* not all canals are navigable by water taxis (if in doubt, check with your hosts beforehand)
* not all canals are navigable by water taxis (if in doubt, check with your hosts beforehand)
* depending on the kind of landing and tides, you might have to negotiate differences in levels between the landing and boat of 30cm / 1 foot or more or uneven and often slippery steps
* depending on the kind of landing and tides, you might have to negotiate differences in levels between the landing and boat of 30cm / 1 foot or more or uneven and often slippery steps
* the boat will be wobbly, unaccustomed persons or those with limited abilities will need a hand
* the boat will be wobbly, unaccustomed persons or those with limited abilities will need a hand
* boat captains must remain on their craft at all times, so they cannot give you a hand with luggage outside their boat
* boat captains must remain on their craft at all times, so they cannot give you a hand with luggage outside their boat
Revision as of 12:33, 14 January 2018
- For other places with the same name, see Venice (disambiguation).
Venice (Italian: Venezia) is a city in Veneto, a region of Noth-East Italy.
The city 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 56000 residents and 20 million tourists per year).
Venice and St. Mark's Basilica from Torre dell' Orologio
This place may not seem huge, but it is, and is made up of different boroughs.
The most famous is the area comprising the 118 islands in the main districts that are called "Sestieri": 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. Some of the more important islands in the lagoon include Murano, Torcello, San Francesco del Deserto, and Burano.
Venice and St. Mark's Square from the Campanile
While the Veneti had long inhabited northeastern Italy and a small population of fishermen known as "lagooners" had long lived on the islands of modern Venice, the city's true beginning point came when refugees fled to the marshlands from the surrounding Roman cities to escape marauding barbarians. The first wave of immigrants fled the Quadi and Marcomanni in the 160's A.D. In the 5th Century, more came to escape the Visigoths and the Hun, and in the 6th Century, yet more arrived seeking safe haven from the Lombards.
With the Western Roman Empire destroyed and Lombardy ever threatening from across the lagoon, Venice welcomed help from the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire in the 6th Century. The Byzantines organized the thin coastal strip into the Exarchate of Ravenna and ruled it from Constantinople. The sheer distance and the lack of a land connection to Venice, however, left Venice rather isolated- and isolation bred a desire for autonomy. In 726, a rebellion broke out, and the Byzantine Exarch was murdered. Venetians then elected their first of a long series of 117 doges (dukes). However, Venice immediately resubmitted itself to the Byzantines under their new leader, perhaps to avoid Papal or Lombard domination.
The Rise of Venice
Venice gradually morphed into a fully independent city state between the 9th and 12th Centuries A.D., and its naval and mercantile might soon led to its status as the link between the East and much of Western and Central Europe. An empire was formed that included Crete, a collection of Aegean islands, the Istrian Peninsula, the Dalmatian Coast and areas inland from Venice all the way up to the Alpine slopes. By 1300, Venice was the wealthiest city on the European continent. During the Middle Ages, Venice gained valuable trading privileges with the Byzantines, successfully resisted the power of the Papacy and became the "printing capital of the world."
The Decline of Venice
When Venice unsuccessfully tried to defend Thessaloniki and Constantinople from the Ottomans, the end result was a costly 30-year war, the loss of their overseas possessions and elimination of their top trading partner. Next, the discovery of new routes to Asia by the Spanish and Portuguese in the 1490's reduced the relative value of Mediterranean commerce. Finally, in 1575, 1577 and 1630 plagues drastically reduced Venice's population.
In 1797, Venice was conquered by the French under Napoleon, then quickly transferred to Austrian rule in 1798. Napoleon again took the city in 1805 and again lost it to Austria in 1814. A revolt broke out in 1848 but was crushed by 1849. Finally, in 1866, Venice joined a newly united Italy.
Under Mussolini, in 1933, Venice's long-time Jewish population was deported. During World War II, the city center was not bombed much, but its rail connections to the mainland and its few industrial areas were targeted repeatedly. By the time Allied troops came to liberate the city on April 29th, 1945, rebels had already freed it from Nazi control.
Since World War II, Venice's population has been cut in half as many have moved to the mainland. However, the tourist industry has boomed and become the city's economic mainstay. Despite a devastating flood in 1966, the city has recovered and become one of the top tourist destinations in Europe.
A winged lion, the symbol of San Marco
The worst times to visit may be during the carnival and when it's raining; Venice can get very dark and rainy. Depending on when you visit, you might even have to buy waterproof shoes, which are sold on the streets for around €20. When it's raining there are mosquitoes and occasional infestations of flies. 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. Beware of the weather during the winter months: it can be quite cold, windy, and damp. Fog is an additional hazard if you are driving in or out, doubly so in the unlikely chance that you will pilot a boat. 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 few hours and coincides with high tide. 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. Normally, the tide rises and falls in six-hour cycles.
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 set up 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.
Since Medieval Times, Venice has frequently served as a source of inspiration to a wide variety of authors, poets and dramatists. It has also long been a major print center, having been home to some of the earliest Italian printing presses. The deep and diverse literary tradition at Venice is too extensive to cover comprehensively in short space, but we can get an overview of some of the most notable works associated with the city throughout history:
- The Travels of Marco Polo is a classic piece of Western Literature that holds an important place historically since the reports of Marco Polo's voyage to the distant, little-known East became a major inspiration to later European exploration of the world. Polo was a Venetian merchant who surveys lands he passed through from the Near East all the way to Cathay (China).
- Story of My Life, by Giacomo Casanova, is an 18th Century work by another Venetian merchant-traveler. His autobiography chronicles many adventures that center around Venice, but it is also an important source of information on social customs of the time.
- Ruzante, who real name was Angelo Beolco, was a 16th-Century Venetian playwright who is famous for his vivid, if sometimes coarse, plays about country life in the vicinity of his native Padua. Two of his well known works are La Pastoral and Oratione.
- Carlo Goldoni was a Venice resident who wrote some of Italy's most famous plays, many of them centered around the lives, values and problems of the Venetian middle class. Although he composed his plays in Italian and French, he intersperses Venetian quite frequently. One of his most famous works is Servant of Two Masters.
- Carlo Gozzi was a fierce proponent of "the old Italian comedy" against newer dramatic styles such as those used by Carlo Goldoni. One of his works, in fact, was a parody of their new, French-inspired style called The Love for Three Oranges.
- Ugo Foscolo was a 19th-Century Venetian poet who was also a revolutionary devoted to seeing Venice made a truly free republic after its capture by Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars. His best-remembered work was a book of poetry published in 1807 called Dei Sepolcri.
- The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke, is probably the most famous children's book that is set in Venice. It is about two brothers who travel to the city, join a group of street children and have a number of adventures and misadventures.
- Foreigners whose works have been inspired by the city of Venice include: Shakespeare, in his plays Othello and The Merchant of Venice; Thomas Mann, in his novel Death in Venice; and Ezra Pound, whose poems were much-inspired by his stay in Venice.
- Other famous works that heavily involve Venice in the plot include: The Aspern Papers, an 1888 novella by Henry James; Brideshead Revisited, a "theological novel" by Evelyn Waugh, which extols the unmerited grace of God; and In Search of Lost Time, a seven-volume novel by Marcel Proust, which concerns the theme of "involuntary memory."
In 2012, the population of Venice was estimated at 260,000, which is a major drop from earlier years- only about half the 1945 population. The population density is 1,700 per square mile- very tightly packed. The entire metropolitan area, including PAdua, TREviso and VEnice (abbreviated PATREVE), has 2.6 million residents.
In 2009, the city had 270,098 people, and the population was counted by district as follows:
- Centro Storico (historic city center): 60,000
- Other isles of the lagoon: 31,000
- Terraferma (mainland areas): 176,000
Note that the population of Venice shrank by 0.2% between 2002 and 2007, while Italy's population grew by 3.9%.
The residents of Venice are about 53% female and 47% male, while 14% were minors compared to 26% pensioners (seniors). The average age in Venice is 46 but only 42 in Italy as a whole.
Ethnically, 91% of Venetians are Italian, and less than 10% hail back to the ancient Veneti bloodline. About three percent are Romani immigrants from Romania or Moldova. Around one percent come from Bangladesh, and another one percent hail from Eastern Asia.
Religiously, 93% of the population is Roman Catholic. The deep historical ties, however, with Constantinople (now Istanbul) have resulted in a noticeable Orthodox presence as well. Through immigration, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism have also gotten a foothold. Finally, despite most Jews being expelled from Venice during the reign of Mussolini, a small Jewish community still remains.
The people of Venice have been engaged in, and have excelled at, numerous industries over the centuries, including commerce, printing, the fine arts, manufacturing and organizing pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Today, some of the industries that remain include: shipbuilding, trade, Murano glass production and Burano lace production.
However, tourism is by far the number one industry, and Venice is one of the most-visited tourist destinations on the planet. Specifically, it ranks 29 among world tourism cities and sees around 18 million visitors every year. The main draws are its beautiful architecture, numerous art collections and important historical landmarks. The canals and romantic gondolas, however, are probably the top reason 50,000 tourists visit Venice on a daily basis.
Map of Venice and surrounding islands
Because Venice is on a lagoon, the water plays a crucial role in transportation.
Whichever way you arrive, the last part of your journey will be on foot from the nearest waterbus/watertaxi jetty, train station, or parking garage.
Bear in mind that
- alleys can be very narrow or crowded, making it difficult to pass with bulky luggage.
Try to limit yourself to one backpack/daypack and one piece of luggage to keep your hands free for lifting (and/or holding your navigational device...).
- even wheeled luggage will have to be physically lifted to cross bridges
- good rubberized wheels will minimize noise in the streets (it is very annoying to be woken at all times because of noisy luggage being dragged)
- some accomodation (apartments, B&B, etc.) might only be accessible via narrow, steep and worn-out stairs (if in doubt, do check with your hosts beforehand).
Consider this when choosing your location and route to it.
Remember that all water transport might be affected by or even suspended because of high water, fog or ice. Plan ahead and check options with your hosts.
(even an unusually high tide might prevent boats from passing underneath some bridges, causing detours.)
Venice is served by three airports:
Venice Marco Polo (VCE)
The closest commercial airport is Marco Polo Airport (IATA: VCE), on the mainland near Mestre (technically part of the city of Venice but on the mainland and without Venice's unique structure).
You have a number of travel options from here:
- local bus ACTV line 5: all local stops to Piazzale Roma with mixed standing and seating space, which will be the cheapest option (around 20-25 Minutes).
- ATVO Venezia Express: direct non-stop to Piazzale Roma is a coach-type bus with seperate luggage compartment and guaranteed seating (10-15 Minutes)
- by rail (via bus): The airport is connected to the railway station of Mestre by bus, opposite the city and convenient for connections to Milan, Padova, Trieste, Verona and the rest of Italy); to the railway station of Venice Santa Lucia (5 minutes' walk from Piazzale Roma); and to the bus terminal of Piazzale Roma. Considering the time and effort for an extra transfer, taking a bus the whole way would usually be the better option.
Bus stops are across the hall as you exit from customs, outside the building (covered).
Tip: Ticket vending machines and a sales counter for the bus services are located in the baggage reclaim area. Good use for idle time while you still have your hands free.
- Alilaguna: this boat shuttle has regular services into Venice, check the lines to find the stop nearest your destination.
This is convenient if you have to carry a lot of luggage and/or want to avoid transfers at Piazzale Roma or between vaporetto lines.
It might be cramped at peak times and the below-waterline compartment does not give any views.
However: it is timed to match flight schedules, making it a good option to connect to very early or late flights.
