Story and Photos By Linda McKinney
The world is filled with wonderful walking cities. Of these, Venice which
has no cars, is at the top of the list! It is a city built by man on
approximately 125 small islands. These are connected by bridges and canals.
Often called, The Romantic City, itís a city made up of hundreds of canals
and narrow streets. With a population of just over 50,000 residents, it
hosts over 25 million visitors a year who visit to enjoy such a fascinating
In Venice you will get an opportunity to see the city before you arrive at
your destination. Because the Marco Polo airport is located on the mainland
not on the island of Venice, there are various ways of getting there from
the airport. The options include a water bus operated by the Alilaguna
company, an easy 10 minute walk from the airport terminal to the water bus
dock. A round trip will cost approximately $35.00. The trip takes about one
hour 15 minutes. Taking a water taxi is easily the most expensive option
ranging well over $130.00 per one-way trip. The water taxi terminal is
located next to the Alilaguna Company. However, you can share with others to
help you split the cost. You will also be dropped off exactly where you are
going on in Venice, and it is faster than the water bus. The ATVO Venice
express train will take you all the way onto the islands of Venice from the
There are many things to see and do in Venice. The beautiful canals,
wondrous architecture and rich culture are the main attractions. Venice is
peaceful early in the morning or late at night before the cruise ships have
arrived or left for the day. The main tourist attractions are St Markís
Square, St Markís Basilica, Campanile Bell Tower and Dogeís Palace, all
located in the center of the city on the Grand Canal. A stroll through St.
Markís Square will capture a quick feeling of Venice. There will be lines of
people waiting to view the inside of the Basilica, musicianís playing
outside restaurants and venders selling tourist items. The square is
magical! Continuing a walk from St Markís Square, most tourists head in the
direction of the famed Rialto Bridge to capture the famous view. After the
sun sets, the city picks up a new look and ambiance with lights reflecting
off the canals, boats and gondolas carrying passengers around the city. The
city has a wide array of many restaurants that fill the main and side many
serving very authentic Venetian foods. Venice is not a big nightlife town,
so when the restaurants close, the city quickly becomes very quiet.
Venice offers several discount cards and passes which can be purchased to
cover transportation, many museums and sights.
There are a wide range of hotels from bed & breakfast inns up to 5 star
hotels. Since Venice is an expensive city to tour, expect to pay more here
than in most European cities. Research your hotel ahead of time and make a
reservation before arriving. It would be a very difficult to shop for a
hotel upon your arrival while dealing with luggage. Hotels are located all
over the city and the many of the ones located on canals have docks for your
water taxi. The water taxis running around the city, piloted by locals, are
truly amazing and fascinating to watch as they zip through the local canals.
If you select the water bus as your mode of transportation, expect it to
stop at numerous public docks around the city. If arriving by water bus,
confirm the name of the public dock closest to your hotel beforehand, and
the water bus crew will announce the public dock stop.
On an average day in Venice there are as many tourist as there are
residents. Most of the tourists are called day-trippers. They may choose to
stay outside of Venice itself and arrived early each morning on a boat,
train or bus. These hordes of tourists typically follow masses of other
tourist to a major landmark. By turning off of the major tourist walkways,
you can find a small nearly deserted alleyway that runs parallel. If you
find yourself lost, just enjoy the city. Remember, Venice is best enjoyed by
walking and absorbing the culture, the beautiful architecture and some of
the main attractions. Addresses are very confusing. There are six districts
in Venice. Each district has about 6000 addressed numbers. Many
intersections will have a sign pointing to the nearest major landmark. The
best way to navigate is to navigate by general destinations and landmarks
not by numbers and streets. Because Venice is very small, there are many
routes to reach the same landmark. Do not hesitate to ask for directions.
But do not be distressed when you have to ask numerous times.
The best way to enjoy Venice is get out, walk and explore, making memories
of this very unique and charming Italian city! A city map can be handy in
your tour of the city, also do some research ahead of time on the web to
plot a general course for yourself. Public and private guides are also
readily available to escort you on tours from 1 hour or for your entire
stay. Private guides can be pricy in this city.
Enjoy your stay, itís truly very memorable!
More by Dee Dee McKinney