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Venice
Venezia
—  Comune  —
Comune di Venezia
A collage of Venice: at the top left is the Piazza San Marco, followed by a view of the city, the Grand Canal, and the interior of La Fenice and finally the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

Coat of arms
Venice is located in Italy
Venice
Location of Venice in Italy
Coordinates: 45°26′15″N 12°20′9″E / 45.4375°N 12.33583°E / 45.4375; 12.33583Coordinates: 45°26′15″N 12°20′9″E / 45.4375°N 12.33583°E / 45.4375; 12.33583
Country Italy
Region Veneto
Province Venice (VE)
Frazioni Chirignago, Favaro Veneto, Mestre, Marghera, Murano, Burano, Giudecca, Lido, Zelarino
Government
 - Mayor Massimo Cacciari (Democratic Party)
Area
 - Total 414.57 km2 (160.1 sq mi)
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2009-04-30)
 - Total 270,660
 Density 652.9/km2 (1,690.9/sq mi)
 - Demonym Veneziani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 30100
Dialing code 041
Patron saint St. Mark the Evangelist
Saint day 25 April
Website Official website
Venice and its Lagoon*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Venice in summer, with the Rialto Bridge in the background.
State Party  Italy
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi
Reference 394
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1987  (11th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Venice (Italian: Venezia About this sound listen , IPA: [veˈnεttsia], Venetian: Venesia) is a city in northern Italy, the capital of the region Veneto, with a population of 271,367 (census estimate 1 January 2004). Together with Padua, the city is included in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area (population 1,600,000). The city historically was the capital of an independent nation. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges" and "City of Canals". Luigi Barzini, writing in The New York Times, described it as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man".[1] Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe's most romantic cities.[2]

The city stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers. The population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000[3] in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazioni of Mestre and Marghera; and 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon.

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain and spice trade) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. Venice is also famous for its musical, particularly operatic, history, and its most famous son in this field is Antonio Vivaldi.

Contents

History

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Origins

While there are no historical records that deal directly with the obscure and peripheral[4] origins of Venice, tradition and the available evidence has led several historians to agree that the original population of Venice comprised refugees from Roman cities such as Padua, Aquileia, Altino and Concordia (modern Portogruaro) and from the undefended countryside, who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic invasions and Huns.[5] Some late Roman sources reveal the existence of fishermen on the islands in the original marshy lagoons. They were referred to as incolae lacunae ("lagoon dwellers"). The traditional founding is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Jacopo at the islot of Rialto (Rivoalto, "High Shore"), given a conventional date of 421.[6]

The last and most enduring irruption in the north of the Italian peninsula was that of the Lombards in 568, leaving the Eastern Roman Empire a small strip of coast in the current Veneto, and the main administrative and religious entities were therefore transferred to this remaining dominion, centered upon the Exarchate of Ravenna, the local representative of the Emperor in the East. The Venetian tradition of the islanders' aid to Belisarius was reported in early histories to explain the largely theoretical link to Ravenna, and to the Eastern Emperor. New ports were built, including those at Malamocco and Torcello in the Venetian lagoon. The tribuni maiores, the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the Lagoon, dated from c. 568.[7]

The Venetians traditionally having offered asylum to the Exarch, in flight from the Lombard Liutprand,[8] the Byzantine domination of central and northern Italy was subsequently largely eliminated by the conquest of the Exarchate of Ravenna in 751 by Aistulf. During this period, the seat of the local Byzantine governor (the "duke/dux", later "doge") was situated in Malamocco. Settlement on the islands in the lagoon probably increased in correspondence with the Lombard conquest of the Byzantine territories.

In 775-76, the bishopric seat of Olivolo (Helipolis) was created. During the reign of duke Agnello Particiaco (811-827) the ducal seat was moved from Malamocco to the highly protected Rialto, the current location of Venice. The monastery of St. Zachary and the first ducal palace and basilica of St. Mark, as well as a walled defense (civitatis murus) between Olivolo and Rialto were subsequently built here. Winged lions which may be seen in Venice are a symbol for St. Mark.

In 810, an agreement between Charlemagne and Nicephorus recognized Venice as Byzantine territory and recognized the city's trading rights along the Adriatic coast, where Charlemagne had previous ordered the pope to expel the Venetians from the Pentapolis.[9] In 828, the new city's prestige was raised by the acquisition of the claimed relics of St. Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria, which were placed in the new basilica. The patriarchal seat was also moved to Rialto. As the community continued to develop and as Byzantine power waned, it led to the growth of autonomy and eventual independence.

Piazza San Marco in Venice, with St Mark's Campanile in the background.
These Horses of Saint Mark are a replica of the Triumphal Quadriga captured in Constantinople in 1204 and carried to Venice as a trophy.

Expansion

From the ninth to the twelfth century Venice developed into a city state (an Italian thalassocracy or Repubblica Marinara, the other three being Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi). Its strategic position at the head of the Adriatic made Venetian naval and commercial power almost invulnerable. With the elimination of pirates along the Dalmatian coast, the city became a flourishing trade center between Western Europe and the rest of the world (especially the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world).

In the 12th century the foundations of Venice's power were laid: the Venetian Arsenal was under construction in 1104; the last autocratic doge, Vital II Michele, died in 1172.

The Republic of Venice seized a number of locations on the eastern shores of the Adriatic before 1200, mostly for commercial reasons, because pirates based there were a menace to trade. The Doge already carried the titles of Duke of Dalmatia and Duke of Istria. Later mainland possessions, which extended across Lake Garda as far west as the Adda River, were known as the "Terraferma", and were acquired partly as a buffer against belligerent neighbours, partly to guarantee Alpine trade routes, and partly to ensure the supply of mainland wheat, on which the city depended. In building its maritime commercial empire, the Republic dominated the trade in salt,[10] acquired control of most of the islands in the Aegean, including Cyprus and Crete, and became a major power-broker in the Near East. By the standards of the time, Venice's stewardship of its mainland territories was relatively enlightened and the citizens of such towns as Bergamo, Brescia and Verona rallied to the defence of Venetian sovereignty when it was threatened by invaders.

Venice remained closely associated with Constantinople, being twice granted trading privileges in the Eastern Roman Empire, through the so-called Golden Bulls or 'chrysobulls' in return for aiding the Eastern Empire to resist Norman and Turkish incursions. In the first chrysobull Venice acknowledged its homage to the Empire but not in the second, reflecting the decline of Byzantium and the rise of Venice's power.[11][12]

Venice became an imperial power following the Venetian-financed Fourth Crusade, which in 1204 seized and sacked Constantinople and established the Latin Empire. As a result of this conquest considerable Byzantine plunder was brought back to Venice. This plunder included the gilt bronze horses from the Hippodrome of Constantinople which were now placed above the entrance to St Mark's cathedral in Venice, where they remain to this day. Following the fall of Constantinople the former Roman Empire was partitioned among the Latin crusaders and the Venetians. Venice subsequently carved out a sphere of influence in the Mediterranean known as the Duchy of the Archipelago, and seized Crete.

The seizure of Constantinople would ultimately prove as decisive a factor in ending the Byzantine Empire as the loss of the Anatolian themes after Manzikert. Though the Byzantines recovered control of the ravaged city a half century later, the Byzantine Empire was greatly weakened, and existed as a ghost of its old self, struggling on with the help, among other things, of loans from Venice (never repaid) until Sultan Mehmet The Conqueror took the city in 1453.

Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Venice always traded with the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim world extensively. By the late thirteenth century, Venice was the most prosperous city in all of Europe. At the peak of its power and wealth, it had 36,000 sailors operating 3,300 ships, dominating Mediterranean commerce. During this time, Venice's leading families vied with each other to build the grandest palaces and support the work of the greatest and most talented artists. The city was governed by the Great Council, which was made up of members of the noble families of Venice. The Great Council appointed all public officials and elected a Senate of 200 to 300 individuals. Since this group was too large for efficient administration, a Council of Ten (also called the Ducal Council or the Signoria), controlled much of the administration of the city. One member of the great council was elected "Doge", or duke, the ceremonial head of the city, who normally held the title until his death.

The Venetian governmental structure was similar in some ways to the republican system of ancient Rome, with an elected chief executive (the Doge), a senate-like assembly of nobles, and a mass of citizens with limited political power, who originally had the power to grant or withhold their approval of each newly elected Doge. Church and various private properties were tied to military service, though there was no knight tenure within the city itself. The Cavalieri di San Marco was the only order of chivalry ever instituted in Venice, and no citizen could accept or join a foreign order without the government's consent. Venice remained a republic throughout its independent period and politics and the military were kept separate, except when on occasion the Doge personally headed the military. War was regarded as a continuation of commerce by other means (hence, the city's early production of large numbers of mercenaries for service elsewhere, and later its reliance on foreign mercenaries when the ruling class was preoccupied with commerce).

The chief executive was the Doge, who theoretically held his elective office for life. In practice, several Doges were forced by pressure from their oligarchical peers to resign the office and retire into monastic seclusion when they were felt to have been discredited by perceived political failure.

Though the people of Venice generally remained orthodox Roman Catholics, the state of Venice was notable for its freedom from religious fanaticism and it enacted not a single execution for religious heresy during the Counter-Reformation. This apparent lack of zeal contributed to Venice's frequent conflicts with the Papacy. Venice was threatened with the interdict on a number of occasions and twice suffered its imposition. The second, most famous, occasion was on 27 April 1509, by order of Pope Julius II (see League of Cambrai).

Venetian ambassadors sent home still-extant secret reports of the politics and rumours of European courts, providing fascinating information to modern historians.

The newly-invented German printing press spread rapidly throughout Europe in the fifteenth century, and Venice was quick to adopt it. By 1482 Venice was the printing capital of the world, and the leading printer was Aldus Manutius, who invented the concept of paperback books that could be carried in a saddlebag. His Aldine Editions included translations of nearly all the known Greek manuscripts of the era.[13]

Decline

Venice’s long decline started in the 15th century, when it first made an unsuccessful attempt to hold Thessalonica against the Ottomans (1423–1430). She also sent ships to help defend Constantinople against the besieging Turks (1453). After the city fell to Sultan Mehmet II he declared war on Venice. The war lasted thirty years and cost Venice much of her eastern Mediterranean possessions. Next, Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. Then Portugal found a sea route to India, destroying Venice’s land route monopoly. France, England and Holland followed them. Venice’s oared galleys had no advantage when it came to traversing the great oceans. She was left behind in the race for colonies.

The Black Death devastated Venice in 1348 and once again between 1575 and 1577.[14] In three years the plague killed some 50,000 people.[15] In 1630, the plague killed a third of Venice's 150,000 citizens.[16] Venice began to lose its position as a center of international trade during the later part of the Renaissance as Portugal became Europe's principal intermediary in the trade with the East, striking at the very foundation of Venice's great wealth, while France and Spain fought for hegemony over Italy in the Italian Wars, marginalising its political influence. However, the Venetian empire was a major exporter of agricultural products and, until the mid-18th century, a significant manufacturing center.

Military and naval affairs

Historic map of Venice by Piri Reis

By 1303, crossbow practice had become compulsory in the city, with citizens training in groups. As weapons became more expensive and complex to operate, professional soldiers were assigned to help work merchant sailing ships and as rowers in galleys. The company of "Noble Bowmen" was recruited in the later 14th century from among the younger aristocracy and served aboard both war-galleys and as armed merchantmen, with the privilege of sharing the captain's cabin.

Though Venice was famous for its navy, its army was equally effective. In the 13th century, most Italian city states already were hiring mercenaries, but Venetian troops were still recruited from the lagoon, plus feudal levies from Dalmatia (the very famous Schiavoni or Oltremarini)[17] and Istria. In times of emergency, all males between seventeen and sixty years were registered and their weapons were surveyed, with those called to actually fight being organized into companies of twelve. The register of 1338 estimated that 30,000 Venetian men were capable of bearing arms; many of these were skilled crossbowmen. As in other Italian cities, aristocrats and other wealthy men were cavalrymen while the city's conscripts fought as infantry.

By 1450, more than 3,000 Venetian merchant ships were in operation. Most of these could be converted when necessary into either warships or transports. The government required each merchant ship to carry a specified number of weapons (mostly crossbows and javelins) and armour; merchant passengers were also expected to be armed and to fight when necessary. A reserve of some 25 (later 100) war-galleys was maintained in the Arsenal. Galley slaves did not exist in medieval Venice, the oarsmen coming from the city itself or from its possessions, especially Dalmatia. Those from the city were chosen by lot from each parish, their families being supported by the remainder of the parish while the rowers were away. Debtors generally worked off their obligations rowing the galleys. Rowing skills were encouraged through races and regattas.

Early in the 15th century, as new mainland territories were expanded, the first standing army was organized, consisting of condottieri on contract. In its alliance with Florence in 1426, Venice agreed to supply 8,000 cavalry and 3,000 infantry in time of war, and 3,000 and 1,000 in peacetime. Later in that century, uniforms were adopted that featured red-and-white stripes, and a system of honors and pensions developed. Throughout the 15th century, Venetian land forces were almost always on the offensive and were regarded as the most effective in Italy, largely because of the tradition of all classes carrying arms in defense of the city and official encouragement of general military training.

