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2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

sandy, utah
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2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

We're leaving for Italy in 3 weeks and I need to work out the final bugs in our itinerary by Tues. p.m. I don't know what we can realistically see in Venice in under 48 hours and would greatly appreciate your advice on this tentative itinerary.

Thurs. June 2nd - Take 5:33 IC train from Florence to Venice Mestre Station, arriving 8:26 (2:53; 18.75 euro). Take vaporetto to Hotel Cristallo on the Lido. Dinner at ??

Fri. June 3rd - Tour St. Mark's Square and Basilica (9:45-4:30; visit it when lit up - Mon-Fri 11:30-12:30, all day Sat?). Doge's Palace Secret Itinerary tour (75 min, daily 9:55, 10:35?, 11:45; 12.50 euro for tour + 11 euro combo ticket for Palace which includes the Correr Museum; daily 9-7). Take vaporetto to Burano. After dark: listen to the dueling caf�� orchestras on St. Mark���s Square.

Sat. June 4th - Visit the Rialto Fish and Produce Market, (8-noon) near Rialto Bridge, on San Polo side. Visit Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (9-6; 2.50 euro). Look through mask, other interesting shops. Take gondola ride if we can find another 2-3 people to split the cost and negotiate a lower price on a back canal. Visit the church on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore (9:30-12:30, 2:30-6:30) and climb bell tower (3 euro). Take 5:34 IC train from Venice Mestre station to Florence, arriving 8:26 (2:52; 21.75 euro).

My main questions are: 1) Is it worth waiting until Saturday to tour St. Mark's Basilica to see it lit up and is it lit up all day Sat. or only from 11:30-4:30 like one guidebook says? How long of a wait in line can we anticipate?

2) Would we have time to take a trip to the island of Burano (how often to vaporettos depart and return; how long to get there) and is it worth going to if I'm mainly interested in taking some photos of the painted houses? Does a vaporetto pass cover trips to Murano and Burano?

3) Considering that our hotel is on Lido, is it worth buying a 3-day vaporetto pass for 22 euro or would another option be cheaper? Does a pass include luggage? Are there discounts available for my 21-year-old son either in the form of transportation or admissions if all he has is a US passport? He doesn't have a current student ID card although he'll be going back to college in the fall. Will we be doing mostly walking once we get to the San Marco area or is it quicker/easier to catch a vaporetto to head to different districts?

4) Is the Secret Itinerary tour really worth the extra cost?

5) Other churches I've heard mentioned in guidebooks are Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Should we try to fit these in or leave something out from the above itinerary?

6) Is there a certain area we can go to find a range of interesting shops (mainly for looking, not for buying)?

7) Is the church and bell tower worth seeing on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore?

8) Any good restaurant recommendations near our hotel on the Lido or near some of the sights we're going to?

9) If our train arrives and departs from the Mestre station, can we get on and off at the Santa Lucia station?

10) Is the produce/fish market worth visiting in our limited time?

11) What would you change to make this itinerary better, cause less back tracking, etc.?

Thanks a lot for your help with the above questions!!

Geneva, Switzerland
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1. Re: 2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

Regarding vaporettos, you can get detailed detailked info at :http://www.actv.it/english/home.php

24hour pass costs 10.50 and 72hour is 22.00. You could buy the 24h pass twice or 72hr once. They are good for the boats Venice-Lido-Burano-Murano, almost almighty (except the Alilaguna airport shuttle boats.)

Chorley, United...
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2. Re: 2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

Answers to a few of your questions.

No, you cannot realisticly see Venice in under 24 hours. This is one of the two or three greatest cities in the world for art, architecture and hisotory and requires a long time to see even a small proportion of its wonders. You can skim through a few of the major sights but you will also leave the vast majority unseen.

Why are you travelling from Florence to Mestre? Trains from Florence take about 2 hours 50 minutes and the line ends at Venice Santa Lucia station.

From right outside the station on the Grand canal there is a vaporetto stop which takes you through to the Lido. Why waste time staying on the Lido, it is very different from Venice and if all you have is 48 hours what is the advantage of wastuing time ferrying to and fron from the Lido to Venice?

