Results 1-10of 18 Reviews
Oxford, United Kingdom
August 11, 2011
Cruising The Eastern Med-Again!
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
February 24, 2007
A trip down the Grand Canal is the perfect introduction to Venice, whether you are being chauffered with your loved one by a gondolier, sailing a yacht up it (sadly illegal unless you are filming a Bond film), or just cramming onto the vaporetto from the train station down to St Mark's. The vaporetto, the public transport equivalent of Metro, Tube, or Subway, gives you an unprecedented look at the wonders of Venice's main thoroughfare.The palazzi you see were designed to present their most ostentatious faces to the canal to impress and overawe their rivals and lessers. As a result they reach heights of splendour such as the Moorish patterning of the Ca'd'Oro, reflecting the Doge's Palace at the canal's end, the rich friezes of the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac, the marble veneer of the Palazzo Dario, and the technicolour Palazzo Salviati.Due to the demand there are not too many churches—those that do exist are located at the (unfashionable) northern end. However, one of Venice's crowning glories, the church of Santa Maria della Salute, does tip the western bank. The Salute is stunning to view, particularly when lit up by a fiery sunset, but plain and dull within.One of the few open spaces devoid of palace or church, and thereby proving its importance to this most ostentatious of cities, is occupied by the Rialto markets: the Pescheria, Fabbriche Nuove, and Fabbriche Vecchie. The sight of the stalls being supplied by skiffs and the raucous hubbub that floats across the water create a lasting impression. The markets are even more worth visiting after dark. With all the stalls reduced to bare skeletons the market traders retreat to one of the many enotecas built into the arches below the Rialto, the orange light from within throwing distorted shadows across the flags.The Rialto Bridge has always been a by-word for commerce—witness the number of times it is mentioned in Shakespeare's 'Merchant Of Venice'. It is also the most architecturally noteworthy of the three bridges that span the Grand Canal. The Ponte degli Scalzi by the train station is a plain stone span, but is great for your first view of the city. The Ponte degli Accademia is a looping wooden structure towards the head of the canal, arching high above the waters, and giving a great view of the Salute.Another way to cross the canal is the traghetti—poled gondolas that cross at prescribed points from one side to the other. If your budget does not run to a full gondola experience follow one of the many signs to a crossing point where you can get a sample for 40 cents. Remember—real Venetians do it standing up!The standard fare for a one-way vaporetto trip is €5 which is good for 90 minutes of hopping on and off down the Canal. Better value is a travel card (one day €10.50, three days €22), or a Venice card which combines these benefits.
From journal We Open In Venice...
Cary, North Carolina
July 1, 2004
From journal Ahhhh, Venice!
by Barb B
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona
November 15, 2000
Board the vaporetto outside the train station at the Piazzale Roma. Take either route 1 or route 82 and be sure to check the direction in which your boat is going! (We went off in the wrong direction on our first trip.) You will want to take one headed toward San Marco.
Once aboard, the best location for picture takers is either at the very front or very back of the vaporetto. Locals prefer to stand inside, near the middle. (Perhaps they‘ve seen it all, and have decided to let us have a look.)
If possible, make the trip in the early morning and watch the city awaken. Small boats of every ilk and variety deliver fruits, vegetables, groceries and all manner of goods to local shops and merchants. Businessmen and shopkeepers hurry to begin their business day. An endless pageant of activity passes as the canal snakes 2.5 miles through the heart of Venice.
Stops are made at San Marcuola, the Rialto, San Toma, San Samuele and the Academia. If this is your first trip to Venice, I recommend that you stay aboard all the way to Piazza San Marco. But if you are inclined for a stop, the Academia and the Rialto offer convenient breaks and marvelous views along the way. Perhaps you will want to see some of the palaces on the opposite side of the canal on your return trip.
Vaporettos run at most hours of the day and night, and another wonderful, albeit altogether different experience awaits on a nighttime ride as the twinkling lights illuminate the canal and this magical city.
You can find information about vaporetto fares, routes and schedules at their web site http://www.actv.it/
From journal What to do in Venice?
September 13, 2006
From journal Vacation in Venice
los angeles, California
May 9, 2005
You can get started behind the Bauer Hotel, near St. Mark's Square. The gondoliers hang out there, waiting for customers. Our timing was perfect. The sun setting cast a beautiful light on the water and pastel-colored building around us. Our photographs were amazing!
Our gondolier was friendly, informative, and funny. Although he didn't "sing" for us, he gave us so much interesting historical information about the city, that we felt like we were getting a private tour guide in addition to the beautiful ride. He also gave each of our children (11 and 14) a chance to stand, hold the oar, and steer the gondola!
Although the Grand Canal is gorgeous, the best part is going down narrow canals and seeing everyday people's apartments and homes. Even seeing the Opera House and imagining that people actually go to the Opera by boat is amazing!
If you don't like doing tourist things--get over it this once! You will not regret or forget a gondola ride through Venice's breathtaking canals.
From journal Magical Venice
Mont Albert North, undefined, Australia
August 3, 2004
The canals were serene and looked different from the perspective of the gondola. It was interesting to see the backs of buildings, most with a "boat shed" opening onto the canal. Seems that the canals are an essential means of communication for many of the Venetians.
Most people who watched us as we passed beneath bridges were suitably impressed with the whole event. Music, comfortable cushions and the loving couple enjoying the ride. (um... that would be my wife and myself!!)
If you visit Venice, you must take a gondola ride. Doing it with the serenading Venetian... that is the ultimate!
From journal Venice - very nice!
July 5, 2001
A typical daytime gondola ride, lasting about 50 minutes, should cost about 80,000L. The price goes up for a nighttime cruise, or for the singing which makes the gondoliers so famous. ~~~~ Settle on a price before embarking. Some gondoliers are rude, so just walk away. There is always another just around the corner. ~~~~ Our gondola ride went through the Grand Canal, and we got to see many of the famous sights and bridges. Some gondolas are also fitted out for a moonlit picnic under the stars--the perfect end to a day in Venice.
From journal VENICE: Expensive Enchantment
May 26, 2004
The gondoliers wear the red sash and black-and-white outfit and they sing! Very romantic. To save money, you can get several people in a gondola, but it’s perfect for two for something romantic.
From journal Awesome Venice
July 28, 2005
From journal City on the Water