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A Train Trip From Rome To Venice Is A Great Experience

A train trip from Rome to Venice is a beautiful voyage across Italy that must be experienced because there really is nothing like Venice anywhere in the world.

train trip from rome to venice - Saint Mark's Piazza

Piazza San Marco

Venice, in the Veneto region, is picturesque, chaotic and crowded, but if you plan ahead you can avoid the cruise ships and enjoy the same city that the residents enjoy. There are no cars on the islands and the buses are actually boats so the only way to get around the city is walking, taking a water-taxi, a bus (vaporetto) or using a traghetto to cross the canal.

My recommendation is to plan to stay in Venice for at least a week. Many people suggest only three days, but I disagree. While you can power walk from site-to-site over three days, you won’t enjoy the stress and the sharp elbows of your fellow travelers. We’ve done the same thing and found it very unfulfilling. Once we relaxed, eased up on the schedule of events and stayed in apartments away from the tourist sites, we enjoyed our stay so much more.

A Train Trip From Rome To Venice In Entertainment

Because of the unique beauty of Venice there are many cultural references that you should be aware of so that you can get a feel for the city even before visiting it. My three favorite movies set in Venice are:

train trip from rome to venice - Gondoliers

Gondoliers in Uniform

  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – The fight scene on the boats in the lagoon was really great (albeit CGI) and when Elsa and Indy escaped and popped their heads up in the piazza this was fun as well. This is my favorite Indiana Jones movie.
  • Summertime (1955) –  This Katharine Hepburn classic shows you so many angles of the city that shouldn’t be missed. Two of my favorite scenes are when she arrives by train crossing the lagoon, which is how it is still done today. The other is while she is seated at a table in Saint Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) enjoying the ambiance. Sitting in the Piazza reminds me of something that the great Rick Steves said, when you see that you are paying 20€ for a cocktail, you need to understand that you are really paying 20€ for the view and the drink is free (I’m paraphrasing).
  • The Italian Job (2003 Remake) – This Marky Mark remake was fun to watch, and I even went back to watch the original with Michael Caine, but I prefer this new one. The best part for me is the opening scenes of the theft in Venice. It was beautiful both in the architecture and the boat races in the canals.

How To Take A Train Trip From Rome To Venice

Traveling From Rome To Venice by Train

train trip from rome to venice - Gondolas In The Garage

They Store The Gondolas In The Garage

Leaving from Rome to Venice on the train, you have a few options :

  • The Santa Lucia Railway Station is Venice’s central train station. The railway station connects Venice with the main Italian cities.
  • You can book with Trenitalia, the national rail network of Italy. The fastest and most expensive train option is on the Frecciarossa, which should take you around 4 hours with prices starting at 54.90€ each way when booking on their site. When booking, pay attention to the number of transfers. Some have no changes and others change trains in Bologna and Ferrara.
  • The Intercity train takes a lot longer, up to 6 hours and 45 minutes, but it costs a more reasonable 33.05€ each way. 
  • You can also book with .Italo, Italy’s private rail network. The cheapest ticket is 54.90€ if you want to leave before 6:00am and 62.90€ leaving at a reasonable time which you can upgrade to 150€ for flexibility and comfort. The  train is slightly faster at under 4 hours.

Traveling To Venice By Plane

As of today, Summer 2022, there are only a couple direct flights from New York City to Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), and these are on Delta and United. Most other carriers, which include European and Budget airlines, will require a connection from the US.

To get from the airport to Venice you can use a water bus transport service, which is available from the airport docks, connecting to Venice and the main Venetian islands (Murano, Burano, Lido). The water bus transport service is provided by Alilaguna. You can buy tickets on the water bus, at the ticket machine at baggage claim, on the docks or at the Ticket Office at Arrivals.

Is Venice A Safe City?

Even more so than the generally safe Italy, the overall risk in Venice is low. Even though there are so many tourists wandering the streets of Venice, it is a very safe city. Like any other tourist-heavy city, public transport like the vaporetti and crowded areas like Saint Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) might have pickpockets and petty criminals, but nothing unusual. Be a smart traveler and do not take too much money with you when you are out and use a hotel safe for valuables.

train trip from rome to venice - Gondolas

Gondolas Ready To Go

On a personal note, the only time I thought I was being robbed was when I went to get our bags from the Baggage Storage in the train station. I paid with a 50€ bill, and when the worker tried to make change, he claimed that I only gave him 5€. After some nasty looks, obvious anger and despite the language barrier, he relented and gave me the full amount, so pay attention when you are using large bills.

Where To Stay In Venice

There are stunning hotels and villas in Venice which can range from palatial luxury hotels with breathtaking views of the Grand Canal to unique boutique hotels that cater to your specific needs to budget lodging and to our favorite places listed on Airbnb and VRBO. On more recent trips we have stayed in apartments away from Saint Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) and been very happy.

The six main neighborhoods (sestieri) that make up the city of Venice are San Marco, San Polo, Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, and Santa Croce. They each have wonderfully unique and charming features with some focusing on tourist sites, some have more shopping and some are less touristy with more grocery and house wine, known as vino sfuso stores, that you should check out if you are having an extended stay in town.

What Are The Best Sites In Venice?

There are interesting sites around every corner of Venice. You simply need to walk around the historical center or get lost (it’s an island). There are churches, museums and restaurants all over the city that are fantastic. If you are looking for some suggestions, check out:

  • Saint Mark’s Basilica – It is located in Saint Mark’s Square and is the former political and religious center of the Republic of Venice. It is attached to the Doge’s Palace.
  • Saint Mark’s Square –  It is the most famous piazza in Venice and  it holds huge importance in Venice and is a truly spectacular place to visit.
  • The Grand Canal – This is the largest and the most famous canal in Venice and it has over 170 buildings dating from as early as the 13th century lining its banks.
  • Rialto Bridge – It is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. On either side of the bridge there are rows of shops.
  • Gallerie dell’Accademia – this is a museum gallery of pre-19th century art on the Grand Canal
  • Doge’s Palace –  It was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic and became a museum in 1923
  • Murano Island – It is famous for its glass blowing and you can see live demonstrations at the various factories that are established here.
  • Burano Island – It is near Torcello and it is known for its lace work and brightly coloured homes.
train trip from rome to venice - Acqua Alta

Walkway in Place for Acqua Alta

Are There Other Sites In Venice?

As I mentioned above, because Venice is an island you can easily choose to walk around and get lost. Just keep walking and you will come upon some exciting sites that don’t make the standard tour guides. These include the The Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico) in Cannaregio, The Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Dorsoduro and you can check out the Grand Canal by renting a Gondola.

Boats In Venice

One thing you could try is rowing your own gondola. We did this and it was an amazing experience. We made reservations with Row Venice for four of us, we were taught how to handle the boat and we all took turns having a really fun time. Row Venice gets you off the beaten path and behind the oar, offering you the possibility to experience the rich heritage of this unique rowing style first-hand.

What Is The Best Food In Venice?

Finding good Venice food can be tricky because of all the tourist spots, so do a little planning ahead of time. For a restaurant that we love and make sure to return to whenever we are in town, I strongly recommend Paradiso Perduto. The restaurant is on Fondamenta de la Misericordia in Cannaregio and offers the best food I’ve eaten in Venice.

Another approach to food in Venice is to check out the Cicchetti. Similar in concept to Tapas, cicchetti are served in bars and include tiny sandwiches, plates of olives or other vegetables, small servings of a combination of one or more of seafood, meat and vegetables on top of a slice of bread or polenta.

More Information That Might Interest You

If you are interested in other posts about a train trip from Rome to Venice, or other travel in Italy, please check out these as well:

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