Venice , Italy (Venezia in Italian) is still one of the most interesting and lovely places in the world. This sanctuary on a lagoon is virtually the same as it was six hundred years ago, which adds to the fascinating character. Venice has decayed since its heyday and is heavily touristed (there are slightly more tourists than residents), but the romantic charm remains.
This place may not seem huge but it is. Venice is made of different districts. The most famous is the area comprising the 118 islands in the main districts that are called "Sestieri" and they are: Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce and San Marco, where the main monuments and sights are located. Other main districts are Isola Della Giudecca and Lido di Venezia. Other important islands include Murano, Torcello, San Francesco del Deserto and Burano, but there are several. Lastly, there is Mestre, another town on the more industrial mainland (but still part of Venice municipality), which is linked to Venice by a 5 kilometer bridge. More than 220,000 people live in Mestre.
The Most Serene Republic of Venice dates back to 827, when a Byzantine Duke moved its seat to what is now known as the Rialto, and for the following 970 years, prospered on trade and under the rule of a Roman-style Senate headed by the Doge. Alas in 1797, the city was conquered by Napoleon, a blow from which the city never recovered. The city was soon merged into Austria-Hungary, then ping-ponged back and forth between Austria and a nascent Italy, but Venice is still a monument to the glory days of the Renaissance, and historical culture still throbs powerfully in the old Italians' veins.
The summer may be the worst time to visit: it's sometimes very hot and often humid, the canals usually smell (in the most literal sense), there are occasional infestations of flies, and there are more tourists than usual. Spring and fall are probably best, a compromise between temperature (expect 5-15°C in March) and the tourist load. Between November and January, you may manage to feel you have Venice all to yourself, an interesting and quiet experience. That said, if you've never been to Venice, it's better to go in summer than not to go. You won't regret it. Many cities are far worse in summer, and Venice has no cars, hence no smog.
Acqua alta (high water) has become a fact of life in Venice. The lagoon water level occasionally rises above the level of the squares and streets, flooding them. This can happen several times a year, at irregular intervals, usually in the colder months. Acqua alta usually lasts a couple of hours and coincides with the tides. You'll see raised walkways in side alleys ready to be pulled out when acqua alta hits. When the city begins to flood, sirens will sound to warn residents and businesses. If you speak fluent Italian, tune into news programs since their predictions of the times the flood begins and ends are usually on the spot.
You can get an acqua alta map at the tourist offices either at the railway station or St Marks. This will show you the higher, dry routes and the ones with walkways setup during the various flood alerts. There is a tide measuring station at the Rialto vaporetto piers, and a noticeboard at the base of the Campanile in the Piazza San Marco that shows a live tide reading and predictions for the next few days.
Because Venice is on a lagoon, the water plays a crucial role in transportation. The most popular way to approach Venice is by boat or train.
The closest commercial airport is Marco Polo Airport  (ICAO: LIPZ, IATA: VCE), on the mainland near Mestre (a more typical Italian city, without Venice's unique structure). The Treviso Airport  (ICAO: LIPH, IATA: TSF), located 25 km (16 mi) from Venice, is relatively smaller but becoming increasingly busy as the main destination for Ryanair, SkyEurope, and Transavia budget flights. From Treviso Airport, ATVO  offers a €10 round-trip ticket price from-to Venice.
Both airports have bus connections with Venice (Piazzale Roma), Mestre, Padua and other towns. ATVO 'pullman'coaches (€10 return) run to and from Treviso to co-incide with flights. Marco Polo airport runs a shuttle bus --€3-- (or just turn left and walk 10 minutes under the awning) to the Alilaguna water-bus jetty, where €13 gets you a leisurely 75 minute boat trip to San Marco via Murano, Lido and the Arsenale. Or take the cheaper boat (€6,50) to Murano which takes only half an hour. Alternatively, you can travel in style (and much faster) by hiring one of the speedy water-taxis (30 mins) for about €100. All these tickets are now buyable online on Venicelink.com 
The San Nicolo Airport (ICAO: LIPV, IATA: ATC) is an airfield directly on the Lido. It handles only small aircraft, as the runway (grass) is about 1 km long, and does not have any scheduled flights, but might be of interest to private pilots (arrivals from Schengen states only) due to its convenience to the city (it is a short walk to the vaporetto landing).
