Difference between revisions of "Venice"

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Ride a Vaporetto (Water Taxi) down the Main Canal right before Sunset.  The Vaporettos are inexpensive, but the sites are priceless: amazing architecture, soft seaside sunlight, and a fascinating parade of Venetian watercraft.
Ride a Vaporetto (Water Bus) down the Main Canal right before Sunset.  The Vaporettos are inexpensive, but the sites 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'' maybe can 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 euros off the price.  [[image:gondola.jpg|thumb|Gondola Ride]]
Take a '''Gondola''' if you can afford it, it's expensive, but the ''Gondoliere'' maybe can 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 euros off the price.  [[image:gondola.jpg|thumb|Gondola Ride]]

Revision as of 16:06, 12 May 2006

For other places with the same name, see Venice (disambiguation).

Venice, Italy (Venezia in Italian) is still one of the most interesting and lovely places in the world. This sanctuary on a lagoon is virtually the same as it was five hundred years ago, which adds to the fascinating character. Venice has certainly begun to decay since its heyday and is heavily touristed (there are slightly more tourists than residents)-- but the romantic charm remains.

View of San Giorgio, in front of Venice


A lion, the symbol of San Marco

Wikipedia has an excellent article on the history of the city: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice

The summer is reported to be the worst time to visit: it's very hot, the canals stink (in the most literal sense), there are infestations of flies, and there are even more tourists than usual. Spring and fall are probably best, a compromise between temperature (expect 5-15°C in March) and the tourist load.

"Acqua Alta" has become a fact of life in Venice. The lagoon water level occasionally rises above the level of the plazas and streets, flooding them. This will happen several times a year, usually in the colder months, and usually lasts a couple hours. 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 warning residents and businesses. If you speak fluent Italian tune into news programs since the floods the time of the flood begins and the time when it will recede is usually on the spot.

Get in

Because Venice is on a lagoon, the water plays a crucial role in transportation. The most popular way to approach Venice is by boat or train.

By plane

The closest airport is the one near Mestre on the mainland, an industrial city without much charm in itself, called Marco Polo. There is another one in Treviso, its very small and at 40 km (25 mi) of Venice. Both airports have bus connections with Venice (Piazzale Roma). Marco Polo airport runs a free shuttle bus to the Alilaguna water-bus jetty where €10 gets you a leisurely 1 hour boat trip to San Marco via Murano, Lido and the Arsenale. Alternatively you can travel in style (and much faster) by hiring one of the speedy water-taxis for about €80.

By train

Trains from the mainland run through Mestre and to the 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 here, water buses (vaporetti) or water taxis can take you to hotels or other locations on the islands.

By car

Is not a good option. Cars can arrive in Venice, but are left on the parking at the entrance to the city (Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto - Europe's largest car park.) Car parking is expensive here and the tailbacks can be quite large, an alternative is to use the car parks on the mainland (terra ferma) and catch a vaporetto or bus into Venice. A good idea is to park near the Mestre railway station and catch a train to Venezia S.Lucia; there are many trains, is very near (8-10 minutes) is few expansive and Venezia S.Lucia is a good starting point to visit Venezia.

By hire car

Most of the major hire 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 hire 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.

By bus

The Piazzale Roma bus station is well served by vaporetti and water-taxis.

By boat

Ships arrive at the Stazione Marittima which is at the west end of the main islands, it is served by vaporetti and water taxis.

Get around

Venice is a very walkable city, and the absence of cars makes it - mostly - a pleasant experience. The Rialtine islands - the 'main' part of Venice - are small enough to walk from one end to the other in about an hour.

If you want to get around a bit more quickly, there are numerous vaporetti (water buses) and water taxis. The vaporetti are generally the best way to get around, even if the service route map changes frequently. If you are going to be in Venice for a few days visiting, it is a lot cheaper to get the vaporetti than to get private water taxis. If you want to have a romantic ride along the canals take a gondola ride.

