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Colle San Paolo in Umbria
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How to Take the Train from Florence to Venice
April 15, 2015
The easiest way to get to Venice from Florence is to take the train, of course. 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 just under 2 hours, arriving at the Venice Santa Lucia station. Tickets can be purchased at the station either from the ticket office, “biglietteria,” or the self-service ticket machines throughout the station. 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, I suggest that you use your debit card instead. Ticket prices range from 45 euro for second class seats (which do have assigned seats), and first class tickets from 63 euro. Your ticket will indicate the carriage, “carozza,” and your seat assignment. 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 trainpulls 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 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 to the lagoon: 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 65 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, as otherwise you will be walking with your luggage in crowds and passing over many 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. This point of arrival experience can really reduce stress and help you get more out of your visit as they can point out the nearest grocery store, ATM, pharmacy, where to eat nearby and so on, and assist you with purchasing the best vaporetto pass option and understanding how to navigate the canals on your own for your stay. Using this simple service will add so much value to your arrival--transforming your travel day into a trip day with a chance to meet a helpful local feel as if you are connected to the city from minute one.
In all cases, remember to pack light, and enjoy Venice!
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