- Water taxi: is the very scenic, most comfortable and expensive way (EUR 110 per trip / EUR 35 shared, depart-when-full) to arrive directly at your hotel in Venice, to Venice Cruise Port terminal and to Lido di Venezia (a big island in front of Venice).
Tickets can be bought at the jetty or to the left across the hall as you exit from customs.
This would be your best option if you travel at unusual hours or have to handle more luggage then you can conveniently carry and it will minimize walking across bridges.
Depending on the kind of service requested (meet & greet, luggage assistance, minivan transfer or simply water taxi) the price can run from €100 to €160 (4 people with luggage) from Marco Polo Airport to Venice City Centre or to the Cruise Port Terminal. Every additional passenger costs €10-20 up to the maximum of 10 people.
All boat departures are 10-15 minutes' covered walk with moving walkways from Marco Polo airport. Exit the arrivals hall towards the bus stop, take an elevator up to departure level, turn to your left along the walkway. Here you will find free trolleys to carry luggage for the short trip to the water taxi departure point. There are also some companies that offer porter services and/or private minivan transfer from the airport to the water taxi departure point.
- Taxi: you can always grab a taxi outside the arrivals hall past the bus stops. However, it will bring you to Piazzale Roma, like the busses. So it is only sensible if you cannot use busses for some reason.
Treviso Airport (TSF)
Treviso Airport (IATA: TSF) is 25km (16 mi) from Venice and is relatively small but becoming increasingly busy as the main destination for Ryanair, Wizzair, and Transavia budget flights. From Treviso Airport to Venice and Mestre, Barzi Bus Service offers a €22 (Oct 2016) round-trip ticket price to Venice. There is a counter at the airport selling these tickets, and they are also available for purchase on the buses. Barzi services unfortunately terminate at the less convenient Tronchetto parking island, where you need to take the "people mover" service to connect to Piazzale Roma (the main bus terminal) - or the train from Mestre. ATVO offer a service for the same price (€22 round-trip or €12 one way) which terminates at the more convenient Piazzale Roma. Your other option is to take the local ACTT bus #6 to Treviso railway station. Bus tickets are sold in a bar on the opposite side of the street in front of the airport terminal, or onboard for a higher price €2,50. From there you can then take the train from there to Venice Saint Lucia - the main station on the island, for €3,35.
San Nicolo Airport on Lido (ATC)
The San Nicolo Airport (IATA: ATC) is an airfield directly on the Lido. It handles only small aircraft, as the runway is grass and only about 1km long. It 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 only a short walk to the vaporetto landing.
Cruise ships and smaller boats arrive at the Stazione Marittima which is at the west end of the main islands. The cruise and ferry terminals (see map) can be reached from Piazzale Roma by:
- People Mover (3 minutes trip). This new (2010) public transportation system, an automated land funicular operating from 7 AM to 11 PM Mon-Sat (check website for Sun/holidays) every 8 minutes, allows you to reach Piazzale Roma in less than 3 minutes (€ 1.30 pp). A shuttle bus service is available to connect the various terminals with the People Mover stop at Marittima.
- Taxi cab (about 2 minutes trip).
The cruise port is also served by vaporetti and water taxis.
Turn left on leaving the terminal and walk 10 minutes along the covered walkway to the boat jetty. Alilaguna water-bus costs €15 for a 75 minute boat trip. Murano costs €8 and takes only half an hour. There are three Alilaguna routes to different areas of Venice. A direct waterbus from the airport may be be more convenient than taking the bus to the bus station and then changing to the local waterbus. The waterbus services that run to the airport are operated by a different company (Alilaguna) than the other public waterbus services in Venice, so separate tickets will be required. Also note that the water-buses are of limited capacity, so you might end up waiting an additional 30 minutes for the next boat. Alternatively, from the same jetty, you can travel in style (and much faster) by hiring one of the speedy water-taxis (30min) for about €110. Waterbus route map.
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, but walking is usually the best option. Direct trains to Venice are available from many international destinations, there are overnight trains from Munich, Paris and Vienna and also a weekly long-distance night train (four nights) from Moscow via Kiev, Budapest and Zagreb. One of the best ways to arrive to Venice by train is with the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. The local handling agent can do reservations and take care of all the transfers from the train when you arrive. Venice is well-connected with the domestic train network, Rome and Milano are only a few hours away. Also there are some night trains from cities in southern Italy, though since 2012 most services have been cancelled.
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 very very expensive here (€26/12h, €30/24h) and the tailbacks can be quite large. An alternative is to use the car parks on the mainland (terra ferma) and catch a train or bus or vaporetto 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 (€ 1,20). Don't bother searching for free parking near Mestre train station - there are no free parking spots near, except on Sunday (free parking is on the other side of the station, in Marghera). Free and safe parking spots can also be found near the Mogliano Veneto and Oriago railway stations. 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.
Another place for free parking in Mestre is the council car park.
Those with "Gratuito" are parking lots which are totally free. Many have bus stops right next to them, and many of those buses go directly to Venice without any transfers.
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, Canova (Treviso) airport and the Piazzale Roma, on the west bank of Venice operated by ATVO. Starts twice an hour, takes 20 minutes and costs €9 one way and €15 for a round trip. From the Treviso Airport, the price is €12 one way and €22 for a round trip. If you travel from Treviso airport, ask locals to share fuel to Mestre Station of Venezia Piazzale Roma, or take the local bus to the Treviso train station, and then a train from there.
The buses run from the airport until about midnight but stop sooner on the Venice to Airport route. There are also frequent buses that run from Canova airport (Treviso) and take about 25 minutes to reach Piazzale Roma, which is the main bus station in Venice. From Piazzale Roma, you can easily connect to the place you need to be, by bus, but also if you need to get a train, Santa Lucia train station is just over the bridge about a 5 minute walk ( note that it can be quite tiring walking over that bridge if you have big suitcases and although there isn't a ramp (don't know why), there are wider steps that are not as harsh as the main steps to walk up. There is also a wheelchair stair lift for those requiring it.
From Mestre, you can take a bus to Venice - Piazzale Roma. The ticket costs €2.50 round trip and you must buy bus tickets from specialized ticket kiosks and vending machines, as well as tobacconists and news stands.
(Please note that the ticket prices tend to increase from year to year and may have changed since this article was updated.)
Cycling in Venice itself is not possible and since 2016 bikes are not permitted in town, neither if hand-carried, although there are few allowed areas (Railway station, piazzale Roma and Tronchetto). Leaving your bike behind on the mainland may be the best option to choose. Near the Venezia Mestre train station there is a guarded bike parking facility, called Bici Park Mestre. Take the exit from the station on the Via Trento side (north), and turn left. The Bici Park is a few hundred meters down the road. Opening hours are 06:00 to 23:00 on weekdays and Saturday; the facility is closed on Sundays, so plan ahead. The cost is €0.50 per bike per day (partial days are counted as full days). (Up to date as of March 2017.)
Parking bikes in Venice proper is also an option. It's not signposted anywhere, but the Tronchetto parking garage near the Venezia Santa Lucia train station has a back room where bikes can be securely parked. Ask at the ticket counter at the far (southern) end of the garage. The cost is €4 per bike per day (where a day is 24h). (Up to date as of March 2017.)
To get your bike into Venice proper, you have several options:
- Ride your bike across the bridge. On the right hand side of the bridge into Venice is a cycle/pedestrian path, separated from motorized traffic. This path is simple to get to, as long as you don't mind cycling alongside heavy traffic on the SR11.
- Take your bike on the train from Venezia Mestre station to Venezia Santa Lucia station.
Grand Canal from Rialto Bridge
View of San Giorgio, in front of Venice
Venice, the world's only pedestrian city, is easily walkable, and the absence of cars makes this a particularly pleasant experience. However, walking and standing all day can also be exhausting, so it is best to pace yourself. The Rialtine islands - the 'main' part of Venice - are small enough to walk from one end to the other in about an hour, provided you don't get lost (a common occurrence).
All transport involves either walking or boats.
Bear in mind that most canals do not have any sort of railing and that tourists crowds might make progress very tedious at times.
Apart from the Lido (the island separating the lagoon from the Adriatic sea) and Sant'Erasmo, there are no roads after Piazzale Roma.
There are regular ferry services to the Lido to get your vehicle across (which is time consuming, so consider this carefully). Best check with your hosts, to evaluate this option.
You cannot ride bicycles in Venice (same as cars).
If you want to get around a bit more quickly, there are numerous vaporetti (water buses, sing.: vaporetto) serving the Canal Grande, the larger canals through Venice and the surrounding islands (Lido, La Guidecca, Murano, Burano, and so on).
The vaporetti are generally the best way to get around for longer trips or for crossing the Canal Grande away from the bridges. Lines 1 and 2 go all the way along the Canal Grande and offer an easy sightseeing trip.
Some routes may change by the season and depend on weather and tide conditions.
ACTV runs the vaporetti and other public transport services both in the lagoon and on terra firma. Travel cards are extremely useful since the basic fare for one vaporetto journey is typically €7.00. There are other versions available, including those offering discounts for youths under 29.
The vaporetti uses an honour system, meaning you are expected to validate your ticket at the stop before boarding.
Since 2009 the Venice Connected website of the Comune di Venezia makes possible to book online (at least 7 days in advance) most services controlled by the town administration (public transportation, access to the civic museums, access to public restrooms, car park tickets, entrance to the Casinò and access to the municipal Wi-Fi network covering the entire historic centre); the online prices vary according to the projected number of visitors but are always cheaper than the current on-site prices (and cheaper than with a Venice Card).
You can also get a Venice Card, which has various options that you can choose when you buy it (public transportation, cultural attractions, toilet access, Alilaguna, etc.) 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), or view the map here.
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.
View from Ponte dell'Accademia (a bridge on the Grand Canal)
Vaporettos can be crowded at times, so space is at a premium.
Also, getting on and off involves staff handling the mooring lines and operating the gates.
- keep the exits clear
- take off your bulky backpack as it consumes extra space and might end up in somebodys face when you excitedly turn around for some sight.
- place your luggage out of they way of doors. Use the luggage space provided.
- be considerate of people needing assistence
- observe the separate entry and exit lanes at stops
- always let people get off first and wait for staff to signal for boarding
by water taxi
Water taxis are the most flexible and most expensive travel option in Venice. They operate at all times and offer the closest access from/to your destination.
Prices inside Venice start from around 40-50 EUR (which will bring you a distance that is also easily walked) and depend on distance and time of day.
Boats hold up to ten persons including luggage (with a surcharge from the 7th person).
They can also be hired for special trips, such as individual sightseeing.
- not all canals are navigable by water taxis (if in doubt, check with your hosts beforehand)
- depending on the kind of landing and tides, you might have to negotiate (up- or down-) differences in levels between the landing and boat of 30cm / 1 foot or more or uneven and often slippery steps
- the boat will be wobbly, unaccustomed persons or those with limited abilities will need a hand
- boat captains must remain on their craft at all times, so they cannot give you a hand with luggage outside their boat
These days, gondolas are mostly used for scenic purposes instead of actual transport from point A to point B.
There are many stops dotted around the areas frequented by tourists and they are readily obvious, even when the gondolieri dress in something warmer then straw boaters and striped tops.
Prices start at around 80 EUR for 30 minutes and gondolas comfortably take up to 4 people.
Special arrangements can be made to serve your interests (special routes, photo shoots, etc.).
The traghetto is the cheapest way to cross the Grand Canal without using the bridges. These are public shared gondolas and are a lot cheaper than paying €80 for a private one. It costs only 2 Euros per person (cash only, preferably coins!) for tourists (70 cents for locals) - you can then say you went in a gondola, even if it was only for a couple of minutes! There are 7 piers for traghetto along the canal. Simply look for straight lines across the canal in the map, or follow the "traghetto" signs. Bear in mind that you are expected to stand, especially when it's crowded and that luggage is usually not taken on.