Trains from the mainland run through Mestre to the Venezia - Santa Lucia train station on the west side of Venice (make sure you don't get confused with Venezia Mestre which is the last stop on the mainland!). From the station district, water buses (vaporetti) or water taxis can take you to hotels or other locations on the islands (or you can walk). Direct trains to Venice are available from many international destinations, including Paris (sleeping cars), Munich, Budapest, Zagreb & Ljubljana. From Vienna (Wien) Trains can be arranged via the Austrian ÖBB train system .
Cars arrive on the far western edge of Venice, but remain parked at the entrance to the city (Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto - Europe's largest car park.) There are no roads past this point -- and never were, even before cars. Car parking is expensive here and the tailbacks can be quite large. An alternative is to use the car parks on the mainland (terra firma) and catch a vaporetto, train or bus into Venice. Park near the Mestre railway station, and catch a train to Venezia St.Lucia; there are many trains, it is very near (8-10 minutes) and quite cheap. (Don't bother searching for free parking near the train station - there are no free parking spots near.) Besides, Venezia St. Lucia is a good starting point to visit Venice. However drivers going to the Lido can use the car ferry from Tronchetto (vaporetto 17 - frequencies vary), right hand lane off the Ponte della Libertà into the city.
By rental car
Most of the major rental car companies have outlets at Piazzale Roma, at the edge of the city. These are on the ground floor of one of the major parking stations. When you are dropping off your car, you need to find street parking and then walk to the rental car outlet and hand in the keys. Do not park in the parking station! There is a vaporetto stop across the road from the parking station.
There is a direct bus between Marco Polo airport and the Piazzale Roma, on the west bank of Venice. Starts twice an hour, takes 20 minutes and costs €3. The Piazzale Roma bus station is well served by vaporetti and water-taxis ... and of course, you can walk everywhere. From Mestre, you can take a bus to Venezia- Piazzale Roma. the ticket is €1 but if you buy it in the bus it will cost €1.50. You can buy bus tickets from tobacconists and newsagencies. All of the city is connected to Venice by bus.
Ships arrive at the Stazione Marittima which is at the west end of the main islands, it is served by vaporetti and water taxis. An up-to-date site with all ferry schedules from Venice to Greece is online at Greek Ferries Center , AllGreekFerries.com , Ferries.gr , greekferries.gr  and Greece-Ferries.com  .
Venice is the world's only pedestrian city, is easily walkable, and the absence of cars makes it a particularly pleasant experience. Walking and standing all day can be exhausting too so acclimatise yourself. The Rialtine islands - the 'main' part of Venice - are small enough to walk from one end to the other in about an hour.
If you want to get around a bit more quickly, there are numerous vaporetti (water buses) and water taxis. The vaporetti are generally the best way to get around, even if the service route map changes frequently. If you are going to be in Venice for a few days visiting, it is a lot cheaper to get the vaporetti than to get private water taxis. If you want to have a romantic ride along the canals, take a gondola ride.
ACTV  runs the vaporetti and other public transport services both in the lagoon and on the terra firma. Travel cards are extremely useful since the basic fare for one vaporetto journey is typically €6.50 whereas a 1 day travel card costs €16, and a 3 day costs €33 and there are other versions (including discounts for youth under the age of 29). Prices are correct as per January 2009 - current rates can be found here: .
One can also get a Venice Card, which has various options that you can choose when you buy it (public transportation, cultural entrance, toilette access, Alilaguna and so forth). There is a 'Junior' version of the Venice that is available at a slightly reduced rate for those between 5 and 29 years of age. Note, however, that a Venice Card is not recommended for those with less than 3 days in Venice, as most of the top attractions are not included in the Venice Card. If you'll be staying in Venice for a week - get the Venice Card and enjoy travelling from island to island and exploring the various museums and churches it offers access to.
Maps are available at the vaporetto stops in the ticket booths. The map is quite reliable, and is free when getting a Venice Card (€2 otherwise).
Venice Cards can be reserved on-line for a considerable discount here: . Keep in mind, though, that there are long lines when taking the Venice Card from the ticket booths. The Venezia St. Lucia ticket booth that offers Venice Cards is the one most on the right when you exit the train station.
