- 1 Best Time to Visit: Venice vs Rome
- 2 Geography: Lazio vs Veneto
- 3 History: Ancient Rome vs the Republic of Venice
- 4 Architecture in Venice vs Rome
- 5 Roman Culture vs Venetian Culture
- 6 Roman Food vs Venetian Cuisine
- 7 Cost of Travel: Rome vs Venice
- 8 Activities, Landmarks, and Things to Do
- 9 Getting Around Rome and Venice
- 10 Shopping: Venice vs Rome
- 11 Choosing Venice, Italy
- 12 Choosing Rome, Italy
- 13 Venice vs Rome: The Final Decision
- 14 Visiting Both Venice and Rome
- 15 Rome vs Venice: FAQs
- 16 Venice vs Rome: Wrap-Up
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Two of Italy’s most popular destinations are Rome and Venice–with good reason.
Both cities are steeped in history, culture, and stunning architecture.
However, if you’re limited in time and need to decide between these two, it can be a difficult task.
After spending significant time in both cities as an expat living in Italy, I can attest that they offer vastly different experiences.
Venice is a unique city built on a series of islands connected by canals and bridges, known for its romantic gondola rides, beautiful architecture, and stunning sunsets.
Rome, on the other hand, is the capital city of Italy and is known for its ancient history spread throughout its modern city and delicious food.
Venice vs Rome–which one should you visit?
Best Time to Visit: Venice vs Rome
When planning a trip to Italy, the timing of your visit can make a big difference in your experience.
Overall, the best time to visit Rome and Venice depends on your preferences and priorities.
Consider the weather, crowds, and prices when planning your trip, and don’t be afraid to visit during the off-season for a special and less crowded experience.
Rome is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-June) and fall (September-November).
The weather is mild, with temperatures averaging between 18-25°C, and the crowds are thinner than during the peak summer months.
If you’re looking for lower prices and fewer tourists, consider visiting Rome in the winter months (December-February).
While the weather can be chilly, you’ll have the city’s famous landmarks practically to yourself.
The best time to visit Venice is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-June) and fall (September-November).
The weather is mild, with temperatures averaging between 18-25°C, and the crowds are thinner than during the peak summer months.
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds altogether, consider visiting Venice in the winter months (December-February).
While the weather can be chilly and damp, you’ll have the city’s canals and landmarks to yourself.
Just be aware that some attractions may have limited hours or be closed during the off-season.
If you’re visiting the historic center during this time, be sure to pack waterproof shoes and clothing and check the tide forecast before heading out.
Geography: Lazio vs Veneto
Rome is the capital city of Italy and is located in the central part of the country. The city is built on seven hills and is surrounded by the Apennine Mountains.
The Tiber River flows through the city, dividing it into two parts.
Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history that dates back over 2,500 years.
It was the center of the Roman Empire, which was one of the most powerful empires in the world.
The city is known for its ancient ruins, including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum.
Today, Rome is a major center of culture, art, and religion.
It’s home to the Vatican City, which is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the residence of the Pope.
Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region.
It is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and connected by bridges.
The city is located in the Venetian Lagoon, which is a shallow body of water that is separated from the Adriatic Sea by a narrow strip of land.
The city is known for its beautiful architecture, art, and culture.
Venice has been an important center of trade and commerce since the Middle Ages, and its strategic location on the Adriatic Sea made it a major power in the Mediterranean.
The city is also famous for its canals, which are used for transportation and tourism.
History: Ancient Rome vs the Republic of Venice
When it comes to history, both Rome and Venice have fascinating pasts.
From its beginnings as a small city-state to its eventual collapse, Rome’s story is one of remarkable achievement and complex political intrigue.
Ancient Rome was a dominant force in the world from the 8th century BC to the 5th century AD.
At its peak, Ancient Rome was the largest empire in the world, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants, accounting for roughly 20% of the world’s population.
Ancient Roman civilization contributed greatly to the modern world’s language, religion, society, technology, law, politics, government, warfare, art, literature, architecture, and engineering.
Rome achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as constructing empire-wide aqueducts and roads.
During the Renaissance, Rome experienced a cultural and artistic revival, with artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael leaving their mark on the city.
Today, Rome is home to numerous historic landmarks, including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum.
Venice is a city that is fascinating in many ways, including its history.
