Updated: Jan 17
There is no other place on earth like Venice, so challenging in landscape yet overwhelmingly beautiful, thanks to its landscape too.
We understand that Venice is an overcrowded Italian Veneto region. Each day, this beautiful group of islands and its surrounding waterscape is thronged with anticipating visitors and day-trippers. Indeed, many local residents are suffering from the true Venetian spirit overcome by commercialised shophouses and tourism activities. The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has given Venice a break from hectic touristic identity. It is great to know that this place, which we once visited, is regaining its serenity. When pandemic is finally resolved, let's visit Venice with due respect and reasonable civility.
Arriving in Venice
Visitors to Venice will either arrive in Venice by train or air. If you're travelling to Venice from other parts of Italy, we recommend taking train. The most convenient train terminus is Venezia Santa Lucia (Stazione Santa Lucia), located at the northern edge of Venice. (Note: Stazione Venezia Mestre is not located on the island, but within the mainland frazione of Mestre).
The nearest airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE / LIPZ). From the airport, visitors can reach Venice by taking a ride on
Waterbus [Linea Blu (blue), Linea Rossa (red), and Linea Arancio (orange) by Alilaguna] Book your ticket here.
Shuttle bus - good for budget travellers
Water taxi (the most expensive option) to the historic city of Venice.
Depending on your budget, all options are relatively direct and hassle-free. Note that cars arriving in Venice will not be allowed as it is a car-free zone. Visitors can leave their cars at car or garage, but expect to pay €24 –€29 per day.
After hotel check-in, it's time to explore Venice! We recommend leaving luggage at accommodation you've booked, because a large part of Venice's walkways are lined with cobble stones, it is a nightmare to drag luggage along these walkways.
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. It has been reconstructed a few times, but the structure itself is magnificent. Every day, hundreds or thousands of gondolas and waterbuses passing underneath it, impressing visitors with its unique charm.
The Grand Canal is one of the major water channels in Venice. As the water-traffic corridor of Venice, it passes through the central district in a huge reverse-S shape, with one end leads to the lagoon near Stazione Santa Lucia and the other end leads into the basin of San Marco. To embrace the beauty of Venice along the Grand Canal, just hop on a water bus or water taxi, the rest you need to do is to be wowed!
Teatro La Fenice
As one of "the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre", it gives a good reason to visit this opera house of Venice. It is the site of many famous operatic premieres at which the works of several major composers were performed.
Basilica di San Marco
Basilica di San Marco is one of the most remarkable landmarks in the city. As the best known example of Italo-Byzantine architecture, it stands majestically at the eastern end of Piazza San Marco.
Piazza San Marco
A 2-minute walking distance from Basilica di San Marco will lead visitors to Piazza San Marco, the principal public square of Venice. There are a number of cafes around the piazza, but the price rate is rather steep.
Campanile di San Marco
Campanile di San Marco is a recognisable symbol in Venice. Being the bell tower of Basilica di San Marco, it is the tallest structure of the city. Visitors can climb up the tower at a small admission fee.
Bridge of Sighs
Begin the day by visiting Bridge of Sighs. The white limestone bridge was used to lead prisoners to their cells in the Prigioni. It was said that prisoners who crossed the bridge to prison cells or the execution chamber would sigh as freedom was no longer their rights, as they caught their last glimpses of Venice through the tiny windows.
Palazzo Ducale is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style and was the residence of the Doge of Venice.
The Gallerie dell'Accademia is one of the great museums of the world and has one of the finest collections of Venetian art. Admissions are restricted to 300 visitors at a time, so it's advisable to allocate enough time for this museum.
If you have sufficient time on this day, make a trip to Lido. There are several waterbus lines connecting the central of Venice and Lido. We recommend No. 1 vaporetto as it travels a scenic route up the Grand Canal, starting from the Piazzale Roma and ending at the Lido.
It is always a good idea to venture a little further from the main islands of Venice. There are many interesting islands around this region. All sense to be adventurous!
A 15-minute short ride on Vaporetto Line 12 will take visitors to Faro, the main waterbus station on Murano. Apart from being picturesque with weaving canals and bridges, Murano is well-known for its long tradition of glass-making. Visit Museo del Vetro which tells the stories of glass-making over the centuries. Visitors from around the world who are astounded by the outstanding glass products here can even purchase one of these locally crafted souvenirs.
After exploring Murano, visitors can board Vaporetto Line 12 again and will be taken to Burano. This island is famous for its brightly coloured fishermen houses. Legend has it that the houses are painted in distinctive colours so that fishermen who are out at the sea can recognise their homes from afar. As much as the colourful houses make a reason to visit Burano, make sure to also spend some time at Museo del Merletto, which exhibits the development of lace-making. Yes, this area is also famous for lace products, such as linen and clothes.
Venice is a very walkable city and it's best explored on foot. Some nooks and crannies are so beautiful and only accessible on foot. Public transportation network in Venice relies heavily on Vaporetto (waterbus). The best way to make use of the network is by taking a Vaporetto to a major stop, alight and walk around the area. Vaporetto is operated by ACTV. To check on routes and timetable, visit this website: Waterborne transport service timetable
Public transport in Venice is not the cheapest (€7,50 for 75-minute ticket!), so it is ideal to plan your route beforehand to avoid unnecessary expenditure. If you plan to use the waterbus service a number of times a day, then consider purchasing Day-Tickets (1, 2, 3 and 7-Day Tickets available). For more details, refer to this: Venice Urban Services
WHAT TO DO IN VENICE
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WHAT TO EAT IN VENICE
Italians regard their traditional food highly. This is why you will be pampered with good food throughout the trip. Here is a list of food you should try when you're in Venice (and where you can find them - just click on each image to show in Google Map).
There is only one rule to keep in mind: the nearer a hotel is to the Grand Canal, chances will be the more expensive it will be.
The Gritti Palace
Address: Campo Santa Maria Del Giglio 2467, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Phone: +39 041 794611
Address: Riva degli Schiavoni, 4196, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Phone: +39 041 522 6480
If you have a budget to watch, then we recommend you to stay near Stazione Santa Lucia (also, if you're taking train to Venice). It's more convenient when you can avoid battling with the cobbled alleyways with your luggage.
Hotel Il Moro di Venezia
Address: Rio Terà Lista di Spagna, 152, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy Phone: +39 041 098 5730
Hotel Belle Epoque
Address: Rio Terà Lista di Spagna, 127/128, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy Phone: +39 041 244 0004
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Appartamento con Terrazza
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“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” ― Truman Capote
Perhaps we have fallen in love with Venice sooner than we have expected, but wandering around weaving canals and cobbled streets at the twilight of nightfall, when day-trippers and cruise-goers have retreated this maze-like city, we've seen its true beauty. And that's the irreplaceable Venice in our hearts.