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Venice itinerary

After a short stop in Verona (part of the tour group's itinerary), I will end my Italy vacation with 3 nights in Venice. Unfortunately, I can't stay any longer than that because of my mom's job so this is another city where I have to concentrate on time management. Our hotel is the Hilton Molino Stucky.

Again, the first full day begins with unchangeable activities booked through Insight Vacations. They are:

Glassblowing demonstration
Debark near Bridge of Sighs
St, Mark's Square and Basilica
Doge's Palace without SI tour

I will ask my travel agent about booking the Secret Itineraries tour because that is not mentioned in the brochure. After DP I can make plans for anything except dinner on Monday night, which is part of the Insight itinerary. Any ideas are appreciated. TIA.

Posted by
363 posts

Have a drink in the rooftop bar at your hotel & enjoy the view! What time of year is your trip? In warm months, the SI tour goes through rooms in the upper floor which are very hot. other suggestions: take a vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal at sundown & admire the chandeliers shining through the windows of the palazzi lining the Canal. If you are interested in modern art, you will enjoy the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. There's lots of variety in terms of sights to see. If you haven't already, skim through a guidebook. More suggestions: Frari church, belltower in Piazza San Marco, San Giorgio belltower, daytrip to Burano, get up early to wander before the hordes arrive.

Posted by
23592 posts

at that time of the year, experience tells me, the wind gets up and the fog settles in. Be prepared to freeze your yayas off, and if you get a bright warm day be grateful.

I would ordinarily suggest more churches and schuolas but churches can get cold too. Be sure to get plenty of warming tea. Any bar will have what you need, cover, warm, tasty, and toilets.

Enjoy Venice, one of my favourite places in the world, but allow a bit of those extra days for bad weather makeup and celebrate if they are both warm.

That said, I have walked though Canareggio in short sleeves in February. Enjoy looking at the Dolomites in the distance with their mantle of bright white snow.

Too bad your tourbus can't navigate the streets of Venice, eh?

Posted by
250 posts

Where can I get a good view of the Dolomites?

I already planned to pack sweatshirts and layers. Thanks for the weather information.

Posted by
3696 posts

I had a great view of the snow capped mountains with bright sunny sky on a boat trip to Burano in Feb. about 5 years ago.
This Feb. taking the same boat trip it was cloudy and a bit foggy and you had no idea there might be mountains over there!

Posted by
250 posts

It seems like everyone loves Burano, but nobody says why. I wish I had time to go there.

Posted by
11613 posts

Burano is like a miniature Venezia - slower pace, not as "fancy", but some lovely public squares, and houses painted in pastels. I love the array of artisan studios - glass, jewelry, ceramics, a little bit of lace (what it used to be well-known for). There is a dock at one end for water ambulances, and a church with a slightly leaning bell tower.

If you feel like you've had a hectic stay, an afternoon in Burano can be very refreshing. I also love Torcello.

Posted by
23592 posts

Most of the year to reach Torcello you need to at least change boats in Burano.

Posted by
74 posts

We just left Venice a couple of days ago and stayed in the Giudecca, not far from the Molino Stucky. There are several cafe's and Trattoria's between the Hilton and the Redentore that offer stunning views of Venice/San Marco accross the water. A nice area to take it all in. Have a great time.

Posted by
250 posts

One place I definitely want to visit in the Giorgio Franchetti Gallery. It is right on the Grand Canal, so I will take a vaporetto there. What is the best place to board a vaporetto on for that? I probably will be coming from Dorsoduro or San Marco.

Posted by
1260 posts

You can get a fine view of the Dolomites from up in the bell tower of San Giorgio Maggiore, a beautiful church designed by Palladio. The bell tower has an elevator.

Posted by
23592 posts

Giorgio Franchetti Gallery is at Ca'd'Oro. Ca' d'Oro is right at the vaporetto stop of the same name.

Posted by
74 posts

I think the Trattoria's in the Giudecca would be excellent places to eat supper on the weekends. Not as crowded....good food and the stunning views if you are seated on the waterfront. Many of them brought tables out to the edge of the water so your views of Venice were unimpeded.....unless the occasional cruise ship crossed in front:).

