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Guide to the city of Venice (Italy)
You are planning travel to Venice? If so, surely you have been assaulted many doubts about the last (or not so) last minute. For us Venice is the most beautiful city in Italy along with Rome, for that reason and to help you with your trip, we have created this Venice guide.
Venice is a set of 120 islands united through bridges. From Mestre you can reach Venice using the Liberty Bridge, which leads to Piazzale Roma. As you can imagine, the city has suffered periodic floods since its inception and, to this day, the city continues to suffer the threats of the repeated floods that cause the phenomenon known as Acqua Alta.
In spring and autumn the water level usually rises, so it is common for San Marcos Square to be flooded to such an extent that the authorities have to place walkways for pedestrians to walk.
For us Venice is a magical destination and we can think of hundreds of reasons to visit it. If we had to give only one, it would be that it is a unique city in the world y completely different from the rest, a place with a unique spirit that makes everyone fall in love with it.
Do you encourage yourself to know a little more of the Italian city of Venice?
Featured accommodations where to sleep in Venice at this moment
San Marco, comfortable and expensive at the same time
There is nothing more comfortable than being able to sleep in the heart of Venice. Although you think it can be heavy due to the large influx of tourists, it is the best option. It's going to make it easier to meet her at night, which is when Venice is prettier.
In San Marco, one of the six sestrieri from Venice, it's where most of the attractions of the city come together. As in most cases, comfort comes at a price. That is why San Marco is a very expensive area to stay in Venice.
The main advantage is the comfort of sleeping in the heart of the city, being able to visit the main attractions a few meters away, besides participate to most events that take place during the year.
If you want to book a hotel in this area do it with time. It is very difficult to find hotels with vacancies, and more complicated yet is finding some good offer. The most interesting area is where the Grand Canal ends and which allows you to have a view of the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Without a doubt, it's the area with more academic environment, this is where the majority of university buildings in Venice are concentrated, you will also find two of the most important museums in the city: the Galleria della Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
Both Dorsoduro and the area near Rialto are ideal for those who seek restaurants, bars and a bit of night life. It's one of the best neighborhoods for dinner or going out for a drink, especially around Campo Santa Margherita. The hotels This sestieri usually something cheaper than the rest of Venice.
Dorsoduro is a strategic zone Where to stay in Venice. Although it seems far from the center, just by crossing the Grand Canal by Puente della Accademia you will be just a short distance from the center of the city. The most positive thing is that the prices are quite cheaper than in San Marco.
When Venice hotels they are full or their prices are already prohibitive this is the first place where you usually look for a hotel. It is a town belonging to the municipality of Venice, connected to it by bus and train. Depending on the traffic, you will not take more than 15 minutes until you reach the main train station.
Mestre is usually the place of Alternative accommodation to Venice thanks to its rich offer of hotels, also presenting the great advantage of a much faster and more fluid communication with the island.
The hotels in Mestre they are quite more affordable so if you want save you some money in hotels this is the best option. You can usually stay near the station or in the center of the city.
For get to Venice from Mestre you have to take a bus that will leave us in Piazzale de Roma (10-15 minutes) and from there take a ferry or move around (although this square is a bit far from interesting things).
It is located to the north, separated by the grand canal and it is the most populated district of Venice. Cannaregio is the best area to sleep in Venice if you like the contact with local life. It is one of the neighborhoods with the most residents of the city and a good base camp to explore Venice.
If you want visit more places than Venice, such as Padua or Verona, is a fantastic option to stay in Venice. You will be very close to the station main train, which communicates with other cities in the region.
In addition, the northern area of Cannaregio communicates vaporetto with Murano, Burano and Torcello, other advisable visits during your stay in the city.
The Accommodation prices They are better than in the rest of Venice and have enough hostels, B & Bs and apartments with prices Affordable.
El Venice main airport is the Marco Polo and is located in Mestre, at 8 km north of Venice. It may take you a few 30 minutes to travel this distance if you go by bus. Yes you do not know how to get from the airport to the city, in the same airport there are bus and vaporetto counters where you can be informed. They are located outside the luggage pick-up door next to a Kiosk (the only one in the existing one on the floor below).
The Treviso airport
This airport is located at 40km from the city of the city, and is the one used by low cost companies (vueling, ryanair or easyjet) to fly to Venice. It can take to travel this distance one hour if you go by bus.
