20 tips for travel to Venice

I’ve always had an appreciation for uniqueness and for that reason Venice is a top destination.  Nowhere else in the world will you find over 100 little islands connected together by a vast network of canals.  A thousand years of architecture, history, art, music, and romantic gondola rides in the evening while sharing wine and scenery await you.

 

  1. Save money by flying into Trevino (we flew via Ryan Air which is the no frills airline of Europe). Trevino is an hour outside of Venice.  Had an informative driver who took us along a scenic route and provided fantastic tips and suggestions along the way.
  2. Stay in San Marco because it is centrally located. Don’t stay too close to the Plaza as it is a tourist magnet and can get very crowded and loud.
  3. Take the public water taxis. We jumped on and off the water taxi’s all over Venice. There are both public and private options – we exclusively took the public taxis and found them to be great.  Tips:  consider booking the all day passes especially on the last day you’re there because a 24-hour ticket can get you back to the train station without a separate fare.  Also our preference was to stay above board on the taxi and enjoy the sights rather than sit below.
  4. On the taxi ride be sure to see Lorenzo Quinn’s art installation of giant hands reaching up over Venice as a show of support for global warming. Climate change and the rising water levels is having a big impact on Venice.  Note:  this exhibit is in place until end of 2017.
  5. Book a Gondola ride at night. Try to get the last one and ask for an interior canal ride rather the Grand Canal under the Rialto.  The main waterway under the Rialto is very busy major thoroughfare.
  6. Go on top of the mall (Named Fondaco Dei Tedeschi) to get access to a roof top terrace and get great images especially in the evening. It’s open until 8ish.
  7. Pick up wine, cheese, meats at the local market located on the grand canal close to the Rialto bridge. We like to do this to have handy in our room when we want to stay in for lunch or Tapas.
  8. San Giorgio Maggiore is a church set on an island with a tower that you can see great views of Venice from the tower.
  9. Murano Island is a nice break from the crowds and fantastic and especially if you like glass. Take the water taxi here and have lunch and stroll around the island.  If you’re interested, see the glass factories and shops.  Nearly all of the shops carry glass so don’t buy at the first place you see.
  10. Saint Mark’s Basilica is worth seeing. There were very long lines when we were there.   Try to do this early in the day.  Don’t be daunted by long lines, the line moves fast.  Wear a cover for your shoulders and no short skirts or short shorts for women.  One of the best pictures I have of this Basilica was taken at 11:30 at night when no one was around.  Don’t be shy about going very early or late to the sights when few folks are around.
  11. The San Marco Square “Piazza San Marco” / St Mark’s Square is a primary destination for all travelers and the cruise ships disembark with this square as a key destination so it can get crazy in the middle of the day. Try to go early or late.
  12. You will hear lovely music in the San Marco Square predominantly in the evenings they have instrumental music and you can sit in the square or along the perimeter and eat, drink, or just listen and enjoy the music.
  13. Don’t pay 15 Euro for beer. Avoid the tourist traps around the circumference of the square. There are little mini markets for inexpensive wine/beer and some of the ristorantes and pizzerias off the main area are quite nice and reasonably priced.
  14. The mini-markets have adult juice boxes of wine. Very convenient to throw in a tote/backpack or keep in your hotel fridge.  Italians are genius.  Just saying.
  15. Rick Staves has an app you can download for free with information, highlights, tips/tricks. Venice is included in his treasure trove of destinations covered.
  16. (Peggy) Guggenheim museum has a vast modern art collection and is conveniently located on one of the water taxi stops. We are not big on modern art museums so we opted out of this although others speak very highly of this collection and this destination.
  17. On the top of the Hilton Stucky is the Skyline Bar that is a top destination for nighttime views. This hotel is located on the Grand Canal half way between San Marco and the train station.
  18. If you don’t have a hotel and looking for something higher end, I would recommend the Hotel A La Commedia.
  19. The high speed train from Venice to anywhere (in our case Florence) was very comfortable, fast and inexpensive. Would highly recommend.
  20. If you intend to venture outside of Venice for another city or sightseeing I would highly recommend you rent a car for the flexibility to see what you want to see.

 


Have you been to Venice?  Any tips you would add?  Would love to here your Venice highlights and comments below…

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