Venice

For other places with the same name, see Venice (disambiguation).
Venice and St. Mark's Basilica from the Campanile

Venice (Italian: Venezia; Venetian: Venexia) is one of the most interesting and lovely places in the world. This sanctuary on a lagoon is virtually the same as it was six hundred years ago, which adds to the fascinating character. Venice has decayed since its heyday and is heavily touristed (there are slightly more tourists than residents), but the romantic charm remains. It is also known as the birthplace of the composer Antonio Vivaldi. Venice and its lagoon are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Understand

The famous Rialto Bridge
Venice and St. Mark's Square from the Campanile

The comune (municipality) of Venice is made up of numerous islands in the Venetian Lagoon as well as a stretch of terraferma (mainland) in northern Italy. The comune is divided into six boroughs, the most famous of which (known as Venezia Insulare) comprises the historic city of Venice as well as the islands of Murano, Burano, Torcello, Mazzorbo, and Sant'Erasmo. Lido and Mestre are other popular areas of the comune.

The historic city itself is divided into six sestieri (districts): Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce, and San Marco, where the main monuments and sights are located.

History

The Most Serene Republic of Venice dates back to 827, when a Byzantine Duke moved its seat to what is now known as the Rialto, and for the following 970 years, it prospered on trade and under the rule of a Roman-style Senate headed by the Doge. Eventually, the Republic of Venice grew into a powerful city-state, and was one of the most progressive of its time. One of the significant events in the history of Venice was the opening of the first public opera house in 1637, which allowed members of the general public (those who could afford to pay for the tickets) to enjoy what was once court entertainment reserved for the aristocracy, thus allowing the genre of opera to flourish. In 1797, the city was conquered by Napoleon, a blow from which it 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 historical culture still throbs powerfully in the old Italians' veins.

A winged lion, the symbol of San Marco

Climate

July and August may be the worst time to visit: it's sometimes very hot and often humid, there are mosquitoes and occasional infestations of flies, and there are a LOT of tourists and large crowds anywhere you go. Spring and autumn are probably best, a compromise between temperature (expect 5-15°C in March) and the tourist load. Between November and January, you may manage to feel you have Venice all to yourself, an interesting and quiet experience. Beware of the weather during the winter months: it can be quite cold, windy, and damp. Fog is an additional hazard if you are driving in or out, doubly so in the unlikely chance that you will pilot a boat. That said, if you've never been to Venice, it's better to go in summer than not to go. You won't regret it. Many cities are far worse in summer, and Venice has no cars, hence no smog.

Acqua alta (high water) has become a fact of life in Venice. The lagoon water level occasionally rises above the level of the squares and streets, flooding them. This can happen several times a year, at irregular intervals, usually in the colder months. Acqua alta usually lasts a few hours and coincides with high tide. You'll see raised walkways in side alleys ready to be pulled out when acqua alta hits. When the city begins to flood, sirens will sound to warn residents and businesses. If you speak fluent Italian, tune into news programs since their predictions of the times the flood begins and ends are usually accurate. Normally, the tide rises and falls in six-hour cycles.

You can get an acqua alta map at the tourist offices either at the railway station or St Marks. This will show you the higher, dry routes and the ones with walkways set up during the various flood alerts. There is a tide measuring station at the Rialto vaporetto piers, and a noticeboard at the base of the Campanile in the Piazza San Marco that shows a live tide reading and predictions for the next few days.

Get in

Map of Venice and surrounding islands

Because Venice is on a lagoon, the water plays a crucial role in transportation. Whichever way you arrive, the last part of your journey will be on foot from the nearest waterbus/watertaxi jetty. If you need to carry or wheel bags along the narrow streets, bear this in mind when choosing your hotel location and route to it.

By plane

Marco Polo Airport

The closest commercial airport is Marco Polo Airport (IATA: VCE), on the mainland near Mestre (a more typical Italian city, without Venice's unique structure). There is a city bus and a shuttle bus from Marco Polo to Piazzale Roma. See the details in the By Bus section below.

There are direct flights to and from Amsterdam, Atlanta, Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Bilbao, Birmingham, Bordeaux, Brussels, Bucharest, Casablanca, Chisinau, Cologne, Copenhagen, Doha, Dubai, Dublin, Dubrovnik, Duseldorf, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Geneva, Glasgow, Hamburg, Istanbul, Leeds Le Havre, Lille, Lisbon, London, Luxemburg, Madrid, Manchester, Mars Alam, Marseille, Metz, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, Mykonos, Nantes, New York. Newcastle, Nice, Oslo, Paris, Philadelhia, Praguem Pristina, Riga, Southend, St.Petersburg, Sharm el-Sheik, Stuttgart, Timisoara, Tirana, Toronto, Toulose, Tunis, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich as well as domestic flights to and from Bari, Brindisi, Cagliati, Catania, Lamzea Terme, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Reggio Calabria and Rome.

The following airlines operate flights to and from Venice Marco Polo Airport: Aer Lingus, tel. +353 18 868505 Aeroflot, tel. +39 041 269848, Airabia, tel. 899 018873, Air Baltic, tel. +371 67006006, Air Berlin, tel. 199 4007337, Airfrance, tel 892057, Air Moldova, tel. +373 22 830830, AirOne, tel. 892444, Alitalia, tel. 892010, Air Transat, tel. 800 873 233, American Airlines, tel. 199 257300, Austrian Airlines, tel. +39 02 89634296, Belle Air, tel. +39 041 2698013, Belle Air Europe, tel. +39 345 7283894, Blue Air, tel. 899034935, Bmibaby, tel. +39 02 69633602, British Airways, tel. 199 712266, Brussels Airlines, tel. 899 800 903, Carpat Air, tel. +39 0236 006676, Air Corsica. tel. +33 08 23353535, China Southern, tel. +86 20 22396639, CSA, tel. +420 239 007007, Danube Wings, tel. +421 902 280280, Delta Airlines, tel. 892008, EasyJet, tel. 199 201 840, EasyJet Switzerland, tel. 199 201 840, Emirates, tel. +39 02 91483383, Estonian Air, tel. +372 640 1162, Finnair, tel.199 400 09, Germanwings, tel. 199 257 013, Iberia, 199 101 191, Jet2.com, tel. 199404023, KLM, tel. +39 02 38591439, Lufthansa, tel. 199 400044, Luxair, tel. +352 24 564242, Meridiana, tel. 892928, Moldovian, tel.+373 22 525499, Monarch, tel 800 906 533, Neos, tel. +39 0331 232833, Norwegian, tel. +47 21 490015, Qatar Airways, tel. +39 02 67877801, Skandinavian, tel. 199 259 104, Swiss, tel. +38 026 9682070, TAP Air Portugal, tel. +39 02 69682334, Transaereo, tel. +7 (495) 7888080, Transavia France, tel. 899 009 901, Tunisair, tel. +216 71 941285, Turkish Airlines, tel. +39 041 2698190, Volotea Airlines, tel. 895 895 4404, Vueling, tel. 807 200 100, XL Airways France, tel. +33 3 22192504.