Unlike Rome, which was founded in ancient times, Venice was founded in the 5th century AD, after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Venice quickly became an important center of trade and commerce, thanks to its location on the Adriatic Sea.
The city also played an important role in the Crusades, with Venetian ships transporting Crusaders to the Holy Land.
During the Renaissance, Venice became a center of art and culture, with artists such as Titian and Tintoretto creating masterpieces that can still be seen in the city today.
Venice is also known for its stunning architecture, including the iconic St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.
Overall, both Rome and Venice have rich and fascinating histories that are worth exploring.
Whether you’re interested in ancient history, Renaissance art, or something in between, both cities have something to offer.
Architecture in Venice vs Rome
Every time I visit Rome or Venice, I’m blown away by the beauty and grandeur of these cities.
While Rome is known for its ancient and Renaissance architecture, Venice is known for its Gothic architecture and use of canals.
Each city has its own unique style and charm, with iconic designs and spectacular structures that showcase the height of the city’s history and culture.
Rome is known for its impressive architecture that dates back to ancient times.
The city is home to many iconic structures such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum.
These structures are a testament to the engineering and architectural skills of the ancient Romans.
The Colosseum, for example, is a massive amphitheater that could seat up to 50,000 people. It was used for gladiatorial contests, public spectacles, and other events.
In addition to ancient architecture, Rome also has many impressive buildings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
The city is home to numerous palaces, churches, and fountains that showcase the grandeur and opulence of these periods.
Some of the most famous examples include the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the Vatican City.
Venice is a city built on water, and its architecture reflects its location and history.
The city is known for its Gothic architecture, with many buildings featuring pointed arches, ornate decorations, and intricate details.
The city’s most famous landmark is the Piazza San Marco, which is surrounded by stunning architecture, like the Basilica di San Marco and the Doge’s Palace.
And one of the most incredible aspects of Venetian architecture is its canals.
The city’s famous palaces were built to face the roads of its day, which were the canals. You need to take a gondola ride or explore the city by boat to truly see Venice the way it was intended.
The city also has many beautiful bridges that connect its different neighborhoods and provide stunning views of the canals and buildings.
Roman Culture vs Venetian Culture
Rome and Venice are two of the most culturally rich cities in Italy, each with its own character.
While Rome is known for its ancient historical sites and vibrant street life, Venice is famous for its art, architecture, and traditional glass-making industry.
Rome is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the world, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Vatican City, with the home of Roman Catholicism, St. Peter’s Basilica.
The city has a rich artistic and architectural heritage, with some of the world’s most famous Renaissance artists, like Raphael, Michelangelo, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, having left their marks on the bustling city.
Apart from its historical sites, Rome is also known for its vibrant street life and its bustling piazzas.
The city is famous for its food, with its own style of pizza, known for a thinner crust than its Napoletano cousin.
Pasta dishes, like cacio e pepe, carbonara, and all’amatriciana, are renowned from Rome.
And the city’s Jewish Quarter has its own significant culture and food culture, with dishes like carciofi alla giudia, fried globe artichokes.
The city’s nightlife is also worth experiencing, with a wide range of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.
Venice’s culture is intrinsically tied to its history.
As its own free republic for over a thousand years, the city developed its own language, cuisine, and culture around its series of islands, canals, and waterways stretching into the Venetian Lagoon.
The city is also known for its traditional glass-making industry, with the island of Murano being home to some of the finest glass artisans in the world.
Venice is also famous for its Carnevale, which is held annually and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Apart from its cultural attractions, Venice is also known for its seafood-rich cuisine.
You’ll find their fresh fish included in all sorts of dishes, from delicately fried fish to their pastas and cicchetti, traditional Venetian small bites.
Roman Food vs Venetian Cuisine
As always, when you come to Italy, you have to eat and eat well! Although they’re part of the same country, traditional Roman and Venetian cuisine couldn’t be more different.
Rome is an ancient, inland city known for its delicious pasta dishes, and there’s no shortage of options to choose from.
One of my favorites is carbonara, made with egg yolk, guanciale, and pecorino cheese.
If you noticed that I didn’t list cream in the ingredient list, you’d be right!
Traditional Roman carbonara does not need cream to become creamy.
When made correctly, the egg yolks do all that work for you.
In fact, if you see a menu in Rome that lists cream on its ingredients list for carbonara, get up and try your luck somewhere else.
