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Travel Jimmy Venice travel reviewsVenice Italy travel


VENICE, ITALY


We spent 3 nights in Venice in March 2005 and found it to be an absolutely gorgeous city, unlike anywhere else in the world, and very picturesque.

Venice is built on 118 islands formed by about 150 canals with about 400 bridges connecting the islands on which the city is built. There are no cars on Venice - you get about by boat or on foot. It's somewhere we definitely want to visit again. Perhaps March was a good time to go because we have read reports about the crazy crowds of tourists and the smells from the canals, but we didn't find it too busy and didn't notice any smell, so possibly that is an advantage of going when it's cooler.

When you arrive at Venice Airport, there are three options for getting into Venice. We took the Alilaguna water bus which costs €10 each* for a journey of about an hour. Just follow the signs at the airport for the Alilaguna. Click here for more information.

 

If you're happy to spend more money you can get a water taxi which takes around 30 minutes, and costs around €80 for up to 4 passengers*. You can pick up the water taxis beside the Alilaguna stop. Alternatively you can get a bus for around €3. Take either the blue ATVO bus (ATVO Venezia Air Terminal) or the orange ACTV Bus No. 5. Both leave from the second platform outside the arrivals hall and take about 20 minutes. They take you to Piazzale Roma where you can finish your journey by foot or pick up a regular water bus.






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Room at Hotel Kette

View from Academia Bridge
View from Academia Bridge
St Mark's Cathedral
View from Academia
Bridge
Room at Hotel Kette
St Mark's Cathedral
View from Campanile
Rialto Bridge
View from Rialto Bridge
View from Campanile
Rialto Bridge
View from Rialto Bridge
View from Rialto Bridge
Rush hour in Venice
Another grand canal view
View from Rialto Bridge
Rush hour in Venice!
Another grand canal view
Gondola water taxi
Small side canal
Burano
Gondola water taxi
Small side canal
Burano
Burano
Burano main street
Burano
Burano
Burano main street
Burano

Hotel Kette, Venice

This is a nice 4* hotel in a great location, on a little back lane about 2 minutes walk from St Mark's Square. Clean, comfortable rooms, good cold breakfast buffet with cereal, rolls, cheese, ham, etc. Visit Hotel Kette's website. Click here to book a room at Hotel Kette, Venice, view lots of photos and read reviews by other travellers.


Things to see and do in Venice

St Mark's Basilica

You can't visit Venice without going to St Mark's Square. Go inside the Basilica (we were amazed that entrance is free - you just pay if you want to go to the museum). It's very impressive, very grand. Open from 9.45am to 4.45pm. Find out more about it here. Climb to the top of the Campanile tower opposite (€6) for great views over Venice. There are lots of cafes in St Mark's Square but they are, not surprisingly, very expensive.

 

The Rialto Bridge is a fantastic place to watch the world go by and enjoy the wonderful views. Watch delivery men arrive in their boats and unload their goods. Just round from the Rialto Bridge is an interesting market with lots of multi-coloured pasta, fresh fruit, vegetables and other goods.

 

You can cross from one side of the canal to the other by using a gondola taxi or traghetto which costs just 50 cents. Everyone stands up and it looked as if it would be hard to keep your balance, but it wasn't! Because we were on the river all the time, using the Vaporetto and taxis we didn't feel the need to charter a gondola. If you decide to do this, make sure you agree a price before you set out, make sure it's a total cost and not per person, and ask about any extras. Some charge extra for singing, etc or if they go 5 minutes over their standard View of Grand Canal from the Academia Bridge journey time.

 

Another place for fabulous views of the Grand Canal is the Academia Bridge (see left). It's a great place to take photographs of the amazingly picturesque view in front of you!


We bought a one-day Vaporetto pass for €10.50* and went to Burano and Murano. Burano was so cute - lots of lovely multi-coloured houses, bridges, little canals. A gorgeous place and, again, very picturesque. They make lace there, so there are lots of little lace shops. We had a nice lunch at Bar Cafe Palmisano on the main street - the Paninone sandwich with mozzarella, tomato, basil for €3 was delicious with a chilled glass of white wine for €3. It was a lovely place to sit and people-watch. Murano has lots of glass shops and is also worth a visit - you can even see displays of glass blowing.

 

Bars and Restaurants in Venice

 

Unfortunately our experiences of eating and drinking in Venice weren't as good as we'd hoped. We walked through the Dorsoduro area during the day and there were several bars and restaurants so it looked like it would be good to come back to at night. However although we found a couple of bars to have a drink, we found that restaurants were closing really early, even as early as 9.30pm, which isn't what we're used to when travelling in Europe. This must have been because we were there in low season as I'm sure in the summer places must stay open much later. Our quest next time we visit Venice will be to find some restaurants to recommend! 


Some useful sites about Venice:

Venice World - Information about Venice here
Timeout Venice
- More useful information about Venice here
The Guardian - Venice - Some useful articles from The Guardian on Venice
Trip Advisor - Reviews from other travellers and a useful forum

Hotels in Venice - Book hotels in Venice, read reviews from other travellers and view photos



*Note: Prices quoted above were accurate in 2005.