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Venice is the capital city of the region of Veneto and the 3rd most visited city in Italy after Rome and Milan. The entire city has been listed as a UNESCO site since 1987 due to the high number of historical and architectural landmarks, in addition to its unique urban structure developed over the many canals in the city. The population of Venice is constantly decreasing, with the city itself having only 58,000 people; with the fear that if this continues it could become a Monoculture tourist city.
For a 1000 years, Venice was the capital of the Republic of Venice which, during its height, controlled much of the north-east of Italy as well as Cyprus, many Greek islands and much of the east of the Mediterranean sea. In the middle ages, Venice was the richest Republic of the Mediterranean sea as the majority of its economy was based on luxury items such as silk, fine woods and weapons. The Republic of Venice began to weaken with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire and a reduction in trade relations. Currently, Venice is suffering from a decentralised centre, as residents tend to live out of the mainland due to the very high prices and disproportionate number of tourist.
Must Know: The main mode of transport in Venice are the Gondolas, a great way to explore the famous canals.
Must See: Visit the impressive St. Mark's Square, home to the Basilica of San Marco.
Must Do: Take a trip down the grand canal in one of the water buses.
Did you know? Venice has some of the narrowest streets in the world, one being just 53cm wide.
Marco Polo is the 5th busiest Italian airport with almost 7 million passengers handled by the airport annually. It is located 13 km from the city of Venice in a neighbouring small city, Tessera. Due to a recent increase in passenger numbers, there was an extra terminal added to serve the 51 airlines that operate from the airport. The airport provides flights from both traditional and low-budget airlines, these include easyJet, Iberia, Alitalia, Air France, Brussels Airlines and British Airways. The airport offers travel to both international and domestic destinations with the main destinations being Rome, Naples, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Istanbul, Zurich and Moscow.
Venezia Treviso is connected with Marco Polo Airport. It is a small airport, but since the major renovation in 2007 the airport handles more than 2 millions passengers annually. There are currently only 2 airlines services from this airport, the budget airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air whose main destinations include Paris, London, Brussels and Bucharest.
You can now book Alilaguna tickets directly with Omio to travel directly from Marco Polo airport to the city centre of Venice.
Piazzale Roma is the last point where taxis, cars and buses are allowed in Venice. It is from this square, all the connections to the mainland depart. To manage the influx of traffic and provide more parking facilities to the visitors arriving by car, in 1960 the artificial island of Tronchetto was constructed. Since 2010, the island is serviced by a mini metro (People Mover) to Piazzale Roma in 3 minutes. Many international and national bus lines stop at Tronchetto Island, in addition to cruise ships from Greece and Turkey.
Mestre is the main station that connects Venice with the Venetian Hinterland. The station provides more than 500 connections every day and services 80 million passengers annually.
We have put together The Ultimate Venice Guide to help you on your journey through the little alleyways and over the 400+ bridges that connect Venice.
The Peggy Guggenheim Museum: The Peggy Guggenheim Museum is such a jewel in the city that two bloggers recommended this as a must thing to do in Venice!
San Francesco della Vigna: The Cloister San Francesco della Vigna lies in the North-East of Venice, a much more quiet area compared to the bustling centre. For a relaxing Sunday stroll this is undeniably perfect.
Visit a Quirky Bookshop: Forget the typical souvenir shops, browse the old dusty books of this quirky bookshop to find hidden gems within the bathtubs and boats.
Rio di Sant’Anna Market: This is one market you will never forget. But caution, don’t fall into the water!
The Bevilacqua Factory: The factory is hidden inside what one would think is a normal house, once inside the place opens up into a maze of wooden machines. There is so much to see in this factory that hours will go by within minutes!
Visit the old Venice Jewish Ghetto: A must thing to do in Venice for every history enthusiast! You will not be disappointed as you meander the streets of the first ever ‘ghetto’, in which the Jewish community were forced to live in during the Venetian Republic in 1516.
Venture off into the Venetian Lagoon: Escape the hustle and bustle of Venice and relax on Venice’s biggest and least populated island. Used for agriculture, the landscape is dotted with farms and beautiful scenery.
Dress-Up in a Renaissance Costume & take a Cooking Class: Influenced by the coast, the plains, and the mountainous regions of Veneto, Venetian cuisine really has the best of each category.
Venice is a Photographer’s Playground: If you fancy yourself as a photographer or if you don’t dare to put yourself behind the lens, Venice’s beauty will turn anyone into a professional photographer
Become a Venetian Artist for the Day: Named after the island it was created on, Murano glass is believed to have been created back in 8th century Rome. Ever since, Venice has since lead the way of glass making across Europe.