Note that vaporettos at some stops offer special traghetto-tickets giving you a one-stop hop across the Canal Grande at 2 EUR instead of 7 EUR for a regular single ticket.
This is definitely the best way to experience Venice.
Venice itself is not a large city. Most destinations across the city can be reached within 20 minutes of walking, if you know your way and can stay clear of tourist congestions.
This beats most transport by boats.
Unless you are pressed for time, just start walking and let yourself get lost in the maze of alleys that is Venice. In time, you will always come across a familiar landmark or to a vaporetto stop to regain your bearings.
Along the way you will discover marvelous art, superb architecture and breathtaking urban landscaping as well as bars, cafes and restaurants to soak up the local atmosphere and rest your weary feet.
Major destinations, like Piazza San Marco, Rialto, Ferrovia (train station) or Piazzale Roma (bus terminal) are marked by arrows put up on the walls.
Be aware that addresses in Venice are of the form DISTRICT number (The Venetian word for district is "Sestriere"), not STREET number. To find a specific place using a map, make sure you know which district it is in. The numbers are assigned at the start of the district and increase as they move farther away from the Grand Canal. If possible, get detailed descriptions for your accomodation in advance, as doubling back across bridges with luggage in tow is quite bothersome.
- Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale), (San Marco Square), . From April 1st to October 31st: 8.30 am – 7 pm (last admission 6 pm); from November 1st to March 31st: 8.30 am – 5.30 pm (last admission 4.30 pm). Closed on December 25th and January 1st. If the ticket line is long, you can buy regular tickets across the square at the Museo Correr, or in advance (see "Museums" section below). Don't miss the guided tour named Secret Itinerary (€20), which will let you discover the part of the palace where the city's administration worked, as well as Casanova's jail and the wonderful five hundred year old roof structure. Regular ticket €16 valid for the Doge’s Palace and the Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.
Note that bulky bags / backpacks must be left at the baggage deposit.
- Bell tower of St. Mark (Campanile di San Marco), (San Marco Square). closes at 9pm. The current tower dates from 1912; an exact replica of the previous tower which collapsed in 1902. The top of the tower offers great views of Venice and the lagoon. €8.
- Clock tower (Torre dell'Orologio), (San Marco Square), . — Having been closed for restoration for many years, the restored astronomical clock is now visible. The fascinating tour of the clock mechanism (and rooftop bell) can only be visited on a guided tour, which has to be booked in advance.
- Scuola grande di San Rocco. A masterpiece of Tintoretto, this guild house is an exquisite example of Manierist art in its best. In order to allow a comfortable admiration of the detailed ceiling, mirrors are offered to the visitors.
- Jewish Ghetto of Venice, . While racial and ethnic neighbourhoods had existed prior to the Venetian Ghetto, Venice's ghetto was the first "ghetto" (coming from a Venetian word for 'throwing' away the waste from the nearby copper foundries) and "ghetto" eventually came to mean any neighbourhood that was made up of a single ethnic/racial group. Today, Jewish life is still very active in the ghetto, and elsewhere in Venice, and is home to five synagogues. Visiting on Saturdays or late Fridays (the Jewish Sabbath) will prove very fruitless because all shops, restaurants, and other Jewish places will be closed. If you wish to sense the unique Venetian atmosphere coming from the East you can take part in an itinerary covering the Jewish Ghetto and the Rialto area to discover the crucible of races, cultures and religions that have co-existed for centuries in Venice and admire a different side of this city.
Outdoor sights, piazzas, bridges, canals
- Don't miss the Rialto market and the Rialto Bridge (Italian: Ponte di Rialto) on San Polo, the smallest sestiere. The Rialto market is for shoppers. To the east is a neighborhood of small shops and restaurants; to the west is the Rialto farmers' market. Shopping is slightly less expensive than in the tourist-filled Piazza San Marco. The bridge has become one of Venice's most recognizable icons and has a history that spans over 800 years. Today's Rialto Bridge was completed in 1591 and was used to replace a wooden bridge that collapsed in 1524.
- The Fondaco dei Tedeschi right next to the San Marco-side of Rialto Bridge with it's rooftop terrace and a view over Venice. (free as of Nov 2017)
- Zattere. It's a long and sunny walk along the Giudecca canal, protected during winter time from cold northerly winds for being exposed to south and shielded by buildings. You might find interesting to see how a gondola is made, stopping by the Squero (Venetian for small ship yard) across the canal near San Trovaso Church. It's one of the few still in business in town. With some luck, you'll see some gondole through various manufacturing steps (note that gondole are not straight to counter-balance the gondoliere push).
Although the Basilica di 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.
- Saint Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco), Piazza San Marco (Water lines # 1, 52, and 82 will take you from Santa Lucia (the train station) or Piazzale Roma to Piazza San Lucia. Walking is another option but will require a map and lots of time and energy.), ☎ +39 041 5225205 (procuratorial phone number), . 1st October to 31st March: 9:45AM-4:45PM; 1st April to 30 September: 9:45AM-5PM. Saint Mark's Basilica is on the Piazza San Marco and is one of the highlights of a visit to Venice. As with most churches in Italy, you must be dressed appropriately to be allowed in; this means no short skirts or bare shoulders. You are not allowed to carry large bags or rucksacks inside. You must deposit them just round the corner from the main entrance. Filming and photography is forbidden so be prepared in advance. The visit within the basilica lasts ten minutes. Waiting for entry into the basilica can last up to five or so hours and it may be wise to buy a ticket from the official site  (reservation costs €1.50). Once you have a reservation you can take the group entrance on the left, where you give in the printout of your reservation. These reservations are only available 7 months out of the year, 1 Apr-31 Oct. The symbol of St. Mark’s Basilica is a masterpiece of the Greek Hellenistic sculpture: the famous gilded bronze horses. A visit to St Mark’s Basilica is a must! It is renowned worldwide for its priceless treasures and fascinating secret places. Some of them, such as the Baptistery and the Zen Chapel, are usually closed to the public. Admission to the basilica is free; however, the museum upstairs costs €5 and to view the high altar and treasury costs €2.
- San Giacomo di Rialto. This church is possibly the oldest church in Venice built around 421. It is most recognized for its 15th century clock above the entrance of the church. It is also recognized for the red pillars and beautiful gold accents around the church itself.
- San Giovanni e Paolo (San Zanipolo in Venetian dialect). A fine, huge Dominican church with the tombs of many Doges. It shares its piazza with the fine Renaissance facade of the Scuola San Marco and an equestrian statue of the mercenary (condottiere) captain Colleone. Look out for the testicles (coglioni in Italian - it's a lousy pun) on his coat of arms!
- Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. The big friary church, with fine monuments and paintings, among which the famous 'Assunta' by Titian. Regular tickets: €3,00
- Santa Maria dei Miracoli. A perfect jewel box church, simple in form but ornamented with fine exterior marble facings.
- San Simeone Piccolo. The last church built in Venice. It is located across from the Grand Canal in front of Santa Lucia Train station. One of the things that it is recognized for is the fact that they celebrate Tridentine Mass on Sundays. It is also recognized for it's dome because it is used to make the church look taller than it is and the dome itself is entirely covered with lead sheet.
- Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta in Torcello is situated in the charming Torcello island, and it is an enchanting example of Venetian- Byzantine architecture. The cathedral is renowned for its important mosaics, which are a real masterpiece of the Byzantine-Ravennate school, including that in the counter-façade representing the Last Judgment. Discover, among its historical and artistic treasures, some exclusive areas which have remained inaccessible for centuries: the crypt and the sacristy. The crypt is situated under the altar and, being frequently reached by the water, is equipped with a wooden bridge in order to make visits always available. The other mysterious location that has been covered for centuries is the sacristy. Following a hidden passageway, you can reach a Roman sarcophagus, which is supposed to have been the tomb of Mark the Evangelist for a period of time, when the Basilica in Venice wasn’t built yet.
The Museums of St. Mark's Square are covered by one €16 admission ticket, including Doge's Palace and the Correr Museum, valid for 3 months, for a single entry per museum. On the other hand, the Museum Pass, for €24.50, covers seven more museums including those on Murano and Burano; these passes are valid for 6 months, for a single entry per museum. You can buy these passes in advance (along with public transport tickets) via the Venezia Unica  service. These combined tickets offer a considerable discount and mean you can skip the ticket queues - especially at Doge's Palace where the queue to buy tickets can be enormous.
- Correr Museum, San Marco 52 (on San Marco Square), . Very interesting collection of globes, starting from the 16th century. There is also an only library hall, an archeological museum of Roman antiques and an important picture gallery. At the end of your visit, don't miss the museum art cafe, with their tables on the San Marco Square. Admission is €16 (reduced €10), which also includes Doge's Palace..
- La Fenice Theater (Teatro La Fenice), (300 m west of San Marco square), . Visit this historic theater with an audioguide (good explanations in several languages). The theater is an identical reconstruction (rebuilt in 2003) of the previous theater building that burned down in 1996. €7.
- The Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico), Cannaregio 2902/b, ☎ +39 041 715 359 ([email protected], fax: +39 041 72 3007), . Hours:1 June - 30 September: 10AM-7PM 1 October- 31 : 10AM-6PM The Museum is closed on Saturday (Shabbat), during Jewish festivities, on December 25th , on 1st January and on 1 May. Entrance to the Museum: Full price: € 3.00, Reduced price: € 2.00. Entrance to the Museum and Guided Tours to Synagogues: Full price: € 8.50, Reduced price: € 7.00.
- Mocenigo Palace (Palazzo Mocenigo), Santa Croce 1992 (vaporetto San Stae), ☎ +39 041721798, . Closed on Mondays. A collection of clothes dating from the 18th century. €5.
- The Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Located on the Dorsoduro region of Venice, to the east of the Accademia bridge, on the southern side of the Grand Canal), ☎ +39.041.2405.411 ([email protected], fax: +39.041.5206.885), . Hours: W-M: 10AM-6PM. Closed on Tuesdays and on 25 December. Open on national holidays (including Tuesdays). The Peggy Guggenheim Museum offers a personal collection of modern art collected by Peggy Guggenheim. Peggy was an American married to modern artist Max Ernst, and funded a number of his contemporaries. The gallery includes a sculpture garden and works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Tanguy, Duchamp, Pollock, Dali, and Mondrian. Admission: Adults: €15, Seniors (over 65 years): €13, Students (18 years and under or holders of valid student ID): €9.
- Ca' Pesaro. Beautiful palace housing the gallery of modern art focusing on Italian art in the 19th Century as well as the Marco Pollo Museum, a rich collection mainly of Asian exhibits.
- Ca' Rezzonico. Museum of the 18th Century in Venice - attempts to revive the domestic atmosphere of Venetian nobilities.
- Galleria dell'Accademia di Venezia, Campo della Carità Dorsoduro n. 1050 – 30100 Venezia, ☎ +39 041 5200345 ([email protected]), . M: 8:15am-2pm, T-S: 8:15am-7:15pm. The ticket office closes 45 minutes before. Closed on Monday afternoon, December 25th and January 1st.. Venice's most significant art museum which is also one of Italy's best. €16,50 full price or €13,50 reduced.
- Palazzo Grassi, Campo San Samuele, . Temporary exhibitions from François Pinault's Collection.
- Punta della Dogana, Dorsoduro (on the tip between Grand Canal and Giudecca Canal). Former customs house, centre for contemporary art, permanent exhibition of works from the François Pinault Collection. Renovation by world renown architect Tadao Ando.
