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Venice, Italy

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
At the end of May my gf and I shall be visiting Venice for a few days. What are the things you would recommend we should visit. I know Venice is a 'tourist trap' par excellence, so anything off the beaten track is most welcome. Thanks, MtB
post #2 of 14
Although I enjoyed my short stay in Venice, I must say I probably fell into the tourist trap thing, I stayed right off the San Marco square, litterally meters from the center, and except for a little sight seeing to the Rialto bridge and a couple of water taxi trips around, I mostly stayed in the square and listened to music most of the day and enjoyed more than my share of different bottle of wine. But I will give you one good hint, although the Murano crystal is beautiful, after spending the money on several pieces, as well as going out to the factory, which is a terrible sales waste, you can get better deals outside of the area. I picked up a vase from ebay about 6 months ago for almost half the asking price for a similar one with 40% off at the factory, a real tourist shaft, because you really have no clue when you get there.
post #3 of 14
My advice would be to just start walking and get lost. You'll never stray too far - Venice ain't that big - and your natural wanderlust will guide you to hidden spots. Some of the touristy things are well worth it though, especially the Gallerie dell'Accademia.
post #4 of 14
I would just wander around, there are some really cool things to see, also, take the water taxi, it's a good opportunity to see the canals without the whole tourist boat/gondola ripoff. Lastly, if you have time, try to check out some of the other islands, they are really interesting, IMO.
post #5 of 14
Murano factory
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Murano factory
Never heard of it?
post #7 of 14
Having been to Venice myself, I can attest to the many wonderful spots to visit.  As it was already pointed out, Venice is a wonderful spot to get lost and find yourself amongst the backstreets hidden away from the tourist spots.  With that said, there are many wonderful buildings to see there, especially for someone such as myself who enjoys art history and has an insatiable appetite for Italian buildings.  Of course there is the wonderful St. Marks Square (Piazza San Marco), which is one of the most photographed spots in the world.  Sitting in front is the Basilica San Marco, and the Medievil Doges Palace.  Jacopo Sansovino's Libreria San Marco, located west of Piazza San Marco is also a wonderful building.  I would also recommend going to the top of the Bell Tower of the square, as it affords wonderful views. The gondola rides are special, and worth the time and money in my opinion, despite their cost.  Remember that you can always negotiate the price, and it is often expected.  Of course it always helps if you are with a group of people when netogiating.   The Murano factory was also mentioned, and that is also worth a visit. I was able to watch workers make Venetian glass, which is pretty cool in itself. This time I plan on taking back some glass with me, which I didn't last time I was there. As far as I know, they will ship your purchases for you, and if not, there are places nearby that have these services. As far as places to stay, when I was there, I stayed on the lido, which is a residential spot located on the mainland.  Venice is easily accesible via the train from the mainland, which stops at the Santa Lucia train station, as well as the city's vaporetto system (think buses, but with keels and sterns, and water instead of concrete).  I will be going there again this summer in July, and will probably be staying nearby the train station.  Venice is a magical place to be, I only wish I had a wonderful gal to experience it with.  
post #8 of 14
We visited a few years ago in December and experienced the seasonal flooding known as 'acqua alta'. The city sets up very narrow (single file in each direction) elevated pedestrian walkways in the flooded areas. Despite it being the off-season, this made for severe overcrowding and very slow going. Luckily our hotel outfitted us in some very nice wellies and we were able to slosh through the streets with the locals as the tourists inched their way around. Take the advice of all those saying to 'just get lost' - it's a wonderful way to see the city. Get out to some of the outlying neighborhoods and you will be the only tourists around. Do a little research - there are some fantastic historical wine bars which serve the traditional Venetian snacks known as 'cicchetti'. Avoid restaurants with their menus posted in multiple languages. The art collection in Peggy Guggenheim's palazzo is worth seeing as well.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
The art collection in Peggy Guggenheim's palazzo is worth seeing as well.
When we passed that in the water taxi, I did not even realize it was there, I understand it is incredible, I wish I had taken the time to go back and go inside...good reason for another visit. I highly recomend the following hotel for anyone visiting. San Marco Palace, 4 Stars Ponte dei Dai 875, 30124, Venezia, ITALY . And be sure to get the canal view....a bit pricey, from $350 Euro and up...but worth the price. http://www.dilos.com/hotel/4250
post #10 of 14
Venice is great . Be sure to fall into a tourist trap and buy a couple of those Carnival masks. Then, just gets lost. Of course, having 2 bottles of wine with lunch will both facilitate this and make it more enjoyable. Definitely use the water taxis of the shuttles to get to the other islands. Just make sure to remember that these are more residential, people live there rather than go there to cater to visitors, and respect that.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Venice is great .  Be sure to fall into a tourist trap and  buy a couple of those Carnival masks.  Then, just gets lost.  Of course, having 2 bottles of wine with lunch will both facilitate this and make it more enjoyable.  Definitely use the water taxis of the shuttles to get to the other islands.  Just make sure to remember that these are more residential, people live there rather than go there to cater to visitors, and respect that.
Amen...dead on LA.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the tips so far. I notice the 'get lost'-option gets quite a few votes, so we'll go wander 'aimlessly' around. Any tips for some hidden gems in/around Venice? (We may be able to stray outside Venice for a day or so). MtB
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Thank you all for the tips so far. I notice the 'get lost'-option gets quite a few votes, so we'll go wander 'aimlessly' around. Any tips for some hidden gems in/around Venice? (We may be able to stray outside Venice for a day or so). MtB
Ravenna is about 40 minutes up the coast. It's a charming little town with some big nice beaches. I don't know what the weather will be like in May, but it might be worth a shot.
post #14 of 14
just landed in venice, here for two days.

what's good here?

venice film festival is on but not the biggest film buff... wouldn't mind seeing something if it's decent though!
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