Travel preparation, books and maps, Venice

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  • Palazzo Ducale ~ Doge
    Palazzo Ducale ~ Doge
    by starship
  • Travel preparation, books and maps
    by mindcrime
  • Venice by night
    Venice by night
    by mindcrime
  • starship's Profile Photo

    Advice or Experience?

    by starship Updated Oct 20, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Reading guide books prior to visiting Venice was helpful but only to a certain extent. Books and maps were especially helpful in becoming oriented ahead of time with where attractions are located, etc. I found that following the advice contained in VT pages was more helpful in many instances, although sometimes slightly out-of-date (which is sometimes to be expected). Perhaps due to the "Global Economic Crisis," prices in Venice were even higher than I expected!! To be sure, Venice in season is certainly an expensive city!!

    For example, a VT'er who had used the ATVO bus from Marco Polo Airport into Venice just last year (2010) quoted the price as 3 Euros and 5 for a return; this year it was 5 Euros or 9 Euros for a return ticket. This is a significant price jump and especially so when the exchange rate is not favorable. For one person, the price differential might be easily absorbed, but for a family of 4 or more---be prepared!! The traveler might consider ordering tickets for attractions in advance and online where possible, as a discount might be available; however, if not, having a ticket in hand when visiting the attraction may at least save standing in a long line. (The Secret Itineraries Tour in the Doge's Palace would be a good example of where ordering tickets online is preferred and/or necessary.) Having said that, serendipity sometimes results in a happy experience in my opinion.

    Venice is the perfect place to heed the advice of many seasoned travelers---take half the clothes and twice the money!!

    Palazzo Ducale ~ Doge

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    Some websites I liked to plan my visit with

    by Trekki Updated Feb 23, 2008

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    Favorite thing: Now most of you already have your favourite websites to look at and prepare your visit to La Serenissima. But maybe there is the one or other you didn’t know yet.

    So here is my list:

    Tourist Board of Venezia:
    Turismo Venezia:
    This is not only for Venezia but also for otherplaces of interest within Veneto, such as a boat trip along Canal di Brenta or visits to Chioggia and Jesolo. It lists the current events and has a calendar to look up events for the coming months. You can select the locations to visit according to the interest (museums, theatres, churches, palazzi, etc), area (island or city centre) and sestiere, and when you selected your choices, you will get brief information, opening hours, admission fees and external website (if existing).

    ENIT (Italy’s Tourist Board):
    ENIT for Venezia:
    with further links and information for your visit. But you might need this only if you plan to visit more of Veneto, as the Turismovenezia has much more infos.
    information about the lagoon:
    This is a fantastic site with loads of information and backround about the lagoon, the ecosystem and the problems man can cause (and does). Very much ideal for those who plan birdwatching or ecotours through the lagoon.

    Fondest memory: Modern Art:
    all about Biennale
    All you need to know if you want to come for the worlds best and greatest modern art exhibtion – La Biennale. Next one is this fall (2007).
    Events and art and culture:
    Somehow similar to the official one, but maybe a bit easier to read and find what you look for. There is a calendar to find events per day (which I personally find more practical, as we will be there only during a period of time and might have several interests). You an choose between events, arts and culture (with history and tradition background).

    From the website of Europe for Visitors:
    Venice for visitors:
    A private site with lots of collection of information about this and that in Venezia. However, I often found that some links are no longer working and that some info is outdated. But as a whole, it contains readable info.

    Another website is very much to my liking: Slow Travel:
    They have a part about Italy with lots of infos about travels in Italy and off path options. The more Venezia specific ones are in the section for Venezia.

    Update, Feb 2008:
    I just found another exciting website where you can even download short descriptions of Venezia for MP3 player or iPod - see here:
    Audio guides. Fascinating to listen to!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture
    • Backpacking

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    The secret Venice of Corto Maltese

    by oriettaIT Updated Sep 14, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: From the editor description:
    "A different guidebook to know a special Venice, sometimes withdrawn and hidden where only the true Venetians go, or the magical and fantastic atmospheres one that would have researched a sailor adventurer like Corto Maltese. Seven itineraries, full of drawings and practical advices, across masterpieces to discover, yards and rich stones of story, to know stories and legends, but also taverns, refreshing and places "just" to drink, to eat or, simply to enjoy an atmosphere or a state of mind"

    The secret Venice of Corto Maltese

    Fondest memory: I just LOVE this book!! i dont just use it as a guide, I keep pick it up and read just for fun!!
    It will help you discover a city you will never see following a regular guide.
    It is published in italian and in english, you can buy it online or when in Venice in almost all the bookstore there.

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    travel cards, guide books and maps

    by mindcrime Updated Jul 4, 2009

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    Favorite thing: If you visit Venice just for a weekend you may not need to take any public transport which is the vaporettos in Venice. But if you want to take a vaporett you may need a travel card. The single ticket for the vaporetto is € 6,50 and lasts for 60’! So, if you plan to use vaporettos more than once then its better to take a travel card that will save you a lot of money. We took a 24h card for 18 euros and used it many times and the day after we did everything on foot. There are also cards for 12hours (€ 16,00), 36hours (€ 23,00), 48hours (€ 28,00), 72hours (€ 33,00), 7 days travelcard (€ 50,00)

    The Venice Card also includes unilimited use of ACTV public transport (bus and water services) but if you pay the € 73,00 for 3 days or € 96,00 for 7 days you also pay for the:
    free admission to all of Venice's Civic Museums,
    free admission to the 16 Churches of the Chorus Circuit,
    free admission to the Querini Stampalia Foundation and the Jewish Museum
    2 entrances per day to the city's supervised toilette&nursery points

    I didn’t want to spend all day in the museums so I didn’t buy the Venice card. If you are interested in churches though there are many churches in Venice and some of them house some great pieces of art. If you plan to visit more than 2 a Chorus Pass that costs 9 euros will help you save some money as it gives you entrance to 16 churches (and lasts for a year).