Posted by
250 posts

Is Venice more compact than it looks on an attractions map? It seems like I have to cross a lot of canals to visit one church or museum that is not close to anything else several times.

Posted by
11613 posts

You will probably cross many canals to get anywhere in Venezia, but most of them are short bridges, perhaps10-20 steps up and the same down the other side. If you have mobility issues, you may want to plan on using vaporetti to get closer to your destinations.

Posted by
250 posts

Thanks Zoe. I am just thinking about how to group sites together when they seem so far apart. My mobility is fine as long as I don't go down a steep slope. In that situation my mom helps me.

Posted by
23592 posts

If you list some of the places you want to visit we may be able to help.

I will say that a whole big chunk of the absolute fun of Venice is the discovery on foot of so many unexpected special and unusual things, as you go from one place to another.

Some bridges are a little high, but some are only 8 to 10 steps up and down. A few are nearly flat. It all depends on what you are going over and the size of the boat that has to get under. Remember that absolutely everything to and from every hotel, restaurant, store and every civic amenity besides gas and water comes and goes on boats. The guys who deliver the luggage from the cruise ships have a medium sized narrow and long open boat. The garbage goes out on a slightly wider and longer boat with a covered deck and the rubbish below, a crane on the deck and guys with hand carts. The linen boat is quite small, he takes in fresh and removes soiled from practically anywhere. The DHL/UPS guy has a yellow or brown open boat with a compartment. The ambulance looks like a yellow taxi with flashing lights, and is seen all too often. The police cars are boats. Some fancy and polished teak, some gray and plain, according to the rank of the user and which police force. The ones you will see most often are policia locale, of various ranks, the carabinieri - also of different ranks - , the even more feared Guardia di Finanza, and the various municipal ones of all sorts.

And other need access too. Taxis. Builders. Demolition companies. Amazon. Moving companies. If you can think of a kind of truck at home it will be a boat in Venice. Except car carriers. They do have "tow trucks".

They all have to be able to get everywhere. Hence the tiny, larger, and big rios and canales, and the various bridges.

Enjoy them.

Posted by
23592 posts

In terms of starting from S Marco (a follow-up question up thread) I think that the special boat all the way over at the Molino Stucky goes to Zattere on the south edge of Dorsoduro and may continue to S Marco. If it does, there is a big handful of docks all along the fondamenta and it would be helpful to know which one it serves. Depending on which one it is you could be halfway to the Arsenale and they would still call it S Marco. It may be Danieli but I don't know.

I like the Zattere stop because it is so close to much of Dorsoduro, yet a very flat wide and scenic walk straight to Accademia and its bridge and vaporetto stop.

As to where you should start from, that is up to you.

Posted by
250 posts

Nigel, on the official HMS website I read there are two shuttle boat stops and one is San Marco. I assume SM means the south side so we can get close to the Accademia bridge from there. I don't know where the other stop is.

My guidebook states the Accademia Gallery is free on Sundays and reservations are "essential" because only 300 people can be in it at one time. So I obviously want to go there after leaving Doge's Palace, the last of three Insight activities, then walk from there to one of the churches in Dorsoduro - Santa Maria della Salute.

I have some ideas for what to do on Monday - Scuola Grande di San Rocco, vaporetti up and down the Grand Canal with a stop at the Franchetti d'Oro Museum, San Sebastiono Basilica . . . Something has to be cut out. I need help with the order of operations part of it - when I visit a church, a museum, etc. to use my time wisely. And of course there is that mandatory gondola ride.

Posted by
835 posts

The Hilton Molino Stucky shuttle goes from the hotel to the Zattere, which is on the south side of Dorsoduro. From there it would be a five minute walk to the Accademe gallery.

Next stop is San Marco, and the stop is about 300 metres east of the Doge Palace, near the San Zaccharia vap stop. From there, it would be a 25 minute walk to the Accademe gallery. Or take a No 1 vap from San Zaccharia to the Academe vap stop, p part of the Grand Canal.

