arriving at the Venice Santa Lucia station. It is important when purchasing your ticket to select a direct train as some of the options for the Frecciarosa from Florence to Venice have a change of trains in Bologna. The Italo train train lines are all direct and depart every hour.
Tickets for both the Italo train can be purchased at the station either from the ticket office, “biglietteria,” or the self-service ticket machines throughout the station, or online. If you sign up for the newsletter on the Italo train, you may be able to use a promo code as Italo sends lots of promotions. The ticket machines require that you enter a pin for your credit card transaction, so if you are using a card that does not have a pin, you may need to pay with cash or use your debit card instead. Ticket prices for the Frecciarossa and Frecciargento range from 45 euro for second class seats, and first class tickets from 60 euro. You can often find less expensive tickets on the Italo train lines, around 20-30 euro each way, and the trains are very nice. Your ticket will indicate the carriage, “carozza,” and your seat assignment. If you are purchasing your tickets from the self-service machines at the station, do not accept help from anyone offering to help you with the machine, as this is a scam and you will be asked for money or possibly distracted to be pickpocketed.
Check the timetable displays above the tracks for your train’s arrival track, “binario.” The tracks serving the Frecciargento lines have signs lining the tracks just above eye level indicating where the carriages should align when the train pulls in. So, for example, if your seat is in carriage 5, continue quickly along the track until you see the sign above for 5. Each carriage has 2 doors, the first door will indicate something like “Carozza 5, rows 12-24” and the second door “Carozza 5, rows 1-11.” Entering at the correct door for your seat assignments will save everyone time. The luggage storage above the seats on these trains is slightly higher and narrower than the regional trains, so if you cannot stow your luggage there, there are luggage racks near the bathrooms between the cars.
When you arrive at the St. Lucia Station in Venice, exit the station, where you will find immediately in the front a row of docks with your various choices for getting from the train station to Venice city center: tickets on the vaporetto, the public water ferry, are available at the ferrovie stop, directly in front of you. A single ticket costs 7 euro for passengers with 1 piece of baggage. There is a 6 euro supplement for each extra bag. Or you can purchase 1-, 2-, and 3-day unlimited passes on the ferry, which will save you money if you plan to use it during your trip to get around Venice along the Grand Canal, or to visit the islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. The ride takes about 45 minutes to an hour. To the left of the vaporetto station you will find a row of water taxis. The cost for a taxi from the train station is 70 euro for 4-5 people, and the ride takes around 30 minutes. Alternatively, you may schedule a private boat transfer with your hotel, costing generally in the range of 100 euro. If your hotel is not on the Grand Canal, you may want to consider spending the extra money on a water taxi that can take you closer to your hotel on one of the smaller internal canals, or use the Prontopia app to request a local to accompany you on the vaporetto so that you can get door-to-door easily walking with your luggage in crowds and crossing over bridges.
Arriving to Venice can be hectic and stressful. For a unique Local experience that will give you peace of mind upon arrival, try the Prontopia app — a convenient service for travelers that allows you to request a Local for assistance finding your destination easily from anywhere in the city with help with your luggage or information about your stay as needed.
Photo Credit: Nekotank