Other museums include:
- Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro), Murano. Closed on 25 December, 1 January. Working hours: 10 - 17 (winter), 10 - 18 (summer). On Murano, the island so typical of its glasswork. Full price: €8, reduced price: €5,50.
- Carlo Goldoni's House (Casa di Carlo Goldoni). House of Venice' most famous playwright.
- Lace Museum (Museo del Merletto), Burano.
- Museo Fortuny.
- Museum of Greek Icons.
- Museo di Storia Naturale (Natural History Museum), Santa Croce 1730, ☎ +39 041 2750206 ([email protected], fax: +39 041 721000), . From June 1st to October 31st: 10:00 – 18:00 (ticket office 10:00 - 17:00); From November 1st to May 31st: Tue - Fri: 9:00 - 17:00 (ticket office 9:00 - 16:00) Sat and Sun: 10:00 - 18:00 (ticket office 10:00 - 17:00). Closed on Mondays, December 25th, January 1st, May 1st. 8€.
- Scala Contarini del Bovolo.
- Romantic Dinner Cruise, . Venice has always been (and will always be) one of the most romantic cities in the world, so a romantic activity is a must-do if you're here with your loved one. One popular idea is a dinner cruise in Venice like the Galleon Dinner Cruise in Venice on board the Venetian Galleon.
- Voga Longa , the yearly equivalent of a marathon run on water. 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.
- La Biennale di Venezia  is one of the most well known culture institutions. Two events organised by Biennale are the Art and Architecture International Exhibitions happening alternately (Architecture Biennale in even years, Art Biennale in odd) but other fields are also covered - contemporary theatre, dance, music, cinema
- Venice International Film Festival  - 71st edition, from 27th August to 6th September 2014, will take place as usual in the island of Lido di Venezia. This is the oldest film festival of the world. Screenings will take place at Palazzo del Cinema on Lungomare Marconi and other nearby places such as the Venice Casino.
- Carnival of Venice  is one of the most popular carnival of the world. First organised on 1926 this carnival is particularly appreciated cause of the masks that are exhibited by its partecipants. During the carnival period the inhabitants of Venice are allowed to carry out unusual behaviours.
- Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer) is held on the third Sunday of July. It commemorates the end of the plague in Venice in 1577. The feast is mostly known for the fireworks display which begins on Saturday night at 10pm which is admired by thousand of Venetians from their boats in St. Mark basin or from their terraces. After the display, which lasts about 40 minutes, the young people of Venice head to the Lido to wait for dawn. Three regattas are held on Sunday. Religious celebrations are held in the Church of the Holy Redeemr on Saturday at 7:30 pm and on Sunday at 12:30 am and 8 am.
Ride a Vaporetto (Water Bus) down the Grand Canal right before sunset. The Vaporettos are not cheap (€7), 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 allowed 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 €2 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. The more adventurous can try the venetian style of rowing through Row Venice or one of the many rowing clubs
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.
San Michele Cemetery Island, Cimitero stop
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, and the supposed "Throne of Atilla". However, the peace and tranquility of the island is not to be found anywhere else in Venice! Torcello is also home to a very expensive Cipriani restaurant. But just walking around on these islands is a nice enough 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 are many famous tombs, and the section dedicated to deceased children is particularly haunting. 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 an open area and watch locals and tourists passing by. 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, which most probably only play Vivaldi.
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.
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 of 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).
Avoid using the globepostalservice (GPS) stamps. These are stamps sold by a private owned company through the tobacco shops using black mailboxes (the public ones are red) which charges more than normal and there have been lots of complains of delayed delivery and sometimes failure of delivery. Ask instead for the normal stamps.
Venice it's also Riviera del Brenta old canals.
The Riviera del Brenta is famous for its extraordinary Palladian villas along the Brenta river, its museums and historical buildings and it is located only 25 miles from Venice.
This Riviera and its mainland include 7 small cities: Stra, Fiesso d’Artico, Dolo, Fossò, Mira, Oriago and Malcontenta.
These places are indicated for cycling excusions and to see antique Palladian Villas built on the Brenta river. In Stra village the famous gardens of Villa Pisani and the museum of the shoes in Villa Foscarini Rossi. In this last museum you can admire 1500 models of made in Italy shoes created from local factories for major brands included Fendi, Genny, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Ungaro, Anne Kleyn, Richard Tyles, Vera Wang and much more.
In Dolo village you can visit the square, old watermill (XI century)and big open air market.
Venice is home to two major (and expanding) universities, Ca' Foscari (Public) and IUAV (Public). There are possibly hundreds of smaller schools in the city. Neither university exploits its name for merchandising, and "Università degli Studi di Venezia" sweatshirts for sale at stalls are not only unlicensed, but there is no single university in the city with that name to begin with.
- Isa's Cooking School in Venice area, . Mama Isa is a cooking teacher, a private chef and supper club host. She offers cooking classes in Venice area (half day or full day, pasta making classes, pizza making classes, tiramisu classes etc): Hands on cooking lessons for a maximum of two people
Venice has always been a city of merchants. Consequently, most of the Venetians working in Venice still own or work at a shop. If the pride of the Republic of Venice was the extreme diversity and quality of goods and services which could be found in Venice, these days, however, mass tourism led Venice to be populated with many shops selling low-quality souvenirs. The local shops are suffering a lot from this situation and it is not easy to identify them within the crowd of shops selling harmful imported goods.
Buying from the authentic local businesses has never been more important as it is essential to the future of the Venetians and guarantees you to get the real thing and to have a much better experience of Venice. It is not easy, though. Thankfully, there is a social enterprise based in Venice, which works closely with the Venetian business owners, shops, restaurants and bars included. They have a certification process where the local artisan shops attest and commit to be selling products both authentic and sustainable as well as to give a 10% discount to the customers carrying a "Venezia Autentica Friends' Pass" (discount buyable online for only 10 euros).
Most people who take the time to tour the "Floating City" of Venice are interested in finding at least a few mementos by which to remember their experience and/or unique gift items to give out to friends and relatives who could not be with them on their journey. In Venice, there's no shortage of places for the tourist to shop, though most places are very upscale and are priced accordingly.
Those wishing for more affordable fare can find it at low-end trinket stores and mid-market boutiques scattered here and there throughout the city. At the Rialto Market, for example, you can find relatively cheap T-shirts and toy plastic gondolas. Most of the shops of Venice, however, specialize in local artisan products, big-names Italian fashion and everything “boutique.”
Some of the best and most famous of Venetian shopping opportunities, according to the categories of their wares, are listed below for your convenience:
- For Antiques, try the triannual Mercatino dell'Antiquariato if you are in town in early June, mid-September or late December. There are over 100 vendors, and you will find a great variety of unique antiquarian products.
- For leather goods, visit ruga Rialto, where you will find locally crafted leather bags or Fanny on Calle dei Saoneri for leather gloves in a multitude of colors and styles.
- If you are looking for Venetian shoes, try Bruno Magli, Mori e Bozzi or Rolando Segalin. The first two have large assortments of high quality footwear, while the last-mentioned shop is famous for its creatively designed Carnevale shoes.
- If you need a high-end scarf or shawl, look for Venetia Studium. You will find velvet and silken scarves, shawls, pillows and evening bags that are delicately woven to perfection.
- For jewelry, visit Jewelry Chimento, where you will find both custom-made and top international designs in the highest quality gold and silver.
- Antichita Zaggia specializes in both antique jewelry and glassware, and their products are truly works of art. Similarly, Esperienze makes its own pins and necklaces from traditionally blown glass.
- Venini is the most respected glass maker in all Venice, and you can see their creations on display at the Marco Polo. Also don't miss the antique Venetian Pearls, a kind of glass bead, for sale at Anticlea Antiquariato.
- For crafts and general artisan products, explore the Murano Art Shop. Local artisans fill it with masks, puppets, music boxes and more — both the traditional and the contemporary.
- For Venetian masks and costumes, stop by the Atelier Marega. You will also find there exquisite chandeliers, masks, more Venetian glass jewelry and other crafts.
- Try any of the several Biblos locations for leather journals, classy fountain pens, specialty papers and unique artistic treasures.
- Libreria Acqua Alta, Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa | 5176 - Castello, . One of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. You will find thousands of books stored everywhere, even inside bathtubs and gondolas. A must see.
If you've come to Venice thinking that you won't be able to do a bit of designer shopping, think again! Just like in every major Italian city, you get the big fashion brand names here too. For label clothing shopping, the best area is that around the Piazza San Marco, where you can find Versace, MaxMara, Gucci, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Prada (and numerous more) big names. If you want to shop for clothing or accessories, though, you don't necessarily have to shop through the biggest names in fashion - in the Campo Santo Stefano and Calle della Mandola, you can get less famous or local boutiques, but you can find some excellent quality and/or unique items such as clothes, shoes, wallets, or handbags.
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, only buy typical regional Italian food in food shops and always check the labels to discover where they have been made. In case it is not stated on the label, avoid the purchase.
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. The pizza in Venice is well known as being the worst in Italy (It is a more southern italian speciality). For Americans, you can find a place called Quanto Basta pizza that serves an American-style pizza with pepperoni and french fries. 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, which is almost always expensive anyway.
In Venice, as in many other Italian cities, people meet before dinner for the ritual of happy hour at a so called ‘bacari’, that is characteristic osterias or wine bars where you can find a lively and genuine atmosphere. Here you can drink some typical aperitifs such as the famous ‘spritz’ (a cocktail made of Prosecco wine and Aperol or Campari) or taste the ‘cicchetti’ (tasty snacks, such as small croutons, meat cooked on a spit, savoury pastries and typical Venetian dishes, both hot and cold, fried and not).
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 on a weight basis (typically by the "etto", abbreviated "/hg". or 100 g). One dish can easily contain 400g of fish or meat (almost a pound) - coming to 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. Le Bauta, an eatery on Fond del Gaffaro, is a good example. Also, please make sure that you get your change back after payment as sometimes it may be 'forgotten' by the waiters.
For fresh fruit (including chilled coconut) watch for the street market stalls. There is always a boat parked in the canal on campo San Barnaba selling fruit and vegetables into the late hours.
To save money at lunch, eat standing up - that's what Venetians themselves do. Every cafe, trattoria, osteria, enoteca or whatever it chooses to call itself is stocked at lunchtime with cicchetti - Venetian tapas, including tramezzini (triangular sandwiches on white bread), bite-sized rolls with various cold cuts, polpette (fried balls of minced fish or meat) and assorted antipasti. Order by pointing at what you want on the glass shelves, and wash the whole thing down with a glass of wine (un' ombra) or a spritz (made with, in order of bitterness and alcohol content, Aperol, Campari or Select). Bear in mind that as soon as you allow yourself to sit at the table and be waited on, instead of ordering and consuming your food at the counter, the prices for the same items go up - you can end up paying double. If you look at the (government-mandated) chart of prices stapled to the wall near the bar, you'll see 2 columns of numbers, accommodating this arrangement. However, sitting is worth it if you plan on staying a while. Some places will also serve bread and water for seated patrons, but then there is usually also a small charge (€1-3 per person) for "pane e coperto" (bread and cover charge).
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! There are a variety of small stores around the city that sell fruits and vegetables, but tourists will be hard-pressed to find them. Anything else you will find in the one of the few supermarkets in the city.
Head to the Dorsoduro area of Venice if you want to save a few euros. It is located on the south side of the city. 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!
- There are a few supermarkets in the city, so if you are in the need to save some money, these are an option as they serve a wide array of prepared and semi-prepared food. On the main street from the station to the Rialto bridge there is a Coop and a Billa supermarket.
- "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.
