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Advice on sites not to miss during my trip to Italy especially in Venice

Advice on sites not to miss during my trip to Italy especially in Venice

Dec 27th, 2005, 07:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 137
Advice on sites not to miss during my trip to Italy especially in Venice

I am going to Italy May 24th-June 8. We are flying Delta,hopefully they will still be around . There are 6 adults, an 8 yr old and a 23 month old. We were originally going to London but have decided it would be too much lay over in an airport. I just want to get to Italy.

We will arrive in Rome May 25th spending 6 nights. we will see the main sites as well as a day trip to Pompeii(my friends from England will be there with us fri thru mon). We then are taking a train to Florence for 5 nights with side trips to Siena and San Gim. We will be heading to Venice for 3 nights and have basically 2 1/2 days there. We fly out of Venice.

Is there anything, especially in Venice, that is not an obvious site, retaurant,museum,gelato stand that we must get to. My parents, in laws and husband are going on this trip and have never been and I really want to WOW them....but I know that Italy will do this with out me.

Thanks for all your help.
dewdrops is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 07:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,404
Hi Dewdrops,

What a wonderful first trip! Plently of time for the big 3. I would suggest taking a day from either Rome or Florence and adding it to Venice. You'll be very glad you did!

In Venice, I visited 3 sites that are not on everyone's list that I really enjoyed:

Il Frari - church with short open hours
La Scuola de San Rocco - amazing art
Ca d'Oro - palazzo turned museum

Il Frari is very near the Accademia.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 08:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,145
Hi dew,

In Venice, get up erly and go to the fish market near the Rialto.

In florence, take the no. 7 bus from the SMN train station to Fiesole and watch the sunset from the terrace of the Bar Bleu.

Also see Helpful Information: Italy 2

Have a lovely visit.

ira is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,215
I really enjoyed climbing to the top of St. Mark's Cathedral to see the 4 horses and then standing out on the balcony admiring the view of the square.

Part of the fun in Venice is just wondering the back streets and getting a bit lost. Eventually, you will find a sign back to a main site, but exploring the little canals and side streets will make Venice special.
KathrynT is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 12:48 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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The Secret Itineraries Tour of the Doges Palace is worth considering. This is a guided tour that is different from the normal Doges Palace tour, but you can wander around the Doges Palace at the end. It includes Casanova's Cell and inside the roof of the Doges Palace plus many other interesting aspects of early Venetian Government. It is probably one of the best tours in Venice. You have to book with tickets available at the Doges Palace.

DownUnder is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 03:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Kathryn hits the nail on the head. The joy of Venice is just to wander. On my first trip there I found the church of Santa Maria del Miracoli which I revisit every time. There is also an enormous plain basilica close by with a large piazza in front with an equestrian statue - don't know the name but go there each time too!

Also if the weather is good - take the boat to Torcello - the church there is just gorgeous and you can stop off at Murano on the way if you like.

Take as many water buses as you can!!

Have fun.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You could easily spend a month in Venice and still miss some really magical sights - but here are a few that always draw me back. Going up the Campanile at San Georgio Maggiore - not nearly as busy as the one in San Marco and I think with better views. Churches: Salute & Miracoli. Nico's on the Zattere for a gionduiotto (not sure on spelling) but it's a chocolate hazelnut block of icecream surrounded by cream - quite delicious and you'll walk off the calories!. Lunch at an outside table at Acqua Pazza. An very early morning or late night trip on a vaporetto along the Grand Canal sitting out the front. Early morning in Piazza San Marco. Ca' Rezzonico museum. The Naval Museum (open very limited hours so check first). The upstairs museum at the Basilica - well worth the horrendous steps. A tour of La Fenice - this needs to be booked. Standing on the terrace of the Guggenheim - even if you don't want to see the collection, it's worth a visit just for the joy of the views. And of course, wandering the streets of Dorsoduro and San Polo away from the throngs, stoping at regular intervals for coffee and panini!
maryk is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 03:00 PM
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Author: RufusTFirefly
Date: 12/09/2005, 09:48 pm
It's very easy to get around in Venice. It's a walkable city--no motor vehicles, or even bicycles, to contend with for one thing. Have a good map showing all the streets. If you get tired of walking, hop a vaporetto to get from one end to the other.

Our biggest problem has always been walking past the streets we want, because we're always paying more attention to what's going on around us and because it's easy to forget how compact the city is and how quickly you can get from one place to another.

Some things to see depending on your interests:
Piazza San Marco, Basilica San Marco, Campanile, Palace of the Doges, Grand Canal on a vaporetto, Lagoon islands: (Murano, Burano, Torcello), San Michelle, a gondola yard. The Arsenal and the Naval Museum, Correr Museum, Accademia art museum, Peggy Guggenheim Gallery, numerous art shows and exhibits that are always running, The Ghetto. Another dozen or so specialty museums.