Ticket price Airport to Lido or Cruise Terminal or vice versa is € 15.00 one way, € 27.00 return, € 8.00 IMOB, Airport to Murano or vice versa € 8.00 one way, € 15.00 return, € 4.00 IMOB, Cruise Terminal to Venezia centre or vice versa € 8.00 one way, € 15.00 return, € 4.00 IMOB , Cruise Terminal to Lido or Murano or vice versa € 10.00 one way, € 18.00 return, € 8.00 IMOB and San Marco to Lido or Murano € 8.00 one way, € 15.00 return, € 5.00 IMOB. There are also tourist tickets (24 hours € 30.00, 72 hours € 65.00.

Alternatively, from the same jetty, you can travel in style (and much faster) by hiring one of the speedy water-taxis (30 mins) for about €110. All these tickets are now buyable online, as well as the airport waterbus route map.

If you are departing from Marco Polo and have some time to kill post-security, you'll find that the airport is flooded with expensive paid Wi-Fi; the trick here is to go up to the second floor (food court), on the left (looking from the front) escalator, and set camp near the left wall. You will be next to the Alitalia lounge, where Wi-Fi is free (the network SSID is "RDN for Alitalia"). The closer you are to the wall, the better the reception, but even that little nook with a couple of tables (grab an espresso at the counter before sitting down - it's very passable and not outrageously expensive) should be within range.

Treviso Airport

The Treviso Airport (IATA: TSF), located 25 km (16 mi) from Venice, is relatively smaller but becoming increasingly busy as the main destination for Ryanair, Wizzair, and Transavia budget flights. There are flights to Treviso Airport from Barcelona, Bremen, Brussels. Bucharest , Charleroi, Chisinau, Cluj, Dublin, Düsseldorf weeze, East Midlands, Eindhoven, Frankfurt Hahn, Iasi, Kiev, Leeds, London Stansted, Lwow, Malta, Paris Beauvais, Prague, Skopje, Stockholm Timisoara and Valencia as well as domestic flights from Alghero, Bari, Brindisi, Cagliari, Catania, Lamezia Terme and Palermo. Flights to and from Treviso Airport are operated by Ryanair, tel. 895 8958989 and Wizz Air tel. 895 895 3322.

From Treviso Airport to Venice and Mestre, Barzi Bus Service offers a €18 round-trip ticket price from-to Mestre train station and Venice Tronchetto. Barzi Bus offers a bus service from Treviso Airport on the motorway to Venezia Mestre Railway Station and Venice Tronchetto. Ticket price € 10.00 one way, € 18.00 return (valid 10 days). Tickets can by bought at Barzi Busservice Airport desk in the arrival hall (tel. +39 348 836 71 85), or on the bus. Tickets bought on Ryanair flights are not valid for this service. Barzi Bus brings you to Tronchetto, from there you can take vaporetto line 2 to the city center..

ATVO operates buses from Venice to Treviso Airport daily at 5.30, 7.10, 10.30, and 18.30 and from Treviso Airport to Venice daily at 7.45, 8.15, 13.10 and 21.20 plus others not connecting to the flights to and from Treviso Airport. Ticket price € 7.00 one way. € 13.00 return (valid 7 days). Flights arriving earlier or later than scheduled may affect the departure from the airport. If flights are cancelled the bus service will be suspended. The bus has two stops in Mestre, one in Corso del Popolo in front of BNP Bank in the historic center and the other one near the railway station. Tickets can be bought at Treviso Airport at the automatic ATVO ticket machine in the arrivals baggage hall or the ATVO ticket office in the arrivals hall, operating from 7.30 to 22.30 (tel +39 422 315 381). In Venice tickets can be bought at the ATVO ticket office in Piazzale Roma, near the Carabinieri station (tel +39 421 594 671), at automatic ATVO ticket machine outside the ticket office, at 'Chiosco di Pluff' newsagent in the center of the square 5 metres from the departure point for the buses to Treviso Airport, at Botazzo Tobaconist's in Piazzale Roma, at the Novo Tour Agency in Piazzale Roma and at IEX Change Agency in St.Mark's Square under the Torre dei Mori. In Mestre tickets can be bought at ATVO ticket office in Via Capuccina 183, near the railway station (tel +39 421 594 673), at automatic ticket machine outside the ticket office, at Bar Binario, situated near the ticket office, at ATAV - Associazione Turistica Albergatori Venezia, inside the railway station or at 365 Grandi Biglietterie Agency inside the railway station.

San Nicolo Airport

The San Nicolo Airport (ICAO:LIPV, no IATA code) is an airfield directly on the Lido. It handles only small aircraft, as the runway (grass) is about 1 km long, and does not have any scheduled flights, but might be of interest to private pilots (arrivals from Schengen states only) due to its convenience to the city (it is a short walk to the vaporetto landing).

By train

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. Many through trains only stop in Mestre - in that case just hop on to one of the very frequent trains to Santa Lucia (Ticket 1.25€). Also, ACTV has a ticket office at Mestre station, and queues might be shorter here. From the Santa Lucia station district, water buses (vaporetti) or water taxis can take you to hotels or other locations on the islands, but walking is usually the best option.

Direct trains to Venice are available from many international destinations, there are overnight trains from Munich, Paris and Vienna and also a weekly long-distance night train (four nights) from Moscow via Kiev, Budapest and Zagreb. Eurocity trains to Munich depart at 13.34 and arrive in Munich at 20.14, Euronight trains to Vienna depart at 20.57 and arrive in Vienna at 8.08 next morning, Euronight trains to Paris depart at 20.01 and arrive in Paris at 9.30 of the next morning.

Venice is well-connected with the domestic train network, Rome and Milano are only a few hours away. Also there are some night trains from cities in southern Italy, though since 2012 most services have been canceled. Freccia Bianca (White Arrow) trains to Trieste leave from Venezia Mestre at 10.24, 19.45 and 21.59 and the trip takes about 1 hr 35 mins. Regionale Veloce (Fast Regional) trains leave from Santa Lucia station at 9.11, 9.48, 12.09, 13.09, every hour from 14.11 to 18.11, at 19.35 hrs, the trip taking about 2 hrs 5 mins. Freccia Bianca (White Arrow) trains to Milano leave Santa Lucia station at 5.20, 6.20, 6.50, 7.50, 8.50, 10.50, 12.50, 13.20, 14.20, 14.50, 15.20, 16.20, 17.20, 18.20 and 19.50, duration of the trip is about 2 hrs 35 mins. There are Freccia Argento (Silver Arrow) trains to Rome leaving Santa Lucia at 10.25, 13.25, 15.25 and 18.25, via Bologna and Florence arriving in Rome 3 hrs 50 mins later, and an Intercity Night train leaving Santa Lucia at 0.07, arriving in Rome at 6.35 next morning. Iitalo offers train services from Santa Lucia to Rome at 7.55, 9.55, 12.55 and 18.55, arriving Romea Ostiense at 11.50, 13.50, 16.50 and 22.50 as well as at 15.55. arriving at Roma Tiburtina at 19.30.

