Venice Journals

Venice in the Spring

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An April 2001 trip to Venice by Anne-Marie

Venice, La Serenissima Photo, Venice, Italy More Photos
Quote: Our extended group of family and friends spent a memorable 10 days in Venice living as natives in rental apartments, going to the markets every day, cooking our own meals, and exploring every nook and cranny off the beaten path.

Venice in the Spring

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Overview

Another beautiful canal Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
Going to the vegetable and fish markets at 8:00am, eating gelato, drinking capuccino at the bar counter or sitting at a campo, riding the vaporetto up & down the Grand Canal, bargain shopping, exploring the back alleys, admiring the beautiful arts in churches & museums, and the list goes on... Quick Tips: Most tourists who come to Venice are day trippers who concentrate in the San Marco and Rialto areas. Get away from those areas for some peace & quiet. Every corner you turn, there are beautiful canals, churches (over 100 in all of Venice), palazzos, campos, colorful houses with interesting architectures, etc.. Everything except for museums and restaurants closes from noon to 3pm-4pm. Ma...Read More

Casanova Apartments

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Hotel | "Casanova"

Casanova Apartments Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
For a stay of 10 days which is considered extended for Venice, we decided that apartments are the way to go. Several months before, we surfed the internet for rentals. Most sites offered pictures and detailed description of their rentals. We were required to make a 50% down payment at time of reservation, pay the other 50% at time of arrival along with a security deposit and cleaning charges. Unlike in France or Belgium, we did not have to pay for utilities separately. We ended up with a huge apartment of 5 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths that occupies the 3rd and 4th floors of a palazzo that costs less than 4 hotel rooms at a decent hotel. The apartment faces Campo Santa Marina and backs against ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 19, 2001

Casanova Apartments
Campo Santa Marina Castello
Venice, Italy

Island of Burano

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Attraction | "Burano, the colorful island"

Island of Burano Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
For a change of pace, take Vaporetto #41 or #52 to Fondamento Nuove or Murano Faro then change to Vaporetto #12 to Burano. From Fondamenta Nuove, the trip takes 45'on Vaporetto #12. From Murano Faro (not Murano Colonna), it takes 35'. The trip which is not scenic at all, is made in larger vaporetto with very limited outside deck. Vaporetto #12 continues on to Torcello. In Burano, you will not find the elaborate architecture of Venice but instead, the simple yet colorful houses will win your heart. A long time ago, to help fishermen spot their homes from afar, all the houses were painted in bright colors. Today, the tradition continues. Burano is a real heaven for photographers. Every co...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 23, 2001

Island of Burano
Venetian Lagoon
Venice, Northern Italy

Day trips by train from Venice

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Attraction

Quote:
We were in Venice for 10 days. Concerned that we will get bored with Venice after a few days, we planned for several day trips to the neighboring town and cities but ended up enjoying Venice so much, we only went to half. The train makes it very convenient to visit other towns since most of the stations are no more than 10' walk from the town center. Tickets can be bought at the train station or at a number of travel agencies right in Venice. Train fare in Italy is very inexpensive. Children from 4 to 11 travel for half the regular fare. Round-trip costs twice the price of the one-way fare. Fast trains cost 50% or more than the "Regionale" and are marked in red on the timetable. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 23, 2001

Day trip to Verona

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Attraction

Day trip to Verona Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
From Venice, Verona is an easy day trip that is 1hr45' and L11,100 (one-way) on the Regional train or 1hr30' and L18,200 on the fast train. They both come every hour. Most people are attracted to Verona because of its link to the famous couple, Romeo and Juliet. The story is the product of Shakespeare's imagination so there has never been such couple in Verona. From the train station, it is a long 20' walk to the Arena, the very well-preserved Roman amphitheater that dated back to the 1st century. Or you can buy a bus ticket for L1,500 at the Tabachi inside the train station and head for one of the buses (No. 11, 12, 13) right outside of the station. Do not forget to ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 23, 2001

Day trip to Verona
Verona
Venice, Italy

Padua

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Attraction

Quote:
From Venice, Padua (or Padova in italian) is 24 miles away. The fast train takes 30' and costs L8,600. The Regional train is cheaper at L4,500 but takes 45'. You can also take the bus from Piazzale Roma which would travel along the Brenta Riviera where all the Palladio villas are. Once in Padua, you can take the local bus or walk to the Scrovegni Chapel (7') then Piazza della Frutta (15'). The Scrovegni Chapel and attached Civic Museum with frescoes by Giotto are the main attractions. When we were there during Easter week, tickets to the Chapel were sold out. After crossing the bridge, you will come to a series of Piazzas: Piazza della Frutta, Piazza dei Signori and Piazz...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 23, 2001

St. Mark's Square/Piazza San Marco

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Attraction | "Piazza San Marco"

St. Mark's Square/Piazza San Marco Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
Most tourists to Venice, especially the day trippers, head straight to Piazza San Marco, the unquestionable heart of the city nicknamed the "most beautiful drawing room of Europe" by Napoleon. On one side of the square stands the majestic Basilica San Marco, a Byzantine and Romanesque wonder. Next to the Basilica, towards the water, is the pink-and-white gothic Palazzo Ducale. The other 3 sides of the square are occupied by arcaded building housing cafes such as the famous Cafes Florian & Quadri, and jewelry, lace and glass shops. Across the Basilica, in the middle of the square, is the Campanile, the red brick bell tower from which the view is said to go as far as the Alps. Spend a few ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 23, 2001