Venice, by Bolognino Zaltieri, 1565.

The command structure in the army was different from that of the fleet. By ancient law, no nobleman could command more than twenty-five men (to prevent the possibility of sedition by private armies), and while the position of Captain General was introduced in the mid-14th century, he still had to answer to a civilian panel of twenty Savi or "wise men". Not only was efficiency not degraded, this policy saved Venice from the military takeovers that other Italian city states so often experienced. A civilian commissioner (not unlike a commissar) accompanied each army to keep an eye on things, especially the mercenaries. The Venetian military tradition also was notably cautious; they were more interested in achieving success with a minimum expense of lives and money than in the pursuit of glory.

Modern era

A map of the sestiere of San Marco.

After 1,070 years, the Republic lost independence when Napoleon Bonaparte on 12 May 1797, conquered Venice during the First Coalition. The French conqueror brought to an end the most fascinating century of its history: during the Settecento (18th century) Venice became perhaps the most elegant and refined city in Europe, greatly influencing art, architecture and literature. Napoleon was seen as something of a liberator by the city's Jewish population, although it can be argued they had lived with fewer restrictions in Venice. He removed the gates of the Ghetto and ended the restrictions on when and where Jews could live and travel in the city.

Venice became Austrian territory when Napoleon signed the Treaty of Campo Formio on 12 October 1797. The Austrians took control of the city on 18 January 1798. It was taken from Austria by the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 and became part of Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy, but was returned to Austria following Napoleon's defeat in 1814, when it became part of the Austrian-held Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. In 1848-1849 a revolt briefly reestablished the Venetian Republic under Daniele Manin. In 1866, following the Third Italian War of Independence, Venice, along with the rest of the Veneto, became part of the newly created Kingdom of Italy.

During the Second World War, the city was largely free from attack, the only aggressive effort of note being Operation Bowler, a precision strike on the German naval operations there in 1945. Venice was finally liberated by New Zealand troops under Freyberg on 29 April 1945.[18]

Geography

Sestieri of Venice:
    Cannaregio
    Castello
    Dorsoduro
    San Marco
    San Polo
    Santa Croce

The city is divided into six areas or "sestiere". These are Cannaregio, San Polo, Dorsoduro (including the Giudecca and Isola Sacca Fisola), Santa Croce, San Marco (including San Giorgio Maggiore) and Castello (including San Pietro di Castello and Sant'Elena). Each sestiere was administered by a procurator and his staff.

These districts consist of parishes — initially seventy in 1033, but reduced under Napoleon and now numbering just thirty-eight. These parishes predate the sestieri, which were created in about 1170.

Other islands of the Venetian Lagoon do not form part of any of the sestieri, having historically enjoyed a considerable degree of autonomy.

Each sestiere has its own house numbering system. Each house has a unique number in the district, from one to several thousand, generally numbered from one corner of the area to another, but not usually in a readily understandable manner.

At the front of the Gondolas that work in the city there is a large piece of metal intended as a likeness of the Doge's hat. On this sit six notches pointing forwards and one pointing backwards. Each of these represent one of the Sestieri (the one which points backwards represents the Giudecca).[citation needed]

Sinking of Venice

Acqua Alta or high water in Venice.
Venice and surroundings in false color, from Terra. The picture is oriented with North at the top.

The buildings of Venice are constructed on closely spaced wood piles, which were imported from the mainland. (Under water, in the absence of oxygen, wood does not decay. It is petrified as a result of the constant flow of mineral-rich water around and through it, so that it becomes a stone-like structure.) The piles penetrate a softer layer of sand and mud until they reach the much harder layer of compressed clay. Wood for piles was cut in the most western part of today's Slovenia, resulting in the barren land in a region today called Kras, and in two regions of Croatia, Lika and Gorski kotar (resulting in the barren slopes of Velebit). Most of these piles are still intact after centuries of submersion. The foundations rest on the piles, and buildings of brick or stone sit above these footings. The buildings are often threatened by flood tides pushing in from the Adriatic between autumn and early spring.

Six hundred years ago, Venetians protected themselves from land-based attacks by diverting all the major rivers flowing into the lagoon and thus preventing sediment from filling the area around the city. This created an ever-deeper lagoon environment.

During the 20th century, when many artesian wells were sunk into the periphery of the lagoon to draw water for local industry, Venice began to subside. It was realized that extraction of the aquifer was the cause. This sinking process has slowed markedly since artesian wells were banned in the 1960s. However, the city is still threatened by more frequent low-level floods (called Acqua alta, "high water") that creep to a height of several centimetres over its quays, regularly following certain tides. In many old houses the former staircases used by people to unload goods are now flooded, rendering the former ground floor uninhabitable.

Some recent studies have suggested that the city is no longer sinking,[19][20] but this is not yet certain; therefore, a state of alert has not been revoked. In May 2003 the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi inaugurated the MOSE project (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico), an experimental model for evaluating the performance of inflatable gates; the idea is to lay a series of 79 inflatable pontoons across the sea bed at the three entrances to the lagoon. When tides are predicted to rise above 110 centimetres, the pontoons will be filled with air and block the incoming water from the Adriatic Sea. This engineering work is due to be completed by 2011.

Panorama of the Giudecca Canal and the Saint Mark's Basin

Some experts say that the best way to protect Venice is to physically lift the City to a greater height above sea level, by pumping water into the soil underneath the city.[21] This way, some hope, it could rise above sea levels, protecting it for hundreds of years, and eventually the MOSE project may not be necessary (it will, controversially, alter the tidal patterns in the lagoon, damaging some wildlife). A further point about the "lifting" system would be that it would be permanent; the MOSE Project is, by its very nature, a temporary system: it is expected to protect Venice for only 100 years.

In 1604, to defray the cost of flood relief Venice introduced what could be considered the first example of what became elsewhere a 'stamp tax'. When the revenue fell short of expectations in 1608 Venice introduced paper with the superscription 'AQ' and imprinted instructions which was to be used for 'letters to officials'. Initially this was to be a temporary tax but in fact remained in effect to the fall of the Republic in 1797. Shortly after the introduction of the tax Spain produced similar paper for more general taxation purposes and the practice spread to other countries.

Climate

According to the Koppen climate classification, Venice has a Humid subtropical climate (Cfa), with cool winters and very warm summers. The 24-hour average in January is 2.5 °C (36.5 °F), and for July this figure is 22.7 °C (72.9 °F). Precipitation is spread relatively evenly throughout the year, and averages 801 millimetres (31.5 in).

Climate data for Venice
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.8
(42)
8.2
(47)
12.0
(54)
16.3
(61)
21.2
(70)
24.8
(77)
27.5
(82)
27.0
(81)
23.6
(74)
18.1
(65)
11.5
(53)
6.7
(44)
16.9
(62)
Average low °C (°F) -0.9
(30)
0.7
(33)
3.8
(39)
7.9
(46)
12.3
(54)
15.9
(61)
17.8
(64)
17.3
(63)
14.2
(58)
9.4
(49)
4.2
(40)
0.0
(32)
8.6
(47)
Precipitation mm (inches) 58.1
(2.29)
54.2
(2.13)
57.1
(2.25)
64.3
(2.53)
68.7
(2.7)
76.4
(3.01)
63.1
(2.48)
83.1
(3.27)
66.0
(2.6)
69.0
(2.72)
87.3
(3.44)
53.7
(2.11)
801
(31.54)
Avg. precipitation days 6.7 6.2 6.6 8.2 8.3 8.9 5.7 6.7 5.4 6.0 7.7 6.4 82.8
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN) [22] 2010-03-13

Economy

Venice's economy has greatly changed throughout history, and has evolved greatly. In the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance, Venice was a major centre for commerce and trade, as it controlled a vast sea-empire, and became an extremely wealthy European city, a leader in political and economic affairs and a centre for trade and commerce.[23] This all changed by the 17th century, when Venice's trade empire was taken over by other countries such as Portugal, and its naval importance was reduced. In the 18th century, then, it became a major agricultural and industrial exporter. The 18th century's biggest industrial complex was the Venice Arsenal, and the Italian Army still uses it today (even though some space has been used for major theatrical and cultural productions, and beautiful spaces for art).[24] Today, Venice's economy is mainly based on tourism, shipbuilding (mainly done in the neighbouring cities of Mestre and Porto Marghera), services, trade and industrial exports.[23] Murano glass production in Murano and lace production in Burano are also highly important to the economy.[23]

Tourism

Interior view of the Caffè Florian.

Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world, due to the city being one of the world's greatest and most beautiful cities of art[25]. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day (2007 estimate)[26]. In 2006, it was the world's 28th most internationally visited city, with 2.927 million international arrivals that year.[27]

Tourism has been a major sector of Venetian industry since the 18th century, when it was a major centre for the grand tour, due to its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage. In the 19th century, it became a fashionable centre for the rich and famous, often staying or dining at luxury establishments such as the Danieli Hotel and the Caffè Florian. It continued being a fashionable city in vogue right into the early 20th century[25] In the 1980s the Carnival of Venice was revived and the city has become a major centre of international conferences and festivals, such as the prestigious Venice Biennale and the Venice Film Festival, which attract visitors from all over the world for their theatrical, cultural, cinematic, artistic and musical productions[25]

Today there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark's Basilica, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco, to name a few. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities and mainly people in the cinematic industry.[25]

However, Venice's popularity as a major worldwide tourist destination has caused several problems, including the fact that the city can be very overcrowded at some points of the year. It is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a 'living museum'.[25] The competition for foreigners to buy homes in Venice has made prices rise so highly, that numerous inhabitants are forced to move to more affordable areas of Veneto and Italy, most notably Mestre.

Transportation

Aerial view of Venice including the bridge to the mainland
The Ponte dei Sospiri, the "Bridge of Sighs".

Venice is world-famous for its canals. It is built on an archipelago of 117 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon. The islands on which the city is built are connected by 455 bridges [28]. In the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads, and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot. In the 19th century a causeway to the mainland brought a railway station to Venice, and an automobile causeway and parking lot was added in the 20th century. Beyond these land entrances at the northern edge of the city, transportation within the city remains, as it was in centuries past, entirely on water or on foot. Venice is Europe's largest urban car free area, unique in Europe in remaining a sizable functioning city in the 21st century entirely without motorcars or trucks.

Waterways

A gondola and a gondolier

The classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies. Many gondolas are lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs. Gondoliers typically charge between 80 and 100 euros for a 35 minute "giro" or excursion around some canals. The Gondoliers, by law, must be of Venetian birth. Most Venetians now travel by motorised waterbuses (vaporetti) which ply regular routes along the major canals and between the city's islands. The city also has many private boats. The only gondolas still in common use by Venetians are the traghetti, foot passenger ferries crossing the Grand Canal at certain points without bridges. Visitors can also take the water taxis between areas of the city.

Public transportation

Azienda Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV) is the name of the public transport system in Venice. It combines both land transportation, with buses, and canal travel, with water buses (vaporetti). In total, there are 25 routes which connect the city. A one way pass good for one hour costs 6.50 €; longer term passes for 12 to 72 hours are available, costing 14 to 31 €. An even better deal is the "Venice Card" for 7 days, starting at 47.50 €, which includes unlimited vaporetto travel.

Venice also has water taxis, which are fast but quite expensive.

Airports

Venice is served by the newly rebuilt Marco Polo International Airport, or Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo, named in honor of its famous citizen. The airport is on the mainland and was rebuilt away from the coast; however, the water taxis or Alilaguna waterbuses to Venice are only a seven-minute walk from the terminals.

Some airlines market Treviso Airport in Treviso, 30 km from Venice, as a Venice gateway. Some simply advertise flights to "Venice" without naming the actual airport except in the small print.[29]

Trains

Venice is serviced by regional and national trains. One of the easiest ways to travel from Rome or other large Italian cities is to use the train. Rome is only slightly over four hours away; Milan is slightly over two and a half hours away. Treviso is thirty-five minutes away.[30] Florence and Padua are two of the stops between Rome and Venice. The St. Lucia station is a few steps away from a vaporetti stop.

Car

The maritime portion of Venice has no streets as such, being composed almost entirely of narrow footpaths, and laid out across islands connected by staired stone footbridges, making transportation impossible by almost anything with wheels. Cars can reach the car/bus terminal via the bridge (Ponte della Liberta) (SR11). It comes in from the West from Mestre. There are two parking lots which serve the city: Tronchetto and Piazzale Roma. Cars can be parked there anytime for around €30 per day. A ferry to Lido leaves from the parking lot in Tronchetto and it is served by vaporetti and buses of the public transportation.

View of Venice from St Mark's Campanile.

Main sights

A small canal in Venice (Rio della Verona).
A winter sunset across the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge.
Piazza San Marco and its famous pigeons.
Rialto Bridge seen from a waterbus.