- "I Tre Mercanti" For your dessert head here, they offer some amazing Tiramisù for just 3,5/4,5€ a cup. The place is also a classy gourmet shop but don't feel intimidated, the staff is super friendly and the products eve if they are all top quality are ranged for all kind of budgets. They are on Ponte della Guerra just behind Saint Mark's square (see links and details in the shopping area).
- "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. They also serve very tasty mini pizzas per kilogram.
- 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. ( ** permanently closed on google Maps ** )
- Dal Moro's (Fresh Pasta To Go), Calle De La Casseleria 5324, ☎ +39 041 476 2876 ([email protected]), . Lun-Sab 12:00 - 20:30. Sells amazing takeaway homemade pasta with prices ranging from €5-8. Located on Calle De La Casseleria 5324, a narrow sidestreet between Campo Santa Maria Formosa and Basilica di San Marco. The narrow street usually gets crowded with tourists queuing up to buy pasta in peak season.
- Venetian snacks (cicchetti) 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.
- La Bitta, Dorsoduro 2753A, calle lunga, san Barnaba, ☎ +39 041 523-0531. This busy but friendly restaurant is in the more studenty area of Dorsoduro, and attracts a mixture of locals and tourists. They have some excellent Italian dishes, which are reflected in the prices, plus they have a great selection of wines. Meals served 18:30-23:00, closed in August.
- Osteria Al Cravatte, Santa Croce 36/37 (500m east from Piazzale Roma). This little restaurant is frequented by the professors of the nearby university. Warm welcome and a good eat.Try their raw artichoke salad or their fish of the day. €40 for three-courses meal with wine.
- Do Farai, Dorsoduro 3278 (100m west of Cà Foscari), ☎ +39 041 277-0369. Very fresh shell fish. Taste their spaghetti al dente with razor shells.
- Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti, Dorsoduro 1169A, ☎ +39 041523-8944. An excellent restaurant, small but comfortable with a few tables alongside a tiny canal. Food is fresh and delicious, not too expensive. Large selection of wines. Menu changing daily. Meals from €15-25.
- Gianni, Zattere 918. ☎ +39 041 523-7210. This is a very friendly family restaurant overlooking the Guidecca Canal. The menu starts at €8.50 pizzas and pastas. The wine selection is good with many available in a choice of 250mL, 375mL and 750mL bottles. The interior is almost art deco and surprisingly light. It is used by a lot of regulars, both local and returning tourists. They are closed on Wednesdays and between Christmas and Festival.
- Osteria Mocenigo, Salizada San Stae (near the Mocenigo museum), ☎ +39 041 523-1703. Tu-Su. Little restaurant frequented by locals. Be sure to try their antipasti. Excellent desserts too. €40 for two-courses meal with wine.
- Pane Vino e San Daniele, Campo dell'Angelo Raffaele, Dorsoduro 1722. A short walk from the Vaporetto stop at San Basilio on the Dorsoduro. phone="+39 041 523 7456" url="http://www.panevinospa.it/" price="€45 for a three-course meal with wine, water and coffee">Delightful trattoria with cosy Alpine interior and piazza seating in good weather, featuring a menu of Puglian, Sardinian and Venetian specialities. No fish, excellent wines and a highly trained dessert chef, with gluten-free, dairy-free and diabetic options available on request. Good English, Spanish, French and German spoken by the friendly owners.</eat>
- Timon (eno - ostaria), Fondamenta degli Ormesini (south-east of the Jewish Ghetto). Warm and local atmosphere in this little osteria where they serve great Italian vintages by the glass. If you're adventurous, try their tasty tripe. Good music inside, some table by the canal in the summer. €30.
- Trattoria Dai Fioi (Trattoria Dai Fioi), Via Miranese 9\A, Venice Mestre (Follow Via Piave from the railway station), ☎ +39 041 983395 ([email protected]), . 7 days a week. Small trattoria offering dishes with products sourced from the local area of Venice, Italy. €30.
- Al Vecio Canton, Castello 4738. Just 8 minutes from Piazza San Marco (200m NE), this small and atmospheric restaurant/pizzeria will absolutely enchant you. Famous for its traditional style pizza and seafood pasta, you will not only get it all at reasonable prices (pizza from €12, pasta from €12, wine from €4/glass ), but you're also served by a most friendly and hearty staff. They top it off with a free home made digestivo (mostly vodka and lemon) at the end of your meal, just to make 100% sure you'll be coming back for more. The only disappointment is that despite the wonderful jazz/blues pictures around the walls, the artists featured are not played in the background.
- Trattoria Veneziana, Sestiere Santa Croce, 285 (200m SE of Piazzale Roma), ☎ +39 041 710749. Warm welcome, good cooking (try their mixed grilled fishes), frequented by locals and tourists. €35 for two-course meal with wine.
- Antico Dolo, San Polo 778. A old seafood restaurant close to Rialto bridge: food comes from the adjacent Rialto Market daily. A complete dinner excluding wines could cost €35 each more or less.
- Al Giardinetto, Castello 4928. Just behind the Piazza San Marco, this restaurant has a large private courtyard welcoming guests during good season. Seafood courses and Venitian specialities are served by Severino family.
- Vino Vino, (between La Fenice Opera House and via XXII Marzo), offers typical Venetian cuisine and snacks at medium prices. The largest selection of top-quality italian and imported wines (over 350) available by the glass or by bottle.Close to St. Mark's Square, it is a unique place that can exist only in Venice, where backpackers chat with baronessas, gondoliers with golfers, and where Venetians discover new vistas. Open non-stop from 11.30 to 23.30. ☎ +39 041 241-7688 ,
- Il Refolo, S. Croce, 1459, ☎ 041.5240016. Nice restaurant at a small piazza. Very good pizza (~10€) as well as a decent menu. €60 for a four-course meal with wine.
- Al Poggio, Ponte delle Guglie Cannaregio 1305, ☎ 041 716157. Italian cuisine with gluten-free menu.
- Al Teatro Goldoni, S. Marco Ponte del Lovo 4747, ☎ 041 5222446. Restaurant with tavola calda (prepared hot dishes sold by weight) and gluten-free pasta.
- Antico Martini (since 1720) A luxury restaurant, favorite among the famous names of culture and business, the Antico Martini also attracts expert gourmets and famous personalities since the 1800s who come to enjoy unforgettable flavors. Beautiful detail and restaurant decor, romantic atmosphere. Address: Campiello della Fenice, S. Marco 2007, Tel.(+ 39) - 0415224121 or 041 5237027 Fax (+ 39) - 041 5289857 Open all days , .
- Restaurant Antiche Carampane, San Polo 1911, phone +39 041 5240165 . Situated in the heart of Venice, only steps away from the Rialto Bridge, is this renowned restaurant where distinguished Venitian cuisine is served in a familiar setting.
- Restaurant La Caravella, Via XXII Marzo 2398, phone +39 041 5208901 . Historical place, very near St. Mark's Square, known since the 60's and has become a must if you like traditions. Open every day all year round, offers, together some typical dishes a large selection of wines. From May to September service is in a tradtional courtyard.
- Do Leoni, Hotel Londra Palace. Amazing food, for a really quite reasonable price if you consider other prices in this city.
- Do Forni, near St Marks. Very expensive and not really very nice food.
- Pasticceria Tonolo, Dorsoduro 3764/5 (Crosera San Pantalon, 400m east of Piazzale Roma), ☎ 041 523 7209. An 120 year old patisserie. Taste their cake with crystallized fruits or their marzipan cake.
- Bar Pasticceria Gilda Vio, Rio Marin 784, S. Croce. Best tiramisu, at least in S. Croce.
- Bar Pasticceria Rosa Salva, San Marco 950, ☎ +39 041 521 0544 ([email protected], fax: +39 041 520 0771), . One of the oldest pastry shops in Venice, where you can enjoy fresh pastries, cakes and sandwiches, as well as buy hand-made chocolates and sweets. If you need a cake for a special occasion, this is the best place to order a beautifully decorated masterpiece. During the Carnival time don't miss out on their frittelle (donuts with cream, pine nuts and raisins).
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.
- Alaska, S. Croce 1159 (close to the railway station), ☎ 041/00715211. 14-24 roughly. Ice cream made with natural ingredients by Carlo Pistacchi, not only the owner but an artist, a poet and a philosopher.
- Try a Spritz (with either Campari, Select or Aperol mixed with Prosecco wine and Seltzer), a typical drink loved by all Venetians that's usually drunk while eating cicchetti. You can find it in almost every bar in the city. Price is about €2, more in a touristy place.
- Try the famous Veneto grappa, tastes strong but is 40-50% abv.
- 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 [45ml ?] 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.
Coffee is everywhere in Venice, and both Venetians and the tourists avail themselves of the opportunities, usually by downing a quick dose at the counter (see warning about sit-down prices above). Rule of thumb: the bigger (and shinier) the espresso machine, the better the result. One of the favorites is the mini-chain "E Rosa Salva", with three locations in the center - on C. Fiubera (from Piazza San Marco, take the underpass in the middle of the arcade, cross the bridge and take second right off C. Fabbri), Merceria S. Salvadore (off the campo of the same name), and right on Campo San Zanipolo (to the right of the church looking from the canal); the last one is a gelateria as well. For your €1 you'll get exactly 2 and a half sips at the bottom of a small cup, with rich crema and no bitterness. Assorted house-made sweets are €1.10.
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.
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).
Locals in search of nighttime entertainment mostly head over the bridge into Mestre, or hop the boat to Lido. One exception: F.ta della Misericordia, in Cannaregio (north from the Ghetto over the Ghetto Nuove bridge, turn right), features several bars in succession, anchored by the Paradiso Perduto (Cannaregio 2640; a restaurant by day, live music on Sundays starting at 9), along the canal. In season they are spilling over after dark with youths holding large glasses of rosé, while more of those same youths are cruising (in motor boats) blaring rap songs in Italian from the loudspeakers. The cafes and bars lining the expansive C. Santa Margherita are catering to the students from the nearby university; chill out to reggae sets in Caffé Rosso (Dorsoduro 2963), or dance (Saturdays only) at Round Midnight (Dorsoduro 3102).
- Devils Forest Pub. A traditional English style pub with a very fun atmosphere. It is located near the Rialto Bridge and tucked into a small alley near the Disney Store.
- Pub Taverna L'Olandese Volante, Campo San Lio, Castello 5856, Venezia, ph +39 041.5289349. It is located between The Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco. During the summertime there are tables outside when you can easily sit and rest after a day of wandering around this marvelous city. What is more, during the day pasta and other typical dishes are served at a budget price.
- There are two Irish pubs in Venice. One is located along the Strada Nova in Cannaregio; the other one is the Inishark just before Campo Santa Maria Formosa.
Due to Venice's historic city constrained area and touristic importance hotels are expensive. Bed and Breakfasts and guesthouses offer better rates, and real budget solutions (like campings and hostels) can be found on Mestre (Venice mainland) train station area and Lido. These are worth considering since historic centre is quite well connected with bus and ferries, so staying outside is not such a big problem.
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.
Bed and Breakfast
- Ancient Venice Bed and Breakfast , Dorsoduro 3171, ph +39 3279824052 ph +39 3296960084. In front of “Campo San Barnaba” and around the corner from Campo Santa Margherita. The rooms are elegant and welcoming, with a luxurious mosaic marble floor (“terrazzo veneziano”), dated 1826 and offering an enchanting panoramic view. On the first floor there's a nice Tea Room where you can have breakfast and relax. The B&B is very close to the “Ca’ Rezzonico” stop, where you can catch the main Venice's Vaporetto Line 1.