Also, Venice is the terminus for the luxurious Venice Simplon Orient-Express, a historical train that still make the overnight journey from London and Paris in original 1920s coaches. There are departures at least once a week between March and November. As one of the most sumptuous journeys in the world, the trip is expectedly very expensive, starting at €2,900.

By car

Distances to/from Venice: Rome 540 km, Padova 60 km, Vicenza 75 km, Udine 125 km

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 very very expensive here (26 €/12h, 30 €/24h) and the tailbacks can be quite large. Tronchetto is about a 1 km from Piazzale Roma, the city's main entry point, but there is an shuttle train service, People Mover, at 1.50 €.

Parking Tronchetto Isola Nuovo del Tronchetto, Email: info-tronchettopark@interparking.com, Tel: +39 041 5207555, Fax: +39 041 5285750, has 4.000 parking lots (including 33 parking lots for persons with special needs). Parking is open 24 hours throughout the year. Cars must not be higher than 2.10 meters. Ticket price is € 3.00 per hour for the first 2 hours, € 5.00 per hour for the next 2 hours and € 21.00 for the whole day. Most credit cards are accepted.

Autorimessa Comunale, PIAZZALE ROMA, Santa Croce 496, tel. +39 041-27.27.211 , GPS 45°26'19.75" N - 12°19'01.71" E; offers parking for more than 2000 cars and 300b motor-cycles on 6 floors, open 24 hours every day of the year. Cars must not exceed a height of 2,20 meters. The ticket price is € 26.00 for cars under 1,85 meters and € 29.00 for cars over 1,85 meters., online bookings at this website get 10 percent discount. You can download a map how to reach the Autorimessa here.

S. Andrea car park PIAZZALE ROMA, Tel. +39 041 – 2727304, GPS 45°26'16.54" N - 12°19'01.88" E; inside the Autorimessa, accessible from Rio Terà S. Andrea, for short term parking.open 24 hours every day all the year round. Cars must not be higher than 2 meters. The ticket price is € 7.00 for 2 hours. No advance reservation. You can download a map how to reach the S. Andrea car park.

An alternative is to use the car parks on the mainland (terra ferma) and catch a train or bus or vaporetto into Venice. Park near the Mestre railway station, and catch a train to Venezia St.Lucia; there are many trains, it is very near (8–10 minutes) and quite cheap (€ 1,20). Don't bother searching for free parking near Mestre train station - there are no free parking spots near, except on Sunday (free parking is on the other side of the station, in Marghera). Free and safe parkings are also near Mogliano Veneto and Oriago railway stations. Besides, Venezia St. 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 Libertà into the city.

Ca' Marcello car park, via Ca' Marcello, Mestre, open air car park for 100 cars near the Mestre railway station, open every day from 6am to midnight. Ticket price € 1.00 for 4 hours, € 4.00 for the whole day (on week-days from 8am to 8pm only).

Fusina Ternminal Fusina, via Moranzani, 79 - 30030 Fusina VE, tel. +39 041 5470160, fax +39 041 5479133, e-mail:fusina@terminalfusina.it offers parking for 300 coaches and 15000 cars. It has direct access from A4 highway and Strada Statale Romea 309. Prices € 12.00 for up to 12 hours, € 15.00 for up to 24 hours (20 percent discount for onluine bookings). Terminal Fusina offers 3 boat lines to Venice:

Punta Sabbioni: ACI , Via Fausta, Cavallino Treporti, tel. +39 0415301096, Mail: info@acivenice.com operates a large car park for 100 busses and 400 cars at Punta Sabbioni. This is a convenient way to enter Venice from the seaside resorts Lido di Jesolo, Lignano or Bibione. Vaporetto line 12 brings you to Murano, Burano and Torcello, lines 14 and 15 to S.Zaccaria.

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.

By bus

There is a direct bus between Marco Polo airport and the Piazzale Roma, on the west bank of Venice operated by ATVO. Starts twice an hour, takes 20 minutes and costs €5. The Piazzale Roma bus station is well served by vaporetti and water-taxis ... and of course, you can walk everywhere. From Mestre, you can take a bus to Venezia- Piazzale Roma. the ticket is €1.30 but if you buy it in the bus it will cost €2.50. You can buy bus tickets from specialized ticket kiosks and vending machines, as well as tobacconists and newsstands. All of the city is connected to Venice by bus.

By boat

Ships arrive at the Stazione Marittima which is at the west end of the main islands, it is served by vaporetti and water taxis. To Piazzale Roma: take the People Mover operating every 3 minutes weekdays from 7.10 to 22.50, holidays from 8.10 to 21.50, price € 1. To Santa Lucia Railway Station (distance 1 km): take the People Mover to Piazzale Roma, then walk or take the water taxi (tel. +39 0412402711, +39 041716922, +39 0415222303 or +39 0415229040). To Venezia Mestre Railway Station (distance 7 km) take a taxi (Radiotaxi tel. +39 041 5952080 or take the People Mover to Piazzale Roma and the bus line to Mestre. To Marco Polo Airport (distance 13 km) take a taxi (Radiotaxi tel. +39 041 5952080, 40 minutes trip), a water taxi (tel. +39 0412402711, +39 041716922, +39 0415222303 or +39 0415229040) or take the Polple Mover to Piazzale Roma and then ACTV bus no 6 or ATVO busses.

Porters

Cooperative Trasbagagli, tel. +39 041 713719) offers porter services at the following rates: 1 or 2 pieces € 25.00 Venice City, € 40.00 Giudecca, San Giorgio, Riva 7 Martiri, € 50.00 Lido, S.Elena, Giardini, S.Servolo, S.Clemente, and € 60.00 Murano. 3 or 4 pieces € 35.00 Venice City, € 50.00 Giudecca, San Giorgio, Riva 7 Martiri, € 60.00 Lido, S.Elena, Giardini, S.Servolo, S.Clemente, and € 80.00 Murano, 5 or 6 pieces € 45.00 Venice City, € 60.00 Giudecca, San Giorgio, Riva 7 Martiri, € 70.00 Lido, S.Elena, Giardini, S.Servolo, S.Clemente, and € 90.00 Murano. There are porter stations at Ferrovia tel. +39 041 715272, Piazzale Roma.tel. +39 041 5223590. S.Marco Campo della Guerra, tel. +39 3478675491, S.Marco Calle Vallaresso, tel. 3465881508, S.Marco Bacino Orseolo, tel. +39 3282696025, S.Marco Sant'Angelo, tel. +39 3406382287, S.Zaccaria (Danieli), tel. +39 3203385248, S.Zaccaria (Jolanda), tel. +39 3495803239 and Rialto (Imbarcadero Actv Rialto line 1 and 2), tel. +39 3474348898

Get around

Grand Canal from Rialto Bridge
View of San Giorgio, in front of Venice
Photograph of Venice at dusk

Venice, the world's only pedestrian city, is easily walkable, and the absence of cars makes this a particularly pleasant experience. However, walking and standing all day can also be exhausting, so it is best to pace yourself. The Rialtine islands - the 'main' part of Venice - are small enough to walk from one end to the other in about an hour, provided you don't get lost (a common occurrence).

