Cruise around the 18 islands on which Venice stands to see one of the world's brightest gems where stunning Byzantine architecture & many of the pretigious palaces can be spotted.
THE GRAND CANAL is the longest (3.8 km) & widest (from 30-70 m) which divides the city into 2 parts that are interconnected by 3 bridges. As many as 45 rii (internal canals) run into the Grand Canal. You'll see some of these when we were being transported by the romantic gondola ride.
go to the top of Campanile Di...
go to the top of Campanile Di San Marco for the best view of Venice. Visit Piazza San Marco and feed the pigeons. Basilica Di San Marco is a must see. Overload on cappaccinos and ice cream. Sitting outside a cafe in Piazza San Marco, having a cappacino, and watching a marriage take place, all at the same time on a beautiful day.
Best time to travel and how long
You might have got the picture that I try hard to convice everyone not to “do” Venezia and come in the morning and leave in the evening just for one day. If this is your idea of Venezia – well, again I am sarcastic, then Disneyland or any other artificial Venices on the planet (oh my god, even China did what they can do best – copied it, but.. a bad copy) is the better option.
The best way to get a rough idea of the city is if you plan minimum 2 days, and definitely stay overnight. In the hotel section I already wrote that it is not necessarily cheaper to stay outside in Mestre, and that it is much more fascinating to walk around the city in late evening. Any day more in the city will give you the opportunity to see more, to immerse more and to get caught by the fascination it emanates.
If you can, try and avoid weekends, or Sundays. Mainly if you will only stay for one or two days. Sundays are holy and devoted to the family. A lot of restaurants will not be open.
There is no real season for Venezia, so any time during the year has its special fascination. Well, at the very moment I know this is only from hearsay, but I plan to come back in early December and also in some other months.
Summer (months July and August) will be hot and mozzies want their share of blood. In summer, also a lot of restaurants and hotels are closed – the owners need holidays themselves. March to May might be a good time with all flowers and trees starting to bloom. However, in May it seems that some countries have school holidays, so it will be overflown already (it was in May 2007). Autumn, like end September and October should be a good time as well, as then local culinaries are served; a lot fresh mushrooms and chestnuts. Your personal best time to travel is also very much dependant if you like the real masses and the very high prices or not. Even if I considered May (2007) as already packed with us tourists, the days around Venezia’s famous festivals must be even more full. (Seriously, I often thought if maybe one of the islands might collapse with so many additional people walking around)
Well, I think the most popular festivals for locals and us tourists are definitely Carneval and Regatta Storica. This would be the last 10 days before Shrove Tuesday and the first Sunday of September.
Other local festivals:
Festa di San Marco (April 25): gondola competition between St Elena and Punta della Dogana;
La Sensa (Sun. after Ascension Day): espousal of Venezia with the sea;
Volalonga (Sun after La Sensa): rowing from San Marco to Burano and back;
Biennale (every 2 years, June to October): biggest worldwide exhibition of modern art;
Festa del Redentore (3rd Sun. In July): on the occasion of salvation from pestilence 1576; a bridge of boats is laid from Dorsoduro to La Giudecca;
These days should also be avoided if you don’t like to be squeezed to almost death by the masses.
Festival del cinema
Each year the Venice Lido is lit up by lights from all over the world. For ten days it is the center of world social life.
The International Film Festival in Venice was set up in 1932, thanks to the encouragement given by the Count Volpi di Misurata, who was the Chairman of the Venice Biennale at the time. The Film Festival started up again in 1946, after a forced break during the Second World War.
Later editions of the Festival took on a more international connotation, first on a European scale and then including countries such as the United States, Japan and India in the competition. In the nineteen sixties the Festival became the launch pad for the English Free cinema and the French nouvelle vague, reinforcing even more the Festival’s international role.
The Festival continues to be an event that attracts a lot of visitors, both famous and non, amidst discussions and autograph hunters. They come from all over the world and provide the Venice Lido with a glossy, magical atmosphere.
Beware 'Alta Aqua' (high water)
Waterproof footware (aka Wellington boots) Aqua Alta typically occurs in late Autumn, but can catch you out at any time. Although it is great to watch the water lapping over the kerb, and walking on the eleveted pathways, Wet feet can take the shine off the most wonderful sights!