    From Piazzale Roma to San Marco it didn’t take more than 30 minutes and there are some yellow signs here and there that will show you the way. If you want to search some other areas though a bit out of the way you will need a good map. Your hotel will probably give you one but a Rough Guide map (indestructible and cheap) will show you in details all these small alleys, the dead ends etc that will save you when you loose your direction (you will get lost anyway, that’s the good thing in Venice). Lonely planet isn’t handy here (I don’t like its maps) and the 3D maps of EXPLORER guidebooks are nice for some main points. I noticed many bookstores here and there and all of them had a big variety of guide books in Italian and English. The most interesting one (not really a guide book) is the “The Secret Venice of Corto Maltese” that I bought the last afternoon, an ideal souvenir for me, it has some off the beathen path itineraries that forced me to return to Venice some day.

    Fondest memory: Don’t forget that the most beautiful spots in Venice are for free, pic 2 shows a small canal in the night, I don’t change pictures like that with any “dead” museum

    Venice by night
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Budget Travel

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  • oriettaIT's Profile Photo

    Unconventional informations source

    by oriettaIT Updated Jul 2, 2010

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    Favorite thing: For those who are good in reading italian (even if i admit veneto language would be best for some part of it!!) the site %L [] is a real gem! Be aware, it is kind of "goliardico" (in italian means something like student's jokes kind of thing) and some part are a little "harsh" and can get kind of indecent, but it have tons of funny story about Venice, its traditions and its people. Also there are several itinerary (also in english and frech), many curiosities and restaurants and caffes tips.
    I use to read part of it just for fun but often i found some real good advice for my next exploration of this wonderful and unconventional city.
    I hope you will enjoy it ;-)

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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Find your Way

    by BruceDunning Written May 26, 2008

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    Favorite thing: Various maps and layout of the city. It is shaped like a fish, with the rail station at the end, or the mouth. Walking is the easiest way to get around the wandering streets and canals. A vaparetto/boat can be taken form point to point, especially between the different islands. The key to finding your way around is to study a good map first. Then try not to get lost. Follow the yellow signs for directions to/from the Santa Croce railway station at one end and the Rialto bridge and St. Mark's Square at the other. These signs are posted on sides of buildings. Even then, you may have to back track to redirect to the area you are looking for. Canals are a guide to use for further direction of where you want to go.

    Fondest memory: The activity and many varied things to see. The canals are different in many aspects. The fun part is playing the game of hide and go seek. The seek part is finding that museum you are looking for. YOu may not even know you are right in front of it until you look up.

    Layout of the main islands View of the sites on islands
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Albernfrau's Profile Photo

    A Good Map

    by Albernfrau Written Nov 1, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: From we ordered the Rough Guide Map of "Venice" and we were glad we did. It was a fabulous map and sure helped us navigate the maze that is Venice. This map had received really great maps on and I understand why.

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  • yetist's Profile Photo

    Venice in the Winter

    by yetist Written Jul 14, 2008

    Favorite thing: I love Venice and tend to travel there at least monthly. In the summer the city is full, the lines for everything are long, and it is hot and humid. You can experience the aqua alta at any time of year and I experienced it last Sunday. I look forward to the winter, there are no lines, the vaporetti are not overcrowded, the restaurants offer better service, and as was previously mentioned the light in the morning and evening is magical. That being said, now there are cruise ships there year around but in the winter there may be one docked, last week there were 6 in the city!! Enjoy the peace there in the winter.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • Best time to visit

    by mark.m Written Jul 23, 2008

    Favorite thing: I've been to Venice several times including once in October. One thing I can promise is it's a place like no other at any time of year.
    October is a little quieter and it should be possible to find accommodation on arrival. My recollection is that a number of international travellers had found their way there via Munich and the Octoberfest. The weather is likely to be better in October but having been there on another occasion during a quite spectacular electric storm I really wouldn't worry about the weather too much.
    One point, If your budget stretches to it and you arrive from the airport, Get a water taxi into the City, Its quite spectacular day or night. Not cheap but much better value than an overpriced Gondola ride.

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    Buses and airport transfers to Lido, Venice

    by gambit187 Written Jul 1, 2012

    Favorite thing: ok thanks for the replies so far - I am getting my head around it but need some advice on the maths.

    Me and wife get the ATVO bus to Piazalle Roma return ticket each for 9 euro = 18 euros

    Then to make things cheaper we buy 72 hour water bus pass each and use this to get to Lido from Piazalle Roma and back so on Venice Connected this is 35 euros each = 70 euros

    Total 88 euros - is this correct? OPTION 1

    Now on Venice Connected I can get the ACTV bus return to airport included with 72 hour water bus pass for 43 Euros each.

    Total 86 Euros - again is this a correct alternative? OPTION 2

    BUT I know from your brilliant advice and my research the ATVO bus is better than ACTV bus to PR so Option 1 seems better and only 2 euros difference.

    Do you agree with the above? Please can you confirm if this is correct or is there a cheaper way that I have missed?

    If so that just leaves me one problem - a 72 hour pass will last us Wednesday night to Saturday night. We arrive late Wednesday (19.00) and leave Saturday (11.00am - flight is at 14:00).

    As you can see the 72 hr pass is wasted half a day. Remember we are staying on Lido so will need to travel back and forth from city centre every day.

    My question is do we really need 72 hour pass each because yes we need to get to and from Lido four times but on main land we can walk as we are young so do not mind? Any suggestions please.

    Thanks very much.

    You are all so helpful.

    PS this is a surprise gift for my wife so have to do all my own research!

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