Best time for the gallery is first thing in the morning, and I would suggest you do it on your free day.

Posted by
835 posts

Are you in Venice on 21st November? That is the day of the Festa della Madonna della Salute.

Posted by
250 posts

Peter, I picked Sunday afternoon for the Accademia Gallery because it is free that day . On Monday it costs 11 euros. I already will be a short walk away from the bridge. Monday is for visiting other areas in Venice. But I do like the idea of starting Monday off with the AG.

We will be in Vatican City and Rome on November 21.

Posted by
835 posts

Free admission to the Accademia is on the first Sunday of the month. Not "free every Sunday", which your post seems to imply.

Posted by
250 posts

Thanks for the correction Peter. I thought it was free every Sunday.

Does it make a difference whether I go to the AG on Sunday or Monday?

Posted by
835 posts

Sunday, the Academe is open until 7:15 PM, Mondays until 2:00 PM, and those times might direct what you do.

Posted by
835 posts

My suggestion for Monday, your free day.
Take the first Stucky shuttle to the Zattere.
Walk through to the Academe, spend maybe 2 hours there. The Feast at the House of Levi painting and the St Ursula cycle of paintings are not to be missed.
Walk down to the Salute church.
Walk back up the Grand Canal to Campo San Barnaba, and have a look at the ground floor and garden of the Ca' Rezzonico. There is a cafe on the ground floor, free to enter.
Take a vap from the Ca' Rezzonico stop up the Grand Canal to Ca d'Oro, for that museum.
Take the vap from Ca' dOro to the San Stae vap stop
Walk throught to Campo San Giacomo, one of Venice's loveliest.
Walk through to the Frari, a great Gothic church, and Titian's Assumption of the Virgin is worth a trip in itself. As you face the Frari, to your left, is a shop, Leggatora Poliaro, doing books and special paper. Worth a look.
From there, go to the San Toma vap stop, and take a vap back to San Marco (San Zacaria) and find the hotel shuttle back to Giudecca. That's a full day, two museums, two churches. The Grand Canal upstream of San Stae is less interesting, getting close to the railway station.
From the Frari, walk to

Posted by
250 posts

That is exactly what I was looking for Peter. However, Scuola Grande di San Rocco is on my must-see list. If I want to visit the AG, I will go there Sunday to make time for SGSR. Most likely the AG is what will be deleted from my itinerary if time is running short.

Why should I only see the ground floor of the Ca' Rezzonico?

Posted by
835 posts

Ca' Rezzonico is a very large museum, and would take two or more hours to do it justice, and entry is ten euro or so. But the ground floor gives you a taste of what a palazzo is like. From the ground floor, you can access a little landing stage on the Grand Canal and watch the traffic.

The Scuole Grande San Rocco is very close to the Frari. In front of the Frari, just over the bridge, is the bar Al Archivo. A good place for lunch, and the guys behind the bar are friendly. We've eaten there half a dozen times, and when I return to Venice in September, Al Archivo will be my local bar. My AirBnB apartment is just behind there.

Posted by
250 posts

I can visit the Accademia Gallery on Sunday to have more time at the Rezzonico Palace. That is a no-brainer.

When you say bar, does that mean there are few or no tables? By then I will want to get off my tired feet.

Posted by
835 posts

There are tables, or if you head right from there along the canal, you'll see a couple of other places with tables outside.

Posted by
250 posts

I bet sitting at one of those tables would be very expensive because of the location. First things first, how do I get to the SGSR or Frari Basilica?

Posted by
835 posts

To get to the Frari, vaporetto up the Grand Canal from wherever to the San Toma vaporetto stop. Walk straight ahead, turn right at the tee, enter Campo San Toma. Straight across the Campo away from the church, take the path to the right of the building that faces the Church of San Toma. Take Calle Larga, and you will come out beside the Frari. San Rocco is to your left, the entry to the Frari about 50 metres to your right.

Outside tables are not particularly expensive there.

Posted by
250 posts

That is a lot to remember. We will have to bring along walking directions, not just a Venice map.

Posted by
23592 posts

And if you are at Frari, you're not a million miles from Tonolo.