- Bed and Breakfast Venice Ca' del Pozzo , ph +39 041.2413875 fax +39 041.2443203. Completely restructured in 2003 and situated in the characteristic Campo San Maurizio, a few minutes from St. Mark's Square.
- Bed and Breakfast Ca' delle Acque , ph +39.041.2411277 fax +39 041.2414112. 2 minutes from S.Mark's square and Rialto Bridge. Rooms from €69.
- Bed and Breakfast Ca'Dor , ph +39 392 3906152. Venetian style rooms in the centre, 3 minutes from Rialto's Bridge. Rooms from €35.
- BedandBreakfastVenice Querini San Marco, Castello 3520. ph +39 339 5309009. . Not just a B&B, a few minutes from S. Marco. Studios from €80.
- Bed and Breakfast Santo Stefano , ph +39 333-2353779 . Small and comfortable Bed and breakfast in Campo Santo Stefano, 10 minutes from San Marco Square and 2 minutes from Accademia. Rooms from €50.
- Antico Fiore , San Marco 3486, ph +39.041.5227941 fax +39.041.2413879. An eighteenth-century building which has been carefully restored. Easy and quick access to the vaporetto. Really great gelato nearby. Rooms from €65.
- Cà Bibi Venezia , Cannaregio 1663, ph +39.331 8778180. Beautiful apartment recently renovated, with double rooms with private or shared bathroom. From 65€.
- Santa Margherita Lodgings ,  Dorsoduro 2881, 30123 - ph +39.041. 5203320 Fax +39.041. 2702815. Guest house and apartments near Santa Margherita square. COmfortable rooms and apartments with top roof terrace.
- Relais Piazza San Marco – San Marco, 312, Calle San Basso, 30124 Venice, Italy  Telephone +39 041 2960804 • Fax +39 041 7241079. Twelve bedrooms for this guest house of Venice. Services include, private bath, hydro-massage shower, telephone, TV LCD and Wi-Fi internet connection. Double room 149 Euros with breakfast included.
- Residenza Ca' Dario ,  Santa Croce, 646 - 30135 Venezia - ph (+39) 041.5242719. The Residenza Ca’ Dario & Corte Canal offer two different kinds of lodging, rooms and apartments.
- Residenza Ca' San Marco , Calle delle Balote. ☎ +39 41 241-3864 • Fax +39 41 241-7245. Single, double superior and junior suite with private bath, Jacuzzi or power shower, LCD TV, Wi-Fi, minibar and air-con. Double room: €149, breakfast included.
- Palazzo La Scala Venice – San Marco, 4737 Calle de le Scale, (Calle dei Fabbri), 30124 Venice, Italy  Telephone +39 041 5222502 • Fax +39 041 5284597. Ten bedrooms divided in single twin and double, and two suites for this guest house of Venice. Services include private bath, shower, internet connection, satellite TV, minibar and air conditioning. Double room: 89 euros, breakfast included.
- Venice Garden, Cannaregio n 631, ph +39389 243 8866, . Venice Garden is a very friendly hostel located in the heart of Venice and yet very quiet and peaceful. Bed in a shared room starting from 18 euros a night. Really cheap.
- Ai Tolentini, Calle Amai, Santa Croce 197/G,, 30135. ph +39 041 2759140, fax: +39 041 2753266, . Near Piazzale Roma and the train station. Doubles from €65.
- Ai Do Mori, St. Marco 658, 30124. ph +39 041 5204817, fax: +39 041 5205328, . As close as it gets to Piazza San Marco, but on the second and third floor, so it still is quiet at nights. Clean and nice rooms, tv, aircon, very friendly staff. Doubles from €55.
- Alloggi Agli Artisti, Calle Priuli Cavalletti 99, . New hotel 150 meters away from the main railway station (Santa Lucia). Guests can choose between rooms with bathroom ensuite (with hairdryer), and rooms with sharing bathroom on the floor (cheaper). From €50 to €90 for a double room, depending on the season.
- Alloggi La Gondola, Calle del Forno 180 (Follow the Canale Grande, after crossing the big station bridge turn west for 150 m (164 yd)). From €20.
- Astoria , Calle Fiubera 951, S. Marco, ph +39.0415225381 - fax +39.0415288981. 2 star hotel centrally located (2 minutes from St. Mark's square). It has Wi-Fi at a fee and rooms from €70.
- Ca' Contarini, Calle dei Orbi (Corte de la Vida) 3025, 30124 ((15 min by walking from Santa Lucia train station)), ☎ +39 327.8455991 ([email protected]). checkin: 12:00 P.M.; checkout: 10:30 A.M.. A small, quiet establishment in a five hundred year old building. Both shared and private rooms are available, no curfew-lockouts, including free Wi-Fi, coffee/tea, and light breakfast. From €70 per person/night (as of May 2011).
- Ca' Rialto, Riva del Ferro, San Marco 5149, ph +39.041.5209166 fax +39.041.5238958 . Located in a building overlooking the Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge. Singles from €50, doubles from €60 (extra bed €30).
- Dolomiti Hotel Venice – Cannaregio, 73-74, Calle Priuli ai Cavalletti, 30121 Venice, Italy.  Telephone +39 041 71 99 83 • Fax +39 041 71 66 35. Great rates for this two star hotel of Venice. Single, double and triple bedrooms with shared and private bath, shower, free Wi-Fi access and breakfast included.
- Hotel Diana, Calle Specchieri 449, 30124  ph +39.041.5206911 fax +39.041.5238763. 100 yards from the front entrance to the Basilica San Marco. Rooms at around €70 per person.
- Hotel Domus Cavanis Venice – Dorsoduro 896, 30123 . ph +39 041 5287374 • fax +39 041 52285/5. All the 35 bedrooms of the Domus Cavanis Hotel have a private bath. Double room from €40. Triple from 60. Breakfast included.
- Hotel Serenissima, Calle Goldoni 4486, San Marco 30124  ph +39.041. 5200011 fax +39.041 5223292. Completely refurbished at the start of 2007 and is a one minute walk from the Piazza San Marco. Simple and comfortable rooms from around €80 per person.
- Locanda Gaffaro, Dorsoduro 3589, 30123 ph +39.041.2750897 fax +39.041.2750375 . In a picturesque court near Piazzale Roma. Doubles from around €100.
- Locanda Sant'Anna, C.te del Bianco, Castello 269 . One star. 3 minutes from the Gardens of the Biennale, providing a family atmosphere complete with modern comforts. Single from €35, Double from €45. Quiet hotel with secure courtyard and some rooms with a canal view (for a higher price) overlooking the Isola di San Pietro. Common balcony over the canal. Includes typical Italian breakfast from 8AM-9:30AM with coffee or hot chocolate and rolls, croissants, and toast. Easily accessible from the main bus/train station by vaporetto to stop 'S. Pietro' or 'Giardini'. Doors close at 1AM. Pay in cash for a discount.
- Pensione Seguso Venice , D.D.779, 30123,  ph +39.041. 5286858 fax +39.041. 5222340. Traditional Italian Pensione overlooking the waterfront close to San Marco. A building and hotel with a long history, the spacious and light rooms start from €60 per person.
- Residenza Laguna Venice , S. Polo n° 1016, 30123  ph +39.041. 2960575 Fax +39.041. 2447441. Little b&b close to Ponte Rialto bridge with spacious and stylish rooms. Nice family run accommodation starting from €70 a head.
- Tre Archi Hotel Venice – Cannaregio, 923, 30121 Venice, Italy. . Telephone +39 041 524 4356 • Standard and superior rooms with private bath, colour TV, telephone and wi-fi. Breakfast included. Rates starting from around Euros 40.
Please give prices
- Ateneo Hotel Venice, San Marco 1876, 30124 ph +39.041. 5200777 fax +39.041 5228550. 3 star hotel close to Basilica San Marco. Rooms start at around €120 depending on season.
- Alcyone Hotel Venice – Calle dei Fabbri, San Marco, 4712, 30124 . ph +39 041 5212508 • fax +39 041 5212942. 3 star hotel. Its 26 bedrooms are divided in single, double, triple and superior. All with en-suite services, shower box, telephone, satellite TV and air conditioning. Double rooms: €240.
- Antica Casa Carettoni Venice , Lista di Spagna 130, 30121  ph +39.041. 716231 fax +39.041. 2750973. Close to Santa Lucia Train Station and the waterbus stops. 3 star hotel in an old convent offers accommodation starting at aroud €120-130 for a double room.
- Antica Casa Coppo, San Marco 4320/1/2, ph +39 041 5233585, fax +39 041 2770843. Classic Venetian styled rooms starting at €100 a night. Near the Rialto Bridge. Also has Wi-Fi internet.
- Antico Casin Locanda Corte Contarina, San Marco 1520/a, ph +39-041.5207002 fax +39-041.795122. A refined example of contemporary design, located close to Saint Mark's Square. Doubles from €90.
- BEST WESTERN Hotel Olimpia, 395 Fondamenta delle Burchielle - Santa Croce, Venezia, ph +39 041.711041 - Fax +39 041.5246777 - [email protected] Prenota qui Overlooking a typical Venetian canal, the position of the Hotel Olimpia, an elegant 16th century building, makes it easy access via car / aeroplane / train or even cruise ship.
- Ca' Valeri  Castello - Ramo dei Corazzieri 3845, ph +39 041.2411530 fax +39 041.2415392. Residence where an atmosphere of charm and comfort defines an ambience of class. Double from €100.
- Ca' Amadi, Cannaregio 5815, 30121, ph +39 041.5204682 fax +39 041.5206701 . In the heart of the old town centre, close to the famous Rialto Bridge. This 13th century palace was once home to Marco Polo. Décor is keeping with the period, and the rooms are utterly charming. Original wall frescoes from the 1400s adorn the hotel.
- Ca' Della Corte (B&B + apartments), Dorsoduro, 3560 - Corte Surian (300 m SE of Piazzale Roma), ☎ +39.041.715877 ([email protected], fax: +39.041.722345), . A comfortable B&B in a quiet area. Warm and personal welcome. Breakfast (served in the room) could be improved (by going to pasticceria Tonolo and bringing your own cakes e.g.). Junior suite €140.
- Ca' Zose, Dorsoduro 193/B (Calle del Bastion) (walk west from Salute vaporetto stop), ☎ +39 0415226635 ([email protected], fax: +39 0415226624), . A quiet street off S. M. Salute, by the S. M. Giglio traghetto (when it's operational, 50 cents will get you to S. Marco), within easy walk of either Accademia or the Zattere (no need to brave the hordes of tourists on the #1 line, take the #52 from bus or train station). The helpful staff speaks Italian, English, French and Veneto. 10% discount on rates if paid in cash - ask Walentina, the proprietress. All rooms are named after stars (in the sky, not of movie kind), and all have A/C (indispensable in summer). Buffet breakfast included. Doubles from €90 in season.
- Continental Hotel Venice – Lista di Spagna – Cannaregio, 166, 30100 . ph +39 041 71 5122 • fax +39 041 524 2432. Three star hotel in the Jewish Getto. A historic building belonged to a noble family, with 93 bedrooms (€95-194) capable to host any kind of guests.
- Corte 1321 San Polo 1321, 30124, ph +39.041.5224923 fax +39.041.0997849. Located near the Rialto Bridge. Large spacious rooms with double sink bathrooms ensure a comfortable stay. Lovely courtyard for dining is made memorable with local birds strutting and cooing. Double rooms from €100.
- Domus Ciliota, Calle delle Muneghe - S. Marco . Just a 5-10 minute walk from San Marco's Square. The hotel has over fifty clean, basic, air-conditioned rooms all with shower and WC. The 24h reception is English speaking. There is an area for leaving baggage after you've checked out. Single rooms are €70-85 and doubles are €100-110 including breakfast.