Museums

Piazzas and campi

Palaces and palazzi

Churches

Facade of St Mark's Basilica.
Two gondolas in a narrow Venetian canal.
Florians coffee bar in St. Mark's Square, a famous landmark in Venice.
Venice waterfront facing the lagoon

Other buildings

Bridges

Surroundings

Venetian Villas

The villas of the Veneto, rural residences for nobles during the Republic, are one of the most interesting aspects of Venetian countryside. They are surrounded by elegant gardens, suitable for fashionable parties of high society. Most of these villas were designed by Palladio, and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to the architects, water around the villas was a very important architectural element because it added more brilliance to the façade and allowed Venetian nobles to reach them by boat.

Demographics

In 2007, there were 268,993 people residing in Venice, of whom 47.5% were male and 52.5% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 14.36 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 25.7 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Venice residents is 46 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Venice declined by 0.2 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent.[31] But the population in the historic old city declines at a significantly faster rate: from about 120,000 in 1980 to about 60,000 in 2009.[32]

As of 2006, 93.70% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group comes from other European nations (Romanians, the largest group: 3.26%, South Asia: 1.26%, and East Asia: 0.9%). Venice is predominantly Roman Catholic, but because of the long standing relationship with Constantinople there is also a perceptible Orthodox presence, and due to immigration it now has some Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist inhabitants.

Culture

Typical masks worn during the Carnival of Venice.

Cinema and Venice in popular culture and media

Venice has been the setting or chosen location of numerous films, novels, poems and other cultural references. The city was a particularly popular setting for several novels, essays, and other works of fictional or non-fictional literature. Examples of these include Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and Othello, Ben Jonson's Volpone, Voltaire's Candide, Casanova's autobiographical History of My Life, Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven, and Philippe Sollers' Watteau in Venice, to name but a few. The city has also been a setting for numerous films and music videos, such as the James Bond series 'From Russia with Love', 'Moonraker' and 'Casino Royale', Death in Venice, Fellini's Casanova, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, A Little Romance, The Italian Job, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Madonna's Like a Virgin (song). On addition to that, numerous video games such as Tomb Raider 2, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and Assassin's Creed II[33] feature Venice in their games.

Architecture

The Baroque Ca' Rezzonico.

Venice has a rich and diverse architectural style, the most famous of which is probably the Gothic style. Venetian Gothic architecture is a term given to a Venetian building style combining use of the Gothic lancet arch with Byzantine and Arab influences. The style originated in 14th century Venice where the confluence of Byzantine style from Constantinople met Arab influence from Moorish Spain. Chief examples of the style are the Doge's Palace and the Ca' d'Oro in the city. The city also has several Renaissance and Baroque buildings, including the Ca' Pesaro and the Ca' Rezzonico.

Music and the performing arts

La Fenice operahouse in the city.

The city of Venice in Italy has played an important role in the development of the music of Italy. The Venetian state—i.e. the medieval Maritime Republic of Venice—was often popularly called the "Republic of Music", and an anonymous Frenchman of the 1600s is said to have remarked that "In every home, someone is playing a musical instrument or singing. There is music everywhere." [34]

During the 16th century, Venice became one of the most important musical centers of Europe, marked by a characteristic style of composition (the Venetian school) and the development of the Venetian polychoral style under composers such as Adrian Willaert, who worked at San Marco. Venice was the early center of music printing; Ottaviano Petrucci began publishing music almost as soon as this technology was available, and his publishing enterprise helped to attract composers from all over Europe, especially from France and Flanders. By the end of the century, Venice was famous for the splendor of its music, as exemplified in the "colossal style" of Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, which used multiple choruses and instrumental groups. Venice was also the home of many famous composers during the baroque period, such as Antonio Vivaldi, Ippolito Ciera, Giovanni Picchi, and Girolamo Dalla Casa, to name but a few.

Interior design

Venice arguably produced the most unique and refined Rococo designs. At the time, Venice was in a state of trouble. It had lost most of its maritime power, was lagging behind its rivals in political importance and society had become decadent, with nobles wasting their money in gambling and partying. But without a doubt, Venice remained Italy's fashion capital, and was a serious contender to Paris in terms of wealth, architecture, luxury, taste, sophistication, trade, decoration, style and design.[35] Venetian Rococo was well-known for being rich and luxurious, with usually very extravagant designs. Unique Venetian furniture, such as the divani da portego, or long Rococo couches and pozzetti, objects meant to be placed against the wall. Venetian bedrooms were usually sumptuous and grand, with rich damask, velvet and silk drapery and curtains, a beautifully carved Rococo beds with statues of putti, flowers and angels.[35] Venice was especially famous for its beautiful girandole mirrors, which remained amongst, if not the, finest in Europe. Chandeliers were usually very colourful, using Murano glass to make them look more vibrant and stand out from others, and precious stones and materials from abroad were used, since Venice still held a vast trade empire. Lacquer was very common, and many items of furniture were covered with it, the most famous being lacca povera (poor lacuqer), in which allegories and images of social life were painted. Lacquerwork and Chinoiserie were particularly common in bureau cabinets.[36]

Fashion and Shopping

Luxury shops and boutiques along the Rialto Bridge.

In the 14th century, many young Venetian men began wearing tight-fitting multicoloured hose, the designs on which indicated the Compagnie della Calza ("Trouser Club") to which they belonged. The Venetian Senate passed sumptuary laws, but these merely resulted in changes in fashion in order to circumvent the law. Dull garments were worn over colourful ones, which then were cut to show the hidden colours resulting in the wide spread of men's "slashed" fashions in the 15th century.

Today, Venice is also a major fashion and shopping centre in Italy, not as important as Milan, Florence or Rome, but par to Turin, Vicenza, Naples and Genoa. Many of the fashion boutiques and jewelry shops in the city are located in the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco. Currently, there are Louis Vuitton and Ermenegildo Zegna flagship stores operating in the city.

Cuisine

Hot chocolate was a fashionable drink in Venice during the 1770s and 1780s.

Venetian cuisine is obviously characterized by seafood, but also includes garden products from the islands of the lagoon, rice from the mainland, game, and polenta. Venice combines local traditions with influences that are distant from millennial business contacts. These include sarde in saor, sardines marinated in order to preserve them for long voyages; risi e bisi, rice and peas; fegato alla veneziana, Venetian-style liver; risotto with cuttlefish, blackened from the ink; cicchetti, refined and delicious tidbits (akin to tapas); antipasti, appetizers; and prosecco, an effervescent, mildly sweet wine.

In addition, Venice is famous for bisàto (marinated eel), for the golden, oval-shaped cookies called baicoli, and for different types of sweets such as: pan del pescatore (bread of the fisherman); cookies with almonds and pistachio nuts; cookies with fried Venetian cream or the bussolai (butter biscuits and shortbread made in the shape of an "S" or ring) from the island of Burano; the crostoli also known as the chatter, lies, or galani; the fregolotta (a crumbly cake with almonds); milk pudding called rosada; and cookies of yellow semolina called zaléti.

Language

Venetian or the regional form Venetan is a Romance language spoken as native language by over two million people,[37] mostly in Venice, but also the Veneto region of Italy, where of five million inhabitants almost all can understand it. It is sometime spoken and often well understood outside Veneto, in Trentino, Friuli, Venezia Giulia, Istria and some towns of Dalmatia, an area of six to seven million people. The language enjoyed substantial prestige in the days of the Venetian Republic, when it attained the status of a lingua franca in the Mediterranean.

Literature

Portrait of Giacomo Casanova

Venice has long been a source of inspiration for authors, poets and playwrights as well as being at the forefront of the technical developing of printing and publishing.

Two of the most famous Venetian writers were Marco Polo in the Middle Ages and later Giacomo Casanova. Polo (1254–1324) was a merchant who voyaged to the Orient. His series of books, co-written by Rustichello da Pisa, titled Il Milione provided important knowledge of the lands east of Europe; from the Middle East, to China, Japan and Russia. Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798) was a prolific writer and famous adventurer who is best remembered for his autobiography, Histoire De Ma Vie (Story of My Life), which links his colourful lifestyle to the city of Venice.

Venetian playwrights followed the old Italian theater tradition of Commedia dell'Arte. Ruzante (1502–1542) and Carlo Goldoni (1707–1793) used the Venetian dialect extensively in their comedies.

book printed by Aldus Manutius

Venice has also inspired writers from abroad. Shakespeare set Othello and The Merchant of Venice in the city. Thomas Mann authored the novel Death in Venice, published in 1912. Venice inspired the poetry of Ezra Pound, who wrote his first literary work in the city. Pound died in 1972 and his remains are buried in Venice's cemetery island of St. Michael. The French writer Philippe Sollers spent most of his life in Venice and published A Dictionary For Lovers Of Venice in 2004. Ugo Foscolo (1778–1827) born in Zante, an island which at the time belonged to the Republic of Venice, was also a famous poet and revolutionary who wanted to see a free republic established in Venice following the fall to Napoleon.

Venice is also linked to the technical aspects of writing. The city was the location for one of Italy's earliest printing presses, established by Aldus Manutius (1449–1515).[citation needed] From this beginning Venice developed as an important typographic center and even as late as the 1700s was responsible for printing half of Italy's published books.[citation needed]

Art and printing

A 18th century view of Venice by Venetian artist Canaletto.

Venice, especially during the Middle-Ages, Renaissance and Baroque, was a major centre of art and developed a unique style known as the Venetian School. In the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance, Venice, along with Florence and Rome, became one of the most important centres of art in Europe, and numerous wealthy Venetians became patrons of the arts. Venice at the time was a rich and prosperous Maritime Republic, which controlled a vast sea and trade empire.[38]

By the end of the 15th century, Venice had become the European capital of printing, being one of the first cities in Italy (after Subiaco and Rome) to have a printing press after those established in Germany, having 417 printers by 1500. The most important printing office was the Aldine Press of Aldus Manutius, which in 1499 printed the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, considered the most beautiful book of Renaissance, and established modern punctuation, the page format and italic type, and the first printed work of Aristotle.

In the sixteenth century Venetian painting was developed through influences from the Paduan School and Antonello da Messina, who introduced the oil painting technique of the van Eyck brothers. It is signified by a warm colour scale and a picturesque use of colour. Early masters where the Bellini and Vivarini families, followed by Giorgione and Titian, then Tintoretto and Veronese. In the early 1500s, also, there was rivalry between whether Venetian painting should use disegno or colorito[39].

Canvases (the common painting surface) originated in Venice during the early renaissance. These early canvases were generally rough.

In the eighteenth century Venetian painting had a renaissance because of Tiepolo's decorative painting and Canaletto's and Guardi's panoramic views.

Glass

Venice is famous for its ornate glass-work, known as Venetian glass. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skilfully made.

Many of the important characteristics of these objects had been developed by the thirteenth century. Toward the end of that century, the center of the Venetian glass industry moved to Murano.

Byzantine craftsmen played an important role in the development of Venetian glass, an art form for which the city is well-known. When Constantinople was sacked by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, some fleeing artisans came to Venice. This happened again when the Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453, supplying Venice with still more glassworkers. By the sixteenth century, Venetian artisans had gained even greater control over the color and transparency of their glass, and had mastered a variety of decorative techniques.

Despite efforts to keep Venetian glassmaking techniques within Venice, they became known elsewhere, and Venetian-style glassware was produced in other Italian cities and other countries of Europe.

Some of the most important brands of glass in the world today are still produced in the historical glass factories on Murano. They are : Venini, Barovier & Toso, Pauly, Millevetri, Seguso.[40] Barovier & Toso is considered one of the 100 oldest companies in the world, formed in 1295.

One of the most renowned types of Venetian glasses are made in Murano, known as Murano glass, which has been a famous product of the Venetian island of Murano for centuries. Located off the shore of Venice, Italy, Murano was a commercial port as far back as the 7th century. By the 10th century it had become a well-known city of trade. Today Murano remains a destination for tourists and art and jewellery lovers alike.

Festivals

The Carnival of Venice is held annually in the city, starting around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday. The carnival is closely associated with Venetian masks.

The Venice Biennale is one of the most important events in the arts calendar. During 1893 headed by the mayor of Venice, Riccardo Selvatico, the Venetian City Council passed a resolution on 19 April to set up an Esposizione biennale artistica nazionale (biennial exhibition of Italian art), to be inaugurated on 22 April 1895.[41] Following the outbreak of hostilities during the Second World War, the activities of the Biennale were interrupted in September 1942, but resumed in 1948.[42]

The Venice Film Festival (Italian Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica di Venezia) is the oldest film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the Lido, Venice, Italy. Screenings take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi. It is one of the world's most prestigious film festivals and is part of the Venice Biennale.

Foreign words of Venetian origin

Notable people

For people from Venice, see People from Venice. Others closely associated with the city include:

Twin towns — Sister cities

Cooperation agreements

Venice has cooperation agreements with the Greek city of Thessaloniki, the German city of Nuremberg, signed on 25 September 1999, and the Turkish city of Istanbul, signed on 4 March 1993, within the framework of the 1991 Istanbul Declaration. It is also a Science and Technology Partnership City with Qingdao, China.