After years of scientific analysis we prefer the pastries from there to any other, even better than Didovich. Commissario Guido Brunetti likes them too.

Posted by
23592 posts

It isn't particularly easy to find places to sit in Venice. If you find one, such as in a Campo under the trees, take advantage. You can always start walking again in 15 minutes.

Posted by
250 posts

Maybe Italians think we are spoiled to have benches everywhere when they travel to the United States.

What is Tonolo?

Posted by
23592 posts

Tonolo makes the most fabulous pastry, excellent coffee, delicious cakes, great fresh squeezed in front of you chilled orange juice, and has extremely professional staff. It is seriously yum. Just around the corner from S Pantalon, half way to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.

The official site of their mainland location which will give you an idea of what the one in Venice is like:= http://www.pasticceriatonolo.com/ The Venice location doesn't have a webpage that I am aware of.

The Tripadvisor page about the Venice location:= https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/AttractionReview-g187870-d2362934-Reviews-PasticceriaTonolo-Venice_Veneto.html

Lonely Planet's page:= http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/venice/restaurants/bakeries-patisseries/pasticceria-tonolo

What TimeOut has to say:= http://www.timeout.com/venice/restaurants-cafes/venue/1%3A22732/tonolo

Read a little Brunetti. See where he stops on the way home for lunch with his lovely wife Paola. Author - Donna Leon.

If you really want to find a way to get your teeth into Venice, what it is like for local Venetians day by day, read some Brunetti. I've been going to Venice for decades and I still learn something every time I read one.

Posted by
250 posts

I wonder why only one location has a website. That is weird.

Of course eating a dessert there would mean skipping lunch.

Posted by
250 posts

Now I am thinking about vaporetto cards. Should I put off getting them as long as possible on Saturday so that the 48-hour card won't expire too soon or get the 72-hour card before doing anything else outside of my hotel? What makes it a hard decision is we won't be in Venice three full days, so the 72-hour card seems like a waste of money. OTOH I don't know if I will need a vaporetto after the card expires. If that happens, a single trip back to the hotel would essentially cost 10 euros.

Posted by
835 posts

The card lasts for 24, 48 or 72 hours, and the clock starts running down from when you first use it, not from when you buy it. You can buy it any time you like.

Posted by
250 posts

I was just wondering if it is worth 10 more euros to be absolutely certain there will be no issues after a 49-hour card would expire.

One possibility is go to the Accademia Gallery on Saturday because it closes at 7:15. which would allow me to buy cards much later in the evening. I don't know when we will arrive from Verona that day. OTOH we can visit the AG after seeing the Correr Museum at San Marco and eating lunch. Basically except for the glass demonstration we will spend all day at Piazza San Marco and Dorsoduro across from that area. It is a full day but loos doable.

Actually, I could get the 24-hour vaporetto pass and just use it on Monday with that itinerary. But then where do we go on Saturday if I don't have vaporetto tickets?

Posted by
835 posts

Look, you can buy the card any time that is convenient - there is a kiosk right in front of the Academia museum. The clock only starts when you first board a vaporetto after touching the card to the reader as you enter the vap pontoon. Watch other people and you will see how it is done.

Posted by
250 posts

Is this itinerary too busy on Sunday?

Insight Vacations portion:

Glass blowing demonstration

St. Mark's Basilica

Doge's Palace

Free time:

Correr Museum

Light lunch in Dorsoduro

Santa Maria della Salute

Accademia Gallery

Posted by
835 posts

Glass blowing, the Basilia and Doges Palace will take all morning, plus a portion of the afternoon. If you go by boat direct from the Molino Stucky (3/4 hour), watch the glass action (say 3/4 hour), return by boat to San Marco (3/4 hour), see the Basilica (say an hour if you stroll around the Piazza) and Doges Palace (two hours), that's about five hours in total.

Omit the Correr, walk over to Accadmia (half an hour),
Lunch somewhere near the Accademia - 3/4 hour, and best to head off to the left as you cross the Accademia bridge and you'll find places, or there is a place just to the right of the bridge. Otherwise you could find several places in Campo San Stefano on the San Marco side.
Walk down to the Salute, see church, and back to Accademia. Say an hour.
Accademia Gallery, say two hours.

