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Another Venice question - first stop of first trip to Italy

Another Venice question - first stop of first trip to Italy

Apr 21st, 2017, 10:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 49
Another Venice question - first stop of first trip to Italy

Looking for advice on our first stop, Venice.

Family of 4 (kids 12 and 14) arriving in Venice to start our 3 week trip. We land in Venice at 2pm on June 24 (from Seattle) and leave for Florence on June 27. We are staying here, pretty close to St. Mark's: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ca...1!4d12.3494995

We have the regular general questions of good places to eat. Also looking for a nice place to get simple breakfast food (coffee, bread) and picnic supplies near our airbnb.

June 24: Land at 2, customs, get to our airbnb. Walk around, get dinner
Q: Any suggestions for best mode of travel from airport to the location of our lodging?
Q: Any suggestions for a place for dinner to wear off our jet lag? It will be our first meal in Italy.

June 25: Nothing planned as of now. How do you think we will feel after traveling all day the day before?
Q: Is it worth it to head to any of the islands? Lido to swim?
Q: Take the #1 down the Canal?
Q: Spend time at Rialto Bridge and the market?
Q: Wander and get lost? Concerned about focus of teens.....

June 26: Have a 10:45 reservation for the Doge Palace.
Q: Similar questions from June 25.

June 27: Check out and catch train to Florence.

Thank you!
giesen5 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2017, 11:33 PM
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You don't need specific suggestions for a place for breakfast pretty much anywhere in Europe - you just take note when arriving at your accommodations of the nearest pasticceria or coffee shop and head there in the morning. Unless you have very discerning tastes for bread and coffee, it won't make a whit of difference where you end up. Same with picnic supplies and a place for dinner. Just get to know your neighborhood and you'll figure it out. That said, if you're staying near San Marco, be prepared for sticker shock and a lot of mediocre tourist food at restaurants.

Nobody can say how you'll feel on arrival. Jet lag affects everyone differently. Half your family could be fine, the other half dragging. Dinner doesn't generally wear off jetlag; it's just useful for a momentary pick-me-up and keeps you from napping, which is generally a good thing.

No one can say what would be "worth it" to you. If you want to head out to the islands, do so. Go early; the boats will be packed, and Murano and Burano will be crowded, Torcello not so much. I haven't been to the LIdo for years, so can't comment.

The Rialto Bridge has become the hangout of so many hundreds of tourists blocking the steps and taking selfies it's more a PITA than anything else. The market is very enjoyable.

Sure, wander and get lost, but you don't have any specific goals (museums, churches, squares, neighborhoods) other than the San Marco area?
StCirq is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 12:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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June 25 is a Sunday, so there is not much point to go to the Rialto market as everything will be closed. You could go Monday, but the fish market will not be open and some of the stores will not be either. Monday would for sure be the better day.

For groceries, from that location I would go over to Via Garibaldi, there is a supermarket and several food shops (and a wine shop) on that street. There is also a great place to get wine and panini - called Refolo.

You can take the Alilaguna from the airport to the Arsenale stop, it is close to your apartment. You want the Blue line.
With four people, it would double your price but you could also spring for a water taxi.

A good jet lag meal close to your apartment could be dai Tosi, a lot of locals eat there, they have excellent pizza.
rialtogrl is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 01:32 AM
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With only 2 days in Venice, I wouldn't spend it swimming.
kybourbon is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 03:36 AM
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My experience as for food in Venice is that either you eat cheap pizze or you go to higher end restaurants.
The restaurants you'll find will be touristy and they won't bother about quality or price.
So either that or you ask for reference from a local.
WoinParis is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 04:00 AM
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I think a highlight is a vaparetto trip up/down the Grand Canal. A day pass is €20 per person and a single ride is €7.50. If you got a day pass that would also cover a trip to the islands is you wanted. Murano has glass blowing but otherwise looks a lot like the rest of Venice. Burano has very colorfully painted houses and has a different feel to it. Torcello has an interesting church but not much else. I would suggest getting the vaparetto pass for the 25th since the Doges Palace is in the middle of the 26th.

Other things that your kids might enjoy are going up in the campanille. The San Marco Campanille will have pretty long lines but the one on San Giorgio Maggiore usually has no lines and the view includes San Marco. But you need a vaparetto to get to it.

