Venice in Italy
Venice is one of Italy's most popular and famous cities for tourists and a beautiful, romantic destination with many attractions. Its small, traffic-free streets along the winding canals make for great walking and exploring. You'll find many magnificent churches and palaces, lively squares, and interesting shops.Venice is connected by more than 400 bridges over its 150 canals, with the Grand Canal being a main street, cutting through the center of the... Read more...
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Venice is one of Italy's most popular and famous cities for tourists and a beautiful, romantic destination with many attractions. Its small, traffic-free streets along the winding canals make for great walking and exploring. You'll find many magnificent churches and palaces, lively squares, and interesting shops.
Venice is connected by more than 400 bridges over its 150 canals, with the Grand Canal being a main street, cutting through the center of the city.
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.
The closest airport is ' Marco Polo(, ), on the mainland near Mestre (a more typical Italian city, without Venice's unique structure). The Treviso Airport', located 25 km (16 mi) from Venice, is relatively smaller but becoming increasingly busy as the main destination for Ryanair, SkyEurope, and Transavia budget flights.
Both airports have bus connections with Venice (Piazzale Roma), Mestre, Padua and other towns. ATVO 'pullman'coaches (€10 return) run to and from Treviso to co-incide with flights. Marco Polo airport runs a shuttle bus--€3--(or just turn left and walk 10 minutes under the awning) to the Alilaguna water-bus jetty, where €12 gets you a leisurely 80 minute boat trip to San Marco via Murano, Lido and the Arsenale. Or take the cheaper boat (€6) to Fondamente Nuove which takes only half an hour. Alternatively you can travel in style (and much faster) by hiring one of the speedy water-taxis (30 mins) for about €100.
Trains from the mainland run through Mestre to the Venezia-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 the station district, water buses (vaporetti) or water taxis can take you to hotels or other locations on the islands (or you can walk). Direct trains to Venice are available from many international destinations, including Munich, Budapest, Zagreb & Ljubljana.
Cars arrive on the far western edge of Venice, but remain parked at the entrance to the city (Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto-Europe's largest car park.) There are no roads past this point--and never were, even before cars. Car parking is expensive here and the tailbacks can be quite large. An alternative is to use the car parks on the mainland (terra firma) and catch a vaporetto, train or bus into Venice. Park near the Mestre railway station, and catch a train to Venezia S.Lucia; there are many trains, it is very near (8-10 minutes) and quite cheap. Besides, Venezia S.Lucia is a good starting point to visit Venice. However drivers going to the Lido can use the car ferry from Tronchetto (vaporetto 17-frequencies vary), right hand lane off the Ponte della Liberta into the city.
By rental car
Most of the major rental 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 rental 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.
There is a direct bus between Marco Polo airport and the Piazzale Roma, on the west bank of Venice. Starts twice an hour, takes 20 minutes and costs €3. The Piazzale Roma bus station is well served by vaporetti and water-taxis. .. and of course, you can walk everywhere. If you leave the car in Mestre, you can take a bus to Venezia-Piazzale Roma, the ticket is €1 but if you buy it in the bus it will cost €1.5. All the city is connected to Venice by bus.
Ships arrive at the Stazione Marittima which is at the west end of the main islands, it is served by vaporetti and water taxis. An up-to-date site with all ferry schedules from Venice to Greece is here.
Venice is the world's only pedestrian city, is beautifully walkable, and the absence of cars makes it a particularly pleasant experience. Walking and standing all day can be exhausting too. .. acclimatize yourself. 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. 12 hour, 48 hour 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), free use of the AMAV staffed toilets and discounted tickets for some museums. 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. The surcharge only officially allows you to use the Alilaguna bus twice, so it isn´t necessarily cheaper. A 'Junior' version of both cards are also available at a slightly reduced rate for those between 5 and 29 years of age. Travel cards are extremely useful since the basic fare for one vaporetto journey is typically €6.50 whereas 1 day Blue cards cost €17, 3 day costs €34 and 7 day €52 (prices correct April 2007). There are cheaper. 5, 1.5, 2, and 3 day ACTV travel tickets available (€14, €16, €21, €26 and €31) 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. Free maps are available at the vaporetto stop at the main bus station and are usually setting on top of the ticket stamping machines. The map is quite reliable. As per the Blue Venice cards, depending on how long you stay, it is more price practical to opt for the transport tickets instead. Discounts on many of these cards are available for those under 30 or by buying online, it pays to look around. Please, remember that access to line 3 vaporetti is granted to Venice residents only.
Otherwise, take a walk! The city is not that big, and you can walk from one end to the other in a few hours. But it would take months for a fit person to discover every path in the city. Along the way you will discover marvelous art, superb architecture and breathtaking urban landscaping. Exploring the city randomly by walking is well worth it but also be prepared to get lost easily!
When to go
This place may not seem huge but it is. Venice is made of different parts. The most famous is the area comprising the 118 islands in the main districts that are called Sestieri and they are: Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce and San Marco where the main monuments and sights are located. Other main districts are Isola Della Giudecca and Lido di Venezia. Other important islands include Murano, Torcello, San Francesco del Deserto and Burano, but there are several more too. Lastly, there is Mestre another town on the more industrial mainland (but still part of Venice municipality), which is linked to Venice by a 5 kilometer bridge. More than 220, 000 people live in Mestre, in Venice, less than 60, 000
Venice/Lido Venice Lido-the island of tranquillity, a beach district just 10 minutes by boat from San Marco, and where the Venice movie festival is held.
Venice/Mestre Mestre-a town on the mainland
Venice is 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 valuable items (like wallet and passport) close to you because there are pickpockets, especially in more crowded parts of the city. In addition, make sure you get receipts for all of your purchases (in order to fight tax evasion). Italian law requires customers to retain receipts and you could (in theory) be stopped by the Financial Police and asked to show receipts for your purchases.
Venice has begun to install septic tanks in buildings, but much of the city has not yet been upgraded and releases untreated sewage directly into the canals. Shoes and clothing that touch the acqua alta will be contaminated. Take care not to spread the contamination.
One other consideration at night, carry a pocket torch (small flashlight). There are many alleys, which end in the water but have little or no lighting. They have no signposts because the locals know them.
The Most Serene Republic of Venice dates back to 827, when a Byzantine dukedom moved its seat to what is now known as the Rialto, and for the following 970 years prospered on trade and under the rule of a Roman-style Senate headed by the Doge. Alas, in 1797 the city was conquered by Napoleon, a blow from which the city never recovered. The city was soon merged into Austria-Hungary, then ping-ponged back and forth between Austria and a nascent Italy, but Venice is still a monument to the glory days of the Renaissance, and old culture still throbs powerfully in the old Italians' veins.