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“Venice - magical city”
Review of Venice

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Preston, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
118 helpful votes
“Venice - magical city”
Reviewed June 21, 2005

Three Nights.

We arrived by bus from the airport at Treviso – about an hour’s drive away. Alighting at the Piazza de Roma, Anna from our hotel had e-mailed to suggest we get vaporetto no 51 to San Zaccaria. Making our way to the stop we were pointed in the direction of a no1. A slight mistake as this takes the long way down the Grand Canal stopping at every point. But, hey, what a great introduction to the City.
Five minutes walk from San Zaccaria, over three bridges, and we found the Ca’ del Dose
To be greeted warmly by Marco. More of the hotel on another page.

To get the feel of the place we strolled back over those three bridges and wandered into St. Mark’s Square to be met by hoards of people and pigeons.

It’s funny how you can have a mental picture of a place and it doesn’t quite work out in reality. I had always though the Square was completely open on one side to the sea. But, no, this is really a square with porticoed buildings around three sides and the magnificent Basilica of St. Mark completing the square. The first sight of the golden mosaics on the façade of the basilica is breathtaking.

Ready for something to eat we headed back to the hotel for a wash and brush-up. We passed the next-door restaurant in favour a recommendation about 10 minutes walk away – only to find it was closed on a Monday!
So it was back to the next-door restaurant for a very enjoyable meal.

A stroll back to St. Mark’s revealed the exodus of the day-trippers and a wholly more relaxed atmosphere with music wafting across the square as small ensembles played outside the four main restaurants (beware the prices if you sit down!).
Take your pick of music from Glenn Miller, the shows or the classics and just stand and listen or dance around the square – a truly romantic setting under the stars.

On to the first full day and we joined the throngs to tour the basilica – equally as stunning inside as outside – see pictures. A lift to the top of the Campanile gave us an overall, if somewhat windy, view of the City.

Forgoing the delights of the expensive restaurants in the Square we wandered the alleyways close by and found a local bar for a sandwich and a beer. I can’t remember the name of it, but we stumbled across it again later – oh, well, another beer!
Making our way to the Canareggio district alongside quiet tourist-free canals we searched for a restaurant we had hear of – All Antica Mola’s. A couple of coffees sat outside by the canal gave us the chance to book for that evening.

Following on from a chat with fellow diners the previous night we ambled along to the Park off Via Garibaldi to see turtles basking in the sun around a small pond below a statue of the great man. The park proved an oasis of green in the City.

A vaporetto to the Lido showed a much quieter side to Venice. Quiet because all the tourists had gone the other way to tour the sites of the main City. This left the Lido very pleasant for a stroll to the deserted beaches and through the residential streets – but watch out, there’s traffic here!

A couple of spritzes by a canal in the sunshine made for a very relaxing afternoon.

There is an advantage about using vaporettos in the heat of the day – the breeze which rushes through has a very cooling effect.

So it was we returned to the Antica Mola’s for our evening meal – see restaurant guide.

On to Day two, and time to explore the islands: Murano, Burano and Mazzorbo.

Again a vaporetto heads across the lagoon to the north of the City past a large cemetery island and on to Murano – long famed for its glass factories. Watching glass blowers at work passed a fascinating half-hour as they fashioned such creatures as a cockerel from the molten glass. As if fated on this holiday we went to see the Glass museum – but it was closed on Wednesdays (like the restaurant on Monday).

Purchase of fruit from a floating shop by the side of a canal sufficed for lunch before heading back on a vaporetto to visit Burano. Pictured on numerous postcards are the pastel-coloured houses lining the canals of Burano. You could be forgiven for thinking all the houses showed different shades for an advertising campaign for a paint manufacturer but the truth is that the colours were intended for fishermen to spot their own homes from a distance as they returned. Across a wooden bridge is the larger island of Mazzorbo. We crossed the bridge, turned left and eventually reached a small hamlet round a canal. The place seemed deserted so, in dire need of refreshment, we retraced our steps to the bridge and Burano, deciding Mazzorbo had nothing to offer other than greenery. Following the necessary beer by the vaporetto stop on Burano we headed back to Venice, passing by the other side of Mazzorbo where we spotted a couple of delightful trattorias which we would have enjoyed an hour previously.