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 use vaporetti than private water taxis. If you want to have a romantic ride along the canals, take a gondola ride, although they tend to exist for more scenic purposes, rather than getting people from point A to point B.

ACTV runs the vaporetti and other public transport services both in the lagoon and on terra firma. Travel cards are extremely useful since the basic fare for one vaporetto journey is typically €7.50 whereas a 1 day travel card costs €20, 2 day card is €30, a 3 day costs €40 and finally a 7 day pass costs €60. There are other versions available, including those offering discounts for youth under 29 year of age. Current rates can be found here.

Additional services fro all lines in the early morning. Information for all ACTV services at Hello Venezia tel. +39 041 2424, daily 7.30 to 20.00. You can download a map of Venice water buses

A single ticket (biglietto solo andata) costs € 7.50, permitting the use of public transports for 75 minutes from the moment you validate the ticket including transfers heading in the same direction. In case you voard a boat without having bought a tickets beforehand, you have to buy a ticket from the on-board collector upon boarding. There are no return tickets. There are tourist travel cards (biglietto turistico a tempo) for 1, 2, 3, or 7 days. The tourist tickets cost € 20.00 for 24 hours, € 30.00 for 48 hours, € 40.00 for 72 hours and € 60.00 for 7 days.

Something you won't be told easily is that now anyone can purchase the Venezia Unica (formerly IMOB) card (the only difference is that in addition to its €10 cost for residents, foreigners need to pay a €30 extra fee). Unless you are in town for a couple of days and planning never to return, do it. It's a durable plastic card with your (webcam) picture, and once you have it, you are more or less a local - which means access to €1.30 single vaporetto tickets (save even more by recharging the card with 10 at once for €11), the same price for #5 ACTV bus to and from the airport, half-price discount on Alilaguna services, and even €0.70 traghetto crossings (instead of €2; flash the card to the gondolier). It is valid for 5 years from the month of issue. Register at the Venezia Unica site and pre-fill the application online, then go to one of the ACTV offices (not simply ticket points; probably the easiest location is at Piazzale Roma) and tell the clerk that you have a "contratto precompilato" - they'll pull it up, ask you to sign the privacy disclosures and issue the card on the spot (or you can fill the form at the counter; bear in mind it's in Italian). Moreover, if you happen to have a +39 Italian cell phone number, with it and your new Unica you can get a free code for use of the communal WiFi spots. If you lose the card, do not despair: it costs only €10 to get an immediate replacement, and the balance (along with your old photograph) is automatically transferred over.

Since February 2009 the Venice Connected website of the Comune di Venezia (now integrated into Unica site) makes possible to book online (at least 7 days in advance) most services controlled by the town administration (public transportation, access to the civic museums, access to public restrooms, car park tickets, entrance to the Casinò and access to the municipal WiFi network covering the entire historic centre); the online prices vary according to the projected number of visitors but are always cheaper than the current on-site prices (and cheaper than with a Venice Card).

You can also get a Venice Card, which has various options that you can choose when you buy it (public transportation, cultural attractions, toilet access, Alilaguna, etc.) There is a 'Junior' version of the Venice that is available at a slightly reduced rate for those between 5 and 29 years of age. Note, however, that a Venice Card is not recommended for those with less than 3 days in Venice, as most of the top attractions are not included in the Venice Card. If you'll be staying in Venice for a week - get the Venice Card and enjoy travelling from island to island and exploring the various museums and churches it offers access to.

Maps are available at the vaporetto stops in the ticket booths. The map is quite reliable, and is free when getting a Venice Card (€2 otherwise) can be viewed on Internet.

Venice Cards can be reserved on-line for a considerable discount. Keep in mind, though, that there are long lines when taking the Venice Card from the ticket booths. The Venezia St. Lucia ticket booth that offers Venice Cards is the one most on the right when you exit the train station.

Otherwise, take a walk! The city is not that big, and you can walk from one end to the other in a few hours (if you stick to the paths conveniently marked with arrows in the direction of major landmarks). But it would take months for a fit person to discover every path in the city. Make sure to visit some of the smaller alleyways, as they can be very interesting. 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! Signs all over the city indicate the direction to the main attractions, "Rialto" and "San Marco", as well as the way back to the train station ("ferrovia") and the bus terminal ("Piazzale Roma"). These signs make it easy to have the "get lost experience" even as a one-day tourist. For a faster and safer walk, you should walk on the right side.

Be aware that addresses in Venice are of the form DISTRICT NUMBER (The Venetian word for district is "Sestiere"), not STREET NUMBER. To find a specific place using a map, make sure you know which district it is in. The numbers are assigned at the start of the district and increase as they move farther away from the Grand Canal.

Water taxis (Taxi Acquei)

Water taxis are operated by Coop. San Marco (tel. +39 041 5222303), Coop. Veneziana (tel. +39 041 716124), Coop. Serenissima (tel. +39 041 5221265 or +39 041 5229538), Soc. Narduzzi Solemar (tel. +39 041 5200838), Soc. Marco Polo (tel. +39 041 966170), Soc. Sotoriva (tel. +39 041 5209586), Soc. Serenissima (tel. +39 041 5228538) and Venezia Taxis (tel. +39 041 723009).

There are water taxi ranks at Ferrovia (Railway Station) (tel. +39 041716286), Piazzale Roma (S.Chiara) (tel. +39 041716922), Rialto (tel. +39 041723112), Lido (tel. +39 0414222303) and at Marco POlo Airport (tel. +39 0415415084).

In the historic city centre there is a fixed tariff for water taxis of € 15.00 at departure plus € 2.00 per minute on urban routes. There are supplements of € 5.00 for call services and customer pick-up outside the taxi ranks, of € 10.00 for night services between 22.00 and 6.00 hrs, of € 3.00 pieces of luggage exceeding 4 pieces and of € 5.00 or € 10.00 for every person exceeding a group of 4. Rates are fixed by a resolution fo the Venice City Council dated May19th 2011 and are viewable here.

A water taxi service for persons with special needs is available at +39 041 2747332 or directly through the website Book Taxi Venice.

Taxis

'Normal' taxis can be called from Radio Taxi (tel. +39 041 936137). There are taxi ranks at Piazzale Roma (tel. +39 041 5237774) and Lido (tel. +39 041 5265974).

Gondole de parada

There are small gondola ferries crossing the Canal Grande at

Ticket price € 2.00 one-way, € 0.70 for Venice residents and IMOB card holders.

