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Venice Itinerary Help, Please

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The dart thrown at the "To where can we reasonably drive from Vienna?" map landed on Venice for the school fall break later this month (third week of October, to be exact). We've all watched BBC's "Francesco's Venice" and feel well-informed about the city's history. That was the easy part.

We are driving because DDog is traveling with us; our dog sitter is unavailable. I have scouted a parking garage on the mainland that is not as crazy-expensive as others (Serenissima). Can anyone comment good, bad, or otherwise on this garage? Or, suggest another garage?

We have rented an apartment in Canareggio, a few minutes' walk from a vaporetto stop. Presumably we'll find markets for basic groceries nearby.

Question 1. We love to cook, and will likely prepare dinners in the apartment. Has anyone discovered a special grocery in the neighborhood, or special groceries that you purchased? Or, a lovely trattoria or osteria (all budgets) in Canareggio?

The holiday is 5 full days and whatever remains of our arrival day. How to fill that time is the hard part. We're prepared for any kind of weather and for all kinds of walking. Some of the usual first-time tourist sights are on the agenda: Campanile, San Marco Basilica, Doges Palace (with Secret Itinerary Tour), Rialto Market, Burano and Torcello, and Guggenheim (DD and I enjoy modern art). Exploring Canareggio and Dorsoduro are also on the list, along with a Grand Canal vaporetto tour (day and night). We also have day trips planned to Padova (markets) and possibly Trieste (we have friends there); we have been to Verona on a previous holiday. Murano and gondola rides have been given a thumbs down.

Question 2. Has anyone traveled on traghettos? How was your experience? Riding a decommissioned gondola sounds fun.

Question 3. If you could only see one art museum in addition to the Guggenheim, what would it be? We are not art people, but appreciate a beautiful setting and lovely art. Should we have a week of rain, what would be the next few museums on your list?

Question 4. Frari Basilica and Santa Maria dei Maricoli are on the itinerary. As we prefer beautiful churches to art museums, what other houses of worship have you found inspiring?

Question 5. As an engineering and technical-steeped household, Venice's bridges will fascinate us, to be certain. Are there other "engineering marvels" in the city we might enjoy exploring?

Question 6. How long would a visit to San Michele (the cemetery island) take?

Thank you.

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