ACTV runs the vaporetti and other public transport services both in the lagoon and on the terra firma. 1 day, 3 day and 7 day Venice Cards are available, in two variations (Blue and Orange). The basic Blue cards provide unlimited travel on the ACTV travel services (vaporetti, motoscafi and buses) and free use of the AMAV staffed toilets. The Orange card also provides free entrance to some of the museums (those covered by the Museum Card). Note that neither card includes the Alilaguna water-bus which serves Marco Polo airport unless you pay a surcharge. Travel cards are extremely useful since the basic fare for one vaporetto journey is typically €5.00 whereas 1 day Blue cards cost €14, 3 day costs €29 and 7 day €51 (prices correct December 2004). There are cheaper 1 and 3 day ACTV travel tickets available (€12 and €25) but these are pure travel cards and offer no discounts or other goodies (like a free map and case) which come with the Venice Cards. Discounts on many of these cards are available for the under €30 or by buying online, it pays to look around.

Otherwise, take a walk! The city is not that big, and you can walk from one end to the other in a few hours, and along the way discover the marvelous art and architecture around every corner.

Don't miss the Rialto Bridge, the Piazza San Marco, and one or both of the Campaniles; San Marco and San Giorgio.

Check the monuments timetables, are very strict.


San Marco in Venice
  • Saint Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) is located on 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.
  • The Peggy Guggenheim Museum located on the Dorsoduro region of Venice, to the east of the Accademia bridge, on the southern side of the Grand Canal, offers a personal collection of modern art, collected by Peggy Guggenheim. 10AM-6PM We-Mo. Peggy was married to modern artist Max Ernst, and funded a number of his contemporaries. The gallery includes works by Kandinsky, Tanguy, Duchamp, Pollock and Mondrian. €10 http://www.guggenheim-venice.it/


Ride a Vaporetto (Water Bus) down the Main Canal right before Sunset. The Vaporettos are inexpensive, but the sites 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 maybe can 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 euros off the price.
Gondola Ride

If a gondola seems a little pricey the alternative is to cross the Grand Canal by traghetto. These only cost a few cents to use and are largely gondolas that have seen better days, They are stripped down and used as municipal ferries. There are seven points to find them, but often they only operate when people are going to and from work.

If you are looking for something to do, you can always shop. Venice is full of little stores in every corner and crevice. The commonest local specialities 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. On Murano you can go see glass-making demonstrations! While going through Venice you need to take in the beauty of it all. Walk through the alley ways, and take the water taxi to different parts of the island, sometimes at night you can just go sit in a main area and watch people and tourists. It is wonderful. There are many museums and churches that are around the city that allow tourists to go in a visit. They are a good thing to keep you busy throughout your visit.


Many times a week, there are musical concerts featuring music of the composers who called Venice home. Especially popular are performances of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. What better experience than listening to the music in the same halls where Vivaldi himself visited.

There are a couple of (strategically placed) outside mini-stages - One across the Duke's Palace and another half way on the right hand side of the souvenirs strip (walking back to the Train Station, Cathedral at your back)

Anyone is welcome to sit down and enjoy (no need to consume anything) Great atmosphere (and live music) while looking at the zillions of pigeons being feed by visitors that want that 'special picture taken'

If lucky you could have a glance at an outside wedding ceremony.


Venice still has some residents who work in non-tourism industries, but these are quite few today.


The city is well known for its artisans and artwork. Visitors are drawn to its glasswork and its decorative Carnival masks that are a signature Venetian product. Masks are available at every single shop in Venice, and choosing the best one can be difficult, as many are fairly low quality. One shop with a good quality stock and decent prices (the other great pitfall) is [Traditional Mask].

Watch out also for the hand-made paper and the exquisite miniature buildings made by Moro (Watch out for fakes!! Moro "signs" his on the back.


Venice is packed with wonderful restaurants, featuring cuisine of the Veneto. 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 are many more places serving rubbish food at inflated prices, especially in the streets around San Marco. Rule of thumb: if there's a waiter outside pimping for business, it's probably best avoided.