Alilaguna Green line (linea verde) Alilaguna, tel. +39 041 5235775, operates a 4 hours excursion tour to the island of Murano, Burano and Torcelllo with explanations in English, French, German and Spanish. Departure from imbarcadero San Marco Giardinetti, Minimum 4 participants. Boat starts in Apr, May and Oct at 9.30, 11.00 and 14.30, from Jun to Sept at 9.30, 11.00, 14.30 and 15.30, from Nov to Mar at 11.00 and 14.00. Ticket price € 20,- (free for holders of Alilaguna 72 hrs pass).

See

Kids' view of Venice

Venice offers plenty for people of all ages to enjoy. See Venice with children for tips for making your visit with kids a bit easier.

Bell tower of Saint Mark

Outdoor sights, piazzas, bridges, canals

When photographing bridges, do not expect people crossing the bridge to stop and wait for you to take a photo.

Churches

Although San Marco is free, other famous churches charge an entry fee. If you plan to visit three churches or more, you are better off buying the churches pass. There is also a combined pass for museums, churches and transportation only available at the tourist information office but it is relatively expensive.

Basilica di San Marco
Ceiling of the choir of the Baroque Chiesa di Ognissanti

Museums

The Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, call center 848-08.2000 offers 2 museums passes for the San Marco Museums valid for 3 months at € 16.00 (€ 8.00 reduced) granting admission to Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr, Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, Sale Monumentali della Bibliotheca Marciana, and another museum pass valid for 6 months for € 24.00 (Reduced € 18.00) granting admission to the above mentionned museums plus Ca' Rezzonico, Mesue del '700 Veneziano, Palazzo Mocenigo, Casa di Carlo Goldoni, Ca' Pesaro, Museo del Vetro Murano, Museo di Merletto Burano and Museo di Storia Naturale.

Cemeteries

Exhibitions

Archives and Libraries

Monuments

Do

Palazzo Vitturi

Events

Voga Longa, the yearly equivalent of a marathon run on water. Voga Longa competitors must row 32 kilometers under 3.5 hours to receive a certificate of attendance at the finish line, but everybody with a human-powered vessel is welcome to participate (some foreigner teams take up to 10 hours to complete the journey just for the fun of it).

The official purpose of the Voga Longa was to protest the sharply increasing use of powerboats in Venice, but the event has gradually grown into a festival since 1974, with up to 5500 racers in 1500 vessels attending by the early 2000s. The racetrack visits different parts of Venice as well as some of the nearby islands. Locals and tourists lining up alongside rios and canals cheer the racers.

Visitors wishing to participate should have serious experience in rowing or sculling and practice duely, as the journey is physically demanding (even seasoned oarsmen develop calluses by the finish line). The event is mainly for teams, completing Voga Longa on a single oar is considered a major achievement. Extreme participation (scuba frogmen and surface swimmers) sometimes occurs, but it is not recommended due to water contamination issues.

Regata 'Storica (Historic fleet event) is held on the first Sunday of every September. Celebrating a historic event from 1489, the regatta displays almost a hundred varieties of venetian boats from the city's rich past. Large oarships, replicating ancient roman and medieval vessels, are rowed along the Canal Grande, followed by many smaller boats. There are several races, including a master championship for solo sculling in streamlined gondolini, painted in unusual white, pink, etc. colours. There are many excellent photo opportunities for this event.

La Biennale di Venezia is one of the most well known culture institutions. Two events organised by Biennale are the Art and Architecture International Exhibitions happening alternately (Architecture Biennale in even years, Art Biennale in odd) but other fields are also covered - contemporary theatre, dance, music, cinema (Venice International Film Festival). Exhibitions take place mostly in two locations: Arsenale and Giardini. They are both worth visiting even when no event is scheduled. Arsenale is the largest pre-industrial production centre in the world, dating back to 13th century, and Giardini is architectural gem filled with national pavilions from different parts of the world, often designed by famous architects, it was a venue for the International Art Exhibition since 19th century. The Art Biennale (Esposizione internazionale d’arte) , tel. +329 041 5218828, e.mail: promozione@labiennale.org is held at Arsenale (vaporetto line 4.1 and 4.2 to Arsenale) and Giardini (vaporetto line 4.1 and 4.2 to Giardini). The Central Pavillion and the pavilions of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brasil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, Nordic Countries, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and the pavilion of Venice are located in the Giardini. The Biennale is open every second year from beginning of June to mid November, Tue to Sun 10 to 18, closed on Mon. Admission is € 30 (two days) (multiple entries) (ID required), € 25 (one day) (single entry to each venue), € 20 (over 65), € 14 (students). There are many other exhibitions (collateral events) all over the city, often permitting to visit buildings which normally are not open to the public. Online guides to the exhibits are not substantive. The British Council provides a comprehensive guide to all exhibits available at the British pavilion at the Giardini. The Concordia/Antarctic Exhibition has closed early.

Activities

Ride a Vaporetto (Water Bus) down the Grand Canal right before sunset. The Vaporettos are expensive, but the sights are priceless: amazing architecture, soft seaside sunlight, and a fascinating parade of Venetian watercraft.

Gondola

Take a Gondola if you can afford it: it's expensive, but the Gondoliere may decrease the price if you ask (but they can also decrease the time...). Make sure you reach an agreement on price and time before you start! A good tip with the Gondolieres is to bargain the price down as low as you can, then say that it's still too much and walk away. Two or three of them will chase after you, one after the other, each offering a lower price than the last. It's possible to knock €20-€30 off the price(even then, be prepared to shell out €80).

Some guidebooks discourage tourists from asking for gondola price reductions. The oarsmen have an informal habit of cutting the most interesting and little-known parts from the journey path for "discount" customers. Reduced rate riders get much less marvel in exchange for a moderate price drop, which may not be worth it.

Gondolier-for-hire business licenses are officially limited to just 430 to 455 rowers in Venice, making the market artificially scarce and inflating prices. Gondola rides are always costly, often in a princely way and that expense should be planned in advance of the visit. If you go as a group it might be cheaper, though the number of people who can be accommodated on a gondola varies, usually up to a maximum of six seated passengers. The "traghetti" holds more, mostly standing, as a pair of gondoliers rows short distances for canal crossing purposes at a number of points along the Grand Canal.

Venetians and especially the gondoliers among them have highly conservative ideas about society: by 900 years of tradition, all gondoliers must be male and most are born locals. There are only a few Germans in the business and a single lady, Alexandra Hai, who couldn't manage a for-hire license even after 10 years. She is officially allowed to carry guests of her contract hotel only.

