November 17, 2011

0 Seven Tips for Your Visit to Venice

1. Check for passes!  At the last minute (literally on the flight there) I read about the Rolling Venice pass in our guidebook.  The Rolling Venice pass, which cost us a mere €4 each, got us discounted tickets to many sites and the small tours of the Clocktower and Doge's Palace.  We also got a highly discounted (€18 euro each instead of regularly €33 each) three-day vaporetto pass.  While the Rolling Venice is only good for 18-29 year olds, there are several other Venice passes available.  Chances are, you'll match one! Another pass we got was the Chorus Pass.  Good for one year and entry into sixteen different churches, the Chorus Pass was only €8 with our Rolling Venice pass- and is only €10 regular price.

2. I could tell you "get lost", which was the #1 piece of advice we got from friends, but to be honest I'm not sure how you couldn't get lost!  Addresses are ambiguous at best, and Venice is a maze of streets, alleys, narrow passages, and canals.  You can cross a bridge or turn a corner to find yourself one short step from being face-first in canal water!  However, if you're willing to just turn corners and mosey around, you'll find charming architecture, chiese and campi all over, and, of course, gelatiere!

3. Eat your weight in gelato!  Seriously.  It's gooooood.  Honestly the food in Venice is kind of disappointing.  I'd heard and read that, as the majority of restaurants are geared for tourists, the quality of food really isn't up to the Italian cuisine reputation.  It's true.  The food is fine, it's passable, some of it is even enjoyable, but not memorable.  However, gelato is always around and always delicious!

4. Ride the vaporetto!  We used it daily, and with our discounted pass it ended up being more than a bargain.  The stops are everywhere, and, while the maps took us a bit to figure out, once we (read: Paul) did, it was easy to get around.   Just be sure to swipe your card when you get on each time!

5. Go out for a sunset and get up for a sunrise.  We walked around every night (okay, I drug Paul around while I was taking night pictures) and really enjoyed the quiet.  Venice is remarkably quiet, since there are no motorized vehicles, and it becomes nearly surreal after dark.  Our last morning we got up and walked around at sunrise and it seemed like we were the only non-Venetians out.  Watching the sun bounce off the beautiful buildings in the Piazza was amazing, and seeing all the delivery and service boats zip around was a novelty for a car-based American!

6. Respect the "no photography" signs.  Many of the treasures, buildings, craft pieces, and artworks we've seen all over Europe are centuries old and a large part of what makes Europe so incredible.  Photography flash can damage paintings, wooden pieces, frescoes, basically everything except stone and metal.  Sites are often cornered into making a blanket "no photography" policy because of a lack of attendants to monitor visitors.  We saw people taking pictures (including flash) in almost every site that didn't allow them, and it's quite disrespectful to both the site and to other visitors, as it interrupts the viewing and, really, takes a small piece of posterity from future visitors.

7. Don't feel required to do all the "touristy" things, but also don't avoid them just because they're "touristy"!  The Piazza San Marco is renowned for a reason- it's beautiful, and the center of culture in Venice.  However, try to avoid the cruise boats and go to the Piazza in the early afternoon or very early or late just to stroll and enjoy the character.  We opted out of a gondola ride mostly due to cost, which neither of us regret, choosing instead to ride the vaporetto along most of the Grand Canal and walk around the rest of the island.  We did take in an opera, La Traviata, one evening in a Scuola- a very touristy thing to do, but we both thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience the Scuola in a different way.   Murano and Burano were definitely worth the visit, although Murano was full of shopping pressure and Burano didn't offer more "stuff" beyond one main area- but walking around was charming!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by! I can't wait to read your comment!

Next Post Previous Post Home