One of Venice's trademark foods is cuttlefish and its ink. This intense black ink serves as a sauce and ingredient for polenta (corn meal), risotto (rice), and pasta. These dishes are normally indicated by the Italian words "nella seppia" (in cuttlefish), "alla seppia" (in the style of cuttlefish), or "nero di seppia," (black of the cuttlefish). For example Polenta Nella Seppia is fried corn meal with the black ink of a cuttle fish. Despite the intensity in color, the ink has a surprisingly mild taste.

Be careful when the prices are in a weight basis (typically 100 g). One dish can easily contain 400 g of fish, meat,... 4 times the indicated price !

For fresh fruit (including chilled coconut!) watch out for the street market stalls.

To save money at lunch, eat standing up. Prices usually double as soon as you sit at a table.

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 number of particularly cheap stores selling pizza by the (extremely large) slice in the vicinity of Piazza Santa Margherita for approximately €1.80 a slice.


  • Gianni, Zattere 918. tel 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 250 cL, 375 cL and 750 cL 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 alla Botte, San Marco 5482, campo San Bartolomeo, tel 520 9775 [1]. A bacaro not far from the main tourist area of San Marco's square, but surprisingly quiet. Large square pictures of seafood decorate the walls, and friendly staff are swift and helpful. The dishes are mainly seafood, and there is a good wine selection provided. The prices are reasonable for Venice.
  • La Bitta, Dorsudoro 2753A, calle lunga, san Barnaba, tel 523 0531. This busy but friendly restaurant is located in the more studenty area of Dorsudoro, 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 6:30PM-11PM, closed in August.


Da Fiore is a Michellin starred restaurant that serves fish only.


Although there are many fantastic bars in Venice, if you're planning a nighttime "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).

Give a try on Spritz al Aperol, "La botte" close to Rialto is a good choice.

If you try the famous Grappa, be careful... it's almost pure alcohol!

The Bellini was invented in Harry's bar in Venice. It is a mix of white peach juice and Prosecco (the ubiquitous Venetian champagne-like sparkling wine).


Hotels in Venice are expensive. Some of the smaller hotels offer better rates.

Staying in a hotel on the Lido (15-20 minutes by Vaporetto) is a cheaper alternative to staying in Venice proper. The island of Lido also has a long beach where tourists and Venetians alike go swimming during the summer months.

Some Italians at the train station may approach you to find out if you need a room. While some of these people may be con artists not all are. Some work for family members and will be able to negotiate a price for you. They will usually ask what your budget is and will call a hotel or two to see if they owner will accept the price you suggested. Do not accept the offer if you think the situation is suspect or think you may be exploited. Always get a receipt for the transactions!


  • Alloggi La Gondola, Calle del Forno 180 (Follow the canale grande, after crossing the big station bridge turn west for 150 m (164 yd)). €20.
  • Ca' Rialto, Riva del Ferro, San Marco 5149 - Venice, Ph. +39.041.5209166 Fax +39.041.5238958 [2]. Located in a building overlooking the Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge, Cà Rialto makes an ideal base for your stay in Venice. Singles from €50, doubles from €60 (extra bed €30).
  • Faronhof B&B, via seriola veneta sx, 51 Oriago di Mira,30030. tel +39 041 428363, fax +39 041 563 1829 [3].(Family run bed and breakfast near to the center of Venice, offers free internet and bike hire) €35-€55 for a double room (2 persons).
  • Hotel CaSa Linger, Fondamtenta S.Antonin castello 3541. €22-40 per person/night.
  • Hotel Santa Lucia, Calle della Misericordia, 358. Tel +39 041 715180 (fax +39 041 710610, [email protected]) [4]. Although it is in a not-so-old building, this hotel has some character and a homely feel to it. Also it is conveniently located very close to Venice's railway station, the bus terminal, the vaporetto stop and the Lista di Spagna street. Singles/doubles from €40/50.
  • Hotel Lucy, Via Cimitero 14 30030 Mestre Venice. Tel +39 041.900748 fax +39 041.5420499 [5]. Near the airport, just 10 minutes from the center of Venice and 2 km from the Mestre ring road, the Hotel Lucy is the ideal way to visit Venice, the Venetian Villas on the Brenta Riviera and the art cities of Padua and Treviso. Free parking, breakfast, rooms with private bathroom and many other conveniences. Singles from €45, doubles from 65€, small apartment 40€ per person (min,2, max 5).
  • B&B Venezia, via Degan 7, Venezia-Mestre [6]. (10 minutes by city-bus from center of Venice). B&B is a young venetian organization that offers accomodation in a new structure made up of single and double bedrooms, all with private services, air conditioning, room bar, digital television with infrared-control, safe-box that can hold a portable computer. From € 40 per person/night.