The last evening was spent in the restaurant we should have gone to on the Monday. Again the name escapes me but it was on Via Garibaldi back near the park. Adequate but nothing special.

After fond farewells to Anna, we vaporettoed back to Piazza de Roma – this time using the no52 which took about 20 minutes as opposed to the hour on the no1.

The bus journey back to Treviso gave us the chance to see some of the Italian countryside. Just a word about the airport – a new large terminal is in the process of being built but for now the conditions at check-in are far from ideal. We had to wait at least an hour before our check-in as others were leaving earlier. A glance across the road revealed a cafeteria which was just right to while away the time until check-in.

Truly Venice is a magical place.

5 Thank PeterReed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 helpful votes
“3 nights in Venice”
Reviewed May 15, 2005

Our flight was from Liverpool to Treviso Airport, not big they are building a new one now, but the flight was really good.
The buses were at the airport, we got tickets for the bus to P.le Roma return and 3 days unlimited water bus for 2 people, 60 euros.
The Hotel Bonvecchiati was difficult to find but we got a porter, he took us all over the place and charged us 25 euros, we were only 5 minutes away to start with!
Hotel very good! went for some lunch to S.Marco, quite expensive, but get to people watch.
The forum had mentioned a restaurant, Vini da Gigio, we had already booked a table by email, ----, the hotel told us they had tried to book for some guests, was full, and now we know why, very,very good.
Had booked for the Secrets tour for Monday, went to the Doges Palace and got no help as I didn't have a confirmation number, but we got stopped by a governmant tour man, and asked would we go to the glass factory, by water taxi, free!
The trip was good, but took too long! Then we decided to carry on, use our water bus passes, and do the Islands. The one we loved,Burano, had lunch there, with wine etc. was really good, cost less than 30 euros, for 2.
All the houses are painted different colours.
Went to the Rialto brigde sat right to the canal, the food was less than avarage, and cost just under £100 for 2.
We went around the Doges Palace on our last full day,you walk through the Bridge of Sighs, well worth a tour, my wife had always wanted to go on a Gondola, charge 100 euros for 40 minutes, they spend more time on mobile phones, a complete lack of interest, we felt a complete waste of money, at the end, they asked for a tip!
After some lunch we went up the Campanille of San Marco, have a lift both ways, well worth going.
That night we went to Bistrot de Venise, very good, very unusual, but also very expensive just over £100 for 2.
Went to San Marco, had our last drink and listern to the music, great, atmosphere.
To get back to the airport takes time, but we found that buses leave approx.every 30 mins. we missed the one we wanted, got the next!
The flight back with Ryanair was very good, just think only cost £7.99 plus taxes.

5 Thank sav189
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kenilworth warks. UK
1 review
1 helpful vote
“what a diference the sun makes”
Reviewed April 14, 2005

We were there in the second week in April and it started off wet and grey. But on the second day the sun was out and it was warm and the place was transformed as were the people. There is so much to see and so many places to eat and you can always hava rest on the vaporettos which are free if you have a season ticket which is strongly recommended. So go for the sun and the vaporetto to get the most out of your visit

1 Thank Odyssey31041
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Cod, Mass.
1 review
Reviewed April 11, 2005

I love Venice...and I got to see it thru the eyes of people who know the true city...not only the museums but the wonderful restaurants, shops and coffee shops that make you feel part of the culture...the Hotel is a wonderful part of that experience.....beautiful rooms overlooking the Grand Canal.....Come stay and see the real Venice...