Dinner first night. Venetian restaurants close quite early. The majority will close by 10.00 p.m.

Why are you wasting time going to Burano on the Friday? You first have to get yourself to Fondamenta Nove where the boat for Burano departs then you have the journey to Burano, do whatever you wish to do in Burano - the main reasons for visitingBurano are the prettily painted houses and the good fish restaurants, the traditional lace manufacture has now almost entirely been replaced by cheapish imported Chinese lace - then return to the Fondamenta. This will take you the best part of half a day, is it worth it on such a short visit - I think not.

Visit to the Frari - will you not be going round the corner to the Scuola Granda di San Rocc with its fine architecture and incomparable collection of paintings which Tintoretto for the Scuola.

Basilica of San Marco the exterior is not floodlit all day, the interior is illuminated. Best advice is to get to the basilica before the crowds of day trippers arrive. It opens to the genral public at 9.45 a.m. and is reserved for private prayer before that. The main body of the church is free entry but parts of it - the Chancel, the Loggia and the Museum have small entrance charges.

The 1 day (24 hour) and 3 day (72 hour) vaporetto passes purchased from any manned Landing Stage cover the whole of the Lagoon and also ACTV buses on the Lido and the mainland.

Possesion of a US passport by you son will do as proof of age but will not get him a cheaper vaporetto pass. However discounts are available on the Venice discount cards for under 30s (see www.venicecard.it) for details about the different types of Venice cards.

As for curches - there are over 100 in Venice and almost all are wortha visit because they contain an important work of art or more. For instance the church of San sebastian was decorated by veronese and the whole of the ceiling and most of the walls are covered by his works (it was his parish church0, for good measure the church also as a Titian.

Certianly, like many others, Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Sant Giovanni e Paolo are worth visiting but so also are many others includng, for instance the great Baroque Santa Maria della Salute with a fine collection of paintings by a range of artists such as Giordano, Tintoretto, Titian, Palma il Giovane etc.

Palladio's Il Redentore on Giudecca, the Madonna dell'Orto in Cannaregio, the oldest church in all Venice the AD 638 Santa Maria Assunta on Torcello with its magnificent early mosaics and Santi Maria e Donato, an unspoilt and newly renovated Byzantine curch on Murano are just a few of the many churches which merit respect and a visit.

Finally do check about Mestre - the trains I travel on go directly to and from Venice Santa Lucia to Florence, passing through mestre but not terminating there.

And finally, very finally, do not think you can possibly see anything than a tiny proportion of the wonders of venice in such a ridiculously short space of time. My wife and I will be back in Venice for our tenth visit in late May. We never go for less than a week to Venice alone and we still have a list of things to do and see!

Memphis
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3. Re: 2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

Robert-J, My train that I booked through trenitalia ends at Mestre. Some trains went on and some end at Mestre. the time I wanted ends there. I'm sure kcowley has experienced the same thing. That's the info. on the web site when I booked.

sandy, utah
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4. Re: 2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

Lawied13 - You say you already booked a train through Trenitalia. If it's an IC train, they do end at Mestre but I'm assuming we can continue on to the end of the line if what Rick Steves says is right. Were you able to get your seats for one of those 15 euro promos Trenitalia lists for on-line reservations? Can we change our reservation times if booked on this special? We're staying on the Lido because we've booked a nice hotel 15 min. ride from St. Mark's for a lot less money.

Memphis
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5. Re: 2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

I can't remember what I booked it for to be honest. I've had so many other things on my mind related to my trip that it has slipped my mind. I don't know if i did a special or not, but I believe on my confirmation I printed out it says I can change my reservation up to an hour after the train.

I haven't even planned the Venice part of our trip. We are spending three days in Rome then four days in Florence/Tuscany and trying to see as much as possible in both cities. Venice is just going to be a relaxing walk around the city and enjoy the atmosphere for parts of three days. WE are then off to England for 11 days. So Venice is the break from being a tourist.

