Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Mini Guide to Venice

Ponte dei Sospiri

Venice, the ethereal city drifting on the dreams of romantic thoughts.
Situated on islands in the north-east of Italy, Venice is known for its maritime history, Carnavale and occasional flooding. A city packed with history and culture, it is suitable for the culture vulture or a couple's romantic get-away.


Doges' Palace
The Italian equivalent to Buckingham Palace the Palazzo Ducale offers works by Tintoretto, a Golden Staircase and access to the Bridge of Sighs. Walk over the bridge to the old prisons in the footsteps of the likes of Casanova.

Opening Hours: from April 1st to October 31st     8.30 am – 7 pm (last admission 6 pm)
                            from November 1st to March 31st 8.30 am – 5.30 pm (last admission 4.30 pm)

Closed on December 25th and January 1st


Piazza San Marco
Napoleon is attributed as saying that the piazza is the 'drawing room of Europe'. It is certainly beautiful with the Basilica, campanile and colonnaded arcades edging a space that has been at the heart of Venice's history. 


The Jewish Quarter offers a pleasant stroll in one of the least touristy neighbourhood in Venice. It was here that the Jews were confined during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, only disbanded when Napoleon turned up in 1797. A diminishing Jewish community still resides in this area.


The Museum Pass is the cumulative ticket for the permanent collection of the Musei Civici of Venice currently open and for those connected (Palazzo Fortuny and Clock Tower not included).  This ticket is valid for 6 months and grants one single admission to each museum.

The Museum Pass grants entrance to the following museums:
Doge’s Palace; Museo Correr; Museo Archeologico Nazionale; Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
Ca’ Rezzonico – Museum of 18th-Century Venice; Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo*; Carlo Goldoni’s House; Ca’ Pesaro, International Gallery of Modern Art + Oriental Art Museum; Glass Museum – Murano; Lace Museum – Burano; Natural History Museum

Full price ‘Museum Pass’: 24,00 euros
Reduced ‘Museum Pass’ : 18,00 euros

Religious Buildings

St. Mark's Basilica
The jewel in Venice's crown, the Basilica fills one end of the Piazza San Marco. Originally the chapel for the dukes of Venice, after 1,000 years it became the city's cathedral in 1807. Filled with gold and silver treasures, the greatest of which is the golden high altar (Pala d'Oro), and artwork the basilica is more than a place of religious worship.

The opening hours to the different areas are numerous, as are the ticket prices - go to http://www.basilicasanmarco.it/eng/visite/orari.bsm?cat=6&subcat=3 for details.


Salute, Venice

Santa Maria della Salute
On entering the Grand Canal towards the Piazza San Marco the church of Santa Maria della Salute, known simply as Salute, greets the visitor. One of the plague churches built as thanks for deliverance from the plague, this Baroque church sits in the quieter area of Dorsoduro. A symbol of the city it houses many works of art, most of which relate to the Black Death.


The Synagogues

To understand the Jewish existence in Venice the Jewish Museum is an excellent place to start. Guided tours of the synagogues start every hour from 10.30 until 17.30 (16.30 in winter). Clandestine buildings they do not look like places of worship from the outside whilst inside they are gems.


View Venice, Italy in a larger map


The term Lido originated from this 11km sandbar. For relaxation go to one of the 2 public beaches that face out into the Adriatic Ocean. 

Gondola Ride
The sleek black boats with skilled gondolier at the helm are a wonderful way to explore Venice and its backwaters. For romantics there is the option of being serenaded!

Harry's Bar

Home to the Bellini, the bar is worth stopping at just to try the refreshing cocktail. Hemingway and others were known to drink here.
A dress codes exists - take heed before entering.



Hotel Cipriani
For out and out luxury the Hotel Cipriani is the place place to stay. Each room has its own private balcony from which you can stare towards the Piazza San Marco. With gardens, spa and pool it is Venetian opulence at its best.
Double rooms start at around €650 per night.


Centurion Palace Hotel
The Centurion Palace hotel in Venice is a former monastery right on the Grand Canal. The Gothic exterior belies the ultra-modern interior. Ideally placed for visitng the art museums. 
Double rooms start at €252 per night in low season.


Locanda del Ghetto

Small, pleasant hotel in one of the less touristy areas of Venice. It is ideally situated for exploring the Jewish Quarter.
A standard double room starts at €65 per night in low season.


Getting There

Plane, train or automobile all can get you to Venice.


Trains run frequently to Venice’s Stazione Santa Lucia (signed as Ferrovia within Venice) from locations throughout Italy and major European cities


Most flights arrive and depart from Marco Polo airport 12km outside Venice, east of Mestre. 


The A4 passes through Mestre (and hence Venice). Take the Venezia exit and follow the signs. From the south, take the A13 from Bologna, which connects with the A4 at Padua.
Once over the Ponte della Libertà bridge from Mestre, cars must be left at one of the car parks on Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto. You will pay €20 or more for every 24 hours. Parking stations in Mestre are cheaper.

Once There


The city’s main mode of public transport is vaporetto. Tickets can be purchased from the helloVenezia ticket booths (www.hellovenezia.com) at most landing stations. You can also buy tickets when boarding; you may be charged double with luggage.

Water taxis

Official rates start at €8.90 plus €1.80 per minute, €6 extra if they’re called to your hotel and more for night trips, luggage and large groups. Prices can be metered or negotiated in advance.

No comments:

Post a Comment