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5 Days In Venice, Help me find the "REAL" Venice Experience

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5 Days In Venice, Help me find the "REAL" Venice Experience

Old Oct 20th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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5 Days In Venice, Help me find the "REAL" Venice Experience

Hello All. I'll be in Venice for 5 days this Nov. I'm really looking to
--unwind and discover the real venice. Not interested in running around.

--Looking for a B and B for 4 days add a nice hotel for one night.
I feel renting for five days would not make sense.

--Looking for real deal italy, non-chain tourist restaurants.
Are there homes that serve food or afew spots outside of venice that are worth the trip out?

--I'm way open to discover and walk around, leave up to 15 minutes outside of Venice. Ill be leaving venice and flying out of rome so also open to any ideas about how to get to rome, and what to do, eat on the way.

--Budget of 3000$ to spend on food, housing, hanging out for the whole trip of eight nights in Italy.

Thanks in advance
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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I guess I'm not sure what you mean by the REAL Venice. You can hardly be in Venice without seeing the real Venice. There are the usual sights - San Marco (piazza and chutch), the museums, the opera, the Rialto Bridge, the Doges Palace, the Frari, etc. And there is the Venice you see by walking the small canals and riding the Vaporetto the length of the Grand Canal and watching all of the water traffic.

Both are worth visiting.
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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transit - i would urge you not to change lodgings during the trip - just too much hassle to pack, move, unpack, all for the sake of one night. instead look for somewhere nice but perhaps slightly out of the centre so as to save those €.

IMO the "real" Venice is to found by walking - try the routes suggested by JG Links in "Venice for Pleasure" - though the vaporetti can be useful in taking you to a remote part of Venice from which you can walk back to the centre.

it's also to be found in the early mornings before the hoards descend and in the evenings after they have gone.

try reading the TRs by Peter_Aus for a long-term view of Venice.
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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I've seldom taken Rick Steeve's advice, but I have to say that his advice about Venice I love to follow.

Get Lost.

Ignore signs, wander and you'll be surprised at almost every corner.
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Visit the Scuola's (Scuoli?). Go to a concert or the opera. Walk.

I too would say don't bother with the hotel splurge for just one night--it is a time-eater to change. Your call of course.

Talk with B&B owners or Hotel clerk for good restos--the further away from San Marco you go, in general, the less touristy places you'll find.

Have a wonderful time and be flexible--it's such a unique city.
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 11:00 PM
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I endorse the comments about not changing hotel, and with five nights in Venice, you will enjoy feeling at home your blocal campo.

Get hold of a copy of "Venice" by James or Jan Morris. That book is all about the real Venice, as distinct from the tourist destination.

I wrote a couple of trip reports about our time in Venice. Click mon my user name and you will ind them.
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 02:35 AM
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Changing hotels will waste your precious Venice time and is unnecessary if you choose a pleasant B&B, Corte 1321 in San Polo for example.

Get up early to see the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto. Take the No 2 vaporetto for a Grand Canal trip that doesn't stop at every stop. Eat in Cannareggio or another quiet area. (But I do particularly like La Zucca near the Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio.)
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 02:55 AM
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Seconding the advice aobut getting up early. The "real city" is awake early and doing stuff (delivering food, building materials, UPS, taking the garbage) before the tourists arrive. If you want to sleep, take a nap while the hordes inhabit the city.

Thirding the advice about just walking. Stop for coffee or gelato, even in November, when you get tired.

On the other hand, recognize that tourists have been part of this city for hundreds of years. Look at Maurice Prendergast's painting "Venice in the Rain" to see the crowds in about 1907. Watching the tourists from a comfortable spot outside their ebb and flow is plenty of fun.
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 04:51 AM
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There are a series of articles in the Venitian papers this summer about "face up to it chaps but Venice is all about tourism, so stop moaning about the crowds" and I'm afraid that since so few natives now live in Venice that the real venice is what you see. That doesn't mean you cannot eat in the sort of restaurants that locals would or go to church where locals would but it is probably sensible to recognise that the city of venice is very much "their factory floor".

I would recommend getting lost, eating late at night and walking home in the darkness and getting up early to see the delivery men and the garbage boats puttering around. Do learn a little Italian, it adds so much to a meal if you can at least listen in to the flirting and the joshing going on rather than just stare at a difficult to understand menu.
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 04:53 AM
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Sorry Ackislander, I didn't see your points (on autopilot this morning). You say it all better than me.
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 05:25 AM
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Husband and I took an early train out of Venice and the misty fog around the buildings made a magical view. I agree with the folks who say explore early.
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 06:10 AM
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Great info, Thank you all so very much!

- Any restaurants that burned a memory in your head because the food was great?

- In terms of nightlife in and around venice, any suggestions: lounges, clubs, nice bars, live music, maybe a concert? Is there a night culture? When do these towns close for the night?

