Tips and Trivia – Venice

Venice is a city that makes the list for all travelers – solo, family, explorers…all of them. A lot of them do a good job at taking it off their list as well. Most club it with their cruise excursions – package deal! And then there are romantics, who come all prepared to go on one knee in the most romantic city!

Whatever the case may be, the city is filled with trivia, given its rich culture and history. Venice also makes it to the list of exclusive luxury vacation destinations. So, here’s what I gathered from my day trip to the “Floating City of Wonders!”

In Random order-

  • Over 400 bridges connect about 100 man made islands with about 25 miles of canals zip zapping the city before flowing into the Grand Canal – Dragging your suitcases is a bad idea and you will keep encountering these bridges that connect the islands over multiple canals. Use a water taxi instead to save time and trouble, unless you really want to haul it around
  • Venice is a city built on water, hence it’s a pedestrian city. Meaning – there are no cars due to the lack of roads. Instead you have canals and boats…lots of boats…different types of boats. The city is best seen through a Vaporetto which covers its main attraction – the Grand Canal. Take a Vaporetto from San Marco to Porta Roma for the best sightseeing experience. It doesn’t cost a lot either. Plus, if you have a day pass for the Vaporetto, even better
Vaporetto just outside the St. Lucia Train Station
  • You can never get lost in Venice. It’s an island and you kind of go round; in a full circle. Helpful signs are everywhere in the city. Venice has narrow canal walkways and a vast web of alleys and back lanes, all of which have signs for directions, hence getting lost is improbable
  • The days preceding Lent, play host to the carnival. One of the best times to be in Venice. Started, to bring out equality of the classes, where somebody could be anybody, given that the mask would shield his/her identity, the carnival in its modern form lasts for ten days. The most extravagant costumes are on display during this time and the visit is worth the time and money
One of the many canal walkways in the city
  • An overnight stay in Venice itself can prove to be expensive. Slightly away from the mainland you have dorms and hostels that charge according to amenities provided. Mind you, some of them don’t have bed linen but are easy on the pocket. Research before you end up in any one these for a nightcap
  • If you wish to eat in Venice and decide to take a table, you will be charged a 3€ sit down fee, called as, “Coperto”. You can avoid that by eating on the go – if that’s an option you can explore. The Copertto covers the bread and service offered once you sit down to eat
  • “Cecchetti” is an assortment of finger food made from fresh produces of the day procured from the local markets. Sipping wine with this assorted finger food proves to be a good break. Stand near the bar and simply point to what food you want on your plate. Pointing is OK!
  • For all the romantics out there – a ride in the Gondola is a must. It will set you back by 80 Euros but you will cherish the memory. Legend says that if you kiss under all the bridges you pass on your gondola ride, you will remain in love forever. And no – the gondoliers don’t sing
  • The Gondola is a traditional “narrow flat bottom hand rowing boat” unique to Venice. There are about 400 gondolas and all the gondoliers have licenses to row in Venice. Only 4 licenses are issued every year and the gondolier needs to know the ins and outs of the city’s canals

 

A Gondolier with his Gondola. The striped t-shirts are uniforms along with the straw hat!
  • Fancy a ride in a speedboat – well, there are speed limits on the canals and the police keep a close watch on over speeding. So, if you have yourself a private boat handy, one which has loads of torque, try not to get too excited as it may earn you a speeding ticket from the cops 😉
  • Lastly and personally I found sneakers to be the best shoe you can have on, when you travel and are busy covering the expanse of a city – for hiking and scaling mountains – there are plenty of options. Formal affairs if any will demand varied footwear, but if you are there to explore like me, sneakers it is!

Hope these help and do drop by to let me know of your experiences in Venice!

Ciao!

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