Otherwise, take a walk! The city is not that big, and you can walk from one end to the other in a few hours. But it would take months for a fit person to discover every path in the city. Along the way you will discover marvelous art, superb architecture and breathtaking urban landscaping. Exploring the city randomly by walking is well worth it but also be prepared to get lost easily! Signs all over the city indicate the direction to the main attractions, "Rialto" and "San Marco", as well as the way back to the train station ("ferrovia") and the bus terminal ("Piazzale Roma"). These signs make it easy to have the "get lost experience" even as a one-day tourist.
Although San Marco is free, other famous churches charge an entry fee. If you plan to visit three churches or more, you are better off buying the churches pass. There is also a combined pass for museums, churches and transportation only available at the tourist information office but it is relatively expensive.
There is a museum pass available for some of Venice's best known museums. It does not include all of them. It is already worthwhile buying it if you intend to visit the two big museums at Saint Marc Square: The Doge's Palace and Correr Museum. A more expensive pass also including some famous churches and transportation is available at the tourist information.
Other Classical art museums are:
Other museums include:
Outdoor sights, piazzas, bridges, canals
Voga Longa, the yearly equivalent of a marathon run on water will be held on 31st May 2009 for the next time. Voga Longa competitors must row 32 kilometers under 3.5 hours to receive a certificate of attendance at the finish line, but everybody with a human-powered vessel is welcome to participate (some foreigner teams take up to 10 hours to complete the journey just for the fun of it).
The official purpose of the Voga Longa was to protest the sharply increasing use of powerboats in Venice, but the event has gradually grown into a festival since 1974, with up to 5500 racers in 1500 vessels attending by the early 2000s. The racetrack visits different parts of Venice as well as some of the nearby islands. Locals and tourists lining up alongside rios and canals cheer the racers.
Visitors wishing to participate should have serious experience in rowing or sculling and practice duely, as the journey is physically demanding (even seasoned oarsmen develop calluses by the finish line). The event is mainly for teams, completing Voga Longa on a single oar is considered a major achievement. Extreme participation (scuba frogmen and surface swimmers) sometimes occurs, but it is not recommended due to water contamination issues.
Regata 'Storica (Historic fleet event) is held on the first Sunday of every September. Celebrating a historic event from 1489, the regatta displays almost a hundred varieties of venetian boats from the city's rich past. Large oarships, replicating ancient roman and medieval vessels, are rowed along the Canal Grande, followed by many smaller boats. There are several races, including a master championship for solo sculling in streamlined gondolini, painted in unusual white, pink, etc. colours. There are many excellent photo opportunities for this event.
Ride a Vaporetto (Water Bus) down the Grand Canal right before sunset. The Vaporettos are inexpensive, but the sights are priceless: amazing architecture, soft seaside sunlight, and a fascinating parade of Venetian watercraft.
Take a Gondola if you can afford it: it's expensive, but the Gondoliere may decrease the price if you ask (but they can also decrease the time...). Make sure you reach an agreement on price and time before you start! A good tip with the Gondolieres is to bargain the price down as low as you can, then say that it's still too much and walk away. Two or three of them will chase after you, one after the other, each offering a lower price than the last. It's possible to knock €20-€30 off the price(even then, be prepared to shell out €80).
Some guidebooks discourage tourists from asking for gondola price reductions. The oarsmen have an informal habit of cutting the most interesting and little-known parts from the journey path for "discount" customers. Reduced rate riders get much less marvel in exchange for a moderate price drop, which may not be worth it.
Gondolier-for-hire business licenses are officially limited to just 430 to 455 rowers in Venice, making the market artificially scarce and inflating prices. Gondola rides are always costly, often in a princely way and that expense should be planned in advance of the visit. If you go as a group it might be cheaper, though the number of people who can be accommodated on a gondola varies, usually up to a maximum of six seated passangers. The "traghetti" holds more, mostly standing, as a pair of gondoliers rows short distances for canal crossing purposes at a number of points along the Grand Canal.Venetians and especially the gondoliers among them have highly conservative ideas about society: by 900 years of tradition, all gondoliers must be male and most are born locals. There are only a few Germans in the business and a single lady, Alexandra Hai, who couldn't manage a for-hire license even after 10 years. She is officially banished to carry guests of her contract hotel only.