The Loggia of San Marco gives interesting views of the Piazza and up close of the horses, plus the originals inside and up close views of the mosaics of the Basilica.

As others said I wouldn't bother trying to find specific restaurants. Pizza is pretty good everywhere, I would just start looking around when you get hungry. Everywhere is going to be crowded.

Here's my photos of Venice: http://andiamo.zenfolio.com/p226330896
isabel is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 04:59 AM
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>>Also looking for a nice place to get simple breakfast food (coffee, bread) and picnic supplies near our airbnb.<<

Near you is an I Tre Mercanti gourmet foods store. Probably has what you need.

>>Q: Is it worth it to head to any of the islands?<<

That's about a full day trip. With the limited time you have, it's a maybe.

>>Lido to swim?<<

I realize you have 2 kids, but spending time swimming when you're in Venice is like going bowling when you're at the Grand Canyon

>>Q: Take the #1 down the Canal?<<

That's OK, but IMHO taking a crowded vaporetto down the canal isn't that great an experience. However, at night can be pleasant because there's less crowding. People who advise a daytime trip will tell you to get a seat at the front. Easier said than done.

Q: Wander and get lost? Concerned about focus of teens....

>>That's a reasonable concern, since teens can be notoriously difficult to entertain. I know a lot of people here are advocates of the getting-lost idea, but I'm not. Often, it's just a time-waster. I think you're better off planning some stuff, especially for the kids. They might like the guided tour of the Doges Palace, especially the torture room. Honestly, the charm of Venice is mostly lost on teenagers, but you are to be admired for introducing them to it.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 06:51 AM
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Kids really like Venice, even teenagers. My 14-year-old son and I enjoyed wandering the back "streets" of Venice. It's fascinating just to be in a city where there are no cars, trucks, buses, etc. but water buses, water taxis, garbage scows, police boats, even delivery boats, etc.

There are a number of threads here on sights and activities for kids in Venice.

It will be very busy with daytrippers during the day, especially around the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge/fish market. So the best advice is make day trips yourself away from the city or stay on the edges of the city during that time. Early morning and evening is the best time to see these central parts of Venice.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 07:56 AM
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I have a feeling the entire family would enjoy a visit to the Ca'Rezzonico, a sumptuous palazzo on the Grand Canal. It has an art collection, but you don't have to be an art lover to enjoy the splendor of the grand ballroom.


You can see some works of the Venetian artists Tintoretto and Tiepolo, and many others. There's also a reconstructed old pharmacy, moved from another location in Venice, on the third floor. I haven't seen the pharmacy, but I took my sister's family, including their adolescent son, to this palazzo, and it was a big hit with the whole family.
bvlenci is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 09:44 AM
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I recommend a visit to the Frari, not because of the beauty of some of the works, or the wonderful wood carving of the choir, but because of the [IMHO] utterly hideous mausolea. If your kids enjoy the art as well, that's a plus.

BTW, we "dragged" our two, [who were about the same age as yours when we first took them], round Italy on several occasions. An ex- fodorite who shall not be named flamed me for this but one way we entertained them in museums and galleries was to ask them to find the painting of the ugliest baby - and believe me there are some corkers. It kept them occupied and we were able to spend longer looking at what interested us.

They are not complete philistines and even they enjoyed seeing the Doge's Palace, though we opted for the Secret Itineraries tour, which your kids may enjoy more than the standard one. We also liked Ca'd'Oro, the Accademia, and the trip to Burano and Torcello. And they loved the food - even the black spaghetti.

Have a great trip!
annhig is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 10:11 AM
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We've returned from a few nights in Venice recently and this may be of interest, we did a 'free' walking tour thru La Bussola, you can google it. We found it very interesting and would recommend it if you have the time. Our guide was excellent and gave lots of interesting facts. If you're interested you can google La Bussola and register. Enjoy your travels.
wunderbar2 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 02:27 PM
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In my estimation, your apartment is actually not that close to Piazza San Marco--it is further away than the Rialto Bridge and markets are from San Marco. You are staying in a more residential neighborhood very close to the Arsenale gate. Personally, I would be happy to be a bit removed fro San Marco in late June.