  • ApartmentsApart , [7]. +48.22.820.9228 (1-866-387-6420 Toll Free from the USA & Canada). They offer over 40 serviced apartments throughout the magical city of Venice. There are locations on each side of the Canal Grande as well as the island of La Giudecca. Studios, 1, 2 & 3 bedrooms for every budget. Studios start as low as € 50-80 per night. Apartments are rated on the web site by previous customers so you can rest assured that you'll get what you pay for.
  • Locanda Orseolo, [8]. Located only a 3 minutes walk from St. Peter's Square, this Venice hotel, a very popular 12 room guest house, is lovingly operated by a multi-lingual Venitian family who offer impeccable concierge service. Room rates are generally €150 to €200, which is actually quite reasonable for its central location.
  • Domus Ciliota, Calle delle Muneghe - S. Marco, [9]. Just a 5-10 minute walk from San Marco's Square, this is a good base for exploring Venice. The hotel has over fifty clean, basic, air-conditioned rooms all with shower and WC. The reception is English speaking and is open 24 hours. There is an area for leaving baggage after you've checked out. Single rooms are €70-85 and doubles are €100-110 including breakfast.
  • Hotel Antico Panada, San Marco 646, Tel +39 041.5209088 Fax +39 041.5209619 [10]. Welcoming Venetian hotel, in the heart of the Sestiere (District) of San Marco, has rooms decorated in an 18th century Venetian style. Double Room rates range from €145 to €310.
  • Hotel Altieri, Via Altinia 51, 30030 Favaro Veneto, Tel +39 041.5010651 Fax +39 041.631504[11]. In Mestre, 3 miles from the airport and 10 miles from the center of Venice, Hotel Altieri is the perfect solution for both tourist and business trips. Double Room rates range from €110.
  • Hotel Continental, Lista di Spagna, Cannaregio 166, Tel. +39.041.715122 Fax +39.041.5242432 [12]. The privilege of staying on Canal Grande in elegant spaces. Hotel Continental is the ideal spot for an unforgettable vacation in Venice. Single rooms from €93, doubles from €155 and triples from €194 including taxes and breakfast.
  • Hotel Ducale, Via Triestina n° 5, 30030 Venice - Favaro Veneto, Tel. +39.041.631444 Fax +39.041.631393 [13]. Located 3 km from Venice's Marco Polo Airport, 6 km from Venice, 4 km from Venice Casino and a short distance from Mestre. Single rooms from €60, doubles from €70 and triples from €90 including taxes and breakfast.
  • Hotel Commercio e Pellegrino, Calle delle Rasse, Castello 4551/A, 30122 Venice. Tel. +39 041.5207922 Fax +39 041.5225016 [14]. The Hotel Commercio e Pellegrino is a comfortable hotel in the centre of the city, 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.
  • Villa Crispi Guesthouse, Via Francesco Crispi, 20, 30170 Mestre Venice. Tel. +39 041.5349236 Fax +39 041.5349236 [15]. Villa Crispi is located amidst villas and gardens, at 10 minutes from Venice, lovely early 1900's home ideal for pleasure or business travellers. Single rooms from €70, doubles from €80 including taxes and breakfast.
  • Hotel Atlanta, Via Altinate 138, 30030 Jesolo Venice. Tel. +39.0421.362324 Fax. +39.0421.362060 [16]. Directly on the seafront on the Lido di Jesolo (45 min from Venice by car), the Hotel Atlanta is the ideal 3 for vacationers seeking a relaxing and entertaining holiday. There are 2 swimming pools for its guests. Different Options are availables: B&B option from 35€, Half board from 45€, Full Board from 48€
  • Hotel Tiepolo, Castello 4510, 30122 Venice. Tel. +39 041 5232415 Fax. +39 041.5208222 [17]. Small and elegant, Hotel Tiepolo is an exemplary design hotel in the historic heart of Venice, a few steps away from Saint Mark's Square. Doubles from around €200.
  • Hotel Trieste, Via Trento 2, 30171 Mestre Venice. Tel. +39 041.929462 Fax. +39 041.922221 [18]. In front of Venice-Mestre railway station, completely renovated, with careful attention to detail. Single rooms from €50, doubles from €80.