Then walk over (south) to the Zattere, the wide path to the left of the Accademia runs straight through to the Zattere.
Walk west (turn right when you hit the Zattere) along to Nico's gelati place, take an outside seat, have a drink and watch the action (and maybe a cruise liner departing) on the Giudecca canal..

Then take the Molino Stucky shuttle boat from the Zattere back to the hotel.

Depending on the hour, you might eat on the Zattere, where there are a few cafes. Avoid the Ae Oche pizza joint - it is a dump.

I've visited the Correr several times, and it is enormous. You would need a couple of hours to just get a taste of it, and much of what you would see is very similar to the Doges Palace but on a smaller scale, mainly to do with Venetian history. Coinage,marms, documents, many paintings.

Posted by
835 posts

An alternative. Heading towards Accademia from the Piazza San Marco, you walk away from the Basilica. Head along Salizada San Moise, past the Louis Vuitton etc shop. After you cross two bridges, you enter a campo. Turn left and you will see a gondola and traghetto station.

A traghetto is a large gondola, two men at the oars, carries 14 people, and will ferry you across the Grand Canal. It costs two euro per person, and would take you clos to the Salute. Just head left at the first street you come to, and cross one bridge.

Posted by
250 posts

That looks good, but I will not be hungry for gelato after visiting the Accademia Gallery.

Do you know if the HMS shuttles run on a schedule or only come when called?

Posted by
250 posts

Interesting - the Zattere stop is only open in the evening. Good thing it will be after 6:00 when I leave the Accademia Gallery.

I found this restaurant behind the AG in my guidebook: Osteria Al Squero. It is Venetian, cheap, ideal for a light lunch, and where I can see the gondola boatyard. Frommer's gave it 3 stars, its highest rating. But first I want to make sure we don't have to wait forever for a table to become available.

Posted by
835 posts

You will struggle for a table at Osteria al Squero - there are none, and the place is tiny. They do have some seating inside, so you might get lucky. The place does chichetti (same thing as tapas in Spain), about one euro per piece. Just point to what you want in the display case.

Nicos, just around the corner, does panini and tremezzini (small filled rolls and sandwiches). You'd get a table there easily. On a practical note, I don't think that Osteria al Squero has toilets for patrons. Nicos does.

Posted by
250 posts

I just read some reviews on TA. It sucks when the only common complaint about a restaurant is not having any tables available.

What is the other restaurant's full name?

Posted by
23592 posts

I wonder why only one location has a website. That is weird.

(Tonolo)

Doesn't need a website. Next to the University, all the University folk go in; it is in a very popular neighbourhood for locals so they all go in. Add a few tourists and who needs to advertise?

It has been there as long as dirt and everybody local knows about it. Now you do too.

Posted by
23592 posts

Osteria al Squero

Gli Schavioni

As far as I am concerned the make the best and cheapest chichetti in town. Take your little plate out to the canal wall, put it on top, add your glass of wine and enjoy.

I don't remember any tables inside - maybe way down the back but I don't get back there. If it is raining put your glass on the wine bottle display shelf and hold your plate.

The lady who serves in the front has some super tasty stuff but doesn't do good English. The gents on the cash and little plates down the side do excellent English, but once you know what you are eating it doesn't matter.

They do a really nice made in front of you mortadella sandwich, or there is the big mortadella chunk with onion on a stick.

Be courageous and try it all....

Posted by
250 posts

I will not be hungry enough to try everything.

Good to know about employees speaking English. Pictures on TA show both the menus and receipts are Italian.

Posted by
250 posts

Moving on to my free day . . .

HMS shuttle boat to San Marco

Buy 2 24-hour vaporetto cards

Board the next Line 1 vaporetto

Ca' Rezzonico

Line 1 vaporetto

Ca' d'Oro stop

Rialto Bridge?

Posted by
835 posts

You can walk back to the Rialto from Ca d'Oro, then take a No 1 vap down to San Marco for the shuttle. Or walk the whole way.