The City of Venice and the Central Association of Cities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) established, in January 2000, in pursuance of the EC Regulations n. 2137/85, the European Economic Interest Grouping (E.E.I.G.) Marco Polo System to promote and realise European projects within transnational cultural and tourist field, particularly referred to the artistic and architectural heritage preservation and safeguard.

Etymology

The name is connected with the people known as the Veneti, perhaps the same as the Eneti (Ενετοί). The meaning of the word is uncertain. Connections with the Latin verb 'venire' (to come) or (Slo)venia are fanciful. A connection with the Latin word venetus, meaning 'sea-blue', is possible. Given that Venice was once a Phoenician colony, there is some speculation that the name 'Venice' has its roots in the name of the Phoenician empire.

See also

Several cities have been compared to Venice: The Breton city Nantes has been called The Venice of the West, Suzhou has been named Venice of the East, Basra was once known as the Venice of the Middle East due to the numerous canals there, while the title The Venice of the North has been variously applied to Amsterdam, Birmingham, Bornholm, Bruges, Haapsalu, Maryhill, Saint Petersburg and Stockholm.

References

Bibliography

Academic
  • Bosio, Luciano. Le origini di Venezia. Novara: Istituto Geografico De Agostini. 
  • Chambers, D.S. (1970). The Imperial Age of Venice, 1380-1580. London: Thames & Hudson. The best brief introduction in English, still completely reliable.
  • Contarini, Gasparo (1599). The Commonwealth and Gouernment of Venice. Lewes Lewkenor, trsl. London: "Imprinted by I. Windet for E. Mattes." The most important contemporary account of Venice's governance during the time of its blossoming. Also available in various reprint editions.
  • Drechsler, Wolfgang (2002). "Venice Misappropriated." Trames 6(2), pp. 192–201. A scathing review of Martin & Romano 2000; also a good summary on the most recent economic and political thought on Venice.
  • Garrett, Martin, "Venice: a Cultural History" (2006). Revised edition of "Venice: a Cultural and Literary Companion" (2001).
  • Grubb, James S. (1986). "When Myths Lose Power: Four Decades of Venetian Historiography." Journal of Modern History 58, pp. 43–94. The classic "muckraking" essay on the myths of Venice.
  • Lane, Frederic Chapin. Venice: Maritime Republic (1973) (ISBN 0-8018-1445-6) standard scholarly history; emphasis on economic, political and diplomatic history
  • Laven, Mary, "Virgins of Venice: Enclosed Lives and Broken Vows in the Renaissance Convent (2002). The most important study of the life of Renaissance nuns, with much on aristocratic family networks and the life of women more generally.
  • Martin, John Jeffries and Dennis Romano (eds). Venice Reconsidered. The History and Civilization of an Italian City-State, 1297-1797. (2002) Johns Hopkins University Press. The most recent collection on essays, many by prominent scholars, on Venice.
  • Muir, Edward (1981). Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice. Princeton UP. The classic of Venetian cultural studies, highly sophisticated.
  • Oppenheimer, Gerald J. (2010). Venetian Palazzi and Case: A Guide to the Literature. University of Washington, Seattle. Retrieved from http://faculty.washington.edu/gerryo/venice.html February 7, 2010.
  • Rösch, Gerhard (2000). Venedig. Geschichte einer Seerepublik. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. In German, but the most recent top-level brief history of Venice.
  • Miller, Judith (2005). Furniture: world styles from classical to contemporary. DK Publishing. ISBN 075661340X. 
Popular
  • Ackroyd, Peter. Venice: Pure City. London, Chatto & Windus. 2009. ISBN 978-0-7011-8478-0
  • Cole, Toby. Venice: A Portable Reader, Lawrence Hill, 1979. ISBN 0-88208-097-0 (hardcover); ISBN 0-88208-107-1 (softcover).
  • Morris, Jan (1993), Venice. 3rd revised edition. Faber & Faber, ISBN 0-571-16897-3. A subjective and passionate written introduction to the city and some of its history. Not illustrated.
  • Ruskin, John (1853). The Stones of Venice. Abridged edition Links, JG (Ed), Penguin Books, 2001. ISBN 0-14-139065-4. Seminal work on architecture and society
  • di Robilant, Andrea (2004). A Venetian Affair. Harper Collins. ISBN 1-84115-542-X Biography of Venetian nobleman and lover, from correspondence in the 1750s.
  • Sethre, Janet. The Souls of Venice McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003. ISBN 0-7864-1573-8 (softcover). This book focuses on people who have been shaped by Venice and who have shaped the city in their turn. Illustrated (photographs by Manuela Fardin).

Notes

  1. ^ Barzini, Luigi (1982-05-30). "The Most Beautiful City In The World - The". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950CE5DD1038F933A05756C0A964948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  2. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/holiday_type/breaks/article1936951.ece
  3. ^ Mara Rumiz, Venice Demographics Official Mock funeral for Venice's 'death'
  4. ^ "Imperciocchè nascendi i principati", begins Apostolo Zeno, Compendio della storia Veneta di Apostolo Zeno continuata fino alla caduta della repubblica 1847:9.
  5. ^ Bosio, Le origini di Venezia
  6. ^ Zeno, Compendio 1847:10.
  7. ^ Traditional date as given in William J. Langer, ed. An Encyclopedia of World History.
  8. ^ According to John Julius Norwich, the traditional first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio Anafesto, was a mistake for the exarch Paul, whose magister militum was named Marcellus, the same name as Paoluccio's reputed successor as doge, Marcellus Tegallianus.
  9. ^ Langer.
  10. ^ Richard Cowen, The importance of salt
  11. ^ Herrin, Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire, Penguin, Harmondsworth, ISBN 978-0-14-103102-6
  12. ^ "History of Venice". Historyworld.net. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?ParagraphID=fqa. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  13. ^ James Burke, Connections (Little, Brown and Co., 1978/1995, ISBN 0-316-11672-6, p.105
  14. ^ "A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World". William J. Bernstein (2008).
  15. ^ State of Texas, Texas Department of State Health Services. "History of Plague". Dshs.state.tx.us. http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/preparedness/bt_public_history_plague.shtm. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  16. ^ "Santa Maria della Salute Church". Europeforvisitors.com. http://europeforvisitors.com/venice/articles/santa_maria_della_salute.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  17. ^ Italian site about Schiavoni
  18. ^ Patrick G. Skelly, Pocasset MA (1945-07-21). "New Zealand troops relieve Venice". Milhist.net. http://www.milhist.net/history/onemoreriver.html. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  19. ^ Technology: Venetians put barrage to the test against the Adriatic. New Scientist magazine. 1989-04-15. http://media.newscientist.com/article/mg12216602.900-technology-venetians-put-barrage-to-the-test-against-theadriatic-.html. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  20. ^ "Venice's 1,500-year battle with the waves". BBC News. 2003-07-17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3069305.stm. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  21. ^ "Keeping Venice from Sinking into the Sea". Mb-soft.com. http://mb-soft.com/public2/venice.html. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  22. ^ "World Weather Information Service - Venezia". http://worldweather.wmo.int/176/c00606.htm. 
  23. ^ a b c http://www.aboutvenice.org/economy-of-venice.html
  24. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/625298/Venice/24381/Economy
  25. ^ a b c d e http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/625298/Venice/24381/Economy#
  26. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/destinations/italy/article1615074.ece
  27. ^ http://www.euromonitor.com/Top_150_City_Destinations_London_Leads_the_Way
  28. ^ http://www.abridgetovenezia.com/ponts.php?langue=en
  29. ^ Home Page", Wizz Air
  30. ^ Thomas Cook European Timetables
  31. ^ "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Demo.istat.it. http://demo.istat.it/bil2007/index.html. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  32. ^ Cathy Newman, "Vanishing Venice", National Geographic, August 2009
  33. ^ http://kotaku.com/5159714/rumor-assassins-creed-ii-moves-to-venice
  34. ^ Touring Club p. 79
  35. ^ a b Miller (2005) p.82
  36. ^ Miller (2005) p.83
  37. ^ Ethnologue.
  38. ^ http://arthistory.about.com/cs/arthistory10one/a/ven_ren.htm
  39. ^ http://www.webexhibits.org/feast/context/venetianart.html
  40. ^ Carl I. Gable, Murano Magic: Complete Guide to Venetian Glass, its History and Artists (Schiffer, 2004). ISBN 0-7643-1946-9.
  41. ^ "The Venice Biennale: History of the Venice Biennale". Labiennale.org. http://www.labiennale.org/en/biennale/history/origin/en/7823.html. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  42. ^ "The Venice Biennale: History From the beginnings until the Second World War (1893-1945)". Labiennale.org. http://www.labiennale.org/en/biennale/history/origin/en/7823.3.html. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Venice article)

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Venice (disambiguation).
Venice from Campanile di San Marco
Venice from Campanile di San Marco

Venice [1], Italy (Venezia in Italian) is still 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.

Venice and St. Mark's Square from the Campanile
Venice and St. Mark's Square from the Campanile

This place may not seem huge but it is. Venice is made of different districts. 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. 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.

  • Venice Lido— The island of tranquility, a beach district just 10 minutes by boat from San Marco, and where the Venice movie festival is held.
  • Mestre— A town on the mainland.
A lion, the symbol of San Marco
A lion, the symbol of San Marco

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, 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 historical culture still throbs powerfully in the old Italians' veins.

Climate

The summer may be the worst time to visit: it's sometimes very hot and often humid, the canals usually smell (in the most literal sense), there are occasional infestations of flies, and there are more tourists than usual. Spring and fall 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. 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 couple of hours and coincides with the tides. 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 on the spot.

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 setup 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.

Map of Venice and surrounding islands
Map of Venice and surrounding islands

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.

By plane

The closest commercial airport is Marco Polo Airport [2] (ICAO: LIPZ, IATA: VCE), on the mainland near Mestre (a more typical Italian city, without Venice's unique structure). The Treviso Airport [3] (ICAO: LIPH, 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. From Treviso Airport, ATVO [4] offers a €10 round-trip ticket price from-to Venice.

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 €13 gets you a leisurely 75 minute boat trip to San Marco via Murano, Lido and the Arsenale. Or take the cheaper boat (€6,50) to Murano 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. All these tickets are now buyable online on Venicelink.com [5]

The San Nicolo Airport (ICAO: LIPV, IATA: ATC) 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!). 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 Paris (sleeping cars), Munich, Budapest, Zagreb & Ljubljana. From Vienna (Wien) Trains can be arranged via the Austrian ÖBB train system [6].

By car

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 (21 €/day) 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 St.Lucia; there are many trains, it is very near (8-10 minutes) and quite cheap. (Don't bother searching for free parking near the train station - there are no free parking spots near.) 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.

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. 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. From Mestre, you can take a bus to Venezia- Piazzale Roma. the ticket is €1.10 but if you buy it in the bus it will cost €1.50. You can buy bus tickets from tobacconists and newsagencies. 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. An up-to-date site with all ferry schedules from Venice to Greece is online at Greek Ferries Center [7], AllGreekFerries.com [8], Ferries.gr [9], greekferries.gr [10] and Greece-Ferries.com [11] .

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

Venice is the world's only pedestrian city, is easily walkable, and the absence of cars makes it a particularly pleasant experience. Walking and standing all day can be exhausting too so acclimatise 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 [12] runs the vaporetti and other public transport services both in the lagoon and on the terra firma. Travel cards are extremely useful since the basic fare for one vaporetto journey is typically €6.50 whereas a 1 day travel card costs €18, and a 3 day costs €33 and there are other versions (including discounts for youth under the age of 29). Prices are correct as per January 2009 - current rates can be found here: [13].

Since February 2009 the Venice Connected [14] website of the Comune di Venezia makes possible to book online (at least 7 days in advance) most services controlled by the town administration (public transportations, access to the civic museums, access to the public restrooms, car parking tickets, entrance to the Casinò and access to the municipal WiFi network which will cover all of the historic centre before the end of 2009); 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).

One can also get a Venice Card, which has various options that you can choose when you buy it (public transportation, cultural entrance, toilette access, Alilaguna and so forth). 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).

Venice Cards can be reserved on-line for a considerable discount here: [15]. 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. 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! 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.

See

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.

