I described our eventful arrival in Venice resulting in my number 1 Venice travel tip. I hope that aid in helping you figure out your approach to getting to your hotel.
And now for the fun stuff. What to do.
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There is one thing about how my husband and I travel. We rarely do all the tourist sites. We know that may mean missing out on something that is a “must-see” but it is our style of travel. But we would much rather become absorbed in the place we are visiting rather than standing in line. We do try to hit at least one of the main attractions if we can.
Venice was our last stop on a 17-day trip. We had been to Rome and Florence first. It was our second trip to Rome so we were less obligated to do the main attractions having been to some of the biggies (Vatican, etc) on our first trip. While in Florence we went up the Duomo and had seen the Statue of David.
For Venice, we just weren't in the mood and skipped the Basilica, Doges Palace, or any of the Ca (chateau/palace) tours. We walked through or past St. Mark's Square and the Bridge of Sighs so these were “done” by de facto.
If you have three days to spend in Venice and are interested in visiting some of the main attractions then I suggest you start EARLY and get through them the first day. If you are not interested, then you can do what my husband and I did.
Throw your map away and walk. Walk aimlessly without any destination in mind and make it an adventure of finding the most obscure corners, alleys, and walkways that are a photographer's dream.
Bump into the local pubs where the natives will teach you about the local drink you can't get at the tourist bars. Take in the smaller, more intimate restaurants, and don't worry about missing your reservation because you couldn't find your way.
We walked for hours and hours. When we got tired we stopped in outdoor terraces for a coffee or beer, or the local cocktail called a “spritz.”
Then on day 2 ride every route of the fabulous (and cheap!) water bus. You see Venice from the outside. You see Venice from the inside. Get off and wander around and then get back on. It's truly an amazing system!
When you are hungry, stop when you find a restaurant. When you are thirsty, stop when you find a pub or terrace. When you are tired, sit on a lovely bench and watch the boats and the natives. It was especially fun to watch the DHL boat deliver packages in the busy port area and to watch the garbage men collect garbage by boat!
Don't forget to ride at night as well for spectacular views of the palazzos lit up in the dark.
Now you are ready to check out the islands of Murano and Burano.
Have you been to Venice? Did you have a specific plan or just wing it? Do you have any additional tips to add? Do tell!
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