Just follow the signs saying "per San Marco"

Posted by
250 posts

After crossing the Rialto Bridge I will visit some places on the other side. We will not return to San Marco that day.

Posted by
250 posts

This is looking bad for people who want to know where they are going. Apparently we have to walk through San Polo, which means it is impossible to avoid getting lost on our way to the Scuola Grade di San Rocco. That is bad if there is nothing worth visiting in SP and my guidebook has no recommendations in the area. I know many people say getting lost in Venice is fun, but that does not make any sense because we are trying to go somewhere and have only one day to see it.

Posted by
835 posts

Check out the Sacristy of the Church of San Polo. It is very special. The Sacristy is on my list of "must visits" each time I go to Venice.

Could be that you need a better, more informative, guide book. Frommer's ain't all it is cracked up to be.

Posted by
835 posts

The sacristy of the church of San Polo always draws me in. The sacristy contains a Stations of the Cross by Giandominico Tiepolo, I think his first big commission. The paintings are pretty brutal in their realism, the story of the trial, crucifixion and resurrection told in the standard fourteen works. There's no "Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild" depicted here - it's the story of an activist, something of a political show-trial, a troublemaker being dispensed with. Anyone who threatened the Roman revenues, "render unto Caesar", and tipped over the tables of the money changers was not going to be let off lightly. Pontius Pilate had a colony to administer, and trouble makers were never going to be tolerated. The Ascent to Heaven shows Jesus rising completely under his own steam, no supporting angels or putti, not much in the way of haloes and a pair of soldiers looking on in stunned amazement.

Tiepolo's work did not find favour - that's not the way the story is meant to be told - so the paintings went un-hung for decades.

They are brilliant, disturbing too.

Posted by
250 posts

Great idea Peter. I like realistic images of Biblical events.

Only Frommer's books have a 3-star rating system. Because I'm staying four nights in Rome and three nights in Florence and Venice, I wanted a general Italy book this time. Fodor's Italy 2015 is on hold at the library. I will definitely read city books for my next trip to Italy.

Posted by
1260 posts

Other great things to see in San Polo are the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari church, the San Giacomo Dell' Orio church, the San Stae church, the Rialto bridge and the big vegetable and fish markets nearby...

Posted by
250 posts

I thought the Frari was in Santa Croce. It looks like that on a Venice attractions map.

San Giacomo della'Orio looks beautiful inside and weird on the outside. Thanks for the suggestion.

Posted by
750 posts

The Frari is in San Polo, very close to the Scuola di San Rocco, both of which are close to the border with both Santa Croce and Dorsoduro. San Giacomo dell'Orio is in Santa Croce.

Posted by
1260 posts

I looked up my Venice photos - I got one of the sign on the wall of the Frari, and it is in San Polo. I hope you get to see the church. It's quite wonderful, in a somewhat austere sort of way. One of my favorite composers, Claudio Monteverdi, is buried there, and at the time I saw his grave, many people had left flowers, and someone had even left a note.

Posted by
250 posts

Everyone highly recommends the Frari, but for some reason I don't see why they love it .I must be missing something.

Posted by
1260 posts

You may well feel differently about the Frari once you've been in real life - please let us know in your trip report.

Posted by
250 posts

I am sure I will. It probably is one of those places where you say, "Pictures don't do it justice," after going there.

Posted by
3811 posts

I think I mentioned on another post about the Frari...I tend to find - after a while - that the churches are all kinda the same - the big domes, stained glass, art...even tho I still like them, they don't really stick in my mind. I really can't say why the Frari church did - couldn't put my finger on it...maybe because it's small-ish (compared to many I've been in) but with so much artwork - I took the time to really look at everything. And the Canova monument for some reason struck a chord that has stayed with me over the years - his heart is buried there, and I guess maybe because Venice is my fav place ever, I find that very romantic...who knows!

Posted by
835 posts

The Rialto market is not a tourist trap. It is where people buy food. Fish, vegetables, meat, poultry, flowers.

On Mondays, it is not so worth visiting, as there is no fish.