  • San Clemente Palace, Isola di San Clemente, 1 San Marco, [19]. This hotel is located on its own island and makes a peaceful and quiet respite from the hoards of tourists in Venice. They provide a shuttle boat between the hotel and San Marco square. The cheapest room is €260, but the priciest is the 'Residential Suite' at a mere €2800 a night.
  • Hotel Kette, S.Marco, 2053 · 30124, Ph. +39 041 5207766, Fax +39 041 5228964 [20]. In Venice, in a enclave of tranquility, only two minutes walking distance from the elegant and refined Via XXII Marzo. Room rates, that are vary based on the season, can be checked directly on the official web site of the hotel.
  • Hotel Rialto, Riva del Ferro/Ponte di Rialto, San Marco 5149, [21]. This luxury four star hotel enjoys a spectacular position at the foot of the Rialto Bridge, in the centre of all that this legendary city has to offer. 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 Ca' dei Conti, Castello 4429, 30122, Ph. +39.041.2770500, Fax +39.041.2770727 [22]. A dream vacation in a luxurious building dating back to the XVIII century, just a stroll from St. Mark's Square. Room rates start from €155 fo a double single use, €200 for a double room, €320 for a suite.
  • Hotel Salus - Jesolo, Via Verdi 35, 30017, Ph. +39 0421.372842, Fax +39 0421.372615 [23]. The Hotel Salus on the Jesolo Lido welcomes you with unequaled conveniences and services, private, equipped beach, swimming pool and restaurant. Room rates start from (vary based on the season): Full board € 62.00 - Half board € 54.00 - Overnight stay and breakfast € 49.00
  • Hotel Carlton Grand Canal, Fondamenta S.Pantalon, Santa Croce 578, 30135, Ph. +39 041.2752200, Fax +39 041.2752250[24]. The Carlton and Grand Canal Hotel overlooks the Grand Canal and is the perfect starting point for discovering the beauty of Venice. Room rates start from (depending on the season): from 150€ untill 250€




Venice has several internet cafes, but these internet cafes are much more expensive than the rest of Europe with prices for an hour of access around €6. Wait until you leave Venice to use the internet.

Stay safe

It's considered a safe city. One can walk down the darkest alley in the middle of the night and feel completely safe. You have to take the habitual travellers precautions, however. Keep your valuables (like wallet and passport) close to you because there are pickpockets, especially in more crowded parts of the city.


Get out

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.

  • The Lido - Typical for its beaches
  • Murano - Nearby Island with typical glass
  • Burano - Nearby Island with typical textiles and painted houses.
  • San Lazzaro - Nearby Island with Armenian monastery and impressive art collection, some world class pieces.


  • Personal blog [25] including photographs depicting churches, canals, automated canal cleaner, man in a mirror, delivering groceries, cafe seats on water, Doges Palace, St. Mark's Square, contemporary Art, masks, sculptures, designer shopfronts, bridges, flood intervention prevention scheme
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!