Too many churches to list with interesting and world-class art and architecture, but...Basilica Santa Mariadella Salute, Basilica dei Frari, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, San Sebastiano, San Pietro di Castello, Santo Giovanni E Paolo, Madonna dell'Orto. Venice's churches have some of Italy's greatest works of art--many free to view by the likes of Tintoretto, Veronese, Titian, Bellini, Vivarini, and Carpaccio.

Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Scuola San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, Scuola San Nicolo, Scuola Grande Dei Carmini, Scuole Grande of San Rocco.

Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Ca’ Rezzonico museum, Querini-Stampalia palace/museum, San Giovanni Evangelista, Ponte di Rialto, Rialto market, Ca’ d’Oro, Ca' Pesaro museum, gondola tour of smaller, hidden canals. Opera and concerts at La Fenice and other venues. Walking away from the daytripping herds and discovering a quiet, secret city that most tourists have no clue exists.

And don't forget the Lido of Venice for a beach experience in the summer.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 02:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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well, Rufus - I'm impressed - do you have all those names in your head to be summoned up at will?

You must be an Italian speaker!
fuzzylogic is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 04:44 AM
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In Venice, when you visit San Marco Basilica, pay the extra entry fees to see the Pala d'Oro and the Treasury. The jewels will knock your eyes out!
Margaretlb is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 05:53 AM
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My four favorite sights in Venice are (1) San Marco Basilica - be sure to go to the second level to see the mosaics from above and, as noted above, visit the main alter to see the Pala d'Oro; (2)the Rialto Market - it is fabulous early in the morning, plan to spend some time taking in the fish and produce markets; (3) I Frari - the church has beautiful artwork, especially a magnificent Titian; and (4)the canals and alleys of Venice - be sure to wander, don't worry about getting lost.
mamc is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 06:14 PM
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Thank you all for such great advice. I have never been to Venice and I am sure that my family will have a great time with the information that I have gotten. May 24th seems so far away!!

dewdrops is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 09:34 PM
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Wow, Rufus, I'm impressed too!

The first thing we did in Venice was climb the campanile in St. Mark's Square (actually, there's an elevator!). It gave us a great view and sense of the city.

Another thing we did, which we almost didn't do because we were worried it was too expensive and sort of a tourist trap , was a gondola ride at dusk. I can't tell you how beautiful and memorable it was. It was worth every euro!

Another fun thing was taking the vaparetto to a neighborhood called the Castello. We walked to a wonderful, canal side restaurant--Hosteria de Franz. It was great to wander around a Venice neighborhood where people live and work, hang their laundry out to dry, etc. We actually saw one family in their little boat with their DOG going down the canal. Wow!
We later walked back to our hotel, which was near St. Mark's Square.

We had a really delicious lunch at "something" Madonna near the Rialto Bridge. Several friends recommended it, and it was great.

I agree with the posters about walking. You really can't not be happy walking around such a beautiful, unique city.

Have fun!
dina4 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 04:38 AM
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Ride the whole "loop" on the vaparetto (water bus) and go to Murano and Burano. Many people offer free water taxi rides to Murano if you tour their glass factory (no obligation) and then you can take the vaparettos on to Burano and back.
Lina is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 04:56 AM
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dina--We also enjoyed watching the various types of water traffic on both the main and back canals.

On our visit to Venice in 1996, we stayed in a hotel on the Grand Canal near the train station. We ended up with a corner room with one window looking up the canal and two looking across the canal.

I'm an early riser while Mrs. Fly sleeps in. Most days I would get up at the crack of dawn (or even somewhat before) and just walk around the quiet city observing the city's early morning activities for a couple of hours before the Mrs. woke up. On less energetic days, I'd get some coffee and sit by the window watching the canal traffic.

Either way it was fascinating to watch the various private boats, service boats and barges, municipal craft, etc. Watching how the garbage boat, or the hotel laundry service boat, or the produce barge, or the Beck's beer boat go about their early AM business enthralled me.

Then throughout the day watching fire and police boats, wedding and funeral processions, etc.--observing a city in a world of water really kept my interest.

Every time we return to Venice, this is one activity I still look forward to.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 05:43 AM
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Very well put, Rufus. I felt the same way about "canal watching". It's like being in a different world.
Oh, I miss it!
dina4 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I think fuzzylogic may be referring to the Basilica of Sts. Giovanni e Paolo, sometimes referred to as Zanipolo. A good place to visit, and getting there takes you through those magical walkways.
eliztrav is offline  

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