The most efficient and practical mode of transportation in Vicenza was either a bicycle, scooter or motorcycle. Due to the high cost of petrol, insurance and lack of parking for automobiles, the two wheeled (or three-wheeled) mode of transportation makes a lot of sense.
To get from Milano to Vicenza, we took the express train and arrived at our destination in just under two hours. Quick, efficient and relatively inexpensive is how I would describe our experience on the train. The seats were comfortable, tables were available and there was ample space to store your luggage (near the doors, behind the seats, above your head or a rack in the middle of the car).
Bus 13 goes from the train station to the corner Via della Rotonda and Viale Riviera Berica, 1,20 Euro, there is a vending machine at the bus station in front of the train station (but not at most other stations, buy the tickets you will need in advance), there is also a 1 day pass for 5,10 Euro
When I first arrived in Italy, all I heard /read about was how cheap and easy taking the train is here. Well, we wanted to go to Florence which is about a 3 hour train ride. Cheap? no so much. About $100 American for two going one way about 250 round trip. (should have rented a car for less) Convienient? Not really, when my pregnant wife and I took 10 seconds too long to board the train to Padova( first stop on the way to Florence, we wasted time trying to find the correct car from the outside) they shut the doors. Even after we waived and yelled at the conductor, they kept on going. Then we went inside to see what our options were and thats when we found out we could have paid 6 euro for a bus ride to Padova instead of 30 non-refundable euro for the train.
We went to florence and it was great. Reccomend that all tourists go for at least two days.
On the way back, the padova-Vicenza train wasnt assigned a platform ( platform=BIN in Italian) until 5 minutes before it arrived. On par with every other time I asked an Italian train employee for help, they were extremely rude. Harder to take when you can see that they are clearly idiots with a little knowledge that you dont have. Anyways, the train comes and we are on it and then it stops at Bolongia, for 2 and a half hours. No explanation, no apologies, just a little cup of juice and we are finally off again. Of course, when we arrive back in vicenza its 3 a.m. and everything is closed. In train italias defense, they did pay for us to have a cab ride home, just took an hour to get one there.
1. Be at the platform as early as possible, they will not wait for you. Even if you get on the wrong car, you can walk through the train to the correct one and find your seat.
2. Bring food, drinks and lots of extra cash for your ride. Snacks on board are expensive and you never know when you willl get stuck.
3. Learn some Italian. The less you have to depend on trainItalia employees the better. They clearly hate their jobs and customers more.
4. EVERYTHING is slower in Italy. Nothing is as simple to do as you might think.
It has many names, about 4-5 around the old part of the city. So get your bearings and be ready for a name change, like a lot of Italian streets, they change without notice. Direction signs to Monte Berico is fairly good, but be actuely aware of where the turoff is to get to the duomo on the hilll.
The maps we got to find our way around were confusing. The directions on the maps could direct you to a diefferent location. It is easy to find the duomo at the peak of the hil, but form there the Rigismento has little direction. You need to go back down to the main road to then veer off to the right and go through a village to find Rotunda and Valmarana. A smal sign is the only indication you are on the correct direction to these.
Vicenza has clogged traffic at times, and on more than one occasion, I missed my bus back to the hotel, as it roared by. Taking a car into the old city is not a wise idea either, as there are complicated parking regulations, and they are quick to tow. A rental bicycle turns out to be an excellent method of both getting around in Vicenza, and in making an interesting excursion into the countryside – “cycloturismo.”
The Tourism Office in the central Piazza Matteotti has full information about renting bicycles, which can be done right in this central square, which also is the location of the youth hostel (Ostello Olimpico). You need present only an identify card, and the bike can be rented by the hour, day, or up to three days. Once on your bike, you can cycle between Palladio’s glorious palazzos, basilica, and other monuments which are a further ride.
Cycling into the countryside is also feasible for a several-hour excursion. One of the closest bike trails begins at the SE corner of the old city, near the Arco delle Scalette (photo #2). The arch is at the foot of Monte Berico, in front of the long staircase that ascends the hill. The arch is a Palladio design, reminiscent of Roman triumphal arches topped by heroic statues.
The beginning of the biking/walking trail is signposted with its route (photo #1), called the “Riviera Berica.” (Ask ahead also at the Tourism Office if they have a printed map, and about the condition of the trail). The trail passes Palladio’s famous Villa La Rotunda, then heads for the countryside to Longaro (4.5 kms). At Longaro, turn right and head another 5 kms. to Lago di Fimon, a small lake with a mirror-like surface that reflects the surrounding green Berici Hills. The lake has waterfowl and swans, amid water lilies and reeds, and is a pleasant place to relax on a park bench for a picnic lunch. It’s popular with locals on weekends.
The Tourism Office in Piazza Matteotti is a very good resource. It is open 0900-1300 and 1430-1800 every day except Sunday, when it is open 0900-1300.
Vicenza is the one of the most important stops along the main North Italian railway line Milan-Venice.
All national and international trains stop in Vicenza's train station and, as in most of Italy’s important towns, for buying the tickets is better to be sure that you have enough time as there usually are long lines.
Vicenza is on the main Milan to Venice line and only half an hour east of Verona so most trains between those stop here and there are several a day. The station is a short walk from the historic centre.
The town of Vicenza is situated along A4 highway, in between Verona and Padova. Usualy, there are three or four possible entrances to the town, and each of it can bring you in the old core of the town. I always take the entrance to Montecchio Maggiore, which leads me directly to the old core of the town.
In case you're driving from Verona, take so called "statale", which is marked by the blue coloured indications.
Taking local buses is easy. The orange buses are for local routes. Bus route 1 is the main one we used to go between Caserma Ederle and downtown. Blue buses take you to outlying towns