If a gondola seems a little pricey, the alternative is to cross the Grand Canal by traghetto. These only cost €2 to use and are largely gondolas that have seen better days, They are stripped down and used as municipal ferries. In the 1950s there were as many as thirty, but now there are seven points to find them. However some only operate when people are going to and from work. The length of any crossing is just a few minutes. Many visitors enjoy visiting the open air markets near the Rialto Bridge and there is a traghetto station there, at the Pescheria (fish market) joining the Santa Sophia church along the Strada Nova. You will notice that traghetti passengers tend to stand up, but if you are not comfortable doing so, sitting is possible, if you are careful. The more adventurous can try the venetian style of rowing through Row Venice or one of the many rowing clubs

A Mask gift shop near Piazza San Marco

If you are looking for something to do, you can always shop. Venice is packed full of little stores in every corner and crevice. The commonest local specialties are Carnival masks, glass, and marbled paper. Price can vary wildly, so it's a good idea to hold off buying until you have a fair idea about the relative value of things. As is the case with most tourist cities, a LOT of the "original " and "made in Venice" items are actually made in China. Murano is an island famous for its glass making. Almost in every shop you will find "original Murano glass" items. If it was really made in Murano, it would be prohibitively expensive, with prices routinely running into thousands of euros. So if you are looking for cheap souvenirs, real Murano glass is not the thing to buy! You can also see glass making demonstrations in Murano, but be sure to check that there is a demonstration scheduled for that day. And it is normally not done in winter either.

San Michele Cemetery Island, Cimitero stop

Spend a day on the islands, mainly Murano, Burano and Torcello. There are boat services to all these islands at scheduled times, including between the islands themselves. Be prepared for long lines and long waits for the boats between islands. The Glass Museum in Murano and the Lace Museum in Burano are certainly worth a visit. In Burano you will find some of the most picturesque streets and houses, with each house sporting a different pastel shade. Its really beautiful. Though there is not much to see in Torcello except for the old church, and the supposed "Throne of Atilla". However, the peace and tranquility of the island is not to be found anywhere else in Venice! Torcello is also home to a very expensive Cipriani restaurant. But just walking around on these islands is a nice enough experience. If you've had enough of the hype and the other tourists, hop off the vaporetto at 'Cimitero', Venice's graveyard for a peaceful walk. There are many famous tombs, and the section dedicated to deceased children is particularly haunting. There is also a free toilet there.

While going through Venice, make sure you take in the beauty of it all. Walk through the alley ways, and take the water taxi to different parts of the island, sometimes at night you can just go sit in an open area and watch locals and tourists passing by. It is wonderful. There are many museums and churches that are around the city that allow tourists to go in a visit. They are many great sights to keep you busy throughout your visit.

The “Secret Itineraries in Doge's Palace” worth a visit, take the visitor into the most secret and fascinating rooms in the Palace. It’s better to book in advance.

Because Venice is now pretty much only inhabited by tourists and people serving the trade, it gets very quiet by 9.00 and there is very little to do in the evening (outside of eating). There are a few exceptions, like some classical music concerts, which most probably only play Vivaldi.

If you would like to have a guide to show up the highlights of Venice, you can choose between many offers. There are walking or boat tours, focused on shopping or history or for art lovers, and many itineraries.

If you are interested in exploring all things related with Italian food you have to visit the freshly open "i Tre Mercanti" (campo della guerra 2 mins from S.Marco square) an amazing food gallery where you can find typical Italian specialties, a wide range o f the best wines and the usual classics like Olive Oil, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan, Limoncello along with hundreds of regional specialities (including 97 pasta sauces!). Classy and friendly the staff speak many languages and is open every day. If you don't feel like shopping you can always browse the shop and ask cooking tips and the history of products to the helpful manager.

Send a Postcard or even better, an entire mail dedicated to an important one (the old "snail mail" one, not the electronic variety)! Venice has a long, celebrated tradition in postal services, paper and written communication in general (including one of the earliest medival book printing houses).

Venice it's also Riviera del Brenta old canals. The Riviera del Brenta is famous for its extraordinary Palladian villas along the Brenta river, its museums and historical buildings and it is located only 25 miles from Venice. This Riviera and its mainland include 7 small cities: Stra, Fiesso d’Artico, Dolo, Fossò, Mira, Oriago and Malcontenta. These places are indicated for cycling excusions and to see antique Palladian Villas built on the Brenta river. In Stra village the famous gardens of Villa Pisani and the museum of the shoes in Villa Foscarini Rossi. In this last museum you can admire 1500 models of made in Italy shoes created from local factories for major brands included Fendi, Genny, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Ungaro, Anne Kleyn, Richard Tyles, Vera Wang and much more. In Dolo village you can visit the square, old watermill (XI century)and big open air market.

Opera and Concerts

Venice History Show

Learn

Venice is home to two major (and expanding) universities, Ca' Foscari (Public) and IUAV (Public). There are possibly hundreds of smaller schools in the city. Neither university exploits its name for merchandising, and "Università degli Studi di Venezia" sweatshirts for sale at stalls are not only unlicensed, but there is no single university in the city with that name to begin with.

Cooking Classes

Buy

If you've come to Venice thinking that you won't be able to do a bit of designer shopping, think again! Just like in every major Italian city, you get the big fashion brand names here too. For label clothing shopping, the best area is that around the Piazza San Marco, where you can find Versace, MaxMara, Gucci, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Prada (and numerous more) big names. If you want to shop for clothing or accessories, though, you don't necessarily have to shop through the biggest names in fashion - in the Campo Santo Stefano and Calle della Mandola, you can get less famous or local boutiques, but you can find some excellent quality and/or unique items such as clothes, shoes, wallets, or handbags.

Watch out also for the hand-made paper and the exquisite miniature buildings made by Moro. Watch out for fakes; Moro "signs" his name on the back. Also, beware of fakes and "free" trips to neighboring Murano for its famous glass. (See article for details.)

Tourist Traps: "Coloured Pasta" and "Venetian Limoncello" (not the original napolitan one) are not Italian food, no Italian would ever eat them, they are particularly made for tourists, only buy typical regional Italian food in food shops and always check the labels to discover where they have been made. In case it is not stated on the label, avoid the purchase.

Murano Glass

Eat

Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti

Typican Venetian dishes are:

Venice has some wonderful restaurants, featuring the cuisine of the Veneto. However it is widely regarded that the restaurants in Venice serve food of a quality and in quantities much lower than anywhere else in Italy. The pizza in Venice is well known as being the worst in Italy (It is a more southern Italian speciality). For Americans, you can find a place called Quanto Basta pizza that serves an American-style pizza with pepperoni and french fries. Specialties include polenta, made of corn meal; risotto with cuttlefish ink sauce. Diners should however be aware that for every genuinely wonderful restaurant or trattoria, there's another serving rubbish food at inflated prices, especially in the most touristed streets around San Marco. Rule of thumb: if there's a waiter outside pimping for business, it's probably best avoided.

Near the Rialto bridge there's a row of restaurants with tables by the canal, where you can have the quintessential Venice experience of dining by the canal lights. Although they do have waiters outside bugging you, some have pretty acceptable quality for price, which is almost always expensive anyway.