- Elma Hotels Venice – Calle della Misericordia, 375/A 30121 Venice, Italy  Telephone + 39 041 716901 • Fax + 39 041 716994. Affordable rates in the Canareggio area of Venice, next to the Santa Lucia Train Station. Wide range of bedrooms and services available, including the batrooms and breakfast. Double rooms: 90 Euros.
- Hotel al Sole, Santa Croce 134/136, 30124 ph +39 041.2440328 fax +39 041.722287,  Hotel is situated in a noble palace built in the beginning of the 15th century, a short distance from Piazzale Roma. Doubles from €80.
- Hotel Ala, San Marco 2494 (campo Santa Maria dei Gigli), ph +39 041 5208333, fax +39 041 5206390 . Eggs and broiled tomatoes with cheese for breakfast. Rooms were a typical size but clean, comfortable and quiet. They have turndown service at night, a pleasant surprise. Double rooms from €110.
- Hotel Alla Salute (also known as 'Da Cici') Salute 222, Fondamenta Ca' Balà, ph +39 041.5235404 fax +39 041.5222271 . A 16th-century palazzo, a stone's throw from Piazza San Marco. It has been the house of the famous poet Ezra Pound. Pretty comfortable and quiet budget hotel. Garden for breakfast. Doubles from €50.
- Hotel All’Angelo Venice , San Marco 403, 30124  ph +39.041. 5209299 fax +39.041. 2743555. Run by the same family since 1924 in a 17th century building close to St Marks Basilica. Comfortable and stylishly decorated rooms with a double somewhere in the region of €150.
- Hotel Antica Locanda al Gambero Calle dei Fabbri - San Marco 4687, 30124 ph +39 041.5224384 fax +39 041.5200431. Single rooms from €90, Double from €110 (150€ rooms facing the Canal).
- Hotel Antico Panada San Marco 646, ph +39 041.5209088 fax +39 041.5209619 . Welcoming Venetian hotel, in the heart of the Sestiere (District) of San Marco, has rooms decorated in an 18th century Venetian style. Double room from €145 to €310.
- Hotel Antico Palazzo Gottardi, Cannaregio 2283, 3000 ph +39 041 2759333 +39 041 2759421 . Antico Palazzo Gottardi stands in Strada Nuova, between two buildings that look down onto the Canal Grande. Double from €120.
- Hotel Basilea Venice , S. Croce-Rio Marin, 817, 30135  ph +39.041. 718477 fax +39.041. 720851. Across the Grand Canal from Santa Lucia Train Station. Located in a quiet Calle. Double rooms are usually around €100-160 depending on season.
- Hotel Becher, San Marco 1857, ph +39.041.5221253 fax +39.041.5212685 . This 18th century hotel enhanced by the most modern amenities, charming atmosphere and impeccable service. Single rooms from €70, doubles €110 and triples from €170.
- Belle Arti Hotel Venice – 912 / A Dorsoduro, 30100 . ph +39 041 5226230 • fax +39 041 5280043. Elegant three star hotel. 67 guestrooms divided in double, triple and quadruple with en-suite services, bathroom kit and modern services. Breakfast included for those who book online. Double: €220.
- Hotel Bella Venice – San Marco, 4710, Calle dei Fabbri - 30124 Venice, Italy  Telephone +39 041 5288779 • Fax +39 041 5284597. This four star hotel of Venice presents 24 bedrooms and two apartments. Wide choice of services, including private bath, satellite TV, soundproofing windows, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi internet connection. Double classic rooms starting from 107 Euros, breakfast included.
- Hotel Belle Epoque , Cannaregio 127/128 - Lista Di Spagna, 30123, ph +39 041 240004, fax +39 041 2750159, . Close to the Train Station. Rooms start from €90 all the way up to €200.
- Hotel Cà D'Oro, Calle delle Rasse, Castello 4604, 30121 ph +39 041.2411212 fax +39 041.2414385 . The hotel is in a quiet corner of Cannaregio district, 5 minutes walk from the Rialto Bridge. Singles from €60, doubles from €80.
- Hotel Canaletto Venice , Castello 5487, 30122  ph +39.041. 52 20 518 fax +39.041. 52 29 023. Along a scenic canal close to St. Mark’s Basilica. Decorated and furnished in the traditional Venetian manner, this hotel offers excellent service and rooms for two that start at around €110.
- Hotel Continental, Lista di Spagna, Cannaregio 166, ph +39.041.715122 fax +39.041.5242432 . Right on the Canal Grande. Single rooms from €93, doubles from €155 and triples from €194 including taxes and breakfast.
- Hotel Commercio e Pellegrino, Calle delle Rasse, Castello 4551/A, 30122 ph +39 041.5207922 fax +39 041.5225016 . Comfortable hotel in the centre, easy to reach by public transport and just 2 minutes on foot to Saint Mark’s Square. Single rooms from €80, doubles from €100 including taxes and breakfast.
- Hotel Doge Venice – Lista Vecchia dei Bari, Santa Croce 1222, 30133 . ph +39 041 2448752 • fax +39 041 5242192. Three star accommodation of Venice. It is located in the northern part of the city, in front of the train station and presents 10 bedrooms – single, double and twin, some with a shared bathroom - and one apartment. Double rooms start from €57. Family apartment for three people, €97.
- Hotel Firenze Venice , San Marco, 1490, 30124  ph +39.041. 5222858 fax +39.041. 5202668. On a side street of Piazza San Marco, and offers bright and comfortable rooms. Rooms start at around €120 a double/twin.
- Hotel il Mercante di Venezia , Calle della Misericordia, 30121  ph +39.041. 2759290 fax +39.041. 2759294. Just off the Lista di Spagna by the Grand Canal, excellent access to the Station (Santa Lucia) and the waterbuses. Delicately appointed rooms from around €145.
- Hotel La Forcola, Cannaregio, 2353  ph +39.041. 5241484 fax +39.041. 5245380. Location is easy to find (main road to St. Mark Square) and relatively close to the train station, so you won't have to drag your luggage around. Double rooms around €80.
- Hotel Lisbona Venice , San Marco 2153, 30124  ph +39.041. 5286774 fax +39.041. 5207061. Just in front of Piazza San Marco, three star rooms decorated in the grand Venetian style. Double rooms are usually around €140.
- Hotel Marconi Venice, Riva del Vin, San Paolo, 729, 30125 ph +39.041. 52 22 068 fax +39.041. 52 29 700. The hotel overlooks the Grand Canal and famous Rialto Bridge. It has been a hotel since the 1930 and has a very interesting art deco style, with rooms going for around €150, or for a little more with a canal view.
- Hotel Montecarlo Venice , Calle degli Specchieri, 30124  ph +39.041. 5207144 fax +39.041. 5207789. 3 star superior rooms and services one hundred yards from the entrance to Basilica San Marco. Rooms start at around €130 a double.
- Hotel Nazionale Venice, Lista di Spagna 158, 30121 . ph +39 041 716133 • fax +39 041 715318. Three star accommodation with 90 bedrooms divided in single, double, twin, triple and family, located only 100 metres away from the train station of Santa Lucia. €80 for a single and €160 for a family.
- Hotel Palazzo Guardi Dorsoduro 995, 30123 ph +39 041 2960725 fax +39 041 7241067.  A stone's throw from the Accademia, is this noble Venetian palace, rooms equipped with all comforts. Double room from €80.
- Hotel San Giorgio, Rio Terà della Mandola, San Marco 3781, 30124 ph +39 041.5235835 fax +39 041.5228072 . The hotel is between Campo Sant'Angelo and Campo Manin in an antique Gothic palace bought by Mariano Fortuny. Single rooms from €60, doubles from €90, triples from €120.
- Hotel San Moise Venice, San Marco 2058, 30124 ph +39.041. 5203755 fax +39.041. 5210670. 3 star hotel just behind Piazza San Marco and the Basilica. Starting in the region of €120-140 for a double room.
- Hotel Tiepolo, Castello 4510, 30122 ph +39 041 5232415 fax +39 041.5208222 . Small and elegant design hotel in the historic centre, a few steps away from Saint Mark's Square. Doubles from around €200.
- Hotel Violino D'Oro Via XXII Marzo 2091, San Marco, 30124 ph +39 041.2770841 fax +39 041.2771001.  Venetian style. Single rooms from €40, Double from €70.
- Locanda Orseolo . Located only a 3 minutes walk from St. Peter's Square, operated by a multi-lingual Venetian family who offer impeccable concierge service. Room rates are generally €150 to €200.
- Pagan Luxury House, San Marco 3268, 30124, ☎ +39.041.2960584 ([email protected], fax: +39.041.5236218), . . Double room from €120,00.
- Residenza Cà Bauta, Castello, 6457, 30122  ph +39.041. 2413787 fax +39.041. 5212313. Few steps from Campo ss. Giovanni e Paolo, one of the most spectacular place of Venice. Double rooms are usually around €100-160 depending on season.
- Residenza Cá Malipiero Venice – Castello 4852, 30122 . ph +39 041 2770939 • fax +39 041 5289845. An historic building of the 16th century with a large selection of elegant single, double rooms and suites, capable to host up to four people and equipped with the best modern services expected by a three star guest house. In the Santa Maria Formosa district, behind the Ponte dei Sospiri bridge and St Mark’s Square. The rates start from €110.
- Shadar Hotel Venice – Calle dei Fabbri San Marco, 4712 - 30124 Venice, Italy  Telephone +39 041 5212508 • Fax +39 041 5212942. Accomodation of Venice with private bath, shower, free Wi-Fi and breakfast included. Bedrooms’ rates from 70 Euros.
- Villa Margherita Hotel Venice – Via Nazionale, 416/417 30034 Mira, Venice, Italy . Telephone +39 041 4265800 • Fax +39 041 4265800. Four star hotel located in the town of Mira Porte near Venice and the Brenta Riviera, with its in-house restaurant and a private park. Double/twin standard 85 Euros, superior 100 with complimentary breakfast.
- Hotel Ca'Zusto Campo Rielo-Santa Croce 1358 - 30185 Venice (VE) Italy - Tel: +39 041 524 29 91 Fax: +39 041 244 00 63
- Hotel Giudecca Corte Ferrando, 409/C - 30133 Venice (VE) Italy - Tel: +39 041 296 01 68 - Fax: +39 041 528 95 20
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- Clock tower (Torre dell'Orologio), (San Marco Square), .
- Carnival Palace, Cannaregio 929, ☎ +39 041 2440320 ([email protected], fax: +39 041 2759358), . Double room from €100 per night.
- Corte di Gabriela Boutique Hotel, Calle Avvocati, 3836, 30124 San Marco, Venice VE, ☎ 0415235077 ([email protected]), . Double room from 270€ per night
- Bellevue Suites, San Marco, 899, ☎ +39 041 5287245 ([email protected], fax: +39 041 5205084), . Double room from €200 per night. (45.43474691549306,12.33894869685173)
- Palazzina Grassi Hotel, San Marco 3247, 30124, . First Italian hotel designed by Philippe Starck, the only one in Venice. In the centre, near the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Saint Mark's Square is a short walk away. Rooms from €295.
- Duodo Palace Hotel, San Marco 1887 (In the historic centre), ☎ +39 041 5203329 ([email protected], fax: +39 041 2415940), . Four star luxury hotel. Doubles from €140.
- Hotel Al Codega , Corte del Forno Vecchio - St. Marco, 4435, 30124  ph +39.041. 2413288 fax +39.041. 2414621. In a picturesque little ‘cortile’ (courtyard), which is a short walk from Piazza San Marco. A brand new hotel, its elegant rooms from €200-300.