If a gondola seems a little pricey, the alternative is to cross the Grand Canal by traghetto. These only cost €0.50 to use and are largely gondolas that have seen better days, They are stripped down and used as municipal ferries. In the 1950's there were as many as thirty, but now there are seven points to find them. However some only operate when people are going to and from work. The length of any crossing is just a few minutes. Many visitors enjoy visiting the open air markets near the Rialto Bridge and there is a traghetto station there, at the Pescheria (fish market) joining the Santa Sophia church along the Strada Nova. You will notice that traghetti passengers tend to stand up, but if you are not comfortable doing so, sitting is possible, if you are careful.
If you are looking for something to do, you can always shop. Venice is packed full of little stores in every corner and crevice. The commonest local specialties are Carnival masks, glass, and marbled paper. Price can vary wildly, so it's a good idea to hold off buying until you have a fair idea about the relative value of things. As is the case with most tourist cities, a LOT of the "original " and "made in Venice" items are actually made in China. Murano is an island famous for its glass making. Almost in every shop you will find "original Murano glass" items. If it was really made in Murano, it would be prohibitively expensive, with prices routinely running into thousands of euros. So if you are looking for cheap souvenirs, real Murano glass is not the thing to buy! You can also see glass making demonstrations in Murano, but be sure to check that there is a demonstration scheduled for that day. And it is normally not done in winter either.
Spend a day on the islands, mainly Murano, Burano and Torcello. There are boat services to all these islands at scheduled times, including between the islands themselves. Be prepared for long lines and long waits for the boats between islands. The Glass Museum in Murano and the Lace Museum in Burano are certainly worth a visit. In Burano you will find some of the most picturesque streets and houses, with each house sporting a different pastel shade. Its really beautiful. Though there is not much to see in Torcello except for the old church, the peace and tranquility of the island is not to be found anywhere else in Venice! Just walking around on these islands is a nice experience. If you've had enough of the hype and the other tourists, hop off the vaporetto at 'Cimitero', Venice's graveyard for a peaceful walk. There is also a free toilet there.
While going through Venice, make sure you take in the beauty of it all. Walk through the alley ways, and take the water taxi to different parts of the island, sometimes at night you can just go sit in a main area and watch people and tourists. It is wonderful. There are many museums and churches that are around the city that allow tourists to go in a visit. They are many great sights to keep you busy throughout your visit.
The “Secret Itineraries in Doge's Palace”  worth a visit, take the visitor into the most secret and fascinating rooms in the Palace. It’s better to book in advance.
Because Venice is now pretty much only inhabited by tourists and people serving the trade, it gets very quiet by 9.00 and there is very little to do in the evening (outside of eating). There are a few exceptions, like some classical music concerts. If you want an entertaining evening whilst learning about the history of Venice then try: Carnival - The Show: Celebrating the Story of Venice'. It's in a rather splendid venue just next to St. Mark's Square - in the center. It uses very striking projections of video and painting and photos to completely change the auditorium. One moment you could be inside the famous Basilica, and the next, floating down the misty lagoons 1,400 years ago. There are live actors as well so it is fresh and feels like a proper show - and apart from being informative it can also be good fun. It plays pretty much every evening - and you can also buy a ticket for the meal with the show. You can find out more and book tickets on their website: .
If you would like to have a guide to show up the highlights of Venice, you can choose between many offers. There are walking or boat tours, focused on shopping or history or for art lovers, and many itineraries. One tours site is Aguideinvenice.com  and another is Artviva.com . Context Venice  is a network of scholars who organize in-depth walks of the city's architecture, art, and history, including such unusual tours as an Ecology of Venice, a two-part seminar on Venetian Renaissance, Jewish Venice, and orientation walks of the Castello and Canareggio neighborhoods.
If you are the kind of person that prefer to find your way through the city on your own instead of being guided consider the Venice edition of The Ruyi, a series of guidebooks called whaiwhai  that turn visits to Venice into intriguing treasure hunts.
If you are interested in exploring all things related with Italian food you have to visit the freshly open "i Tre Mercanti"  (campo della guerra 2 mins from S.Marco square) an amazing food gallery where you can find typical Italian specialties, a wide range o f the best wines and the usual classics like Olive Oil, balsamic vinegar, parmesan, Limoncello along with hundreds of regional specialities (including 97 pasta sauces!). Classy and friendly the staff speak many languages and is open every day. If you don't feel like shopping you can always browse the shop and ask cooking tips and the history of products to the helpful manager.