Take a tour out of Venice: Venture out of the city of Venice and visit the surrounding towns and villages to discover the Veneto region.
Discover the Real Venice: Nothing more has to be said. If you want to know what the real Venice is like during the high season, then this is the place to go.
Uncover the True Art of Coffee Roasting: Need an energy boost whilst strolling the streets of Venice? Then make sure to stop by traditional Venetian Cafes like Torrefazione Girani’s in Campo della Bragora.
Visit the Colorful Island of Burano: Don’t forget there are so many more things to do in Venice and see than the centre itself! Take a journey up North and visit the islands of Burano and explore the more local areas around the centre of Venice.
The public transportation system in Venice is unique in that most of the transport is via boat. ACTV is the public transport company in Venice, and it offers a wide variety of boat options to get visitors from one end of Venice to the other. Some of the boat options included are vaporettos (motorboats), battelli fornei (larger motorboats to get to the islands), and ferries. There are one hundred and twenty floating stations throughout Venice and thirty different lines to take visitors to every part of the city. It is wonderful to truly see Venice while you explore the different attractions of the city. Venice also offers a bus service that connects Pizzale Romo and the mainland, as well as buses to the airport. Public transport tickets include access to all the ACTV boats and buses. Visitors can buy a one day, two day or seven day pass, and passes can be purchased in advance online, or from one of the many ACTV booths located at attractions throughout the city. Children under five can travel for free on the boats and there is a discount available for senior citizens.
With its Mediterranean climate and winding canals traversing the expanse of the city, Venice makes for a beautiful destination - which is why it is one of the most popular cities in Europe. Venice's charming waterways see thousands of visitors throng its streets and hotels. Peak season is between June and August and with the heavy foot traffic and higher hotel rates, its best to visit Venice in other months. The best times to visit Venice are the shoulder seasons from March to May, and September to early October. Although the weather during these periods is sometimes lower, there are generally fewer crowds, and hotels are more affordable. Among the biggest events in Venice is the Venice Carnival, which is held in late February through early March. With the mist rising from the lagoon as the city comes to life from its winter lull, the popping colors from the festival costumes, and the elaborate masks and events surrounding the carnival, this period offers travellers a remarkable sight. Families, friends, or individuals travelling to Venice will have something to write home about as they enjoy the picturesque city with a rich history, grandiose architecture, and iconic design.
Walking is the best way to see some of the most beautiful sites in the city of Venice. Situate yourself at the Academia Bridge near the Gallerie dell' Accademia to take a walk through the heart of the city. Find the gondola stand and from there walk towards the Rio de San Trovaso canal. Take a moment to enjoy the scenery as you cross the bridge at the Calle della Toletta. Walk along the Calle della Toletta and stop at one of the many coffee shops along the way for a delicious hot cappuccino or espresso. You will soon arrive at Campo San Toma and from there can head north towards the Campo San Polo and the Campo San Silvestro. There, you will see the Rialto Market, which is the oldest fish and produce market in Venice. Take a break from your walk to explore the market, and taste some of the unique produce of the region. Next, cross over the famous Rialto Bridge and stop at a cafe to enjoy a delicious pastry and reflect on all the fantastic things you have seen on your walk around the city of Venice.
With its close proximity to the Adriatic sea, Venetian cuisine gives great importance to using simple but fresh local ingredients. Before dinner, visit any nearby bacari wine bar for aperitivo hour, where you can sample light but savory snacks like Cicchetti. Similar to Spanish tapas in design, Cicchetti are small dishes of fried food, such as the ever-popular olive ascolane - fried green olives stuffed with meat. Variety and affordability is the name of the game during aperitivo hour, so if deep-fried isn't your thing, you can also try tramezzini, which is a crustless sandwich stuffed with any filling of your choice (think tuna, artichokes, ham, cheese, etc.). As Venice is surrounded by water, you'll have no shortage of fresh seafood options at your disposable. You can't go wrong with baccalà mantecato, a creamed cod paste served on bread, or sarde in saor, an antipasto made with sardines, sweetened raisins, and lots of wine, both rich in seafood flavor. For dinner, eat like a Venetian by ordering polenta, made of boiled cornmeal and served either as a side dish or a main meal. Once again, variety is key, as you can order polenta with a number of toppings, ranging from hearty vegetables to red meat and seafood. As for dessert, you can't visit Venice and not eat gelato - by far the most popular and tasty option around. Buon Appetitot!