I'm off to Venice in two weeks- will stay there for a week before boarding a cruise. Favorite restaurants? Things not to miss? Things not to bother with? Day trips? Should we get museum pass? Week long vaparetto pass? Time to get serious about planning! (and I have the 2007 RS Venice book... will read on the plane!)
Joanne, I would read the RS book now - because he answers many of your questions!! Even a chapter on daytrips with nice little itineraries. here is the information on the vaporettos and you can see the different pass options - if you see, one ticket is 6 euros but 3 days is 30, so if you think you will take a trip into the lagoon to see the 3 islands or if you think you will take them a lot, then obviously it would be worth it. RS's book even goes through the various museum pass options and gives his opinion, he also has walking tours and all of that good stuff - so I'd definitely recommend reading it now!
I'd get a week vaporetto pass. I was there for 4 days and got a 3 day pass and used it so much. I also walked and walked but it was nice to get on the vaporetto and go down the Grand Canal at night as it is quite different to the day and generally have the flexibility to be able to jump on one at any time. I also got a museum pass which I thought was great. I'd also suggest reading your book now, on the plane is too late. One other thing I enjoyed was a walking tour - great insight to the history of the place. Also one thing I would have liked to have done is go to one of the concerts. They generally have an opera one such as Puccini and other composers and/or a Vivaldi. There are usually several types and are held in old buildings or churches. All the hotels have the brochures and also there are people in the street selling tickets. Lastly a Bellini at Harrys bar. Won't be the best you've had, but it was Hemmingway's regular spot.
OK- I really have skimmed the book- and know his basics for Venice- will do my day-by-day in-depth stuff on the plane.
but I want personal recommendations... and confirmations about what I've read.
And I don't need romantic, expensive food- I'm going with my sister. We want good, local food as inexpensive as possible... any ideas?
The San Marco side of the Rialto has a small Gelato shop best we tried there. On the right tiny store maybe 10' wide.
On the Market side of the Rialto try the stalls with sandwiches and pizza.
Small corner stall with Muffellta type sandwiches and very generous you'll know when you are at the right place - they are right behind the stalls that sell all the scarfs.
We stayed in an apartment and did mostly home cooked meals and trips to the Grocery - supplemented occassionally with a sandwich or a side.
Best fruits we found Rialto market, by far!
Go to Murano - bypass the hard sells to see the factories and just walk around and check out the shops and do the museum there.
Go to the top of the bell tower for great views
Buy the Vaparetto pass it was very nice to just hop on when you want - just be sure it run it through the machine the 1st time.
We went for a week in 2005 it a favorite.
I like to have at least one lunch at the cafeteria on the side of the train station--lots of choices and reasonable prices. There is a map for the vaporetto which can make your transportation easier. I got one where they sell vap. tickets. I finally travelled to the islands of Murano and Burano last fall and enjoyed that. I usually walk more than using public transit. The vaporetto is just a boat-bus, accompanied with noise, noxious vapors, crowds, etc. I probably wouldn't buy a one week pass, but maybe a three-day pass or even a one-day pass. You can decide after you get there--it depends on how much walking you are up for. I find that walking in Venice bothers my legs more than walking in most other cities, probably because of the steps up and over all the bridges.
There is so much to do in Venice that you may not get to all of it even in two weeks. And check Rick's book for day-trips in the area. The Guggenheim art museum is a nice change from reliqious art.
The vaproetto pass is definitely the way to go if you want to get around easily. Yeah, so there are crowds, but crowds are everywhere in Venice. I always get a 72-hour pass and hop on and off as I please. Of course, I always enjoy walking, just make sure you have a good map. A week in Venice, though? You might consider a couple day trips to surrounding cities to break things up a bit. Don't miss Murano, Burano, and Lido for changes of pace.
Stay in a hotel in Venice. Walk around the city in the evening, when all the cruise ship people are gone. Go to a concert or listen to the bands playing in Piazza San Marco. Just walking and exploring the city, you will come upon fabulous things. A tour of the Doges Palace would be good, and interior of St. Mark's also.
Trips to the islands of Torcello, Murano, and Burano are fun too.
I agree with BG....WE walked everywhere and had a great time. We did take the vaporetta to Murano, etc. We did a great photography tour with a guide and she took us to the small, out of the way area's for picture taking. it was fun and we got great pictures. Ask the locals where they eat......that is where we ate. There is a great restaurant by the Rialto bridge that specializes in squid spaghetti... it is black and my husband loved it. It is well known, but sorry, can't think of the name...I coudl walk there though! Filled with locals.....which is where we preferred to eat. Marilee
Joanne, I'm going on Monday. I'll be sure to post ASAP if we have anything to offer. Looks like you got lots of great ideas already -- thanks for asking the question.
Be prepared to spend lots and lots of money!!! Venice is very very expensive. But it's the most beautiful city in the world!!! Happy Travels
Get the Vaparetto pass to cover the trip. You will walk a lot in Venice, and getting lost doing it is a wonderful thing; but you will run out of gas, and finding that Vaperetto stop for a ride back to home base is (sorry) priceless. As for food, I spent an evening wandering through Dorsoduro and found a spot with 5 or 6 restaurants filled more with locals than tourists. The gnocchi was like cotton candy, it just melted in my mouth; unbelievable! The Doges' palace was a good sight. Go glass shopping where all the tourists are. It's crazy, it's ridiculous, and you'll find yourself getting caught up in the madness and kind of liking it. And since you have 7 days, being part of the circus for half a day is a good memory. Just don't pick a restaurant around there, the odds are against you.
It's my home town :) Send me message on the forum if you want and I'll send you my fave restaurants / recommendations etc. You will have a great time with a week to see everything!
if you are on line, please send right now! I leave in just a few hours! We may go to an internet cafe, so if we don't get it before we go, we can still see your list...
restaurant recommendations really appreciated!