Do check out Via Garibaldi for good shopping for provisions--at the far end you can buy your vegetables off a boat with the locals. A few weeks ago, I enjoyed a spritz at a cafe in your neighborhood at Campo Bandiera a Moro in the late afternoon--lots of local kids and their families hanging out with scooters and soccer balls. There was even a birthday party taking place for one child.

Your group might enjoy a tour of the famous clock tower in Piazza San Marco. You must be able to climb approximately five flights of stairs--a bit at a time. Tours are guided and by reservation only. You learn how the time keeper and his family literally lived among the clockworks. There are only two English tours a day of 12 people at a time so reservations are essential in busy June. The tour climbs to the top of the tower for a great view over the piazza and Venice. It lasts only about an hour.
ellenem is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2017, 02:16 AM
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Your group might enjoy a tour of the famous clock tower in Piazza San Marco.>>

cheaper [and with a lift] is the tower on the isola di san giorgio which you can reach by vaporetto. the views are just as good but the queues are much shorter. you can then get another vap to the Guidecca and from there to the Zattere. Lots of fun to be had walking and vap hopping if you've got a pass and want to do a bit of "off the beaten path" exploring.
annhig is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2017, 07:42 AM
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I was referring to the CLOCK tower in Piazza San Marco, not the BELL tower--two different places that are near one another.

The clock tower (Torre dell'Orologio) has no line but you must reserve--can't join a tour without reserving a spot. You visit the inner workings of the clock on all five levels as you climb with a guide. It is a different experience seeing the clock works (oldest digital clock) than just a view from the top as with the bell towers.

The bell tower (campanile) has long lines as you describe, with an elevator to the top for a view of the giant bells and across the rooftops of Venice.

I agree that the bell tower (campanile) on San Giorgio Maggiore offers a wonderful view across the Venetian lagoon with shorter queues.
ellenem is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2017, 12:33 PM
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I was referring to the CLOCK tower in Piazza San Marco, not the BELL tower--two different places that are near one another. >>

my apologies, ellenem, for my poor comprehension skills! Also i confess that the clock tower had until now passed me by - so thanks for filling in a gap [one of many] in my Venetian knowledge.
annhig is offline  
Apr 25th, 2017, 01:55 PM
Original Poster
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Thank you all for your responses, it was very, very helpful.
giesen5 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2017, 01:58 PM
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TPAYT is offline  
Apr 27th, 2017, 10:43 AM
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I just was in Venice at the beginning of April.
We took a boat tour to see Burano and Torcello, and it was very much worth visiting them. Burano is mostly little shops selling lace, and cafes and scenery, but it's so pretty and nice place to wander around for an hour or two. Torcello is fascinating because of the old cathedral there with the Byzantine mosaics - but maybe your teens might be bored with this, i don't know. They'd probably like Burano though.
We also stopped in Murano and saw a glassblowing demo. We didn't see much else of Murano, other than the glassblowing factory, so someone else who has can fill you in on that, I'm not sure what else we missed on that island.

The gondola rides are a set price for up to 6 people, 80 euros for day, and 100 for night. I enjoyed our ride more than I thought I would. Our gondolier took us through Canareggio, one of the quieter, more residential areas. It was very relaxing and scenic.

Have a snack or a meal at one of the places on the Grand Canal and people watch, and pigeon watch. Order some cichetti, which are basically little appetizers, finger food.
Have a Spritz, while the kids have a sparkling water or soda.

Get a good map, you will get lost, . I think Escher's ancestors must have designed Venice, but I loved it, anyway, it's beautiful.
Enjoy your trip!

We also started in Venice and took the train to Florence, then went to Sorrento and Amalfi coast/Pompeii and then Rome.
BumbleB6 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2017, 11:39 AM
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I would devote one day to the islands. We love Torcello and go back whenever we are in Venice (which is not often enough). You can get there on the vaporetto

Re vaporetto--you're going to be there long enough to get a tourist travel card which will save you a good bit of money and a lot of hassle:


While you are not that close to San Marco, you're not that far away either, and your apartment looks like it is a very interesting and quiet area. We love the Arsenal area.

I would not spend time going swimming. You'd have to get to the Lido, etc., and it's just not worth the effort.

Second the idea of Ca'Rezzonico

Also, have some hot chocolate while you're in Venice.

Buon viaggio!
dwdvagamundo is offline  

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