Thank LoveTravel11521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perkins, Oklahoma
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
45 helpful votes
“Relaxing in Venice”
Reviewed January 8, 2005

Venice is a remarkable city. It’s warm palate of colors - the subtle shades and worn patinas - are exhilarating. One of my favorite things is its lack of automobiles, even bicycles, making it a mostly pedestrian city. The only motorized transportation are boats operating on the canals - water taxis, police boats, and services like mail and garbage.

Made up of 118 islands, Venice has 177 canals, and is connected by 350 bridges. The city, built on millions of wooden timbers driven into the lagoon floor, has sank 30 inches over the years; 5 inches during the last century. Our family traveled to Italy over the 2004 Thanksgiving holiday.

At the center of Venice is St. Mark’s Square with its flocks of pigeons and throngs of tourists. The square is bordered by 400 year old office buildings and the Byzantine domes of St. Mark’s Basilica.

Began in the 11th century, St. Mark’s Basilica was built over the bones of the Apostle Mark whose body was brought to Venice from Egypt in 828 by two local merchants. The church is decorated with numerous mosaics, including the floor which rolls like waves on the sea due to Venice’s sinking and shifting. Many of the church’s treasures were looted from Constantinople in 1204, including four bronze horses and relics of Jesus’ crucifixion - small pieces of the cross and of His crown of thorns.

Adjoining St. Mark’s Basilica is the Doge’s Palace - the seat of Venetian government from the 12th to 16th centuries. Behind the spectacular pink Venetian Gothic facade are the apartments where the elected Doge, or Duke, lived and worked. The rooms are elaborate with ceilings painted by Tintoretto, Titan, and Veronese. There is also the Senate chamber, Hall of the Grand Council, courtrooms, and the prison connected by the Bridge of Sighs.

Overlooking St. Mark’s Square, the Correr Museum offers an overview of Venetian art and history. There are sculptures by Antonio Canova (1757-1822), a Venetian lad who later became Napoleon’s court sculptor; coins and weapons from medieval times, as well as paintings by the Bellini family - Jacopo, Gentile, and Giovanni.

Also in St. Mark’s square, the Campanile bell tower was constructed in 1912, ten years after the original 10th century lighthouse toppled into the piazza. We took the elevator 300 feet to the top for a spectacular view of the city ($8 adult / $4 children).

For some wonderful shopping stroll down San Marco street. There’s Venetian glass, designer clothes, and of course, gelato - Italian ice cream. We stopped at Gelateria Carioca for a single dip cone ($1.50).

In front of the Church of San Moisé we practiced our negotiating skills for a gondola ride. The 45 minute ride took us through some of Venice’s quiet and picturesque canals to the Rialto bridge, then down the noisy and busy Grand Canal. The ride was a highlight of our trip and well worth the $100 cost.

The Accademia is Venice’s best art museum, featuring several Renaissance masters - Titan, Bellini, Veronese, and Tintoretto ($8 adult / children free).

In 1948, American-born Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) moved into a palazzo on the Grand Canal which today houses the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, one of the best collections of early 20th century art. There are works by Picasso, Dali, Pollock, Calder, Tanguy, and Kandinsky to name a few. Peggy is also buried in the palazzo’s garden alongside her beloved dogs ($13 adult / children free).

One of Venice’s most distinctive landmarks is La Salute Church, built by survivors of the 1630 plague and dedicated to Santa Maria della Salute - Our Lady of Health. Designed by Baldassare Longhena, this white stone church with a crown-shaped dome stands at the mouth of the Grand Canal where it opens up into the lagoon across from St. Mark’s Square.

Venice’s public transportation system is the Actv vaporetto - a fleet of motorized bus boats. The #1 boat makes every stop along the Grand Canal in 45 minutes. Our visit to Venice complete, we boarded the boat in front of our hotel for the 20 minute ride to Venice’s Santa Lucia train station ($6.50). We were now ready for the four and a half hour train ride to Rome and the conclusion of our trip

3 Thank PlainsTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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