V E N E Z I A
Venezia is a fantastic city. No other city in the world is like that. Has that background. That history.
A similar geographical location. And such a popularity among people from all over the world.
Its origins go more than a thousand years back. The first Venetians fled from enemies on the mainland and started building
their houses on about 100 small low-lying islands in the middle of a swampy lagoon. They invented a special building technique, which lasted for many centuries. By around 1500 the city more or less had the form it has today. And the Venetian state had become
a world power, not least at sea. Marco Polo came from Venice. He went later to China and became mayor of Beijing. The Venetian palaces became a model for many parts of the world. Not least the palace of the Doges is very famous.
The old city is today divided in six districts. The Canal Grande goes through it like an upside-down S. And about 140 small bridges are connecting all parts of the city – only for pedestrians. No cars anywhere in the city. They are only allowed
in the very western point of Venezia – at Piazza di Roma, where also the train station can be found. From here you have to transport yourself by foot – or on boats on the water.
water transport is the Vaporetto. You can say it is a waterbus. Many lines connect most parts of the city, including the international airport, the Marco Polo Airport. If you are there for some days, then buy a Card for 3 days. It costs (2008)
35 €. You can go anywhere by Vaporetto. But remember to stamp your ticket each time you board a boat. A single, one-way ticket costs 6,50 € independently of the length of the tour ( Nov. 2011 )
You can also use the water taxis. Nice, pleasant and interesting. They take you anywhere, if there is water. But they are expensive. Ask for the price, before you start. To and from the airport to the city centre they cost 110 €
( 2011 ).
What about the gondolas? Yes, absolutely. Very charming. And very expensive. Do remember to negotiate the price, the route and how long the trip will last, before you start. In
November 2005 we paid 70 € for half an hour. But it’s charming. Especially if you can make the gondoliere sing!
The traghetto is another means of transport. It is a very small boat
a sort of a gondola -, which takes you from one side of the Canal Grande to the other. Very cheap. And you normally have to stand up. Don’t lean too much out!
When you do the Canal Grande by boat
you will among many other things see the two most famous bridges: Rialto and Accademia. You should certainly also visit them by foot.
What else is a MUST to see in Venice?
The short answer is: Everything. But normally this is not possible. So here is what we think is a MUST:
- St. Mark Square – fantastic layout. If the weather
permits, take a (expensive) glass of something on one of the cafes on the Square. Often they have outdoor music. Don’t touch the pigeons. They might be sick. But they are an integral part of the Square
- Go to the top of the Campenile (there is a lift!) – the huge red “pencil” on the square. If the weather is good you have a fantastic view over the city and the lagoon from there
- The Palazzo of the Doges is, of course, very interesting. Go also via the Bridge of Sighs to the old prison next door
- St. Marc Churchis unique in itself.
Originally built as the private church of the Doges. Today it’s the cathedral of Venice. Very oriental style. Somewhat dark inside. Don’t miss to see it beautifully illuminated on the outside at night. See it from St. Mark’s Square
- Outside the tourist area: go to the Cannaregio district. Quiet and nice. Especially the old Jewish area is very nice. See Piazza del Ghetto. The word ghetto comes from there. There
are guided tours in the district now and then
- Another very interesting area outside the main quarters is Dorsoduro with Piazza Barnara on the southern side of Canal Grande.
It’s a short walk from the Accademia Bridge towards Rialto. We always by the best parmesan cheese in the world in a small ecological shop on that square
- East of St. Mark’s
Square – go to Via Garibaldi. This is the street where the locals go shopping, and where the restaurants are full of locals. And the prices much lower than elsewhere. This street was built by Napoleon on the top of a canal, because he
wanted a real shopping street!
- The fish and vegetable market near the Rialto Bridge is also very interesting.
- There are lots of art exhibitions in Venice. The permanent exhibitions in the Guggenheim Museum and in the Galleria Accademia, both in Dorsoduro near the Accademia Bridge, are very interesting. Ask the hotel what
else is available. The newest art museum is called Punta della Dogana Museum. www.palazzograssi.it It’s at the other side of Canal Grande seen from St. Mark’s square. Just
next to the church De la Salute. The building is the old customs house. And the art in the museum is VERY modern and provocative.
- Where to go and eat? There
are hundreds of nice places. Go for the Osteria restaurants. They are normally small family owned and run restaurants. Very, very good
- One especially nice restaurant
is: Ristorante Al Ghiadinett. Address: Castello, 4928. Tel. 0039 041 523 8778. You find it in the small streets behind St. Mark’s Church. Excellent food! And drinks! Don’t forget their best Grappa!
- Harry’s Bar at the Canal Grande, not far from St. Mark’s Square, is famous and very interesting. For a drink or a snack. It’s small and often very full.
- And where to stay? We have found a very nice family run small hotel just at the Lagune – 200 m from St. Mark’s Square: Hotel Paganelli. And very reasonable prices.
Riva degli Schiavoni 4182,
Campo San Zaccaria 4687
Tel. 00390 041 522 4324
- Excursions by boat out of the centre: Go for two islands:
Murano (the centre of glass)
and Burano. Departure from Vaporetto station Fundamiente Nuevo.
Have a fantastic stay in bella Venezia!
Liselotte & Niels Jørgen Thøgersen
November 2011. ( 3rd edition )
www.Niels-Jorgen-Thogersen.dk ( Dansk )
www.simplesite.com/kimbrer ( English )