Send a Postcard or even better, an entire mail dedicated to an important one (the old "snail mail" one, not the electronic variety)! Venice has a long, celebrated tradition in postal services, paper and written communication in general (including one of the earliest medival book printing houses).
Venice it's also Riviera del Brenta old canals. You can go with rental bike services to see antique villa Pisani at Stra, old watermill and big open air market at Dolo and fresh milk at farm on Mira.
Venice is home to a major (and expanding) university, Ca' Foscari. There are possibly hundreds of smaller schools in the city.
If your time in Venice is limited, and if you don't know the city well (e.g. it's your first visit), then a piece of good general advice is that if you see something you really like, buy it right then and right there. Don't count on being able to find the shop again later on; for the neo-Venetian tourist, it's almost impossible.
Watch out also for the hand-made paper and the exquisite miniature buildings made by Moro. Watch out for fakes; Moro "signs" his name on the back. Also, beware of fakes and "free" trips to neighboring Murano for its famous glass. (See article for details.)
Tourist Traps: "Coloured Pasta" and "Venetian Limoncello" (not the original napolitan one) are not Italian food, no Italian would ever eat them, they are particularly made for tourists. There is one exception : In salizada San Giovanni Grisostomo N°5778, between Realto bridge and Corte del Milion ( where Marco Polo once lived)the firm Giacomo Rizzo (since 1905) has been making fresh and dried pasta continuosly for four generations using traditional hand and roller techniques followed by slow drying.Phone 0415222824.
Venice has some wonderful restaurants, featuring the cuisine of the Veneto. However it is widely regarded that the restaurants in Venice serve food of a quality and in quantities much lower than anywhere else in Italy. Specialties include polenta, made of corn meal; risotto with cuttlefish ink sauce. Diners should however be aware that for every genuinely wonderful restaurant or trattoria, there's another serving rubbish food at inflated prices, especially in the most touristed streets around San Marco. Rule of thumb: if there's a waiter outside pimping for business, it's probably best avoided.
Near the Rialto bridge there's a row of restaurants with tables by the canal, where you can have the quintessential Venice experience of dining by the canal lights. Although they do have waiters outside bugging you, some have pretty acceptable quality for price.
One of Venice's trademark foods is cuttlefish and its ink. This intense black ink serves as a sauce and ingredient for polenta (corn meal), risotto (rice), and pasta. These dishes are normally indicated by the Italian words "nella seppia" (in cuttlefish), "alla seppia" (in the style of cuttlefish), or "nero di seppia," (black of the cuttlefish). For example Polenta Nella Seppia is fried corn meal with the black ink of a cuttle fish. Despite the intensity in color, the ink has a surprisingly mild taste.
Be careful when the prices are in a weight basis (typically by the "etto", abbreviated "/hg". or 100 g). One dish can easily contain 400g of fish, meat (almost a pound),... 4 times the indicated base price!
Restaurants might offer low prices for food on their menus that they advertise outside the entrance, but they will sometimes compensate this by charging high prices for drinks (which is naturally *not* advertised). €5 for 33 cl of beer is not uncommon.
For fresh fruit (including chilled coconut!) watch out for the street market stalls.
To save money at lunch, eat standing up. Prices can arrive to as much as double as soon as you sit at a table. Minestrone soup is delicious but the server will often offer you a seat as soon as you choose this option. Sitting is worthwhile if you plan on staying a while. Some places will also serve free bread and water for seated patrons, but there is usually also a small charge (€1-3 per person) for "pane e coperto" (cover and bread).
If self-catering, the Rialto food markets are an absolute must for fruit, vegetables and cheese, but most of all for the huge range of seafood, much of it fresh out of the lagoon and still moving! Everything else you will find in the numerous super markets in the city.
Head to the Dorsoduro area of Venice if you want to save a few euros. It has the highest concentration of places where locals, especially students, go to eat. Generally staying away from the main squares will be the cheapest option. If you're willing and able to walk around the town, some back streets offer the best food for the lowest price. Seeing the city from this vantage point is a lot of fun too!
"Pizzeria ae Oche" is a local establishment with several locations in the city. The food is plentiful and the prices reasonable. On Calle del Tintor south of Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio, In Santa Croce. Look to spend between €5-10 for a pizza depending on how exotic your selection is.
