A city full of extraordinary artistic and architectural treasures awaits you, as Venice’s remarkable history spanning the centuries has left many traces. It is hard to fathom, but Venice is built on more than 100 islands, which throughout the centuries have been associated with bridges until they now constitute a cohesive city. Just the fact that the city is built on massive poles, hammered into the soft subsoil, is enough to make it noteworthy. We recommend that you come for at least a few days, there is much to see!
Instead of buses, here you have Vaporetto or 'vaportetti' - plural, meaning water buses. You can hop on and off these to take you from place to place along the canals, it's a great experience. You can also get a private water taxi, for more money obviously, or a private ride in a gondola which is very expensive. Or take a walk, the city is not that big and you can get from one side to the other of the Rialine Islands (the main part of the city) in an hour or so. Along the way you will discover marvellous art, superb architecture and breathtaking urban landscaping. As well as the city itself, you can take a water bus to the islands of Murano and Burano, which are also very fascinating.
You will find a great choice of eateries in Venice. However, before dinner there are plenty of osterias or wine bars where you can find a lively and genuine atmosphere. Here you can drink some typical aperitifs such as the famous ‘spritz’ (a cocktail made of Prosecco wine and Aperol or Campari) or taste the ‘cicchetti’ (tasty snacks, such as small croutons, meat cooked on a spit, savoury pastries and typical Venetian dishes, both hot and cold). If you are not full up after this, wander the streets in search of a cosy restaurant, but be aware of the places with waiters touting outside for customers, as the food is probably not that good there. The locals eat late, around 21:00, but if you can wait, our tip is to follow some locals and eat where they eat and avoid the very touristy places as they are only looking to take the money of tourists that stay just a few days, and are not too worried about the standards.
The list is long of interesting places to visit in Venice, including many churches. You may have heard of the Basilica of San Marco which is one of the highlights of a visit to Venice. It's an impressive church with a bell tower on an equally impressive piazza. The symbol of San Marcos Basilica is a masterpiece of the Greek Hellenistic sculpture: the famous gilded bronze horses. A visit to the Basilica is a must! It is renowned worldwide for its priceless treasures and fascinating secret places. Some of them, such as the Baptistery and the Zen Chapel, are usually closed to the public though. Entrance to the church is free but the museum is paid entry. The Rialto 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 to replace a wooden one that collapsed. In the same area of San Polo, you will also find Realto Market which will delight your shopping cravings! Shopping is in general a bit cheaper here than in the main city centre.
Palazzo Ducale also known as Doge's Palace in Piazzo San Marco is worth visiting. The Palace in Venetian Gothic style is one of Venice's major landmarks with its terrific architecture and great works of art. A tour called 'Secret Itinerary' is available and can be booked on site for a fee.
the Jewish GhettoVisit the Jewish ethnic neighbourhood that is still very active in Venice and is home to five synagogues, and admire a different side of the city. Avoid visiting on Saturdays or late Fridays (the Jewish Sabbath) as all the Jewish places (shops, restaurants) will be closed.
San Giacomo di Rialto is possibly the oldest church in Venice built around 421. It is most recognized for its 15th Century clock above the entrance of the church. It is also recognized for the red pillars and beautiful gold accents around the church itself.
By plane you can arrive in to Marco Polo Airport in Venice, just around 20 minutes outside the city, and take a shuttle bus to Venice, or you can take a train to Venice's train station. The other option is taking a water taxi from the airport to your hotel in Venice. This requires a 10 - 15 minute walk to the water taxi stop from the airport, and there are free trolleys or paid porter services available at the airport. Treviso airport is just around 25 km away, and from here you can also take a bus to Venice city centre.
Bringing your car to Venice
If you plan to bring a car to Venice, the nearest you can get to the city by car is the Piazzale Roma, situated at the end of the long bridge connecting Venice to the mainland. There’s a large car park on the Piazzale Roma which is expensive but safe. The same can be said of the car park on the recently constructed island "Il Tronchetto", behind the Piazzale Roma. There are cheaper car parks at the beginning of the bridge but they do not have security. You can take a bus from the car parks to the city centre. If none of the above options appeal, you can also park in Mestre, where you might be lucky enough to find a street where parking is free. You can then take a bus or train into the centre of Venice.
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