Welcome to another useful travel article all about Italy. Are you planning a trip to Italy and asking yourself… which city is best: Venice or Rome?
Let’s start with an introduction to Rome, the capital of Italy.
Tourists fall in love with Rome for its laid-back vibe, its people and the food, as well as walking around its public squares on a pleasant summer’s day.
Venice is also called ‘la Serenissima’ or even ‘the city of canals and bridges’. It’s an outstanding destination to visit at least once in a lifetime.
Many people also define Venice as an open-air museum for its immense architectural and artistic heritage. The entire city and the Venetian lagoon have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987.
Venice vs Rome: Which is better?
Let’s now take a deeper look at both cities and understand the best time to visit Venice vs Rome, learn about their culture, the best food you expect to eat in these cities, things to do and much more!
Best time to visit Venice vs Rome
We can’t deny it. The weather is an important factor that plays the main role when deciding where to go on your next holiday.
To make the most of your getaway, you should look at the city with the best weather conditions. This means the one with more sunny and pleasant days.
Rome thanks to its geographical position has a Mediterranean climate similar to the one that characterizes southern Italy. This means that the winters are mild and the summers hot and dry.
When in Rome you can expect to find beautiful sunny days during the summer and hardly any rain. In Venice, however, winters can be quite cold, and summers (even if hot), are more humid, so far less pleasant for tourists.
In both cases, I recommend visiting the cities during spring or autumn when temperatures are between 18 and 28 °C.
This will allow you to keep spending your days out visiting streets and attractions, without suffering from the heat or feeling too tired.
Anyway, with Venice vs Rome, I would say that in general, Rome has a better climate compared to Venice.
Culture in Venice vs Rome
Even though Rome is not situated in southern Italy but in the central part of the peninsula, there are many cultural factors that make Rome a city of the south rather than one of the north.
This could be why locals are more welcoming in Rome than in Venice.
Over the years, Venice experienced negative environmental, social and economic impacts caused by mass tourism that affected how locals see tourists.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t find equally friendly people in Venice, when you stop in a shop or a restaurant, though. As long as you respect the city and its people, you’ll be welcomed in both places with open arms.
Expect to hear speaking completely different dialects in these cities, respectively called Venetian for Venice and Roman for Rome.
In both cases, residents are extremely proud of their dialect and they use it to communicate with each other.
If you stop for a meal, apart from the classic Italian dishes, you’ll notice differences in the menus with a selection of traditional regional dishes.
In general, life is more relaxed in Rome and this way of living negatively reflects on how services and facilities are managed and maintained, which is not that positive for a tourist visiting the city.
In Venice, you can definitely find reliable services and well-managed facilities both for residents and tourists. Both cities have cultural pros and cons, so it’s really up to you to decide to which you feel more drawn to.
Food in Venice vs Rome
There’s no doubt that in Italy is famous for its simple yet delicious dishes known (and loved) all over the world!
In both cities you’ll be spoiled by the vast choice of restaurants, trattorie, osterie, bars and eateries with street food that you can sample.
Many streets in Venice and Rome are paved with fine dining with traditional dishes to sample which are seated in some of the chicest locations.
Did you know that Rome is famous for some of it’s iconic pasta dishes? Like carbonara and cacio e pepe for example.
If you really want to taste the best, I recommend visiting the restaurant Da Tonnarello, where pasta is served in the same pan that it has been cooked!
Apart from these classic ones, some must-try foods are the fried artichoke, the supplì and the Roman gnocchi, just to mention a few.
In Venice, you’ll find more seafood and fish based dishes, which explain the strong connection of the city with the lagoon and the Adriatic Sea.
Cheap eats in Venice include the scartosso de pese frito (fried fish in a paper cone), the fried calamari, cicchetti and meatballs.
If you fancy a rustic dinner in a local trattoria, then try the scampi alla busara or bigoli in salsa (bigoli pasta with a sardines sauce).
Whether you prefer a Prosecco or wine with your meal Roman and Venetian cuisines are quite different in flavours and textures, this means that they’re both worth tasting so you can find out by yourself which one is the best!
Cost of Travel in Venice vs Rome
Whether you’re travelling to Venice or Rome for a weekend or just 2 or 3 days, the difference in cost of travel is barely noticeable.
But for a long stay of two weeks or more, for two or more people, it turns out that staying in the Italian capital costs less than a stay in Venice.
In fact, adding up all the expenses related to accommodation, food, transport, the purchase of souvenirs and various activities: the price difference becomes increasingly important.