You seem to be a very detailed planner like me. I hope it hasn't stressed you out to much. I've been talking about this trip so much since January that my wife literally hasn't been able to sleep for the past three weeks because of trip anxieity.

sandy, utah
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6. Re: 2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

Robert J -

I now realize my itinerary for the 45 hours we'll be in Venice is unrealistic (we're arriving Thurs p.m. June 2nd at 8:26 p.m -- the IC train from Florence does only go as far as Mestre, and leaving for Florence on Sat. June 4th at 5:34 p.m.) We're staying on the island of Lido because a nice hotel is so much cheaper than the mainland for a triple and it's supposedly just a 15-min. boat ride to St. Mark's Square.

I value your and anyone else's advice and would like to know the best way to plan our time. My only must-sees are the Secret Itinerary Tour at the Doge's Palace and seeing St. Mark's Cathedral when the interior is illuminated (I still don't know if it's illuminated as soon as it opens at 9:45 on Saturdays, which would be the best time to beat some of the crowds). How should we plan our time and in what order should we see things to avoid the most backtracking? A few things to consider: my husband will probably be sick of art museums by then and he really enjoys looking through shops. Is the produce/fish market worth checking out for the ambience? Is there a particular area that has a number of neat shops? We also don't drink so I'm wondering what we can do during the evening for enjoyment. Is buying a 3-day vaporetto pass our best option?

Thanks a lot for your input!

Kerry Cowley

Chorley, United...
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7. Re: 2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

Well yes, 48 hours is too short to see very much of Venice. There is so much to see and do that inevitably you are going to have to make some tough decisions and leave a lot out.

Personally, being fond of my food and my wife being the author of a chicken cookery book we think the Rialto produce and fish markets great places. There is also a wonderful shop close by called Drogheria Mascari in Ruga degli Speziali just past the fish market. It is a great place for exotic spices, dried and glace fruit, nuts and a good wine shop behind.

Vaporetto season tickets come as 24 hour tickets for 10.50 euros and 72 hour tickets for 22 euros. Particularly good value if you intend to go out to the outer islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.

We go out on every visit to Venice, sometimes to Torcello to see the old cathedral, still in use and first built in 638 AD and last extended in 11 th century. Wonderful mosaics both in the apse and the west wall.

Burano is colourful and an excellent place for a fish meal as it is traditionally an island of fishermen and lace makers. Sadly almost all the lace on sale nowadays is imported from China and very little indeed is made on Burano.

Murano is famous for its glass works. We get off the vaporetto at the Museo stop and walk a short distance to the right to the Glass Museum and on a furth couple of hundre yards to the great Byzantine church of Santi Maria e Donato again with a great mosaic floor laid down in 1140.

If your husband can squeeze in a little more art - and there is a great deal of very high quality art in Venice then croos over the grand Canal to go round the Accademia gallery with great venetian art and perhaps also, if it is to your taste, visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art a short walk to the left of the Accademia.

I have to say we would be desolate if confined to 48 hours in venice. It is a wrench to tear ourselves away after our annual week in Venice.

Chorley, United...
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8. Re: 2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

Sorry - forgot about shops - not my scene really. The main shopping area is the signposted route between San Marco and Rialto but there are facinating specialist shops scattered all over Venice. It depends what your interests are - for model boats for instance Gilberto Penzo at Calle II de Saoneri, 2681 San Polo is the place to go but if you want oars for your gondola then Spazio Legno at Fondamenta San Giacomo, 213B Giudecca is a great place.

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9. Re: 2 days in Venice--please comment on itinerary and best...

Hi all,

I'll be in Venice on the 27th-28th May, leaving on the 29th morning, as 2 days are limited and I do have a tight budget to follow, any recommendations for my lodging, food, places of interest etc.?Will it be better to stay in MESTRE for its low cost?or find a budget one near Lucia? Can i bypass the river bus/taxi and walk my way through venice?

I'll also be spending 2 days in Milan, is it worth the duration?or I shd cut down to 1 day and spend the other in somewhere esle like Verona or Turin? Need your advices..Thankyou