Saint Mark's Bell tower in Venice
Saint Mark's Bell tower in Venice
San Marco in Venice
San Marco in Venice
  • Saint Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco), Piazza San Marco (Water lines # 1, 52, and 82 will take you from Santa Lucia (the train station) or Piazzale Roma to Piazza San Lucia. Walking is another option but will require a map and lots of time and energy.), +39 041 5225205 (procuratorial phone number), [16]. 1st October to 31st March: 9:45AM-4:45PM; 1st April to 30 September: 9:45AM-5PM. Saint Mark's Basilica is on the Piazza San Marco and is one of the highlights of a visit to Venice. As with most churches in Italy, you must be dressed appropriately to be allowed in; this means no short skirts or bare shoulders. You are not allowed to carry large bags or rucksacks inside. You must deposit them just round the corner from the main entrance. Filming and photography is forbidden so be prepared in advance. The visit within the basilica lasts ten minutes. Waiting for entry into the basilica can last up to five or so hours and it may be wise to use alata.it to reserve your visit. Reserving is free of charge. Once you have a reservation you can take the group entrance on the left, where you give in the printout of your reservation. Admission to the basilica is free, however, the museum upstairs costs €3 and to view the high altar and treasury costs €2.   edit
  • San Giovanni e Paolo (San Zanipolo in Venetian dialect). A fine, huge Dominican church with the tombs of many Doges. It shares its piazza with the fine Renaissance facade of the Scuola San Marco and an equestrian statue of the mercenary (condottiere) captain Colleone. Look out for the testicles (coglioni in Italian - it's a lousy pun) on his coat of arms!
  • Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. The big friary church, with fine monuments and paintings.
  • Santa Maria dei Miracoli. A perfect jewel box church, simple in form but ornamented with fine exterior marble facings.

Museums

There is a museum pass available for some of Venice's best known museums. It does not include all of them. It is already worthwhile buying it if you intend to visit the two big museums at Saint Marc Square: The Doge's Palace and Correr Museum. A more expensive pass also including some famous churches and transportation is available at the tourist information.

  • Correr Museum, San Marco 52 (on San Marco Square), [17]. Interesting collection of globes, starting from the 16th century. There is also an only library hall, an archeological museum of Roman antiques and an important picture gallery. At the end of your visit, don't miss the museum art cafe, with their tables on the San Marco square.  edit
  • Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale), (San Marco square), [18]. Don't miss the guided tour named Secret Itinerary (€16), which will let you discover the part of the palace where the city's administration worked, as well as Casanova's jail and the wonderful five hundred year old roof structure.  edit
  • La Fenice Theater (Teatro La Fenice), (300 m west of San Marco square), [19]. Visit this historic theater with an audioguide (good explanations in several languages). The theater is an identical reconstruction (rebuilt in 2003) of the previous theater building that burned down in 1996. €7.  edit
  • Jewish Ghetto of Venice, [20]. While racial and ethnic neighborhoods had existed prior to the Venetian Ghetto, Venice's ghetto was the first "ghetto" (coming from a Venetian word for the Iron Foundry that was on the site previously) and "ghetto" eventually came to mean any neighborhood that was made up of a single ethnic/racial group. Today, Jewish life is still very active in the ghetto, and elsewhere in Venice, and is home to five synagogues. Visiting on Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath) will prove very fruitless because all shops, restaurants, and other Jewish places will be closed.  edit
  • The Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico), Cannaregio 2902/b, +39 041 715 359 (, fax: +39 041 72 3007), [21]. Hours:1 June - 30 September: 10AM-7PM 1 October- 31 : 10AM-6PM The Museum is closed on Saturday (Shabbat), during Jewish festivities, on December 25th , on 1st January and on 1 May. Entrance to the Museum: Full price: € 3.00, Reduced price: € 2.00. Entrance to the Museum and Guided Tours to Synagogues: Full price: € 8.50, Reduced price: € 7.00.  edit
  • Mocenigo Palace (Palazzo Mocenigo), (vaporetto San Stae), [22]. Closed on Mondays. A collection of clothes dating from the 18th century. €4.  edit
  • The Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Located on the Dorsoduro region of Venice, to the east of the Accademia bridge, on the southern side of the Grand Canal), +39.041.2405.411 (, fax: +39.041.5206.885), [23]. Hours: W-M: 10AM-6PM. Closed on Tuesdays and on 25 December. Open on national holidays (including Tuesdays). The Peggy Guggenheim Museum offers a personal collection of modern art collected by Peggy Guggenheim. Peggy was an American married to modern artist Max Ernst, and funded a number of his contemporaries. The gallery includes a sculpture garden and works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Tanguy, Duchamp, Pollock, Dali, and Mondrian. Admission: Adults: €12, Seniors (over 65 years): €10, Students (18 years and under or holders of valid student ID): €7.  edit
  • Ca' Pesaro— Beautiful palace housing the gallery of modern art focusing on Italian art in the 19th Century as well as the Marco Pollo Museum, a rich collection mainly of Asian exhibits.
  • Ca' Rezzonico— Museum of the 18th Century in Venice - attempts to revive the domestic atmosphere of Venetian nobilities.
  • Bell tower of St. Mark's (Campanile di San Marco)— The current tower dates from 1912; an exact replica of the previous tower which collapsed in 1902. The top of the tower offers great views of Venice and the lagoon.
  • Clock tower (Torre dell'Orologio)— Having been closed for restoration for many years, the restored astronomical clock is now visible. The fascinating tour of the clock mechanism (and rooftop bell) can only be visited on a guided tour.
  • Scuola grande di San Rocco— A masterpiece of Tintoretto, this guild house is an exquisite example of Manierist art in its best. In order to allow a comfortable admiration of the detailed ceiling mirrors are offered to the visitors.
  • Galleria dell'Accademia di Venezia— Venice's most significant art museum which is also one of Italy's best. A must see! Regular tickets: €6,50, Reduced-price tickets: €3,25, Advanced reservation fee: €1,00.

Other Classical art museums are:

  • Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro)— On Murano, the island so typical of its glasswork. Closed on Wednesday, 25 December, 1 January. Working hours: 10 - 16 (winter), 10 - 17 (summer). Full price: €6, reduced price: €4.
  • Goldoni's House (Casa Goldoni)— House of Venice' famous playwright.
  • Lace Museum (Museo del Merletto).
  • Museum of cycling and soccer : from private collection, the epochal custom of Italy from 1950 to 1962 (under construction on Venetian Riviera del Brenta).
Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge

Other museums include:

  • Museo Fortuny.
  • Museum of Greek Icons.
  • Natural History Museum.
  • Naval History Museum (Museo Storico Navale).
  • Palazzo Grassi.
  • Scala Contarini del Bovaro.
  • Leonardo da Vinci in the Chiesa di San Barnaba shows machines reproduced from Leonardo's codices. Some of the exhibits are interactive and copies of the codices are available for further reading. Campo San Barnaba, opening hours 9:30 - 19:30, just until 30th December 2009.
  • Don't miss the Rialto market and the Rialto Bridge (Italian: Ponte di Rialto) on San Polo, the smallest sestiere. The Rialto market is for shoppers. To the east is a neighborhood of small shops and restaurants; the the west is the Rialto farmers' market. Shopping is slightly less expensive than in the tourist-filled Piazza San Marco. The bridge has become one of Venice's most recognizable icons and has a history that spans over 800 years. Today's Rialto Bridge was completed in 1591 and was used to replace a wooden bridge that collapsed in 1524.
  • Zattere. It's a long and sunny walk along the Giudecca canal, protected during winter time from cold northerly winds for being exposed to south and shielded by buildings. You might find interesting to see how a gondola is made, stopping by the Squero (Venetian for small ship yard) across the canal near San Trovaso Church. It's one of the few still in business in town. With some luck, you'll see some gondole through various manufacturing steps (note that gondole are not straight to counter-balance the gondoliere push).

Do

Events

Voga Longa, the yearly equivalent of a marathon run on water will be held on 31st May 2009 for the next time. 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.

Activities

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

Gondola
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[24]. 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 passangers. 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 banished to carry guests of her contract hotel only.
Gondola Ride
Gondola Ride

If a gondola seems a little pricey, the alternative is to cross the Grand Canal by traghetto. These only cost €0.50 to use and are largely gondolas that have seen better days, They are stripped down and used as municipal ferries. In the 1950's 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.

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
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, the peace and tranquility of the island is not to be found anywhere else in Venice! Just walking around on these islands is a nice 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 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 a main area and watch people and tourists. 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[25] 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. If you want an entertaining evening whilst learning about the history of Venice then try: Carnival - The Show: Celebrating the Story of Venice'. It's in a rather splendid venue just next to St. Mark's Square - in the center. It uses very striking projections of video and painting and photos to completely change the auditorium. One moment you could be inside the famous Basilica, and the next, floating down the misty lagoons 1,400 years ago. There are live actors as well so it is fresh and feels like a proper show - and apart from being informative it can also be good fun. It plays pretty much every evening - and you can also buy a ticket for the meal with the show. You can find out more and book tickets on their website: [26].

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. One tours site is Aguideinvenice.com [27] and another is Artviva.com [28]. Context Venice [29] is a network of scholars who organize in-depth walks of the city's architecture, art, and history, including such unusual tours as an Ecology of Venice, a two-part seminar on Venetian Renaissance, Jewish Venice, and orientation walks of the Castello and Canareggio neighborhoods.

If you are the kind of person that prefer to find your way through the city on your own instead of being guided consider the Venice edition of The Ruyi, a series of guidebooks called whaiwhai [30] that turn visits to Venice into intriguing treasure hunts.

If you are interested in exploring all things related with Italian food you have to visit the freshly open "i Tre Mercanti" [31] (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. You can go with local rental bike services shop in Mira to see antique villa Pisani at Stra, old watermill and big open air market at Dolo and fresh milk at farm on Mira.

Learn

Venice is home to two major (and expanding) universities, Ca' Foscari and IUAV. There are possibly hundreds of smaller schools in the city.

  • Atelier Marega, [32]. A hand-made mask and costume shop.  edit
  • Fanny (gloves & accessories), Calle dei Saoneri / Campo San Polo 27/23 (100m west of Cà Foscari), 041 5228266 (). Hundreds of leather gloves in all colours.  edit
  • Francis Model (leather articles), Ruga Rialto / San Polo 773/A (100m SW of Rialto bridge), 041/5212889 (). Locally made leather bags. Exceptional craftsmanship.  edit
  • Venetia Studium (High end Scarves & Shawls), San Marco 2425 (calle Larga XXII Marzo), 041/5236953 (), [33]. Fine velvets and silks of every imaginable color are woven into delicate evening bags, scarves and pillows. The Company Venetia Studium produces in the Island the worldwide famous Fortuny Lamps  edit

If your time in Venice is limited, and if you don't know the city well (e.g. it's your first visit), then a piece of good general advice is that if you see something you really like, buy it right then and right there. Don't count on being able to find the shop again later on; for the neo-Venetian tourist, it's almost impossible.

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. There is one exception : In salizada San Giovanni Grisostomo N°5778, between Realto bridge and Corte del Milion ( where Marco Polo once lived)the firm Giacomo Rizzo (since 1905) has been making fresh and dried pasta continuosly for four generations using traditional hand and roller techniques followed by slow drying.Phone 0415222824.

Eat

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. 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.

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 in a weight basis (typically by the "etto", abbreviated "/hg". or 100 g). One dish can easily contain 400g of fish, meat (almost a pound),... 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.

For fresh fruit (including chilled coconut!) watch out for the street market stalls.

To save money at lunch, eat standing up. Prices can arrive to as much as double as soon as you sit at a table. Minestrone soup is delicious but the server will often offer you a seat as soon as you choose this option. Sitting is worthwhile if you plan on staying a while. Some places will also serve free bread and water for seated patrons, but there is usually also a small charge (€1-3 per person) for "pane e coperto" (cover and bread).

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! Everything else you will find in the numerous super markets in the city.

Head to the Dorsoduro area of Venice if you want to save a few euros. 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!

  • "Pizzeria ae Oche" is a local establishment with several locations in the city. The food is plentiful and the prices reasonable. On Calle del Tintor south of Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio, In Santa Croce. Look to spend between €5-10 for a pizza depending on how exotic your selection is.
  • "Pizza al volo" sells superb pizza by the (extremely large) slice in Campo Santa Margherita for approximately €1.80 a slice, €5 a whole pizza. It is by the fresh fish stall under a green awning.
  • "Cip ciap", on Calle del Mondo Novo, by Campo Santa Maria Formosa, also sells delicious takeaway pizza by the slice (or slab) at similar prices. They also serve very tasty mini pizzas per kilogram.
  • The "Brek" is a cafeteria style restaurant that offers a menu including main meal+drink+dessert for only €5. There is one close to the train station and another at the Marco Polo airport.
  • Venetian snacks (cichetti) can be brilliantly inventive, in small "tapas-style" serving sizes. Look for places (especially wine bars) popular with non-tourists, the prices are very reasonable.
  • There are still many small bakery shops and "biavaroli" where you can buy bread, cheese etc., particularly near the Rialto market area. If you want to buy water (Venice has excellent free tap water easily accessible at the numerous fountains located outside throughout the city) it is usually cheapest to get it at the supermarkets: there are Billa or Co-op stores located throughout the city, though supermarkets are often "disguised" in nondescript buildings in Venice for space limitations.

