Venice

One day in Venice

Venice | Veneto| Italy

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A Venetian ‘traffic jam’ of water busses and water taxis near Saint Mark’s Square

You would struggle to find someone that doesn’t know of Venice, the floating city. In the group of people that knows of Venice, you would struggle even harder to find someone who does not have the desire to go there…

To me, Venice is bitter sweet. One of the last vacations with my mother, was to Venice and it certainly had its fair share of charms.  As a tourist, the most fascinating thing about Venice is that the streets really are water. That the city really does float on barges made of wood. Busses don’t roll, they float. Any way you choose to look at it, it is a little bit awe-inspiring.

“It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the feeling of a city like Venice, where everything is just beautiful color and gorgeous buildings that are so peaceful. You can roam around and get lost in the labyrinth.”

-Nanette Lepore

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The masses descend on St. Mark’s Square for long, lazy Sunday lunches | Venice | Italy 

Venice is calm and serene, yet it feels rushed and pushy at the same time. So quiet and somehow deafeningly loud. It is focused, single minded. In an instant in can become disorienting and overwhelming.  From a mass of people, you can make a single turn, and be all alone in an alleyway. It is a floating city, but feels so solid and grounded in its history and its traditions. The great Italian contradiction.

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My wonderful mother and I in Venice

Once you’ve spent a lazy Sunday afternoon in the city of love, of romance, of bridges and canals, Sundays will never be the same again. Piazza San Marco is packed with people, and there are traffic jams on the water surrounding the terminals. Everywhere you look there is laughter, food, wine… and then there is that scenery. That scenery. Unlike any other place in the world.

A tourist dream: Gondolas, Venetian masks and St Mark’s Square

What To Pack

As a major tourist destination, there are many people that are dressed very casually. Others opt for slightly more formal attire. Because this is the city of romance, don’t be afraid of whimsical ensamples or dressing up- you won’t be out of place. When travelling from one island to another on the water-busses, there can be a cool breeze, so remember something to keep the chill at bay.

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The ‘streets’ of Venice

How To Arrive

You can fly into Marco Polo Airport (Airport code VCE), arrive by rail, by road or by water.

The easiest way around Venice, is to pick up a 24 hour pass when you arrive at Marco Polo Airport. These bus passes are also available for 2, 3 and 7 day periods. Other transport passes are available for longer stays. The 24 hour pass, allows you to travel by bus to Venice, as well as access to all the water busses during the 24 hour period. ACTV and ATVO bus lines travel to Venice from Piazzale Roma for the Mainland, Mestre and its city centre, the Venice Marco Polo airport, and the Treviso Canova airport. The passes can also be purchased from self service ferry terminals in Venice.

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A Santa Croce Canal | Venice

What To Eat

Keep in mind that Venice is a tourist hub and that food prices would reflect as much.Fresh seafood is freely available; polenta, however, is the most common dish in the Veneto area.

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We had a good laugh about our exorbitantly priced seafood platter (with crab sticks?)

Other Venetian favourites include:

  • Rice and risotto dishes
  • Sarde in saor and salted sardines
  • Fegato alla Veneziana (beef of veal liver cooked with onions)
  • Bigoli is a whole wheat pasta that resembles thick spaghetti
  • Fritelle alla Veneziane is the Venetian version of doughnuts. small dough fritters, served with powdered sugar
  • Tiramisu

What To Drink

  • Prosecco – Italian bubbles
  • There is always local wine on the menus

Things To See & Do

The easiest way to move between the islands is by water bus or (water) taxi. Your public transport pass includes travel on the water bus routes.

Murano glass and Burano lace are some of the most famous exports from Venice, and both these Islands can be visited. Popular stops include:

  • Murano: best known for glassmaking and the Glass Museum
  • Burano: best known for its colourful houses and lacemaking
  • San Michelle: a hauntingly beautiful walled cemetery, floating between Murano and Cannaregio
  • Torcello: North East of Venice you’ll find this sparsely populated island, with a thousand year old cathedral
  • Lido: Separating Venice from the Adriatic Sea, lies this 11 km sand bank. Lido di Venizia, the beach resort of Venice is also home to the Venice Film Festival.

Venice is rife with history, art, food, wine and secrets. I hope you manage to find your way there.

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