"Pizza al volo" sells superb pizza by the (extremely large) slice in Campo Santa Margherita for approximately €1.80 a slice, €5 a whole pizza. It is by the fresh fish stall under a green awning.
"Cip ciap", on Calle del Mondo Novo, by Campo Santa Maria Formosa, also sells delicious takeaway pizza by the slice (or slab) at similar prices.
The "Brek" is a cafeteria style restaurant that offers a menu including main meal+drink+dessert for only €5. There is one close to the train station and another at the Marco Polo airport.
Venetian snacks (cichetti) can be brilliantly inventive, in small "tapas-style" serving sizes. Look for places (especially wine bars) popular with non-tourists, the prices are very reasonable.
There are still many small bakery shops and "biavaroli" where you can buy bread, cheese etc., particularly near the Rialto market area. If you want to buy water (Venice has excellent free tap water easily accessible at the numerous fountains located outside throughout the city) it is usually cheapest to get it at the supermarkets: there are Billa or Co-op stores located throughout the city, though supermarkets are often "disguised" in nondescript buildings in Venice for space limitations.
Please give prices
You will find ice cream all over the city, and you will hardly survive a hot summer day without. Prices are 1 - 1.50€ for one scoop, 2.50 - 3.50€ for three scoops.
Although there are many fantastic bars in Venice, if you're planning a night time "pub crawl" you should plan a few places to visit in advance, otherwise it's very easy to waste an hour wandering aimlessly in search of a watering hole that's actually open (especially midweek).
There are two late-night drinking areas in Venice. Piazza San Marco is not one of them. Although it is very pleasant and there are many people wandering around late. But the actual late night scene is in either Campo Santa Margherita, near the University Ca' Foscari in Dorsoduro; or in Erbaria on the West side of the Rialto Bridge where the main vegetable market is held during the day.
Try a Spritz (with either Campari, Select or Aperol), a typical drink loved by all Venetians that's usually drunk while eating cicheti. You can find it in almost every bar in the city. Price is about €2, more in a touristy place.
If you try the famous Veneto Grappa be careful--it's almost pure alcohol.
The Bellini was invented in Harry's Bar in Venice. It is a mix of white peach juice and Prosecco (the ubiquitous Venetian Champagne-like sparkling wine). Fermented at a low temperature Prosecco develops amylic aromas (fruit drops), though these perhaps mix better with fruit juices than does the more austere Champagne. Classic Bellinis should never be made with Champagne. Although by normal standards expensive, a Bellini in Harry's Bar (€17 for a 1.5 oz drink is obscene) is still much cheaper than on the terraces of similar '5-star' establishments in the city.
Beer in a small pub is about €5 for a pint (birra media).
Espresso, the real italian, is about €1 at the bar, €2 at a table.
Hotels in Venice are expensive. Some of the smaller hotels offer better rates.
Staying in a hotel on the Lido (15-20 minutes by Vaporetto) is a cheaper alternative to staying in Venice proper. The island of Lido also has a long beach where tourists and Venetians alike go swimming during the summer months.
In the last few years, holiday or short rentals apartments have increased in number and quality, now you can rent (minimum stay is usually 3 nights) a Palazzo on the Grand Canal as a little flat near Rialto.
Some Italians at the train station may approach you to find out if you need a room. While some of these people may be con artists, not all are. Some work for family members and will be able to negotiate a price for you. They will usually ask what your budget is and will call a hotel or two to see if the owner will accept the price you suggested. Do not accept the offer if you think the situation is suspect or think you may be exploited. Always get a receipt for the transactions!
If you are presentable, and you plan to stay in Venice for at least a few weeks, drop into the apartment rental agencies. These are usually for a minimum of 6 months but they often know people who are renting out apartments for shorter durations.
Bed and Breakfast
Please give prices
Please give prices
The area code is 041. As anywhere in Italy, it is compulsory to dial the area code and the number also if you call from the city itself. If you call from abroad, dial +39041 before the number. If you call abroad from Venice, dial 00 first.
Venice has several internet cafes, but they are much more expensive than the rest of Europe with prices for an hour of access around €6. Wi-fi is only available at some of them. There's a wonderful pub, Cafe Blue in Dorsoduro, which has free (password-protected) wi-fi. Buy a spritz and a panini and go to town. At the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Campo San Salvatore (San Marco) you can browse for free for one hour, once registered with your ID card.
