I’m sharing my April trip with three of my best traveling friends in hopes someone with trip plans might find something helpful. Venice and London are two of my favorite cities, and since we were traveling during peak tulip season in the Netherlands, we had to fit in a quick stopover. We flew out of ATL Easter night, with a connection in Rome on Alitalia to Venice to get the best deal using Delta miles. Booking the flight was actually the most hair-raising experience of the trip! I was booking my flight with miles and one friend’s flight with her credit card by phone with a Delta agent; my other two friends were booking online simultaneously. I got my flight with no problems, but it was apparently the only seat left for 60K miles. The fun began as I tried to buy my friend’s ticket. Prices were going up and seats were disappearing as we spoke. NEXT time, I may get all the players in one room with their credit cards and try to buy all the tickets from one agent, to avoid all the calls that were flying back and forth among us to figure out why all our ticket prices were suddenly escalating, and IF we were all still getting on the same flight.
I think a vaporetto pass to cover all the days I’m in Venice is well worth the money. I’m always puzzled to hear someone say they walk everywhere, because I don’t think I could see nearly as much without the freedom to hop on and off boats whenever I want. After you leave the luggage carousels, you’ll pass several machines where you can buy a pass for 1,2,3, or 7 days, and the time starts the first time you swipe your card on a boat ramp. The third machine finally liked our credit cards.
If I have three friends to split the cost of a water taxi, it is absolutely the most fun and convenient way to get from the airport to Venice, and it may drop you right at your doorstep with no steps to bump over. Finding the moving sidewalk from the airport to the taxi boat ramp is the tricky part. It’s generally out the front door of the airport and up the elevator on the left. If you are on the outside sidewalk by the taxis on wheels, you missed the turn.
If the water taxi is too extravagant, the land bus to Piazzale Roma works well and is cheap (just not as much fun.) My least favorite option is the Alliguna boat where you sit cramped downstairs looking through dirty windows, land somewhere confusing, and pay almost as much as four people sharing a water taxi. If you go with the taxi, your hotel or apartment can probably tell you how to reserve ahead, or you can book one at the counter in the airport when you arrive. My Venetian friend tells me, however you book it, don’t tip the taxi boat driver. “They make plenty!”
For a first trip or a quick trip to Venice, there’s value to having a front desk helping you with directions and making reservations, but I enjoy the space of an apartment when I’m with friends. This one is my favorite: https://www.homeaway.co.uk/p1111068. Love the location near the San Toma vaporetto stop, the view facing the Frari church, and Giulia the lovely owner who has a retired chef friend who will meet you at the Rialto Marcato to shop for seafood, then come back late afternoon to cook a meal for you. There’s a gondolier (who sings American blues!) parked below the window and a great morning coffee shop on the campo. It’s a quick walk over the Pantalon bridge to lively Campo Margherita, where you can get a good take-away slice from Volo or choose an outdoor table at one of the bars or restaurants for drinks and people watching. Over one more bridge and you’re on Campo Barnabas where there’s Grom gelato. If you keep walking (you’re now in the Dorsodura, the university neighborhood) you’ll probably wind up either on the Zattere watching the sunset over Giudica Island or on the Accademia bridge watching the boats on the Grand Canal.