Our recommendation is that use a good flight comparator to locate the flight that best suits your needs.
How to move from the Marco Polo airport
There are two buses that go from the Marco Polo airport to Piazzale Roma. Buses depart from outside the airport terminal. Remember to always validate the ticket by drilling it in the machines that are there for this purpose.
Blue Bus: 30 minutes, tickets are bought from the driver
No. 5: 50 minutes, tickets are bought in the terminal's newspaper shop. Buses depart from outside the airport terminal. Always validate the ticket by drilling it on the machines you will find for this purpose.
You can also go to the city with the Alilaguna public transport boat. There is a free bus that takes you to the pier, although you can walk because it is well signposted leaving the airport on the left.
El boat makes trips from the airport pier to St. Mark's Square hourly, the ticket is purchased at the airport in the booth that is to the left of the customs. It takes approximately one hour to get to St. Mark's Square, passing before by Burano, Murano and Lido.
How to move from Treviso airport
En bus two ways:
ATVO Company: he makes several stops, two in Mestre, one in the train station, and another in Venice, in Piazzale Roma.
Barzi Service: these buses have the same schedules and prices as the previous ones, but they take 40 minutes instead of 70, since they go by the highway. The ticket can be purchased directly from the driver.
How to get to Venice by train
Venice can be reached by train to Santa Lucia station, known as Railroads. It is located on the west side of the Grand Canal, it is a modern station with good facilities (it has showers and luggage service). The station is quite large, so you we advise in general to arrive with time to quietly search for the train we have to catch.
We remind you that in Venice, as in all of Italy, you have to validate the ticket before going up in the train, for it it is necessary to introduce it in the yellow machines that there are for it in the station.
Fair-Poor In front of the train station is the stop vaporettos of Ferrovía, which is where you can catch the boats of the main lines that run through Venice and the nearby islands.
In a city that is totally invaded by the waters, it is clear that their main transport was not going to be the usual buses. To fulfill this function of public transport, the vaporettos, that cross the great channel. Must Take into account certain information when taking these boats:
You can travel with the single ticket (valid for one hour) or using a voucher according to the time you want.
The simple tickets are expensive, take a transportation voucher, they come out a lot best price.
The main line is the 82, but taking it from the train station. From there you get to the Plaza de San Marcos.
Vaporetto No. 1 travels the Grand Canal making many stops and goes very slowly, so it gives you time to photograph all the palaces. This is recommended for the first visit of the city.
To go to the islands you have to Fondamenta Nuova, from there the vaporettos leave.
At each stop he puts you on a luminous sign to know what time the next one passes and where he is going. To get your bearings, they also have all the hours on a sign. The vaporettos spend each 20 minutes per day and at night once per hour.
It is the means of transport that was used in the past, although nowadays it has become quite obsolete. Virtually all gondolas that you see in Venice are dedicated to private transport of tourism more than public transport.
There are already a few that remain, it is estimated that a hundred or so, and its price is a little exorbitant. 80 euros for a walk of 40 minutes, yes, it is not the same to take a walk in these craft boats that use public transport. A whim for those who want to pay.
It is the transport that it is used to cross from one side to the other Great channel. Keep in mind that along the Grand Canal there are only 4 bridges to cross it, and it can be quite heavy to look for a bridge to cross.
The bridges that there are: the controversial one of Calatrava in Piazzale Roma, that after 11 years of construction rises shining, the one of Santa Lucia in front of the train station, the one of Rialto with commerce to the sides and the one of the Academy of wood.
To cross are these little gondolas called traghettos, which by 0.5 € they cross from one side of the canal to the other to any passenger who wants to ride.
The Motoscafi are the smallest and fastest boats. Usually they make longer trips than traghettos, so to visit the Giardini, something far from the center, they are useful.
There are maps of all the lines at any of the stops, and there is a local information and sale to the public of Activ (the company that takes it) in Piazzale Roma.
The best what you can see and do during your stay in Venice
The Grand Canal
It is the largest and most important of all the channels that they travel Venice dividing it in two with their four kilometers in length. The 1 vaporetto runs through the great channel making many stops and going very slowly, so that gives you time to photograph all the palaces and bridges, this is highly recommended for the first vision of the city. It is ideal to take it on the 22: 00 since there are hardly any people (beware that the last one is at 23: 25).