- Any near by areas outside of Venice I should make a point to try and enjoy?

Thanks
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 06:21 AM
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We made an effort to eat at some place special on an anniversary and the hotel manager recommended Osteria al acareto. He also called ahead for us and made a reservation. It is a very polite thing to be expected.

Here is what we ate: olive and French bread
sadines with onions and oil
pasta & fagioli
pork marsala
sea bass

too full for dessert so they brought us cookies (we had been searching for some we had in Rome into which one dipped after dinner wine) so we had strega and prosecco. Below is their location:

http://www.osteriaalbacareto.com/dove-siamo
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 06:48 AM
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For the real Venice, read a couple of fiction sources to pick up the atmosphere.Any Donna Leon is good, but I favour Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen mystery set in Venice 'Dead Lagoon'.

You might wish to go to Il Ghetto, the Jewish area of Venice and then stroll the Cannaregio area, where there are many residential streets to explore. Or the Dorsoduro to see the university campus if you have a yen for real life beyond the tourist sites...or as both the above poster and Rick Steeves urge, "get lost!".
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 06:52 AM
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Venice in November will be empty so you will be able to enjoy Venice almost to yourself without throngs of tourists. On the down side the rain and the morning high tide water level will require you to walk on elevated gang planks on the touristy parts as Venice will be under water (around a foot deep). Usually the water level would go down around 10-11 am otherwise buy a pair of rubber boots (or ask to borrow from your B&B if you're ok with the idea) so you won't be trapped in your B&B in the mornings as it gets dark in the afternoon).
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 07:52 AM
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Acqua alta (flooding) is not a daily occurrence, nor does it happen only in the morning. It is a tidal event that occurs most often at the new and full moons (plus the days immediately before and after those days) and at other times of the month if certain conditions are present (low pressure, heavy rain and wind). Elevated walkways are placed throughout the low points of the city and not just the tourist areas. The city issues forecasts up to three days in advance.

Here are some links to learn more.

http://www.veniceword.com/weather.html

http://www.veniceforyou.com/highwaterprev.html
[notice the times of day of highest/lowest tide levels]

http://www.comune.venezia.it/flex/cm...?508415f17bf76

http://www.comune.venezia.it/flex/cm...IDPagina/49364
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 08:29 AM
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Dax's post says acqua alta occurs, as if, every day but it's not. Read Jean's post and links. On the other hand, acqual alta is not an occurance that's limited to November. I remember there was quite a good (bad) one happened in September about 10 years ago. In 2008 the worst in last 30 (or 40?) occured in the beginning of December. And I had experienced several others of lighter and various degrees in Nov to Mar myself (not every day of course). More than half of my visit to Venice ( 20 + times), I have done in Nov - Dec and I'm doing it again this December for 5 days like OP.
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 09:14 AM
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On the other hand, recognize that tourists have been part of this city for hundreds of years. Look at Maurice Prendergast's painting "Venice in the Rain" to see the crowds in about 1907. Watching the tourists from a comfortable spot outside their ebb and flow is plenty of fun.>>

Byron was there too - Venice was part of the "grand tour" taken by many rich people in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Napoleon described the Piazza San Marco as the drawing room of europe; tourists come, and tourists go, but Venice goes on forever.
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 09:17 AM
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I think "tourist" Venice is the real Venice. Many if not most of the people who work there do not live there, as living in Mestre is less expensive. But Venice in the evening and in the early morning is very different from Venice during the day because of the crowds; mornings are spent preparing for the tourist, and evenings are spent serving the smaller number of tourists who stay overnight.

We enjoyed our week in Venice as there is a lot to see and do. At St. Marks in the evening they have the battle of the bands, where small orchestras set up outside about five of the restaurants, and you can sit at a table and enjoy a not-inexpensive snack and the music. Some people look down their noses at this, but we enjoyed it. The music, however is not Venetian, or even Italian; one we sat at played waltzes; a couple of others played predominantly American show type tunes, often at the request of someone in the audience. The quality of the music and patter is quite good.

Activities I enjoyed in the morning included visiting the fish market, watching the deliveries at a fruit market; and watching the refuse collectors. Non tourist activities we enjoyed during the day included watching a yard where they build and repair gondolas, and watching some of the craftsmen repairing some houses. We didn't ride a gondola, as they are expensive, particularly with music, so we just lounged on a bridge they all passed under and enjoyed them vicariously.

I didn't think much of Lido, but we enjoyed Murano and Burano, touristy as they are. I would suggest when you arrive, you take a shuttle to Mestre and take the train to Venice (one stop). The first view of Venice when you walk out of the train station is a memory that I will never lose.
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 09:53 AM
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No live band music at Piazza San Marco in November when OP is going. They stop for the winter.
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