One of Venice's trademark foods is cuttlefish and its ink. This intense black ink serves as a sauce and ingredient for polenta (corn meal), risotto (rice), and pasta. These dishes are normally indicated by the Italian words "nella seppia" (in cuttlefish), "alla seppia" (in the style of cuttlefish), or "nero di seppia," (black of the cuttlefish). For example Polenta Nella Seppia is fried corn meal with the black ink of a cuttle fish. Despite the intensity in color, the ink has a surprisingly mild taste.

Be careful when the prices are on a weight basis (typically by the "etto", abbreviated "/hg". or 100 g). One dish can easily contain 400g of fish or meat (almost a pound) - coming to 4 times the indicated base price!

Restaurants might offer low prices for food on their menus that they advertise outside the entrance, but they will sometimes compensate this by charging high prices for drinks (which is naturally *not* advertised). €5 for 33 cl of beer is not uncommon. Le Bauta, an eatery on Fond del Gaffaro, is a good example. Also, please make sure that you get your change back after payment as sometimes it may be 'forgotten' by the waiters.

For fresh fruit (including chilled coconut) watch out for the street market stalls. There is always a boat parked in the canal on campo San Barnaba selling fruit and vegetables into the late hours.

To save money at lunch, eat standing up - that's what Venetians themselves do. Every cafe, trattoria, osteria, enoteca or whatever it chooses to call itself is stocked at lunchtime with cicchetti - Venetian tapas, including tramezzini (triangular sandwiches on white bread), bite-sized rolls with various cold cuts, polpette (fried balls of minced fish or meat) and assorted antipasti. Order by pointing at what you want on the glass shelves, and wash the whole thing down with a glass of wine (un' ombra) or a spritz (made with, in order of bitterness and alcohol content, Aperol, Campari or Select). Bear in mind that as soon as you allow yourself to sit at the table and be waited on, instead of ordering and consuming your food at the counter, the prices for the same items go up - you can end up paying double. If you look at the (government-mandated) chart of prices stapled to the wall near the bar, you'll see 2 columns of numbers, accommodating this arrangement. However, sitting is worth it if you plan on staying a while. Some places will also serve free bread and water for seated patrons, but then there is usually also a small charge (€1-3 per person) for "pane e coperto" (bread and cover charge).

If self-catering, the Rialto food markets are an absolute must for fruit, vegetables and cheese, but most of all for the huge range of seafood, much of it fresh out of the lagoon and still moving! There are a variety of small stores around the city that sell fruits and vegetables, but tourists will be hard-pressed to find them. Anything else you will find in the one of the few supermarkets in the city.

Head to the Dorsoduro area of Venice if you want to save a few euros. It is located on the south side of the city. It has the highest concentration of places where locals, especially students, go to eat. Generally staying away from the main squares will be the cheapest option. If you're willing and able to walk around the town, some back streets offer the best food for the lowest price. Seeing the city from this vantage point is a lot of fun too!

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Cake shops

Ice Cream

You will find ice cream all over the city, and you will hardly survive a hot summer day without. Prices are 1 - €1.50 for one scoop, 2.50 - €3.50 for three scoops.

Drink

Try a Spritz (with either Campari, Select or Aperol mixed with Prosecco wine and Seltzer), a typical drink loved by all Venetians that's usually drunk while eating cicheti. You can find it in almost every bar in the city. Price is about €5, more in a touristy place.

If you try the famous Veneto Grappa be careful—it is brandy containg 30 to 60 percent alcohol.

The Bellini was invented in Harry's Bar in Venice. It is a mix of white peach juice and Prosecco (the ubiquitous Venetian Champagne-like sparkling wine). Fermented at a low temperature Prosecco develops amylic aromas (fruit drops), though these perhaps mix better with fruit juices than does the more austere Champagne. Classic Bellinis should never be made with Champagne. Although by normal standards expensive, a Bellini in Harry's Bar (€17 for a 1.5 oz drink is obscene) is still much cheaper than on the terraces of similar '5-star' establishments in the city.

Beer in a small pub is about €5 for a pint (birra media).

Espresso, the real Italian, is about €1 at the bar, €2 at a table.

Coffee

A cafe in Piazza di San Marco

Coffee is everywhere in Venice, and both Venetians and the tourists avail themselves of the opportunities, usually by downing a quick dose at the counter (see warning about sit-down prices above). Rule of thumb: the bigger (and shinier) the espresso machine, the better the result.

Night Life

There are two late-night drinking areas in Venice. Piazza San Marco is not one of them. Although it is very pleasant and there are many people wandering around late. But the actual late night scene is in either Campo Santa Margherita, near the University Ca' Foscari in Dorsoduro; or in Erbaria on the West side of the Rialto Bridge where the main vegetable market is held during the day.

Although there are many fantastic bars in Venice, if you're planning a night time "pub crawl" you should plan a few places to visit in advance, otherwise it's very easy to waste an hour wandering aimlessly in search of a watering hole that's actually open (especially midweek).

Locals in search of nighttime entertainment mostly head over the bridge into Mestre, or hop the boat to Lido. One exception: F.ta della Misericordia, in Cannaregio (north from the Ghetto over the Ghetto Nuove bridge, turn right), features several bars in succession, anchored by the Paradiso Perduto (Cannaregio 2640; a restaurant by day, live music on Sundays starting at 9), along the canal. In season they are spilling over after dark with youths holding large glasses of rosé, while more of those same youths are cruising (in motor boats) blaring rap songs in Italian from the loudspeakers. The cafes and bars lining the expansive C. Santa Margherita are catering to the students from the nearby university; chill out to reggae sets in Caffé Rosso (Dorsoduro 2963; it's the one with the red awning that simply says Caffe), or dance (Saturdays only) at Round Midnight (Dorsoduro 3102).

Those looking for gay nightlife in Venice will be disappointed. Hop on the train to Padua instead.

Pubs

Sleep

The Palazzo Civran and Grand Canal at dusk. This 15th-century building that was substantially altered in the early 17th century now houses the Guardia di Finanza.

Due to Venice's historic city constrained area and touristic importance hotels are expensive. Bed and Breakfasts and guesthouses offer better rates, and real budget solutions (like campings and hostels) can be found on mainland Venice and Lido. These are worth considering since historic centre is quite well connected with bus and ferries, so staying outside is not such a big problem.

In the last few years, holiday or short rentals apartments have increased in number and quality, now you can rent (minimum stay is usually 3 nights) a Palazzo on the Grand Canal as a little flat near Rialto.

Bed and Breakfast

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Phone

The area code is 041. As anywhere in Italy, it is compulsory to dial the area code and the number also if you call from the city itself. If you call from abroad, dial +39041 before the number. If you call abroad from Venice, dial 00 first.

Internet

Venice has several internet cafes, but they are much more expensive than the rest of Europe with prices for an hour of access around €6. Wi-fi is only available at some of them. There's a wonderful pub, Cafe Blue in Dorsoduro, which has free (password-protected) wi-fi. Buy a spritz and a panini and go to town. At the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Campo San Salvatore (San Marco) you can browse for free for one hour, once registered with your ID card.