Another must-try dish is cacio e pepe, a simple yet flavorful pasta made with pecorino cheese and black pepper.
Aside from pasta, Rome is also famous for its pizza.
While pizza from Naples is known for its doughy crust, Roman pizza has a thin, crispy crust.
Coupled with fresh ingredients, you’ll enjoy a seriously delicious pie.
For a quick and cheap snack, try the supplì, a deep-fried rice ball filled with cheese and tomato sauce—the Roman equivalent to a Sicilian arancino.
Venice may not be as well-known for its cuisine as Rome, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in delicious food options.
Seafood is a staple in Venice, and you’ll find plenty of fresh catches on the menu.
A must-try in Venice is the cicchetti; small bites served on little rounds of bread.
A few of my favorites are the sarde in saor, a sweet and sour dish made with sardines, onions, and raisins, and baccalà, a salted cod mix that gets piled high.
The best way to experience cicchetti is on your own bacaro tour, either self-guided or with a group.
To do as the Venetians do, you’ll get a drink—either a glass of Prosecco, a white wine that comes from the mainland hills near Venice, or a spritz, which was created here in Venice—and a few pieces of cicchetti to enjoy.
Then, you’ll move on to the next bacaro and do it all again. It’s like a pub crawl, but Venetian style!
Cost of Travel: Rome vs Venice
When planning a trip to Italy, one of the biggest considerations is the cost of travel. Unfortunately, both cities are expensive—there’s really no way around it.
When it comes to the cost of travel, Rome is generally considered to be more affordable than Venice in that it has a wider price range.
If you’re a budget traveler, Rome has several hostels you can check out.
Otherwise, accommodation prices in Rome typically start around €100 per night and climb higher during the high tourism season.
In terms of eating out, Rome has a wide range of options to suit all budgets.
From street food to fine dining, prices for food and drink can vary depending on where you choose to eat, but there are plenty of affordable options available.
Also, Rome has an affordable public transportation system. The metro, buses, and trams are all reasonably priced, making it easy to get around the city without breaking the bank.
However, they don’t run 24 hours a day and don’t service all areas of the historic city center. In many cases, it would be faster to walk or pay for a taxi.
Since Venice is a city on a series of islands, everything needs to be brought in, which can make it more expensive than Rome.
Accommodation prices in Venice are typically higher than those in Rome in the historic center, and there are fewer budget-friendly options available.
However, if you choose to stay in Venezia Mestre, the city’s modern mainland area, you can find much more affordable hotel rates and easily take the train, public bus, or water taxi into the historic center.
Food and drink prices in Venice can also be higher than those in Rome, especially in tourist areas.
However, there are still plenty of affordable options available if you know where to look.
Head into the local neighborhoods of the city, like Cannaregio, Castello, and Dorsoduro neighborhoods.
Transportation in Venice is also more expensive than in Rome.
Since the city is built on water, the main mode of transportation is by boat.
The vaporetto is the city’s public water bus system, and you can purchase single-ride tickets and daily passes.
Traditional gondolas can be expensive and are more for tourist rides these days, but you can take the traghetto for a fast journey across the Grand Canal and a cheaper way to experience a gondola ride.
However, there is a free way to see Venice—by walking! Wandering the city streets is my favorite way to explore Venice.
Activities, Landmarks, and Things to Do
When it comes to things to do in Rome, there is no shortage of options.
From exploring ancient ruins to visiting world-class museums, the Eternal City has something for everyone.
Here are a few of my favorite things to do in Rome:
- Visit the Colosseum: This iconic amphitheater is a must-see for anyone visiting Rome. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of this ancient wonder.
- Explore the Vatican Museums: Home to some of the most famous works of art in the world, the Vatican Museums are a must-visit for art lovers.
- Wander through Trastevere: This charming neighborhood is full of winding cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and plenty of restaurants and bars.
- Indulge in gelato: Rome is known for its delicious gelato, and there are plenty of places to try it. Some of my favorites include Giolitti and Fatamorgana.
Venice is a city unlike any other, with its winding canals, beautiful architecture, and rich history.
Here are a few things I recommend doing while in Venice:
- Take a gondola ride: While it may seem touristy, a gondola ride is a must-do in Venice. It’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective.
