I have returned from a vacation in Venice, Italy, about a week ago, where I spent a week with my wife and daughter.
I have visited Venice a few times in the past. It is fascinating and beautiful place to visit, with its canals, Gondolas and beautiful buildings.
In this article about Venice, I would like to suggest a few tips, ideas and things to do.
It is a city with a very great number of tourists. Each day, a few cruise ships arrive with thousands of visitors. People also arrive by air, through Marco Polo airport, and also by cars, trains and buses.
We took a tour of about two hours with a guide around San Marco square, and she told us that there are now only about 53,000 Venetians living in Venice, and for every resident there are 73 tourists. Now go and do the math.
This means that the main streets and squares are overcrowded. There are plenty of people everywhere and from almost every country.
Venice is not the place where you come to rest and relax. To See Venice, you have to be in constant movement.
You will need to walk a lot and travel by boats, with a water taxi, which is expensive, or with the Vaporetto, Venice’s public transportation water bus.
The Vaporetto has several lines and many stations along the Grand Canal. Most of the time, the Vaporettos are overcrowded, since there are so many tourists. There are seats in the Vaporetto, but most people stand so they can see better the sights.
What a Traveler to Venice, Italy Should Know
Here are a few tips, advice and suggestions that will help you with your stay in Venice, Italy.
The city has much to offer, and these are just a few things that I have experienced, and which you might find useful.
Tips and Advice when Visiting Venice, Italy
1. Wear a good pair of shoes
It is important to wear a good pair of shoes, since you will have to walk a lot if you wish to savor and enjoy the city. There are a lot of narrow streets, wide squares and bridges.
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It is fun to get lost in the narrow alleys and discover many beautiful places on the way. When lost, you can always find your way using a map or Google maps.
2. Where to sit down to rest
In most of the places, there are no benches or a place to sit down, this means that you will have to stand or walk for hours, unless you go to coffee house or a restaurant.
You might find a few benches in some places, but they are quite scarce, or you can sit on the stairs leading to a church or museum.
It is difficult to find public toilets, and there are no shopping malls, where you can find toilets, at least I did not see any.
If you need to go to the toilets, you have drink or eat something in a restaurant or coffee shop.
Here is a tip I learned. If you buy a cup of coffee or just a bottle of water in a coffee house, they will allow you to use their toilets.
4. Venice is not a cheap city.
Venice is an expensive city. However, it offers plenty of places to eat. If you look around, you can also find cheaper places where you can eat, especially if you go away from the noisy and crowded places.
As for food, we mainly ate Pizzas, which are good and tasty.
If you are staying in Airbnb, you can buy food at the supermarket for breakfast or supper. You can find there everything, including a great assortment of excellent cheese and bread.
5. Using the public transportation
To use the public transportation, the bus to Venice if you are staying in Mestre, or the Vaporetto, you will have to buy tickets before boarding the bus or the boat.
There are tickets for a whole day, 2 days, 3 days and more, which you can use for both the bus to Mestre and for all the Vaporetto lines in Venice, including trips to the islands, Murano and Burano. This is very convenient, since it saves you time, and is much cheaper than buying tickets every time you need to go somewhere.
For example, as of May 2019, a bus from Mestre to Venice costs 1.50 Euro and the fare for the Vaporetto in Venice is 7.50 Euro. However, if you but a ticket for 24 hours it costa 20 Euro, for unlimited travels.
If for example, you are staying Mestre, which is on the main land, where you can find less expensive hotels and Airbnb than In Venice, you will need to take a bus to go to Venice. It is not a long ride, just about 15-20 minutes.
In Venice, you will probably travel at least 3-4 times a day with a boat. It would be much cheaper to buy one day or 3 days tickets, depending on the length of your stay.
6. Drinking Spritz
Everywhere in Venice, I saw people drinking some kind of red-pink drink with a slice of orange inside. When I asked what it is, I was told that it is a cocktail called spritz. It is a very popular drink in Venice and you can see people drinking it at all hours of the day.
We ordered a glass of Spritz and I must say that it was delicious. It tasted so good.
The alcohol was not strong at all, and it was a pleasure to drink it.
The drink is prepared with Prosecco wine, bitter liqueur such as Aperol, Campari, Cynar, or Select, and sparkling mineral water. It is usually served with some ice cubes and a slice of orange or lemon.
The Spritz is served in other places in Italy, and there is no single composition for a spritz. It is prepared with different ingredients in different towns and cities, but the common denominator is the Prosecco and sparkling water.
7. A trip to Murano
I recommend taking the boat trip to Murano. It is about 15 minutes ride from Venice. It is a quiet, nice place to visit, with plenty of besutiful shops selling Murano glass jewels and handicrafts.
Everything you find there is made from Murano glass, and there are several places where you can see the artists shaping the products.
8. Free guided tours
There are a few companies operating free guided tours of the center of the city, which you can easily find through the Internet. These tours last for about 1.5 hours, and are conducted in several languages.
At the end of the tour, you are asked to give a tip to the guide, for any amount you wish. We took one such tour, and it was informative and interesting.