The tour of the Grand Canal will take you to discover palaces such as Ca d'Oro, Ca 'Foscari or the Palazzo Dario, for Say a few names. But equally the number of different boats will attract attention that plow their waters.
Saint Marcus Plaza
Considered the showcase of Venice and its beauties buildings around the world, St. Mark's Square is the result of the combination of Byzantine art, Gothic and Renaissance cast in a spectacular sight.
The Plaza as we see it today is the result of several interventions between the ninth century and the nineteenth century, in consequence is characterized by the presence of zones different: the area in front of the basilica, the square in front of the Ducal Palace and the dock that is in the Dársena.
In front of the basilica you will find the Bell Tower, built in the same place where in the ninth century there was a tower albarrana. From above (there is an elevator to go up) You can admire all of Venice.
The Basilica of San Marcos
In the impressive St. Mark's Square appears throughout its splendor the Basilica of San Marcos. The Chapel of the Doge It was built between 1063 and 1094 to house the remains of San Marcos. It seems that the mortal remains of evangelist were subtracted from Alexandria, upon reaching Venice, the following year, received a welcome extraordinary That is why the Doge in charge ordered the construction of a temple in his honor.
The high altar keeps the urn of San Marcos, although the most venerated image is undoubtedly the Nicopeia Virgin (operator of victory), part of the booty taken out Constantinople in 1204 as well as the rest of the nucleus originating from the treasure of San Marcos that deserves a visit.
The Doge's Palace
The Ducal Palace, located in the Plaza de San Marcos, it started as a fortified castle in the ninth century although, after a fire, it had to be rebuilt and it was used as a fortress and prison. In the visit to its interior You can visit their rooms and visit the prison with its cells and walk on the bridge of sighs.
The entrance, which is quite expensive, gives you the right to visit the Palace, the Correr museum (which is in San Marcos Square in front of the Basilica), the Archaeological and the Library.
The bridge of sighs is the only thing that communicates palace with the dungeons and the jail. Hence the name "of the sighs ", because the condemned man sighed when he saw Venice.
The Rialto Bridge
Built towards the end of the 16th century, it may be the most famous monument in the city. Really the first bridge built on the Grand Canal was one built in wood. There were several reconstructions of the bridge original until getting the current one, since there were two landslides and a fire that were ending with the constructions of the bridge.
It is possible to see the second reconstruction in the Galleries of the Academy in a famous painting by Carpaccio. As it threatened to collapse, towards the second half From the 15th century the Senate decided to build a new one. The The result was the bridge in its current form, with a unique arcade and three staircases.
The acqua alta of Venice
Part of the daily life of Venice and its residents, the acqua alta, which would literally be translated as "high water", is actually a high tide what happens when certain weather conditions specific.
When the tide goes up, many parts of Venice are flooded, especially those that are at a lower height, such as the area of St. Mark's Square, completely changing the landscape of the city. Is important to keep in mind that boats during high water, they have to use alternative channels.
Unless high water reaches an extremely high level, the phenomenon is totally harmless and does not cause harm to anyone. The high tide it is forecast in advance and the owners of stores and restaurants have time to avoid any problem caused by water.
Many see the acqua alta as proof that Venice is sinking, but nothing is further from reality. Venice sinks, but at a speed of approximately 0,5 millimeters per year, but mainly due to the compression of the earth below the city.
The islands of the Venice lagoon
The island of Burano is northeast of the central part of Venice, near the island of Torcello, about 40 minutes by boat from Fondamente Nuove.
Burano is famous for its colorful houses. Interestingly, the neighbors are forced to paint their facades every so often. There is legend that the houses are colored because the sailors painted them so that they could reach them on foggy days.
The island does not have many tourist attractions apart from its Lace Museum and its colorful buildings. However, Burano has a very different atmosphere to that which is perceived in Murano or in the historic center of Venice. The island, with more than 4.000 inhabitants possesses a inclined bell tower that is seen from the distance.
You can get to Burano in the 12 or 14 vaporetto from the Fondamenta Nuove stop.
In its moment of maximum prosperity the island was designated as the headquarters of the glass art industry due to two reasons: the island is positioned in favor of the wind with respect to Venice, therefore, the ovens do not pollute the air of the city and second, to avoid the danger of fire in the central area of Venice.
Murano really does made up of 6 islands linked by bridges and has about 6.000 inhabitants. Many stores organize free visits Demonstration of how glass is made, although be careful because you will end up wearing something. There is even a glass museum.