- Visit St. Mark’s Basilica: This stunning cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks in Venice and for good reason. The intricate mosaics and beautiful architecture are truly breathtaking.
- Explore the Rialto Market: This bustling market is a great place to experience the local culture and try some delicious Venetian food.
- Take a day trip to Murano: This nearby island is famous for its glass blowing, and there are plenty of shops and studios to explore.
Getting Around Rome and Venice
When it comes to getting around Rome and Venice, there are some notable differences to consider.
Rome has an extensive public transit system that includes a metro, trams, and a bus system that goes around the beautiful city.
The metro system is especially useful for traveling long distances quickly.
However, it can get crowded during peak hours, and it doesn’t service large sections of the historic city center.
Taxis are also available in Rome, but they can be expensive, especially during rush hour or at night.
It’s also worth noting that traffic in Rome can be hectic, so taking a taxi may not always be the fastest option.
Venice is a lot smaller than Rome, and you can walk around every point of the city without needing to use public transportation.
This will also allow you to save time and money on tickets and to get from one place to the other, considering the compact size of the city.
However, if you do need to travel a longer distance or want to explore some of the nearby islands, you’ll need to use the water bus or taxi.
While the water bus is a more affordable option, it can get crowded during peak hours, and there may be long lines to board.
It’s also worth noting that Venice is not a very accessible city for those with mobility issues.
The streets are narrow and uneven, and many bridges have steps, making it difficult for wheelchair users or those with strollers to navigate.
Shopping: Venice vs Rome
Both Rome and Venice offer plenty of opportunities for shopping, whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or artisanal crafts. Just be sure to budget accordingly, as prices in both cities can be quite high.
Rome is a fantastic place to shop for everything from basic closet staples to designer clothing.
One of the best areas for shopping in Rome is the Via del Corso, which is lined with big brand stores and small boutique shops.
If you’re looking for luxury goods, head to the Via dei Condotti, where you’ll find high-end designer stores like Gucci, Prada, and Valentino.
Another great shopping destination is the Campo de’ Fiori market, which sells fresh produce, flowers, and souvenirs.
For something a bit more unique, check out the Monti neighborhood, which is known for its vintage shops and artisanal boutiques.
One of the best places to shop for souvenirs in Venice is the Rialto Market, which has a fresh produce market, a famous seafood market, and cheap souvenirs.
If you’re looking for high-end fashion, head to the Calle Larga XXII Marzo, which is lined with designer stores like Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
For something a bit more out-of-the-ordinary, check out the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a luxury department store that sells everything from fashion to home goods.
And Venice is famous for its artisanal crafts. You’ll find tons of shops selling everything from cheap Murano glass figurines to high-ticket Murano glass chandeliers.
Of course, if you want to shop Murano glass from the glassmakers themselves, you’ll need to head to Murano island.
The same goes for Burano’s handmade lace. You’ll find artisan Burano lace shops on the beautiful island, which is also known for its colorful houses.
Choosing Venice, Italy
Venice’s romantic atmosphere, relaxed pace, impressive attractions, and great food make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to experience the best of Italy.
When it comes to choosing between Venice and Rome, here are a few factors that make the Lagoon City stand out:
- Romantic atmosphere: Venice is often cited as one of the most romantic destinations in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. The city’s winding canals, narrow alleys, and historic architecture create a charming ambiance that’s perfect for couples or anyone looking for a romantic getaway.
- Relaxed pace: Compared to Rome, Venice has a slower pace of life that allows visitors to take their time and enjoy the city at a leisurely pace. Whether you’re exploring the canals by gondola, wandering through the colorful neighborhoods, or enjoying a glass of wine at a canal-side cafe, Venice encourages relaxation and enjoyment.
- Unique attractions: While Rome certainly has its fair share of historical and cultural attractions, Venice offers a remarkable set of experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. From the stunning St. Mark’s Basilica to the colorful island of Burano, there is always something new and exciting to discover in Venice.
- Great food: Italian cuisine is world-renowned, and Venice is no exception. From fresh seafood to hearty pasta dishes, Venice offers a delicious and diverse range of culinary experiences that will satisfy any foodie.