If you buy any of the VeniceCard  products (transportation and museum entrance in various combinations) of 24 or more hours' duration, it will automatically include, either at no additional charge or for an extra €3 depending on the season, the access codes for the municipal wireless network. There are currently two areas covered by the hotspots: one is the San Marco Square and the other San Giuliano Park (which is actually on the mainland, to the north of the bridge entrance).
Calle Delle Botteghe San Marco 2970 Venezia. A very pretty art gallery type internet cafe with a book shop. It is on the expensive side with €3 for 15mins but you can just go in and play chess with a glass of wine.
Venice is considered a safe city. One can walk down the darkest alley in the middle of the night and feel completely safe. You have to take the habitual travellers precautions however. Keep your valuable items (like wallet and passport) close to you because there are pickpockets, especially in more crowded parts of the city. In addition, make sure you get receipts for all of your purchases (in order to fight tax evasion). Italian law requires customers to retain receipts and you could (in theory) be stopped by the Financial Police and asked to show receipts for your purchases. In case of need, you can dial free of charge on any phone 112 (no area code needed) to contact Carabinieri or 113 (no area code needed) to contact the Police.
Venice has begun to install septic tanks in buildings, but much of the city has not yet been upgraded and releases untreated sewage directly into the canals. Avoid bathing yourself, touching the water, immersing feet, etc. in the canals looking for refreshment in hot season. Shoes and clothing that touch the water will be contaminated. Take care not to spread the contamination.
One other consideration is at night, to carry a small flashlight. There are many alleys, which end in the water but have little or no lighting. They have no signposts because the locals know them.
Beware where you put your feet: pet owners are not often polite and leave everything their friends by-produce on the ground (this may apply to humans too). Small, dark, back alleys are often similar to mine fields.
In case of need, you can reach the emergency medical service dialing free of charge on any phone 118 (no area code needed - conversation will be recorded) to have assistance and an ambulance sent to you.
Chemists' shops (Italian: Farmacie) are all around the town. They are open 24hrs. a day / 7 days a week on a rotational base: outside the shop there's always the list of operating ones with time-table, address and phone number. If you need a special-treatment drug you might be asked to book it in advance if it's not of so common use. Remember that not all FDA prescriptions can be obtained in the European Union for matters of authorities approvals/licences/patent requests pending, etc. Please, note that the commercial name or brand of your prescription might differ from your country of origin. Make sure before leaving your country of origin that you can have all you need even in the EU.
The unfortunate side-effect of the quaint back-alleys which make Venice such a delight to visit is that it is remarkably easy to get lost. Even maps provided by hotels are frequently inaccurate, and the maze-like structure of the city can become very confusing indeed. The tight cluster of little islands that comprise Venice is completely surrounded by the Lagoon, so it is not possble, no matter how lost you become, to leave Venice on foot. Sooner or later you will come upon a piazza that you can locate on your map.
One tip is, as you cross bridges, note the house numbers before and after. A small change probably means you are on the same island/district and have crossed a "new" canal. A major change means you are now on another island. Most maps clump islands together into their voting districts, there are many more islands than districts.
One piece of assistance is to look for directional signs. These will be marked "Per" and then with the name of a prominent location or bridge in the city, complete with an arrow pointing in the relevant direction. Hence, to get to the Rialto bridge, the signs to follow are marked "Per Rialto". Those to St Mark's Square read "Per S Marco", and those to the train station "Per Ferrovia" (there are some others as well). Having oriented yourself to the nearest landmark, direction-finding can thus become (slightly) easier.
Remember, though, that the signs to read are the official ones. Graffiti will occasionally give other directions, frequently incorrect ones.
That said, there is a school of thought which argues that getting lost in Venice is part of the experience of the city. The number of photogenic canals, hidden restaurants and shops where glass blowing is done almost guarantees that there is no such thing as a "dull neighbourhood". Additionally, the relatively cheap public transport means that it is relatively easy to arrive at the intended destination even after one has emerged from the web of alleys in a totally unexpected place.
Around the Venetian lagoon are other smaller islands, which have since been deserted but are worth a visit. There is also the Lido, which is a long narrow island with more modern buildings, hosting a youth hostel and a hotel.