Among the diverse variety of elements to visit during the visit to the island, os We mainly recommend the following visits:
Church of Santa María and San Donato
Church of San Pedro Mártir
Church of Santa María de los Ángeles
Palace of Mula
Murano Crital Museum in the Giustinian Palace
Museum of Contemporary Art Berengo
You can get to Murano in the 41 or 42 vaporetto from the Fondamenta Nuove stop.
The island of Torcello is located almost totally uninhabitedIt is not frequented by many public transport services and is really a desolate place compared to the historical center of Venice.
When you put your feet in Torcello, you can breathe an atmosphere of great silence and a certain tranquility. But this island has not always been like this.
Torcello was the most populated island of the Venetian republic, with more than 20.000 inhabitants, when the population of the mainland was forced to take refuge on the island due to foreign invasions. An outbreak of malaria crushed the population and the power moved to Venice.
Here is a summary of what That you can see on the island:
El Attila's throne: located in the town square, the legend tells that this marble armchair was the throne of the king of the Huns.
La Basilica of Santa María dell'Assunta: it is worth going up to the belfry to enjoy the views.
La Church of Santa Fosca, next to the basilica.
You can reach Torcello in the vaporetto of the T line.
The island of Lido is one of the Italy's main summer destinations. The island is the place where the Venetians have their summer houses and where the film Festival once a year, when the island is full of people and parties and surprising places.
Still having 12km of beach, today is very crowded, but perfectly complements a trip to Venice in summer. The high season is from July to September.
At the bottom of the island there are some areas with campsites and beach clubs. To get there you can rent bikes in one of the establishments that are right on the road from the vaporetto to the beach. I also know can catch a bus (travels the island in about 20 minutes).
You can reach Lido in vaporetto 1, 2, 51,52, 62, N and LN from the Fondamenta Nuove stop.
Carnival of Venice 2019 and its history
The carnival of Venice is very well known all over the world, which makes it one of the carnivals most important in Europe. It lasts more than two weeks around the streets and canals of this well-known city, where we can see parades, shows and a lot of activities.It is very typical of the Venetian carnival to see people on the street wearing masks and costumes from the festivities of seventeenth century.
The origin of this carnival is due to the Bacchanalia and Saturnalia celebrations of the Roman Empire, where masks were used to enjoy this party with greater freedom. In addition, with the mask, all people were equal, without distinction of social class. Since then, the mask became the most important object of the carnival.
During the 18th century many aristocrats and powerful people from all over the world attended this carnival. However, due to the occupation of Venice by Napoleon, the carnival was banned in the year 1797. Thanks to the neighbors and artisans of the city, in the 1979 year the carnival was again celebrated to become what we know today as the most famous carnival in all of Italy, which attracts a large number of tourists every year.
For these dates, both the Venetians themselves and all the visitors who come here, everyone dresses with masks and costumes to dance all over the city.
The most typical costumes correspond to characters from the Comedy of Art, corresponding to the sixteenth century. The characters in these costumes oppose the noble theater and they tend to ridicule Italian society. For example, we can meet with Harlequin, Pantalone, Polichinela, Colombina, Pierrot or Brighella.
We can also see a lot of costumes and masks that people wear during these days. Costumes and masks correspond to the seventeenth century, the best known being the mascheranobile, a white mask with black silk clothes and a hat with three points.
In addition, the masks that we see today in the city are those that are worn over the centuries that this tradition has. For example, it is worth mentioning La Bauta, La Morenita, Domino, Mask of Cendal, Spectrum or Dottore Peste. To organize our visit to the Carnival of Venice, it can be said that begins 12 days before the celebration of Lent, ending on Tuesday of Carnival. During these days there are a lot of parades and parties that we can attend.
During these days it is not obligatory to attend costumed to the carnival, although if we are interested we can rent a costume in one of the many shops in the city to feel like a Venetian more.
In addition, in the shops of craftsmen we can also see the magnificent handmade masks that are inside. We can buy these masks to use at the carnival and then we will take them home as a treat memory of our visit to the city. In the Campo San square Mauricio we can see the tent where the craftsmen make the masks.
Most of the carnival events have their place of celebration in the Plaza de San Marcos, although it is also worth knowing that the party is distributed throughout the city. We can also enjoy this lively party since the vaporettos or even from gondolas. It is also worth knowing that during the carnival different costume dances are celebrated, although with a private.