- Hotel Ca' dei Conti, Castello 4429, 30122 ph +39.041.2770500, fax +39.041.2770727 . A building dating back to the 18th century, just a stroll from St. Mark's Square. Room rates start from €155 for a double single use, €200 for a double room, €320 for a suite.
- Hotel Carlton Grand Canal, Fondamenta S.Pantalon, Santa Croce 578, 30135 ph +39 041.2752200, fax +39 041.2752250 . The hotel overlooks the Grand Canal. Room rates start from €120 (depending on the season).
- Hotel Ca' Vendramin, Cannaregio 2400, 30100 ph +39.041.2750125 fax +39.041.2750543.  In the centre, this hotel showcases original frescoes, fine fabric and Murano glass chandeliers which define a unique atmosphere, in pure Venetian style. Double classic from €160 and junior suite from €260.
- Hotel Dei Dragomanni, Calle del Dose da Ponte, 2711, 30124 ph +39 041.2771300 fax +39 041.2778984.  4-star hotel in an ancient Venetian palazzo. Double room from €155.
- Hotel Giorgione, Calle Larga dei Proverbi, Cannaregio 4587, ☎ +39 041.5225810 (fax: +39 041.5239092), . In the centre, just 10 minutes from Piazza San Marco, it was transformed into a hotel at the beginning of the 19th century and has been managed by the same family ever since. Singles from €105, Doubles from €150.
- Hotel Rialto, Riva del Ferro/Ponte di Rialto, San Marco 5149. Four star hotel at the foot of the Rialto Bridge, in the centre of all. Room rates start from €160 for a double room, the hotel has 79 rooms in total, 28 of which are overlooking the Grand Canal.
- Hotel Ai Reali, Castello, Campo della Fava 5527, ☎ +39 041 241 0253 ([email protected], fax: +39 041 241 5562), . Double room from €200 per night. (45.4371,12.3377)
- Hotel Royal San Marco, San Marco, 848, ☎ +39 041 528 7665 ([email protected], fax: +39 041.5226628), . From €100 to €350 per room, including breakfast. (45.43459163685616,12.337785959243774)
- La Riviera di Venezia Hotel – Via Don Giovanni Minzoni, 30034 - Mira – Venezia, Venice, Italy  • Telephone +39 041 426 6531• Fax +39 041 415 60 8996. Two old noble palaces, with a wide selections of bedrooms, excellent services and restaurants. Double Rooms starting from 153 Euros.
- Hotel Bauer, S. Marco, 1459, 30124 Venezia, phone +39 041 520 7022. Five star hotel overlooking Grand Canal, 5-minute walk from Saint Mark's Square and La Fenice Theater. The Deluxe room rates go from around €350 and the royal suite ones from around €8,210.
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.
While outside reception is usually good, indoors it will very often be poor to impossible, due to the thick walls and narrow alleys. You will rely heavily on WiFi while indoors, especially for surfing the internet. You can often see locals stepping outside to be able to phone.
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 some 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 (transport 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).
To use an Internet cafe, buy a mobile SIM card, get a contract for an Internet connection or rent a pocket mobile WiFi with unlimited traffic (up to 4€ per day). There are many companies: ExpressoWiFi, WiTourist, PrestoWiFi. Personal identification is needed by law in Italy. Internet cafes will not let you use computers without a passport or national ID card.
Calle Delle Botteghe, San Marco. A very pretty art gallery type internet cafe with a book shop. It is on the expensive side with €3 for 15 min but you can just go in and play chess with a glass of wine.
Pretty much every bar, restaurant, hotel, B&B, etc. will have WiFi available. Just ask. Be aware that mobile reception indoors is usually poor (due to the thick walls) and WiFi will be the only option.
"I must see Venice before I die" is a famous saying among many who hope to someday see the famed City of Canals, but staying safe while visiting Venice's many historic and beautiful tourist stops must still take top priority. In general, Venice has a reputation of being a relatively safe city, but it does have some dangers you should be on your guard against, including:
- An abundance of pickpockets: To keep your money, valuables, passport and other important papers safe, never store them in a bag, purse or pants pocket. Invest in a body-belt pouch, which you can wear below your shirt. Keeping items out of sight and putting obstacles in the way of snatching them will greatly reduce the risk that pickpockets pose.
- Police who demand receipts: In Venice (and Italy in general), customers who make a purchase are legally required to hold onto their receipt. Those who fail to do so could get into trouble if stopped by the city's Financial Police and asked to show proof of purchase.
- No swimming: In Venice swimming in the canals is strictly forbidden: not only because the water may be mixed with sewage (see Stay Healthy section), but swimmers and divers who get caught are fined up to hundreds of euros, may be denied access to the town and in some cases criminally prosecuted. Jumping off a bridge can be dangerous, especially those on busy canals.
- Acqua Alta: means "high water," and can result in several inches of water leaking out of pavements, puddling in piazzas and greeting you just outside your hotel in the morning. Acqua alta is especially prevalent during the winter, but it can strike even during the summer given high tide and/or a little rain.
- Pigeons in tourist zones: In St. Mark's Square and other parts of Venice, pigeons will crowd the pavement, lie flat to the ground and welcome any bread crumbs you care to offer them. As long as you keep a respectable distance, there is no harm in feeding them. However, be aware that pigeons often carry diseases such as Chlamydiosis, which resembles the Flu in its effects; and Psittacosis, which is much like pneumonia.
- Narrow, crowded streets: There are streets in Venice so small that only one person can walk on them at a time, and you cannot be sure someone else will not come from the other direction. Even where maps do not indicate a narrow street of this kind, you may well find one, so choose routes carefully and walk on them cautiously. Also be prepared to cross crowded bridges with care. They sometimes have an odd mix of tourists stopping for a snapshot and locals hurrying home from work, which makes for a somewhat "accident-prone situation."
- Porters and carts: goods transport is done by hand-pulled carts and the carters are usually in a hurry and mostly they have to reverse their carts on top of the bridges to negotiate the steps. Try to steer clear.
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 the hot season or fun pictures during acqua alta. Remember that you probably do not want to use boots indoors after wading through water.
Also, at night there is a risk of falling into the water, as there are many alleys which end in the water but have little or no lighting. In the warmest months, these conditions can generate sometimes foul odors. Choose other times to visit if they might ruin what should be a highly-enjoyable visit.
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.
You can reach the emergency medical service dialling 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: Farmacia, marked by green crosses) are all around the town. They are open 24hrs. a day / 7 days a week on a rotational basis: 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. 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.
Practically all your walking will be on stone surfaces. Consider using soft-soled shoes or thicker socks.
Also, surfaces will be cold outside of warm weather and sunshine, so plan for warm footwear.
Be aware that at low tide steps leading to the water are wet and extremely slippery, as well as worn out and uneven. Always make sure you hold on to something solid.
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 possible, 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 or navigational device.
Navigating by smartphone in Venice works pretty well these days (it takes a lot of effort to bring signals into narrow alleys surrounded by thick, often damp walls!). Still, if in doubt, check your position in a larger area with clear view of the sky.
- 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.
- Look at the green overhead lamps. They usually have a small number (red on white) with the first two letters giving the sestiere you are in (SM: San Marco, CS: Castello, and so on).
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.
Do not be irritated by signs giving the same destination but pointing opposite ways. Just pick the one that looks more interesting or is less crowded.
Remember, though, that the signs to read are the official ones. Graffiti will occasionally give other directions, frequently incorrect ones. That's not an easy choice, as signs are not standard format. They might be painted overhead on a wall, printed on metal, whatever, even paper signs put up by shop owners tired of being asked for directions all the time.
Towards the end of the day, you might take your cue from the crowds. The majority of people will be headed towards Rialto or Piazzale Roma/Ferrovia.
Early in the morning (say, before eight o'clock) people in a hurry will be heading for work, coming from a vaporetto stop. Good cue.
That said, some argue 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 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.
Also, it helps to know the meaning of street names.
Note that these hints are true in the majority of cases. An occasional change in street layout might no become reflected in a changed name...
- Calle is a street that has access from two (or more) directions.
- Campo is a public square with usually more then one exit
- Campiello is a smaller square, sometimes just a widening of the street, not always with an extra exit
- Ramo means a dead end
- Corte also a dead end, sometimes leading into a private street
- Sottoportego is a public walkway underneath a building, leading to other streets or some point of interest to 'the public'
- Fondamenta is a walkway along a canal, usually with a waterside railing
- Ponte means bridge.
- Rio tera designates a road created by filling in or covering a canal (sometimes inlaid lines indicate the former canal)
- Salizida is a main road connecting two (church) districts (so it has another exit), usually including a bridge, as there used to be one church per island
- Parochia is not a type of street, but you will see it often as it denotes (the border of) a church district
- Rio is a river (even if it does not look like one anymore)
- Ruga is a long calle, often originally a (former) street for business
- Riva is a 'riverside' (well, waterside) promenade
Venice is an ancient monument and does not adapt easily to modern requirements.
Most areas outside the main tourist attractions (around San Marc's square) are unsupportive of any kind of mobility aid, be it strollers, wheelchairs, walkers or crutches.
Any person with a walking impairment will frequently need strong aid to negotiate uneven surfaces and the steps of the many bridges, narrow doorways and cramped restaurants.
Some bridges along the waterfront near San Marc's square or Zattere have ramps installed (at least during peak tourist times), so you will be able to reach the boat landings. But raised walkways during acqua alta will be next to impossible to use.
It is essential to inquire beforehand and plan your daily routes.
Vaporetto services are mostly accessible to wheeled aids (with special seats and space), though it might be an effort to get onto the smaller boats (like the 4.x or 5.x lines).
Still, expect ramp angles to vary with the tide and, of course, the step onto a moving boat.
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.
- Burano - beautiful small island famous for its colored houses and lace production.
- Mestre — A town on the mainland.
- Murano - island town, worldwide famous for glass production.
- Lido — The island of tranquility, a beach district just 10 minutes by boat from San Marco, and where the Venice movie festival is held.
- San Lazzaro — Nearby island with Armenian monastery and impressive art collection, some world class pieces.
- Torcello - small almost deserted island, rich of art and history
- Vicenza - City of Andrea Palladio and Neoclassic structures, a lovely old city
- Padova - Giotto's Renaissance masterpiece, Saint Anthony's cathedral, the first botanical garden in the world, and the second oldest university in the world.
- Lake Garda — An easy day trip by train, it is Italy's largest lake and stunning in scenery.
- Po Delta — Peaceful and scenic marshy area southwest of Venice with bike trails.
- Riviera del Brenta— Palladian Villas around Brenta River, just 20 minutes from Venice by car, advised easy biking tours with local bike hire shop. You can also visit the picturesque Riviera del Brenta and its magnificent villas by boat. The Burchiello was the ancient boat used by aristocratic Venetian families to reach their villas along the Brenta River.
- Eraclea — Typical for its pinewood and Laguna del Mort, just 55 minutes from Venice by car or by boat.
- Jesolo — Jesolo is one of the most important beaches in Italy, just 45 minutes from Venice by car or by boat (ferry from Treporti to Venice).
- Padua (Italian Padova) — 40km west of Venice, home to the Basilica of St. Anthony, the Scrovegni Chapel, and the oldest Botanical Gardens in the world, among others.
- Treviso — half an hour by train from Venice, it's a nice city where you can taste Prosecco wine (produced in the hills around) and Radicchio Tardivo.
- Cortina d'Ampezzo — Lovely alpine town, site of 1956 Winter Olympic Games. Great mountain scenery, might be very expensive. A couple of hours of car ride to the north of Venice, more than three hours by train and bus.
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