Venice maybe a tourist trap, but all together there is so much for kids to do in Venice. Besides just walking around from place to place there is a lot of things that people of all ages will enjoy.
Kid's Restaurant Picks
Al-Vapperettos- It is a great pizzeria on the walkway leading up to the Campo Manin. It is an amazing restaurant with great vegetarian and non-vegetarian Menu. If you like spicy food, just ask the waiter for some extra spicy sauce. Also the range of pizza selection is just out of this world. Another amazing part of the menu is the spaghetti. The food is really light and not heavy like many other restaurants in Italy. Also the portion amounts are small, but they are cheap so you can order too. Another need-to-know is that water isn't free so you will have to buy a bottle of water. But all in all, It is a great restaurant.
Gelato- One of the greatest delights of Italian food, ice-cream also called gelato. The gelato all around Italy is great, but under a personal opinion, the gelato at Venice is better then that of all of Italy. The shop and the concept does not really matter. The rich savory taste will be with you for the rest of the day.
Kid's Views of the Doge Palace
The Doge Palace is one of the few places in Venice that is really worth going to and one of the places of the world that people of all ages will enjoy. The artwork and the scenery may be boring for a lot of kids but the views and the maps is something they will enjoy. There are two places also where kids will really enjoy it.
The Armory Room- It is an amazing place where the whole armory of the Doge's palace can be found. They have every kind of weapon in their arsenal. They have swords from big hulking broadswords for cutting and slashing from the mideival ages to the fine tipped presicion lunging swords of the Reinassance. Another thing is the long rage weapons. They have the earliest bows made by the kings and queens of the middle ages and they also have the porcelain guns of the Chinese. The advantage of this is the poison in porcelain enhanced the poison of the lead in the bullet. One of the highlights of the armory room is the armor sent by King George.
The armor that was sent by King George was made out of some of the strongest metal in the world. To make sure of that it was tested by some of today’s highest quality bullets. To many’s amazement the armor withstood the impact of the bullet and it bounced off. If you look to the left side of the armor, you can see the small bullet dent in the armor.
Another part of the Doge’s Palace that is really interesting is the prisons. The prisons are a maze of twisting passageways that are easy to get lost in. However if you keep on following the signs you should be okay. It isn’t okay to take pictures in the Doge palace inside nor is it okay to take video. The only place were it is okay to take video is in the places where it says it is okay to take pictures and video.
San Marco’s Square for Kids
San Marco’s square is one of the highlights of Venice. It is a beautiful square with lots of action and life going on at every second of the day. The San Marco’s square is right next to the Grand Canal and it has its own stop on the Vapparettos. The Vaperettos are like the bus system of Venice. It also has a selection of souvenirs to buy at a great price. There are many things to in San Marco’s square.
The Bell Tower of San Marcos Square
The Bell Tower of San Marcos Square may be something that a lot of people will enjoy including kids. The entrance ticket to go to the top is only 3 euros as it is very cheap. You can take an elevator. The line for the bell tower is very long, so it is better to go around 5 o’clock in the evening. You go up in a very spacious elevator to the top of the tower. The interesting part that a lot kids may enjoy are the binocular seeing stands. There is one on each side of the tower. Each works by putting a one euro coin. Also try not to go on the hour or on the half hour as the bell tower will ring and that can be very scary and loud and it will frighten most kids.
Saint Marks Basilica
Saint Marks Basilica is a place that isn’t exactly for most kids. However if your kid is a history nut, you may find that area very interesting. You cannot take cameras or backpacks into the Basilica so they will send you on a long search to find the cloak room. However if you see the entrance for a concert hall go in there. From there you go straight towards the aisle in the middle. From there if you take a left you will immediately see the area in which you can give your bag. Inside the Basilica is free but it is just a small walk so it will get boring. But there are separate tickets you can buy inside the Basilica to go up to the dome and other things like that. So all in all I would say it is sort of a boring place.
Kids’ View of Murano
The Murano glass making tour is one of the most interesting part of Venice. Usually instead of going overboard and paying for a tour, check with your hotel if they have a free tour package for the Murano glass making tour. It is really fun and kids will enjoy seeing how glass is being made into different shapes. But the best part of the tour that kids will enjoy is the water taxi ride back into town. The water taxi literally just skips on top of the water back. The taxi drops you at San Marco’s Square and from there you have to make your way back to wherever you want to go.