Scientists revealed that Venice is sinking 5 times faster than it was believed at first. With 2mm a year, you should definitely think about visiting the floating city while it’s still above the water. If you aren’t convinced yet, I hope by the time you finish reading the post you are. Here are a few reasons and hints on how to visit the “old lady”.
If you chose to fly in, you should know that Venice has 2 airports Treviso and Marco Polo, none of them being on the island. In order to get to the city, you would need to take a bus that you can find at the exit of the airport and that will leave you at Piazza Roma. The price of the ticket is around 14 euro (22 for the round trip) and you can purchase it from the office or from the bus driver. If you chose to come by car, you have to leave it in a parking lot before entering the island. Make sure it is in the right space because fees for parking are up to 900 euro.
When you say Venice, you immediately think of old buildings, with high ceilings and wood furniture. You can picture the gorgeous courtesans at their balconies luring men into their chambers. If you want to feel the city, you should definitely rent an old apartment in the city center. The prices are not much higher than those of the hotels and due to the dimension of the city, if you choose wisely you can have everything within walking distance. I used Airbnb platform and rented an amazing 1 bedroom apartment, with old and new elements and paid for 3 nights around 200 euro. You should also know that the city resembles a maze so it can be hard to find the correct address, but the locals are very friendly and will guide you.
The only way of public transport around the island is by water: vaporetto, gondolas or taxi boats. I decided to make a 24 hours subscription for the vaporetto (20 euro) and visit also the islands of Murano, where you can see the glass factory and the island of Burano, known for the lace museum. If you decide to take this option, you should definitely take the boat at sunset and cross Canal Grande, the view is breathtaking.
While you are here, make sure you go for a ride with a gondola. The city is filled with places where you can take one, the ride is around 30 minutes (even if they say that it’s an hour, if they have customers in line, they will make it shorter), it costs 80 euro for the daylight version and 100 for the nighttime and a group up to 5 can go at a time (the online tickets are 60 euro and during the week you can negotiate the price ). The gondoliere will show you Casanova’s and Marco Polo’s house (for the Canal Grande tour) and will give you additional information about Venice.
San Marco is the main square and it is also the place where you can see the church with the same name. The entrance is free for the church, but the line can be very long, especially during the weekends. The access to the balcony, where you can see the lagoon, has a tax of 8 euro. If you decide to purchase a city pass you should include in the list of places to visit: Doge’s Palace, Clock Tower, and the Lace Museum. Make sure you buy your pass online since it is the only place you can do it. Also in the San Marco square, you will find Florian, the first coffee shop in the world, it dates from the year of 1720, so if you are a real fan of coffee, make sure you visit it at least once (a cup of coffee is around 15 euro).
When it comes to food, you should brace yourself, because you will gain weight while you are in Italy, since it is the home of patisserie, cappuccino, pasta, and pizza. If you are a fan of seafood, then you are in luck, the pasta and pizza with seafood should be on your menu. As for the beverages, don’t you even think about leaving without trying the Aperol Spritz. An average meal will cost you around 25 euro, depending on what you would like to eat, but you can also choose to have the daily menu, just make sure it includes only Italian food and not regular fast food. I suggest you look for the small patisserie shops that you find within the island where the locals drink their coffee, the prices will be lower and the quality higher.
If you are wondering what is the perfect time to visit, you should know that between the 17th and 28th of February the Carnival is taking place. You get to see the participants, and why not yourself, wearing costumes and masks. Make sure you purchase a mask made in Italy and not the ones that are imported, these are the best gift that you can buy from here and they come in all sorts of shapes and colors. During the carnival nights, you get to see the pairs dancing on the rhythms of waltz and tango.
I hope I convinced you to start booking your tickets for the beautiful city that stole my heart. Enjoy la grande bellezza d’Veneto. In the link below you can find more pictures from my trip: http://www.boredpanda.com/venice-in-the-time-of-the-carnival/
We danced our youth in a dreamed-up city–
Venice, paradise, proud and pretty.
We lived for love and lust and beauty,
Pleasure, then, our only duty.
Floating then ‘twixt heaven and earth,
And drunk on plenty’s blessed mirth,
We thought ourselves eternal, then,
Our glory sealed by God’s own pen.
But paradise, we found, is always frail.
Against men’s fear, we always fail.”
– Dangerous Beauty, Veronica Franco