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Venice, Italy highlights

July 27th, 2007

Some of the best of Venice is found in its hundreds of small squares. Most are very ornate, with accompanying chapels open to the public, often hosting special exhibits of everything from musical instruments to Venetian glassware.

venice bridgeThe best gallery museum is the Accademia Gallery, just over the Accademia Bridge. Venetian masters are gathered here, including Bellini, Carpaccio, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. The collection covers five centuries of Venetian painting and is housed in one of the city’s oldest scuole (loosely formed religious groups). Open daily. Dorsoduro 1050.

Venice Restaurants
Touristy places will get you touristy food at ridiculous prices. But off the tourist pathways you can still find fantastic food at reasonable prices.

Da Fiore is expensive, yet has great seafood dishes prepared to local custom. San Polo 2202.

Northwest of St. Mark’s, in the Cannaregio district, you’ll find great budget restaurants serving Venetian specialties. Anice Stellato has a scrumptious fish menu (Cannaregio 3272, fondamenta della Sensa). Corte Sconta also has good seafood, with an outdoor seating area beneath a canopy of vines. (Castell 3886, calle del Pestrin).

Venice Nightlife
If you’ve walked the canal streets and crossed many bridges for their ambience and sunset photographs, you’ll be hungry for late-night food. You’ll want to head for Fondamenta Misericordia street, where Paradiso Perduto turns into a nightspot later in the evening; and the nearby Iguana serves Mexican food late, and has live music as well.

Venice’s casino sits on the banks of the Grand Canal, just east of the central train station and water-taxi hub. Dress accordingly.

venice gondolasAlong the Campo Santa Margerita you’ll find lots of fun cafés and bars, some with outdoor seating and others hidden in small courtyards.

Venice Transportation
National and international trains terminate at either the mainland station in Mestre or at San Lucia on Venice island. If you stay in Mestre, you can take a local train from the station or express bus over the causeway bridge. Check with your hotel for bus numbers and train location.

Once on Venice island, you can walk—my preferred method and encouragement to visitors—or hop on the city’s water taxi that serves more than 24 stops along the Grand Canal, around the circumference of the island, and the lesser islands to the south. A 24-hour pass is about $15, but well worth it if you want to get to sites quickly or see everything in a short two-day visit.

And then there are the gondolas. Not exactly water-taxi speed, but traditional and able to take you wherever you ask. You should be prepared to negotiate price.

(return to the Venice, Italy main page)

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