Mid-range

Please give prices

  • La Bitta, Dorsoduro 2753A, calle lunga, san Barnaba, tel 523 0531. This busy but friendly restaurant is in the more studenty area of Dorsoduro, and attracts a mixture of locals and tourists. They have some excellent Italian dishes, which are reflected in the prices, plus they have a great selection of wines. Meals served 6:30PM-11PM, closed in August.
  • Osteria alla Botte, San Marco 5482 (campo San Bartolomeo), 041 5209775, [34]. A bacaro 100 m east of Rialto bridge and surprisingly quiet. Large square pictures of seafood decorate the walls, and friendly staff are swift and helpful. The dishes are mainly seafood, and there is a good wine selection provided. The prices are reasonable for Venice.  edit
  • Osteria Al Cravatte, Santa Croce 36/37 (500m east from Piazzale Roma). This little restaurant is frequented by the professors of the nearby university. Warm welcome and a good eat.Try their raw artichoke salad or their fish of the day. €40 for three-courses meal with wine.  edit
  • Do Farai, Dorsoduro 3278 (100m west of Cà Foscari), 041 2770369. Very fresh shell fish. Taste their spaghetti al dente with razor shells.  edit
  • Gianni, Zattere 918. tel +39 041.523 7210. This is a very friendly family restaurant overlooking the Guidecca Canal. The menu starts at €8.50 pizzas and pastas. The wine selection is good with many available in a choice of 250 cL, 375 cL and 750 cL bottles. The interior is almost art deco and surprisingly light. It is used by a lot of regulars, both local and returning tourists. They are closed on Wednesdays and between Christmas and Festival.
  • Osteria Mocenigo, Salizada San Stae (near the Mocenigo museum), 041 5231703. Closed on Monday. Little restaurant frequented by locals. Be sure to try their antipasti. Excellent desserts too. €40 for two-courses meal with wine.  edit
  • Timon (eno - ostaria), Fondamenta degli Ormesini (south-east of the Jewish Ghetto). Warm and local atmosphere in this little osteria where they serve great Italian vintages by the glass. If you're adventurous, try their tasty tripe. Good music inside, some table by the canal in the summer. €30.  edit
  • Al Vecio Canton, Castello 4738 [35]. Just 8 minutes from Piazza San Marco (200 m NE), this small and atmospheric restaurant/pizzeria will absolutely enchant you. Famous for its traditional style pizza and seafood pasta, you will not only get it all at affordable prices (pizza from €6, pasta from €8, wine from €5/half litre), but you're also served by a most friendly and hearty staff. They top it off with a free home made digestivo (mostly vodka and lemon) at the end of your meal, just to make 100% sure you'll be coming back for more.
  • Trattoria Veneziana, Sestiere Santa Croce, 285 (200m SE of Piazzale Roma), 041 710749. Warm welcome, good cooking (try their mixed grilled fishes), frequented by locals and tourists. €35 for two-course meal with wine.  edit
  • Antico Dolo, San Polo 778 [36]. A old seafood restaurant in Venice close to Rialto bridge: food comes from the adjacent Rialto Market daily. A complete dinner excluding wines could cost €35 each more or less.
  • Al Giardinetto, Castello 4928. [37]. Just behind the Piazza San Marco, this restaurant has a large private courtyard welcoming guests during good season. Seafood courses and Venitian specialities are served by Severino family.
  • Vino Vino, (between La Fenice Opera House and via XXII Marzo), offers typical Venetian cuisine and snacks at medium prices. The largest selection of top-quality italian and imported wines (over 350) available by the glass or by bottle.Close to St. Mark's Square, it is a unique place that can exist only in Venice, where backpackers chat with baronessas, gondoliers with golfers, and where Venetians discover new vistas.Open non-stop from 11.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. phone: 041 2417688 www [38][39],
  • Il Refolo, S. Croce, 1459, 041.5240016. Nice restaurant at a small piazza. Very good pizza (~10€) as well as a decent menu. €60 for a four-course meal with wine.  edit
  • Antico Martini Restaurant (since 1720) A luxury restaurant, favorite among the famous names of culture and business, the Antico Martini also attracts expert gourmets and famous personalities since the 1800s who come to enjoy unforgettable flavors. Beautiful detail and restaurant decor, romantic atmosphere. Address: Campiello della Fenice, S. Marco 2007 - 30124 Venice - ITALY Tel.(+ 39) - 0415224121 or 041 5237027 Fax (+ 39) - 041 5289857 Open all days [40][41], .
  • Restaurant Antiche Carampane, San Polo 1911 Venice, phone +39 041 5240165 [42]. Situated in the heart of Venice, only steps away from the Rialto Bridge, is this renowned restaurant where distinguished Venitian cuisine is served in a familiar setting.
  • Restaurant La Caravella, Via XXII Marzo 2398 Venice, phone +39 041 5208901 [43]. Historical place, very near St. Mark's Square, known since the 60's and has become a must if you like traditions. Open every day all year round, offers, together some typical dishes a large selection of wines. From May to September service is in a tradtional courtyard.
  • Do Leoni, Hotel Londra Palace. Amazing food, for a really quite reasonable price if you consider other prices in this city.
  • Do Forni, near St Marks. Very expensive and not realy very nice food.
  • Pasticceria Tonolo, Dorsoduro 3764/5 (Crosera San Pantalon, 400m east of Piazzale Roma), 041 523 7209. An 120 year old patisserie. Taste their cake with crystallized fruits or their marzipan cake.  edit
  • Bar Pasticceria Gilda Vio, Rio Marin 784, S. Croce. Best tiramisu, at least in S. Croce.  edit

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

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).

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.

Try a Spritz (with either Campari, Select or Aperol), 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 €2, more in a touristy place.

If you try the famous Veneto Grappa be careful--it's almost pure 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.

  • Devils Forest Pub. A traditional English style pub with a very fun atmosphere. It is located near the Rialto Bridge and tucked into a small alley near the Disney Store.
  • Pub Taverna L'Olandese Volante, Campo San Lio, Castello 5856, Venezia, ph +39 041.5289349. It is located between The Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco. During the summertime there are tables outside when you can easily sit and rest after a day of wandering around this marvelous city. What is more, during the day pasta and other typical dishes are served at a budget price.
  • There are two Irish pubs in Venice. One is located along the Strada Nova in Cannaregio; the other one is the Inishark just before Campo Santa Maria Formosa.

Sleep

Hotels in Venice are expensive. Some of the smaller hotels offer better rates.

Staying in a hotel on the Lido (15-20 minutes by Vaporetto) is a cheaper alternative to staying in Venice proper. The island of Lido also has a long beach where tourists and Venetians alike go swimming during the summer months.

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.

Some Italians at the train station may approach you to find out if you need a room. While some of these people may be con artists, not all are. Some work for family members and will be able to negotiate a price for you. They will usually ask what your budget is and will call a hotel or two to see if the owner will accept the price you suggested. Do not accept the offer if you think the situation is suspect or think you may be exploited. Always get a receipt for the transactions!

If you are presentable, and you plan to stay in Venice for at least a few weeks, drop into the apartment rental agencies. These are usually for a minimum of 6 months but they often know people who are renting out apartments for shorter durations.

  • Antica Casa Coppo [44], San Marco 4320/1/2 Venice, ph +39 041 5233585 fax +39 041 2770843. Antica Casa Coppo, delightful boarding rooms in the heart of historical Venice.
  • Bed and Breakfast Venice Ca' del Pozzo [45], Venice, ph +39 041.2413875 fax +39 041.2443203. Ca' del Pozzo is a brand new bed and breakfast in Venice, completely restructured in 2003 and situated in the characteristic Campo San Maurizio, a couple of steps from the famous La Fenice Theatre and just a few minutes from St. Mark's Square.
  • Bed and Breakfast Ca' delle Acque [46], Venice, ph +39.041.2411277 fax +39 041.2414112. Ca' delle Acque is a well situated Accommodation, just 2 minutes from S.Mark's square and Rialto Bridge. Rooms from 69 EUR.
  • Faronhof b&b [47], Venice, ph +39.041.428262 fax +39 041.5631829. British family run b&b near to downtown Venice. Rooms from 45 EUR.
  • Ai Tolentini, Calle Amai, Santa Croce 197/G, 30135. Tel: +39 041 2759140, fax: +39 041 2753266, [48]. Near Piazzale Roma and the train station. Doubles from €65.
  • Ai Do Mori, St. Marco 658, 30124. Tel: +39 041 5204817, fax: +39 041 5205328, [49]. As close as it gets to Piazza San Marco, but on the second and third floor, so it still is quiet at nights. Clean and nice rooms, tv, aircon, very friendly staff. Doubles from €55/night.
  • Alloggi Agli Artisti, Calle Priuli Cavalletti 99, Venice historical center, [50]. Alloggi agli Artisti is a brand new hotel in a convenient location: only 150 meters away from the main central Venice railway station (Santa Lucia). Guests can choose between rooms with bathroom ensuite (with hairdryer), and rooms with sharing bathroom on the floor (cheaper). From €50 to €90 for a double room, depending on the season.
  • Alloggi La Gondola, Calle del Forno 180 (Follow the canale grande, after crossing the big station bridge turn west for 150 m (164 yd)). From €20.
  • Antico Fiore [51], San Marco 3486, tel +39.041.5227941 fax +39.041.2413879. An eighteenth-century building which has been carefully restored. Easy and quick access to the vaparetto and located near charming shops and old churches. Really great gelato nearby. Rooms from 65 EUR.
  • BedandBreakfastVenice Querini San Marco, Castello 3520, Venice. Tel. +39 339 5309009. [52]. Not just a B&B, a few minutes from S. Marco. Studios from €80.
  • B&B La Rosa dei Venti Castello 2143, tel. +39 041 2413133, fax +39 041 7241062 [53]. Very beautiful, spacious rooms in lovely Venetian style along with large bathrooms. Good and filling breakfasts. Well situated near San Marco Square.
  • B&B Venezia, via Degan 7, Venezia-Mestre [54](10 minutes by city-bus from center of Venice). B&B is a young Venetian organization that offers accommodation in a new structure made up of single and double bedrooms, all with private services, air conditioning, room bar, digital television with infrared-control, safe-box that can hold a portable computer. From € 40 per person/night.
  • Ca' del Dose, Castello, 3801 - Venice, ph +39 041 5209887 fax +39 041 2774098 [55]. Ca' del Dose: a completely restored Venetian inn, just steps from St. Mark’s Square.
  • Ca' Fontanea Guest House, Canareggio, 786 - Campiello delle Beccarie, +39 041.716648 (, fax: +39 041.2759458), [56]. Located near the rail station, the rooms are simple but clean and they have air conditioning. For longer stays check into their apartments.  edit
  • Ca' Rialto, Riva del Ferro, San Marco 5149 - Venice, ph +39.041.5209166 fax +39.041.5238958 [57]. Located in a building overlooking the Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge. Singles from €50, doubles from €60 (extra bed €30).
  • Casa Tanzi Appartements, San Polo 1495, 30100, ph +39.041.2412550 fax +39 041.2412550, [58]. Located between the Rialto Bridge and San Marco Square and a stones throw from the Vaparetto stop. Rooms are filled with Venetian Elegance with colorful silk wallpaper and matching canopy hanging over the bed. Look for their special internet pricing.
  • Hotel CaSa Linger, Fondamtenta St.Antonin castello 3541, [59]. €22-40 per person/night. Close to both Rialto Bridge and San Marco Square, this budget hotel is a good deal in Venice.
  • Hotel Diana, Calle Specchieri 449, 30124 , Venezia [60] ph +39.041.5206911 fax +39.041.5238763. The Hotel Diana has good prices on rooms, and is only 100 yards from the front entrance to the Basilica San Marco. Excellent location to see the city, rooms at around €70 per person per night.
  • Hotel Serenissima, Calle Goldoni 4486, San Marco 30124 , Venezia [61] ph +39.041. 5200011 fax +39.041 5223292. The Hotel Serenissima was completely refurbished at the start of 2007 and is a one minute walk from the Piazza San Marco. Simple and comfortable rooms from around €80 per person per night.
  • Locanda Gaffaro, Dorsoduro 3589, 30123 ph +39.041.2750897 fax +39.041.2750375 [62]. Locanda Gaffaro is in a picturesque court near Piazzale Roma. Doubles from around €100.
  • Locanda Sant'Anna, C.te del Bianco, Castello 269 [63]. One star. Locanda Sant'Anna of Venice is located only 3 minutes from the Gardens of the Biennale, providing a family atmosphere complete with modern comforts. Single from €35, Double from €45. Quiet hotel with secure courtyard and wonderful rooms, some with a canal view (for a higher price) overlooking the peaceful Isola di San Pietro. Common balcony over the canal. Includes typical Italian breakfast from 8AM-9:30AM with coffee or hot chocolate and rolls, croissants, and toast. Easily accessible from the main bus/train station by vaporetto to stop 'S. Pietro' or 'Giardini'. Doors close at 1AM. Pay in cash for a discount.
  • Pensione Seguso Venice , D.D.779, 30123, Venezia [64] ph +39.041. 5286858 fax +39.041. 5222340. The Pensione Seguso is a charming traditional Italian Pensione with affordable accommodation overlooking the waterfront close to San Marco. A building and hotel with a long history, the spacious and light rooms start from €60 per person per night.
  • Residenza Laguna Venice , S. Polo n° 1016, 30123, Venezia [65] Ph. +39.041. 2960575 Fax +39.041. 2447441. The Residenza Laguna is a great little b&b close to Ponte Rialto bridge with spacious and stylish rooms. Nice family run accommodation starting from €70 a head per night.
  • Venice Hostel, Fondamenta Zitelle 86, Isola della Giudecca, +39-041-5238211 (fax: +39-041-5235689), [66]. One of many hostels in Venice. This hostel is in Giudecca (which means a short boat ride to the rest of Venice). Just a bed: clean, cheap and reasonable.  edit