Flights cost is generally higher during summer for both destinations and you can find good deals from September onwards.
Accommodation in Rome is cheaper than Venice and there’s a larger number of hotels, B&Bs, guest houses and hostels compared to Venice.
Remember that the city extends in an area that’s more than 3 times bigger than the Venetian one! Also eating out is slightly cheaper in the capital city and moving around by public transport.
For this reason, if we start looking at the budget, Rome is the city where you could save overall more money. If you’ll be travelling soon and wondering where to stay in Venice and save money, I’ve got you covered.
Things to do in Venice vs Rome
In both cities, there’s quite a lot you can do to get to know their culture, history and artistic heritage.
You can visit museums and art galleries, join private or small groups to learn everything you should know about the local food culture and wander around different neighbourhoods.
There are many half day or day trips you can organize from each city too.
Rome has many archaeological sites, museums and monuments, whilst in Venice, apart from the Archaeological Museum, there isn’t much more.
Then again, in Venice, you can find palaces and art galleries all around the city. There are many art exhibitions going on and the most important of all is the Biennale, attracting thousands of art lovers and tourists from abroad.
Even in Rome you can find tens of artistic exhibitions you can attend during your time in the city. Get yourself a City Pass and take advantage of events.
Because of the compact size of Venice compared to Rome, I’d say that most of the best things to do can be easily done in 2 or 3 days.
Whilst in Rome, where activities to experience can be dislocated in different parts of the city, it could take much longer. I usually recommend first timers to spend 3 days in Venice to be able to see all the top attractions.
Tourist attractions in Venice vs Rome
No city can compete with Rome when it comes to number of UNESCO Heritage Sites.
In fact, 6 of the 52 UNESCO sites and monuments in Italy are in Rome, which includes the Holy See and the Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura.
These archaeological sites that you should see when in Rome are the Colosseum, the Roman Forums and Mausoleum of Augustus, the Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, the Mausoleum of Hadrian and the Pantheon.
But what about the famous piazzas, such as Piazza Navona or Piazza di Spagna? Or the Trevi Fountain? There’s really a huge number of tourist attractions in Rome. It can literally take weeks to visit all its sights properly.
Venice and its lagoon are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The city itself is an extraordinary architectural gem and many churches and museums contain masterpieces of the greatest artists in the world, such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and Carpaccio, just to mention a few.
Let’s not forget about the beauty of some of the tourist attractions in Venice such as bridges like Rialto and the Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark’s Square where the St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace which are located closeby.
Again, it is very difficult to pit Venice vs Rome when it comes to tourist attractions, but in Rome you can probably find much more!
Getting Around Venice vs Rome
Venice is a lot smaller than Rome and you can walk around every point of the city without the need of getting on a water bus or taxi.
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.
It’s extremely easy to hop on a water bus (for a couple of euros) and visit places located on the opposite side of Venice. Same when you want to reach other islands in the lagoon like Murano, Torcello and Burano.
Just so you know, the transport cost could increase a lot when getting a gondola or a private taxi. However, I firmly believe that it is worth visiting the city lulled by the gentle gondola’s movements, at least once!
In Venice, Google Maps might not work always as the GPS signal is not strong enough, but the good news is that there are many signs all around the city directing you to the most important attractions.
And if you get lost… then embrace it, this is Venice after all!
In Rome, the only choice is getting a bus, metro or tram to get from one place to the other. There are timed tickets for up to 100 minutes at a time.
Or, alternatively, you can purchase 24/48/72 hours tickets to save money and time, as they are valid for all form of transport.
There are attractions that are quite close one to other and you can walk around without getting a bus so you can reach places in a short span of time. Getting around Venice is easier as everything is within a walkable distance.
More so especially when staying at popular places such as Hotel Danieli because you’ll be just a few meters away from St. Mark’s Square
After looking at different points, it’s clear that a comparison between these two amazing Italian cities is no easy thing to do.
Both cites have their own culture, history and people and fascinate tourists because of their uniqueness.
Rome vs Venice FAQ Guide
Here are some questions people ask when it comes to visiting Venice or Rome.
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Venice vs Rome: Which will you visit?
Now you should have a better idea of what to expect from Venice vs Rome.
It’s not easy to say which one is best and it all depends on your style of travelling, available time, budget and what you want to visit.
If you’re looking for more inspiration on what to do and see, why not check out this post full of things to do in Venice you can visit?
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