Choosing Rome, Italy
However, with incredible history found around every part of the city, Rome also has an amazing charm that makes it hard to resist:
- A major center of history and culture: Rome is one of the world’s most historically rich cities, with a plethora of ancient ruins, museums, and art galleries. From the Colosseum to the Vatican Museums, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Rome. The city’s culture is deeply embedded in its architecture, cuisine, and way of life, making it a fascinating city to explore.
- Accommodation prices have more range: Rome has a better range of accommodation options than Venice, with a larger number of hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, and hostels. I found that Rome’s accommodation options are also more affordable than Venice, making it an ideal destination for budget travelers.
- Amazing food: Rome is known for its delicious cuisine, and it is a paradise for foodies. From pizza and pasta to gelato and coffee, Rome has something for everyone. I’ve found that while food in Rome is still expensive, you’ll find a more affordable range here than in Venice, making it a great option for those on a budget.
- Perfect for day trips: Rome is a great base for day trips to other parts of Italy, such as Florence, Naples, and Pompeii. I found that Rome’s central location makes it easy to explore other parts of Italy using local and regional trains, which is a great way to experience more of the country’s culture and history.
Venice vs Rome: The Final Decision
While both cities offer incredible experiences, they are quite different from each other.
If you’re looking for a city that is rich in history and culture. The ancient ruins, museums, and art galleries will keep you occupied for days.
From the Colosseum to the Vatican, there are countless historic sites to visit.
The food in Rome is also fantastic, with traditional Italian dishes being a must-try.
However, Rome can be quite overwhelming, especially for first-time visitors.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed and romantic atmosphere.
One of the biggest advantages of Venice is its exceptional architecture and stunning canals.
You can take a gondola ride through the city and enjoy the beautiful views.
The food in Venice is also exceptional, with fresh seafood being a highlight. However, it’s worth remembering that Venice can be quite expensive and crowded during peak season.
Visiting Both Venice and Rome
As someone who has been fortunate enough to live in Italy and spend a ton of time in both Venice and Rome, I highly recommend experiencing both of these incredible Italian cities.
While they are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rich in history, culture, and art and they offer unforgettable experiences that are worth exploring.
One thing to keep in mind is the distance between the two cities.
Venice is located in northeastern Italy, while Rome is in central Italy.
It’s about a 3.5-hour train ride between the two cities, so it’s definitely doable to visit both during one trip.
You can find several direct high-speed trains that run from Venice’s Santa Lucia station to Rome’s Termini train station.
When planning a trip to both cities, I recommend spending at least two to three days in each city to really soak up all they have to offer.
You could even start your Italy itinerary by flying into Venice’s Marco Polo Airport and flying out of Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International Airport to maximize your exploration time!
Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting both Venice and Rome:
- Transportation: Both cities are very walkable and offer public transportation options such as buses, trams, and water taxis. In Venice, the water taxis are an enjoyable way to get around the romantic city’s canals.
- Accommodation: Both cities offer a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. It’s important to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
- Food: Italy is known for its delicious cuisine, and both Venice and Rome offer delicious dishes and flavors. In Venice, seafood is a must-try, while in Rome, pasta dishes like carbonara and cacio e pepe are popular.
- Attractions: Both cities offer a wealth of attractions, from historical landmarks to art museums. In Venice, a gondola ride through the canals is a must-do, while in Rome, the Colosseum, and Vatican City are must-visit spots.
Overall, visiting both Venice and Rome is a wonderful way to experience the best of Italy. Each city offers its own extraordinary experiences, making it a trip of a lifetime.
Rome vs Venice: FAQs
Is Venice in Rome?
No, Venice, Italy, is not in Rome, Italy. Venice is the capital of the Veneto region in the northeastern area of Italy, along the Adriatic Sea. Rome is the capital of Italy, found in the central-west section of the country, closer to the Mediterranean Sea.
How far is Venice, Italy, from Rome, Italy?
The distance between Venice and Rome is about 540 kilometers (335 miles). It takes about 3.5 hours to travel by train, although the journey can take longer depending on the route chosen. Although it’s possible to drive the distance in a little less than 6 hours, taking a train is generally recommended for convenience.
Venice vs Rome: Wrap-Up
Both Venice and Rome are incredible cities to visit, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
If you’re looking for a romantic and relaxed atmosphere, then Venice is the place for you.
However, if you’re interested in history and culture, then Rome is the better choice.
Although I highly recommend you visit both cities if time allows, you’ll have an amazing experience no matter what you choose!
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