Please give prices

  • Ateneo Hotel Venice, San Marco 1876, 30124, ph +39.041. 5200777 fax +39.041 5228550. The Hotel Ateneo Venice is close to Basilica San Marco and is a quality 3 star hotel. Rooms start at around €120 depending on season and the convenient location comes in handy.
  • Antica Casa Carettoni Venice , Lista di Spagna 130, 30121, Venezia [68] ph +39.041. 716231 fax +39.041. 2750973. The Hotel Antica Casa Carettoni Venice lies close to Santa Lucia Train Station and the waterbus stops, making it easy to get to and easy to see the city from. This recently restructured 3 star hotel sits in an old convent and offers quality accommodation starting at aroud €120-130 for a room for two.
  • Antica Casa Coppo, San Marco 4320/1/2, tel +39 041 5233585, fax +39 041 2770843. Classic Venetian styled rooms starting at €100 a night. The location near the Rialto Bridge makes this hotel one of the more popular properties for budget minded travelers. Also has wifi internet.
  • Antico Casin Locanda Corte Contarina, San Marco 1520/a, tel +39-041.5207002 fax +39-041.795122[69]. A refined example of contemporary design, located close to Saint Mark's Square. Doubles from €90.
  • Ca' Valeri [70] Castello - Ramo dei Corazzieri 3845 tel +39 041.2411530 fax +39 041.2415392. Ca' Valeri welcomes guests into its luxury residence where an atmosphere of charm and comfort defines an ambience of class. Double from 100 EUR.
  • Bisanzio Hotel Riva Schiavoni, Calle della Pietà, 3651 Castello, tel +39 041.5203100 fax +39 041.5204114 [71]. Located behind St. Mark's Square. Recently renovated, this hotel is contemporary looking. Accented with beamed wood ceilings and walls to give a touch of elegence.
  • Ca' Amadi, Cannaregio 5815, 30121, tel +39 041.5204682 fax +39 041.5206701 [72]. Ca' Amadi is situated at the heart of the old town center of Venice, extremely close to the famous Rialto Bridge and 10 minutes from Piazza San Marco. This 13th century palace was once home to Marco Polo. Décor is keeping with the period, and the rooms are utterly charming. Original wall fresco’s from the 1400’s adorn the hotel.
  • Ca' Bauta, Castello 6457, tel +39 041 2413787, info@cabauta.com, fax +39 0415212313, [73]. Located in the in the city’s historic centre, Ca' Bauta captures the spirit and splendor of Venice. Housed in a 15th Century building, this quaint hotel has very spacious rooms with high ceilings and is adorned with stylish furniture and fittings. To make the most of your stay in Venice, Ca' Bauta has a friendly, multilingual staff who are always eager to assist you in planning tours, booking concert tickets, and making restaurant reservations. Rates from €70 per night
  • Ca' Della Corte (B&B + appartments), Dorsoduro, 3560 - Corte Surian (300 m SE of Piazzale Roma), +39.041.715877 (, fax: +39.041.722345), [74]. A comfortable B&B in a quiet area of Venice. Warm and personal welcome. Breakfast (served in the room) could be improved (by going to pasticceria Tonolo and bringing your own cakes e.g.). Junior suite €140.  edit
  • Casa dei Pittori, S. Croce 1032 a, +39 3491706428, [75]. Casa dei Pittori Venice Apartments offers guests several apartments in an ancient palace totally restored, located in Venice city centre. €130-340 (weekly rates available).  edit
  • Continental Hotel Venice – Lista di Spagna – Cannaregio, 166 - Cap: 30100, Venice, Italy.[76]. Telephone +39 041 71 5122 • Fax +39 041 524 2432. This three star hotel is in the Canneregio district and the Jewish Getto. A very typical area of Venice, also close to the train station. The Continental Hotel is an historic building belonged to a noble family, with 93 bedrooms (95-194 euros) capable to host any kind of guests.
  • Corte 1321 San Polo 1321, 30124 Venice, ph +39.041.5224923 fax+39.041.0997849. Located near the Rialto Bridge, owners Larry and Amelia do a wonderful job at making your stay perfect. Large spacious rooms with double sink bathrooms ensure a comfortable stay. Lovely courtyard for dining is made memorable with local birds strutting and cooing. Double rooms from €100. Double rooms from €100.
  • Domus Ciliota, Calle delle Muneghe - S. Marco [77]. Just a 5-10 minute walk from San Marco's Square, this is a good base for exploring Venice. The hotel has over fifty clean, basic, air-conditioned rooms all with shower and WC. The reception is English speaking and is open 24 hours. There is an area for leaving baggage after you've checked out. Single rooms are €70-85 and doubles are €100-110 including breakfast.
  • Helvetia Hotel Venice – Gran Viale, 4 – Cap: 30126, Lido di Venezia – Italy. [78]. Telephone +39 041 5260105 • Fax +39 041 5268903. Large option of rooms for this three star hotel offering 57 bedrooms with air conditioning and private en-suite service. The Helvetia Hotel is on the island of Lido, where every year is held the famous film festival, and is connected to the main island of Venice and San Mark square by the efficient system of water boats. The hotel is closed between October and April. The price for a double is around €150.
  • Hotel al Sole, Santa Croce 134/136, 30124 ph +39 041.2440328 fax +39 041.722287, [79] Al Sole Hotel is a first class Hotel, situated in a noble palace built in the beginning of the 15th century, a short distance from Piazzale Roma. Doubles from €80.
  • Hotel Ala, San Marco 2494 (campo Santa Maria dei Gigli), tel +39 041 5208333, fax +39 041 5206390 [80]. Good price for a good location. Breakfast is better than most, they have eggs and broiled tomatoes with cheese. Rooms were a typical size but clean, comfortable and quiet. They have turndown service at night, a pleasant surprise. Double rooms from €110.
  • Hotel Alla Salute Da Cici Salute 222, Fondamenta Ca' Balà, Venice ph +39 041.5235404 fax +39 041.5222271[81]. A 16th-century palazzo, a stone's throw from Piazza San Marco and easily reachable from the station and Piazzale Roma. Doubles from €80.
  • Hotel All’Angelo Venice , San Marco 403, 30124, Venezia [82] ph +39.041. 5209299 fax +39.041. 2743555. The Hotel All’Angelo has been run by the same family since 1924 in a 17th century building close to St Marks Basilica. Comfortable and stylishly decorated rooms with a double somewhere in the region of €150.
  • Hotel Antica Locanda al Gambero Calle dei Fabbri - San Marco 4687, 30124 Venice ph +39 041.5224384 fax +39 041.5200431. Single rooms from €90, Double from €110 (150€ if you want to choose a room facing the Canal).
  • Hotel Antico Panada San Marco 646, tel +39 041.5209088 fax +39 041.5209619 [83]. Welcoming Venetian hotel, in the heart of the Sestiere (District) of San Marco, has rooms decorated in an 18th century Venetian style. Double Room rates range from €145 to €310.
  • Hotel Antico Palazzo Gottardi, Cannaregio 2283 3000 Venice tel +39 041 2759333 +39 041 2759421 [84]. Antico Palazzo Gottardi stands in Strada Nuova, in the heart of the old city centre of Venice, between two buildings that look down onto the Canal Grande. Double from €120.
  • Hotel Basilea Venice , S. Croce-Rio Marin, 817, 30135, Venezia [85] ph +39.041. 718477 fax +39.041. 720851. The Hotel Basilea sits just across the Grand Canal from Santa Lucia Train Station. Located in a quiet Calle, it offers excellent value accommodation that is in a central location. Double rooms are usually around €100-160 depending on season.
  • Hotel Becher,San Marco 1857, tel +39.041.5221253 fax +39.041.5212685 [86]. This 18th century hotel enhanced by the most modern amenities, charming atmosphere and impeccable service. Single rooms from €70, doubles €110 and triples from €170.
  • Hotel Belle Arti , Dorsoduro 912a, 30100, ph +39 041 5226230, fax +39 041 5280043[87]. The Hotel Belle Arti Venice sits in the heart of Dorsoduro, good central location. Room rates start from, depending on demand, €100 up to €220.
  • Hotel Belle Epoque , Cannaregio 127/128 - Lista Di Spagna, 30123, ph +39 041 240004, fax +39 041 2750159, [88]. The Hotel Belle Epoque situated on the Lista di Spagna close to the Train Station offers quality rooms at good rates. Rooms start from €90 all the way up to €200.
  • Hotel Cà D'Oro, Calle delle Rasse, Castello 4604, 30121 Venice tel +39 041.2411212 fax +39 041.2414385 [89]. The hotel is in a quiet corner of Cannaregio district, only 5 minutes walk from the Rialto Bridge and 10 minutes from St. Mark. Singles from €60, doubles from €80
  • Hotel Canaletto Venice , Castello 5487, 30122, Venezia [90] ph +39.041. 52 20 518 fax +39.041. 52 29 023. The Hotel Canaletto Venice sits along a scenic canal close to St. Mark’s Basilica. Decorated and furnished in the traditional Venetian manner, this hotel offers excellent service and rooms that will make you feel at home at once in this stunning city. Tranquil and scenic, a room for two starts at around €110.
  • Hotel Capri Santa Croce 595, 30135, ph +39.041.2752300 fax +39.041.2752350. [91] It is situated in a peaceful zone close to the arrival's terminals and main Venetian attraction's points. Doubles from around €140.
  • Hotel Continental, Lista di Spagna, Cannaregio 166, tel +39.041.715122 fax +39.041.5242432 [92].Right on the Canal Grande, the Hotel Continental is the ideal spot for an unforgettable vacation in Venice. Single rooms from €93, doubles from €155 and triples from €194 including taxes and breakfast.
  • Hotel Commercio e Pellegrino, Calle delle Rasse, Castello 4551/A, 30122 Venice tel +39 041.5207922 fax +39 041.5225016 [93]. The Hotel Commercio e Pellegrino is a comfortable hotel in the centre of the city, easy to reach by public transport and just 2 minutes on foot to Saint Mark’s Square. Single rooms from €80, doubles from €100 including taxes and breakfast.
  • Hotel Firenze Venice , San Marco, 1490, 30124, Venezia [94] ph +39.041. 5222858 fax +39.041. 5202668. The Hotel Firenze Venice is snuggled in a sidestreet of Piazza San Marco, and offers bright and comfortable rooms in a neighbourhood full of artisans, boutiques, artists and small galleries. A buzzing area from which to see the city, rooms start at around €120 a double/twin.
  • Hotel Helvetia Venice Lido , Gran Viale, 4, Lido di Venezia, 30126, ph 0039 041 5260105, fax +39 041 5268903 [95]. The Hotel Helvetia Venice offers quality accommodation on Venice Lido close to beaches and the only golf course on the islands. Rooms start from (depending on the season): €70 up to €160.
  • Hotel il Mercante di Venezia , Calle della Misericordia, 30121, Venezia [96]ph +39.041. 2759290 fax +39.041. 2759294. The Mercante di Venezia sits just off the Lista di Spagna by the Grand Canal and offers excellent access to the Station (Santa Lucia) and the waterbuses. Delicately apointed rooms from around €145.
  • Hotel Lisbona Venice , San Marco 2153, 30124, Venezia [97] ph +39.041. 5286774 fax +39.041. 5207061. The Hotel Lisbona is in the picturesque area just in front of Piazza San Marco and has luxurious three star rooms decorated in the grand Venetian style at reasonable rates. Double rooms are usually around €140.
  • Hotel Marconi Venice, Riva del Vin, San Paolo, 729, 30125, ph +39.041. 52 22 068 fax+39.041. 52 29 700. The Hotel Marconi overlooks the Grand Canal and famous Rialto Bridge. It has been a hotel since the 1930 and has a very interesting art deco style, with rooms going for around €150, or for a little more with a canal view.
  • Hotel Montecarlo Venice , Calle degli Specchieri, 30124, Venezia [98] ph +39.041. 5207144 fax +39.041. 5207789. The Hotel Montecarlo Venice offers fantastic 3 star superior rooms and services literally one hundred yards from the entrance to Basilica San Marco. An area rich with shops and restaurants, rooms start at around €130 a double.
  • Hotel Nazionale Venice – Lista di Spagna 158 - Cap: 30121, Venice, Italy. [99]. Telephone +39 041 716133 • Fax +39 041 715318. The Nazionale Hotel is a convenient three star accommodation with 90 bedrooms divided in single, double, twin, triple and family, located only 100 metres away from the train station of Santa Lucia. At the Nazionale Venice the price varies according to the size of the room: €80 for a single and €160 for a family.
  • Hotel Palazzo Guardi Dorsoduro 995, 30123, ph +39 041 2960725 fax +39 041 7241067. [100] A stone's throw from the Accademia, is this noble Venetian palace, rooms equipped with all comforts. Double room from €80.
  • Hotel San Giorgio, Rio Terà della Mandola, San Marco 3781 30124 Venice, ph +39 041.5235835 fax +39 041.5228072 [101]. The hotel is in Venice between Campo Sant'Angelo and Campo Manin in an antique gothic palace bought by Mariano Fortuny. Single rooms from €60, doubles from €90, triples from €120.
  • Hotel San Moise Venice, San Marco 2058, 30124, ph +39.041. 5203755 fax +39.041. 5210670. The Hotel San Moise sits in the district of the same name just behind Piazza San Marco and the Basilica. Starting in the region of €120-140 for a double room, a good 3 star in a decent location.
  • Hotel Tiepolo, Castello 4510, 30122 Venice. ph +39 041 5232415 fax +39 041.5208222 [102]. Small and elegant, Hotel Tiepolo is an exemplary design hotel in the historic heart of Venice, a few steps away from Saint Mark's Square. Doubles from around €200.
  • Hotel Violino D'Oro Via XXII Marzo 2091, San Marco, 30124 Venice ph +39 041.2770841 fax +39 041.2771001. [103] Hotel Violino d’Oro is synonymous with true Venetian style. It is ideal for those looking for an experience characterized by taste and tradition in this age-old city with magical ambiance. Single rooms from €40, Double from €70.
  • Locanda Orseolo [104]. Located only a 3 minutes walk from St. Peter's Square, this Venice hotel is lovingly operated by a multi-lingual Venitian family who offer impeccable concierge service. Room rates are generally €150 to €200, which is actually quite reasonable for its central location.
  • Residenza Cà Bauta, Castello, 6457, 30122, Venezia [105] ph +39.041. 2413787 fax +39.041. 5212313. The Ca' Bauta is situated few steps far from Campo ss. Giovanni e Paolo, one of the most spectacular place of Venice, thanks to the Renaissance façade of Scuola Grande of S. Marco, to the important mass of the temple which keeps mortal remains of doges and patricians, to the equestrian monument dedicated to Colleoni, and few minutes far from Piazza S. Marco. Double rooms are usually around €100-160 depending on season.
  • Residenza Cá Malipiero Venice – Castello 4852 - Cap: 30122, Venice, Italy. [106]. Telephone +39 041 2770939 • Fax +39 041 5289845. An historic building of the 16th century with a large selection of extremely elegant single, double rooms and suites, capable to host up to four people and equipped with the best modern services expected by a three star guest house of Venice. The Ca Malipiero Hotel also boasts a superb position: in the Santa Maria Formosa district, behind the Ponte dei Sospiri bridge and St Mark’s Square. The rates start from 110 euros.

