Venice vs Tuscany: Head-to-Head Battle between 2 Italian destinations

Venice VS Tuscany

Venice and Tuscany – Battle between two Italian destinations!

So you’ve decided that Italy is the place for you. The country is so varied that it can be hard to decide which region to visit and very tempting to see it all at once. We’d suggest setting your sights on one region and getting to know it really well. Two very inspiring but different locations are the regions we go to on our painting holidays: Venice and Tuscany. Here is a quick guide comparing the differences between the two regions.

Scenery of Venice and Tuscany

The City of Venice

Venice and the surrounding region offers the best of both worlds. The city of Venice offers a unique landscape of iconic canals while a short train journey can take you straight from the busy city centre to the town of Belluno which offers stunning views of the Dolomites.

The beautiful city of Venice is known for being called the ‘city of canals’  as it has 118 mini islands spread throughout the breathtaking city. Venice has a gothic style of architecture that has been used to simply brighten and bring authenticity to the city. The streets in Venice are very narrow along with many bridges that allow you to get to your destination as there are 177 canals within the city.

A view over Venice on a sunny day

Did you know that the city of Venice is car-free?

Rural Landscapes of Tuscany

In Tuscany, you can expect to find the rolling hills  you have seen countless times in travel brochures. This is the biggest difference between Venice and Tuscany. The Tuscan region offers rustic towns and cities such as Florence, but the countryside on offer is the perfect place for a relaxed, slow paced Italian lifestyle…

Tuscany is known for being the leading producer of extra virgin olive oil in the world, the Tuscan rolling hills are filled with olive groves. The beautiful scenery through Tuscany is perfect for a Painting or photography holiday where you can capture Tuscany’s sunsets and sunrises on its rural landscape.

Gorgeous rolling hills of Tuscany

The Tuscan hills are ideal for capturing photographs or painting landscapes!

Food of Venice and Tuscany

The taste of Venice

Although Venice and Tuscany are very different, the same cooking principles still apply. You can find out more about how food plays a big part in Italian lifestyle in our blog post!

It would seem you cannot visit Venice without encountering Risotto. This staple dish comes in many forms. One of the most exotic dishes you will find is Cuttlefish or Squid Ink Risotto. This looks striking on the plate with its unusual black colour, but once you taste it you won’t be worrying about appearances! Squid ink pasta is also popular, it is very similar to the risotto version but pasta this time.

Another popular food within Venice is Fritto Misto! This dish is deep fried seafood such as muscles or shrimp along with deep fried vegetables or small morsels of meat. This dish is ideal for any seafood or deep fried food lovers. It can be found in many different restaurants all around Venice.

Squid ink risotto in a bowl

Would you try this squid ink risotto?

Tuscan Favourites

Tuscany’s Ribollita soup is a hearty dish perfect for winter days. Using a mixture of beans, cabbage, onions and carrots, this Tuscan favourite has been a staple for centuries for being an economical meal that satisfies many.

A trip to Tuscany would also not be complete without Olive Oil tasting! An advantage of visiting the region is getting up close with the production process and discovering that there is more to the oil than you think

Pici pasta is a form of pasta that originates from Siena in Tuscany. It is a thick hand rolled pasta which is similar to spaghetti but fatter. It is usually eaten with cacio e pepe or in a ragu. The pasta is really worth the try especially when it’s homemade, it’s a great way to switch up from regular spaghetti pasta.

Thick homemade pici pasta

Homemade pasta always tastes better!

Cultural Sights

The city of Venice

An advantage of Venice is that it is great for a quick city break. Why not add this on to the end of your Flavours Holiday and visit the three main sights in Piazza San Marco. From here you can admire views across the lagoon and visit St. Marks Basilica, the Doge’s Palace. As well as admiring the historic artwork in these museums, Venice’s Biennial festival offers extensive exhibitions. Altering year on year from architecture to art.

As Venice is known as the ‘City of canals’, you can get around the city in a gondola. It will take you around the beautiful sights of Venice!  The famous Rialto Bridge is very popular with tourists but is really worth it taking the iconic photos.

The famous Rialto Bridge

The famous Rialto Bridge is the go to for tourists in Venice

Tuscany’s Tourism

Tuscany has a few historical cities to offer. Tick off the bucket list and visit the leaning tower in Pisa. Discover the great artworks of Da Vinci in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery and explore the mediaeval town of San Gimignano. Time your visit right and you can enjoy the Medieval Harvest Festival. It involves some great games and events such as tug of war, archery and jousting.

Explore the heart of renaissance in Florence at Piazza del Duomo! The breathtaking architecture and the detail put into the square of Florence. Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore where you can look at the stunning interior design by Emilio de Fabris. We are not surprised that it is one of the most visited places in the world!

Beautiful view over Florence in Tuscany

Beautiful view over Florence in Tuscany

So now we’ve compared Venice and Tuscany, now it’s up to you to choose…. Painting, cookery, Pilates or Italian language! So, if you’re looking for an authentic Italian holiday – join us this summer! Check our late availability here.

Originally published 18 June 2015 | Updated on 30 March 2022

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Flavours Blog

Food, Recipes, Lifestyle and Travel blog – by the Flavours Holidays team.