The city has been steadily building out the municipal WiFi network, which now covers almost the entire area around the Grand Canal and some of the larger squares in the center. You can buy guest access at approximately €5 per day at the same unified Venezia Unica site where the transport and museum passes are sold.

To use an Internet cafe, buy a mobile SIM card or get a contract for an Internet connection. Personal identification is needed by law in Italy. Internet cafes will not let you use computers without a passport or national ID card.

Calle Delle Botteghe San Marco 2970 Venezia. A very pretty art gallery type internet cafe with a book shop. It is on the expensive side with €3 for 15mins but you can just go in and play chess with a glass of wine.

Stay safe

Venice is considered a safe city. 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. In case of need, you can dial free of charge on any phone 112 (no area code needed) to contact Carabinieri or 113 (no area code needed) to contact the Police.

Stay healthy

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. Avoid bathing yourself, touching the water, immersing feet, etc. in the canals looking for refreshment in hot season. Also, at night there is a risk of falling into the water, as there are many alleys which end in the water but have little or no lighting. In the warmest months, these conditions can sometimes generate foul odors. Choose other times to visit if they might ruin what should be a highly enjoyable stay.

You can reach the emergency medical service dialing free of charge on any phone 118 (no area code needed, conversation will be recorded) to have assistance and an ambulance sent to you.

Chemists' shops (Italian: Farmacie) are all around the town. They are open 24hrs. a day, 7 days a week on a rotational basis: outside the shop there's always the list of operating ones with time-table, address and phone number. If you need a special drug you might be asked to book it in advance if it's not in common use. Note that the commercial name or brand of your prescription might differ from your country of origin, and make sure that the medication you want is available in the EU.

Cope

The unfortunate side-effect of the quaint back-alleys which make Venice such a delight to visit is that it is remarkably easy to get lost. Even maps provided by hotels are frequently inaccurate, and the maze-like structure of the city can become very confusing indeed. The tight cluster of little islands that comprise Venice is completely surrounded by the Lagoon, so it is not possble, no matter how lost you become, to leave Venice on foot. Sooner or later you will come upon a piazza that you can locate on your map.

One tip: as you cross bridges, note the house numbers before and after. A small change probably means you are on the same island/district and have crossed a "new" canal. A major change means you are now on another island. Most maps clump islands together into their voting districts, there are many more islands than districts.

One piece of assistance is to look for directional signs. These will be marked "Per" and then with the name of a prominent location or bridge in the city, complete with an arrow pointing in the relevant direction. Hence, to get to the Rialto bridge, the signs to follow are marked "Per Rialto". Those to St Mark's Square read "Per S Marco", and those to the train station "Per Ferrovia" (there are some others as well). Having oriented yourself to the nearest landmark, direction-finding can thus become (slightly) easier.

Remember, though, that the signs to read are the official ones. Graffiti will occasionally give other directions, frequently incorrect ones.

That said, some argue that getting lost in Venice is part of the experience of the city. The number of photogenic canals, hidden restaurants and shops where glass blowing is done almost guarantees that there is no such thing as a "dull neighbourhood". Additionally, the public transport means that it is relatively easy to arrive at the intended destination even after one has emerged from the web of alleys in a totally unexpected place.

Useful telephone numbers

Police (emergency call): 113

Carabinieri (emergency call): 112

First Aid (emergency call): 118

Tourist Information: +39 041 5298700

Gondola Service San Marco: +39 041 5200685

Gondola Service Rialto: +39 041 5224904

Gondola Service Danieli: +39 041 5222254

Airport San Marco Information: +39 041 2609260

Airport San Marco Lost and Found Office: +39 041 2609222

Railway information: 892021

Railway Lost and Found Office: +39 041 785531

Venice Hospital: +39 041 5294111

Medical Service on Duty: +39 041 5294060

Consulates

Australia, Via della Libertà, 12, tel. +39 041 5093061

Austria, Santa Croce, 251, tel. +39 041 5240556

Belgium, Dorsoduro, 3464, tel. +39 041 5242944

Czech Republic, Canareggio,3821, tel +39 041 2413984

Denmark, Santa Croce, 466/g, tel. +39 041 2413984

Finland, Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta, 2, Lido di Venezia, tel. +39 041 5261550

France, Castello, 6140, tel. +39 041 5224319

Germany, Santa Croce, 251, tel. +39 041 5237675

Greece, Castello.4683, tel. +39 041 5237260

Lithunia, Santa Croce, 764, tel. +39 041 5241131

Luxemburg, Castello, 5312, tel. +39 041 5222047

Malta, Piazzale l.da Vinci, 8, Mestre, tel. +39 041 3969100

Mexico, Santa Marta , Fabbricato, 17, tel. +39 041 2712642

Monaco, San Polo. 747, tel +39 041 5223772

Netherlands. San Marco, 2888, tel. +39 041 5283416

Norway, Santa Croce, 466/b, tel. +39 041 5231345

Portugal, San Marco, 1747, tel. +39 041 5223446

Russia, Via S.Aquilino. 3, Milan, tel. +39 02 48706041

South Africa, Vicolo San Giovanni sul Muro,. 4, Milan, tel. +39 02 8858581

Spain, San Polo, 2646, tel. +39 041 5233254

Sweden, Via Agnello, 8, Milan, tel +39 02 86915266

Switzerland, Dorsoduro, 810, tel. +39 041 5225996

Turkey, Santa Marta, Fabbricato 17, tel. +39 041 5230707

United Kingdom, Via S.Paolo,7. Milano, tel. 39 02 723001

United States, Via Galileo Galilei, tel. +39 041 5415944

Post offices

Venezia Centro: San Marco. Sottoportico delle Acque 5016

Venezia 1: Canareggio, Lista di SPagna 233

Venezia 3: San Polo, Campo San Polo 2012

Venezia 4: San Marco, Calle Larga de l'Ascension 1241

Venezia 5: Castello, Calle Barbaria delle Tole 6674

Venezia 8: Giudecca, Fondamenta Sant'Eufemia

Venezia 9: Castello, Via Garibaldi 1641

Venezia 10: Dorsoduro,Zattere Fond al Ponte Longo 1507

Venezia 11: Sant'Elena, Viale 4 Novembre 23/24

Venezia 12: Santa Croce, Fondamenta Santa Chiara 411

Venezia 13: Canareggio, Calle dele Cooperative snc

Murano: Fondamenta Navagero 48

Burano: Fondamenta Terranova 162

Lido di Venezia: Via Doge Domenico Michiel 1

Malamocco: Campo Chiesa 1

Go next

Around the Venetian lagoon are other smaller islands, which have since been deserted but are worth a visit. There is also the Lido, which is a long narrow island with more modern buildings, hosting a youth hostel and a hotel.

Riviera del Brenta

Palladian Villas around Brenta River, 20 minutes from Venice by car, or you can get there via biking tours with a local bike hire shop.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 09, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.