Splurge

Please give prices

  • Hotel Al Codega , Corte del Forno Vecchio - St. Marco, 4435, 30124, Venezia [107]ph +39.041. 2413288 fax+39.041. 2414621. The Hotel Al Codega is situated in a picturesque little ‘cortile’ or courtyard, which is a short walk from Piazza San Marco. A brand new hotel, its elegant rooms offer excellent value for the luxury they offer, rooms from 200-300 Euro.
  • Hotel Bonvecchiati, San Marco 4488, 30124 Venice ph +39 041.5285017 fax +39 041.5285230 [108]. The Hotel Bonvecchiati, which has been welcoming guests to the heart of Venice since 1790, is just 3 minutes from Saint Mark's Square and 5 minutes from the Rialto Bridge. Prices dependent on the kind of accommodation and on the season.
  • Hotel Ca' dei Conti, Castello 4429, 30122, ph +39.041.2770500, fax +39.041.2770727 [109]. A dream vacation in a luxurious building dating back to the XVIII century, just a stroll from St. Mark's Square. Room rates start from €155 fo a double single use, €200 for a double room, €320 for a suite.
  • Hotel Carlton Grand Canal, Fondamenta S.Pantalon, Santa Croce 578, 30135, ph +39 041.2752200, fax +39 041.2752250[110]. The Carlton and Grand Canal Hotel overlooks the Grand Canal and is the perfect starting point for discovering the beauty of Venice. Room rates start from (depending on the season): from €150 untill €250.
  • Hotel Ca' Vendramin, Cannaregio 2400, 30100, ph +39.041.2750125 fax +39.041.2750543. [111] In the heart of Venice, this hotel showcases original frescos, fine fabric and Murano glass chandeliers which define a unique atmosphere, in pure Venetian style. Double classic from €160 and junior suite from €260.
  • Hotel Dei Dragomanni, Calle del Dose da Ponte, 2711, 30124, ph +39 041.2771300 fax +39 041.2778984. [112] Enveloped in the timeless charm of an ancient Venetian palazzo, the 4-star Hotel dei Dragomanni welcomes guests to downtown Venice. Double room from €155.
  • Hotel Grande Italia, Rione St.Andrea, 597 (P.tta Vigo) 30015 CHIOGGIA, ph+39.041.400515 fax +39.041.400185 [113]. Hotel Grande Italia is in an early 20th century building in the prettiest spot of Chioggia, in front of the Venice Lagoon. Doubles starting from €110.
  • Hotel Giorgione, Calle Larga dei Proverbi, Cannaregio 4587, +39 041.5225810 (fax: +39 041.5239092), [114]. In the heart of romantic Venice, just 10 minutes from Piazza San Marco, it was transformed into a hotel at the beginning of the 19th century and has been managed by the same family ever since. Singles from €105 e Doubles from €150.  edit
  • Hotel Rialto, Riva del Ferro/Ponte di Rialto, San Marco 5149 [116]. This luxury four star hotel enjoys a spectacular position at the foot of the Rialto Bridge, in the centre of all that this legendary city has to offer. Room rates start from €160 for a double room, the hotel has 79 rooms in total, 28 of which are overlooking the Grand Canal.
  • Hotel Royal San Marco, San Marco, 848, +39 041.5287665 (, fax: +39 041.5226628), [117]. Price Range From € 100,00 to € 350,00 per room, per night including breakfast. (45.43459163685616,12.337785959243774) edit

Contact

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.

If you buy any of the VeniceCard [118] products (transportation and museum entrance in various combinations) of 24 or more hours' duration, it will automatically include, either at no additional charge or for an extra €3 depending on the season, the access codes for the municipal wireless network. There are currently two areas covered by the hotspots: one is the San Marco Square and the other San Giuliano Park (which is actually on the mainland, to the north of the bridge entrance).

To use an Internet cafe, buy a mobile SIM card or get a contract for an Internet connection documentation 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. 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. 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. Shoes and clothing that touch the water will be contaminated. Take care not to spread the contamination.

One other consideration is at night, to carry a 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.

Beware where you put your feet: pet owners are not often polite and leave everything their friends by-produce on the ground (this may apply to humans too). Small, dark, back alleys are often similar to mine fields.

In case of need, 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 base: outside the shop there's always the list of operating ones with time-table, address and phone number. If you need a special-treatment drug you might be asked to book it in advance if it's not of so common use. Please, note that the commercial name or brand of your prescription might differ from your country of origin. Make sure before leaving your country of origin that you can have all you need even 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 is, 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, there is a school of thought which argues 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 relatively cheap 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.

Get out

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.

  • Lake Garda— An easy day trip by train, it is Italy's largest lake and stunning in scenery.
  • The Lido— Typical for its beaches.
  • Murano— Nearby island famous for its glassware.
  • Po Delta— Peaceful and scenic marshy area southwest of Venice with bike trails.
  • Burano— Nearby island with typical textiles and painted houses.
  • San Lazzaro— Nearby island with Armenian monastery and impressive art collection, some world class pieces.
  • Mestre— Town in the mainland, but still a part of Venice.
  • Riviera del Brenta— Palladian Villas around Brenta River, just 20 minutes from Venice by car, advised easy biking tours with local bike hire shop.
  • Eraclea— Typical for its pinewood and Laguna del Mort, just 55 minutes from Venice by car or by boat.
  • Jesolo— Jesolo is one of the most important beaches in Italy, just 45 minutes from Venice by car or by boat (ferry from Treporti to Venice).
  • Cortina d'Ampezzo— Lovely alpine town, site of 1956 Winter Olympic Games. Great mountain scenery, might be very expensive. A couple of hours of car ride to the north of Venice, more than three hours by train and bus.

Kids View of Venice

Venice maybe a tourist trap, but all together there is so much for kids to do in Venice. Besides just walking around from place to place there is a lot of things that people of all ages will enjoy.

Kid's Restaurant Picks

Al-Vapperettos- It is a great pizzeria on the walkway leading up to the Campo Manin. It is an amazing restaurant with great vegetarian and non-vegetarian Menu. If you like spicy food, just ask the waiter for some extra spicy sauce. Also the range of pizza selection is just out of this world. Another amazing part of the menu is the spaghetti. The food is really light and not heavy like many other restaurants in Italy. Also the portion amounts are small, but they are cheap so you can order too. Another need-to-know is that water isn't free so you will have to buy a bottle of water. But all in all, It is a great restaurant.

Gelato- One of the greatest delights of Italian food, ice-cream also called gelato. The gelato all around Italy is great, but under a personal opinion, the gelato at Venice is better then that of all of Italy. The shop and the concept does not really matter. The rich savory taste will be with you for the rest of the day.

Kid's Views of the Doge Palace

The Doge Palace is one of the few places in Venice that is really worth going to and one of the places of the world that people of all ages will enjoy. The artwork and the scenery may be boring for a lot of kids but the views and the maps is something they will enjoy. There are two places also where kids will really enjoy it.

The Armory Room- It is an amazing place where the whole armory of the Doge's palace can be found. They have every kind of weapon in their arsenal. They have swords from big hulking broadswords for cutting and slashing from the mideival ages to the fine tipped presicion lunging swords of the Reinassance. Another thing is the long rage weapons. They have the earliest bows made by the kings and queens of the middle ages and they also have the porcelain guns of the Chinese. The advantage of this is the poison in porcelain enhanced the poison of the lead in the bullet. One of the highlights of the armory room is the armor sent by King George.

The armor that was sent by King George was made out of some of the strongest metal in the world. To make sure of that it was tested by some of today’s highest quality bullets. To many’s amazement the armor withstood the impact of the bullet and it bounced off. If you look to the left side of the armor, you can see the small bullet dent in the armor.

Another part of the Doge’s Palace that is really interesting is the prisons. The prisons are a maze of twisting passageways that are easy to get lost in. However if you keep on following the signs you should be okay. It isn’t okay to take pictures in the Doge palace inside nor is it okay to take video. The only place were it is okay to take video is in the places where it says it is okay to take pictures and video.

San Marco’s Square for Kids

San Marco’s square is one of the highlights of Venice. It is a beautiful square with lots of action and life going on at every second of the day. The San Marco’s square is right next to the Grand Canal and it has its own stop on the Vaporettos. The Vaporettos are like the bus system of Venice. It also has a selection of souvenirs to buy at a great price. There are many things to in San Marco’s square.

The Bell Tower of San Marcos Square

The Bell Tower of San Marcos Square may be something that a lot of people will enjoy including kids. The entrance ticket to go to the top is only 3 euros as it is very cheap. You can take an elevator. The line for the bell tower is very long, so it is better to go around 5 o’clock in the evening. You go up in a very spacious elevator to the top of the tower. The interesting part that a lot kids may enjoy are the binocular seeing stands. There is one on each side of the tower. Each works by putting a one euro coin. Also try not to go on the hour or on the half hour as the bell tower will ring and that can be very scary and loud and it will frighten most kids.

Saint Marks Basilica

Saint Marks Basilica is a place that isn’t exactly for most kids. However if your kid is a history nut, you may find that area very interesting. You cannot take cameras or backpacks into the Basilica so they will send you on a long search to find the cloak room. However if you see the entrance for a concert hall go in there. From there you go straight towards the aisle in the middle. From there if you take a left you will immediately see the area in which you can give your bag. Inside the Basilica is free but it is just a small walk so it will get boring. But there are separate tickets you can buy inside the Basilica to go up to the dome and other things like that. So all in all I would say it is sort of a boring place.

Kids’ View of Murano

The Murano glass making tour is one of the most interesting part of Venice. Usually instead of going overboard and paying for a tour, check with your hotel if they have a free tour package for the Murano glass making tour. It is really fun and kids will enjoy seeing how glass is being made into different shapes. But the best part of the tour that kids will enjoy is the water taxi ride back into town. The water taxi literally just skips on top of the water back. The taxi drops you at San Marco’s Square and from there you have to make your way back to wherever you want to go.

cz:Benátky

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