St. Mark's Square/Piazza San Marco

Venice, Italy 30124

Churches in Venice

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Attraction

Baroque Facade of a church Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
Despite its long line, the one not to miss is San Marco Basilica with its dazzling mosaic. Be sure to see it on a sunny day since the church tends to be dark. The Basilica is free. The Pala d'Oro (golden altar), Treasury and Museum each costs L3,000-4,000 in admission. Buy the slides as you exit the church for the most beautiful pictures of the mosaics. Frari Church in San Polo is another important church with some of the most important paintings in Venice such as Titian altarpiece. Admission is L3,000 or you can buy the L15,000 cumulative ticket that allows admission to 6 churches in 3 days (not really a bargain !). Around the corner is Scuolo Grande di San Rocco with canvases by Tintoret...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2001

Shopping for Souvenirs and more

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Attraction

Shopping for Souvenirs on the Rialto Bridge Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
Venice is heaven for shoppers, even children. Things that are most characteristic of Venice are masks, glass, paper, embroideries & lace. For inexpensive glass, there is a wide variety of choices among colorful plates, animals, gondolas, fruits, etc. that can be found on the Rialto bridge or any stores that line the streets near San Marco or the train station. You can spend L5,000-10,000 for a family of 4 miniature animals or less than L20,000 for a small 5' square plate. If you are in for serious & expensive glass, try the stores on Piazza San Marco or visit one of the glass factory in Murano. A nice vase can cost anywhere between a few hundred to few thousand dollars. Venic...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 26, 2001

Shopping for Brand Names

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Attraction

Quote:
Venice is full of boutiques of top designers which concentrate mostly in the San Marco area. To the west of San Marco, on Calle Vallaresso, San Moise and Lunga XXII, you will find stores from designers like Valentino, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Louis Vutton, Missoni. To the North and East of San Marco, on Calle dei Fabbri, Calle de Fuseri and Merceria dell Orologio, you will find Armani, La Bottega, Furla (2 stores), Kenzo. Ferragamo is opening a store near Campo San Stefano. Prices are said to be higher in Venice than in Florence or Rome but, because of the favorable exchange rate, still about 20% less than the same item in the US. If you find something you like, don't wait to buy i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 20, 2001

From Marco Polo airport to Venice

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Story/Tip

Quote:
From Marco Polo airport, you can: 1.- Take the Alilaguna motoscafi (Airport Boat) to San Marco for L17,000. The trip takes 1hr. 2.- Take the Blue bus to Piazzale Roma (L5,000) then Vaporetto (L6,000) #1 (slow w/ more stops) or #82 which is faster but only stops at S. Maricuola, Rialto, Academia and San Marco. The bus trip takes 20'. Vaporetto #82 from Piazzale Roma to Rialto takes 10', to San Marco 25'. Piazzale Roma is the first stop before the train station (Ferrovia). 3.- Take the Orange bus to Piazzale Roma for L1,500 if you do not have a lot of luggage. Then take the vaporetto to your destination in Venice. 4.- Take the water-taxi which will take you directly to the ca...Read More

Vaporetto

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Story/Tip

Vaporetto on Grand Canal Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
Vaporetto tickets come in several forms: 1.- Single tickets cost L6,000. 2.- Single tickets for group of 4 cost L20,000. 3.- Return tickets cost L10,000. 4.- One-day tickets cost L15,000. 5.- 3-day tickets cost L35,000. 6.- 7-day tickets cost L60,000. The best way to be introduced to Venice is to take Vaporetto #1 or #82 down the Grand Canal from Piazzale Roma or the train station to San Marco. Beautiful palazzo and churches line the Grand Canal. Make sure to grab an outside seat at the front of the vaporetto. Or if you cannot, the seats in the back are second bests. The best time to cruise down the Grand Canal is at dusk. Vaporetto #...Read More

Venice colorful markets

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The biggest market is on the north side of the Rialto bridge. There is an outdoor vegetable & fruit market with the most wonderful produce you can find. It is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00am to 1:00pm. The fish market (Pescheria) is indoor and offered a wide selection of fish, calamari, shrimp, shellfish, etc., some of them still alive, at price lower than the US. The fish market closes on Sunday and Monday. Meat is to be bought from nearby butchers w/ price higher than the US. Try to learn a few italian words such as numbers if you plan to be shopping at the market. Tip: "etto" = 100gr. Scattered small markets or vegetable stands can be found on Stranda Nova (in Cannaregio), ...Read More

Eating Gelato

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Don't leave Venice without eating gelato (italian ice) at least once, especially if you go during the summertime. They come in light and fruity, creamy and rich and there are so many flavors to choose from, some of them unusual and exotic: Nocciola (hazelnut w/ chocolate), tiramisu, yoghurt, frutta de passione, coconut.... We got hooked and had it at least once a day during our 10 days there. Kids in particular love stopping for gelato so we made it an incentive for all the walking we dragged them on. The most famous gelatarias are Boutique de Gelato on Salizzada San Lio (look for Hotel Bruno), Paolin in Campo San Stefano (between San Marco and the Accademia bridge), Nico (in Zattere near the...Read More

The canals of Venice

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Story/Tip

Boat traffic Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
Venice is the city of 100 islands, separated by approximately 150 canals and crossed by 400 bridges. Its narrow streets and bridges make it impossible for car traffic. In Venice, you walk everywhere, and whereever you cannot walk you go by water. The city has hundreds of bridges but the Grand Canal, the king of all canals, can only be crossed on foot at one of three bridges: Ponte degli Scalzi near the train station, Ponte di Rialto or at Ponte dell'Accademia. Or you can take the traghetto, the poor-man version of the gondola, standing up, at one of 6 points in the city. For the faint of hearts, take Vaporetto #1. The best first impressions of Venice will come from the Vaporetto rid...Read More