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Christmas in Venice...and our first time there..

Christmas in Venice...and our first time there..

Nov 28th, 2008, 05:12 PM
  #1  
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Christmas in Venice...and our first time there..

We'll be in Venice for Christmas eve leaving on the 27th. I'd love recommendations on churches to attend and restaurants for Christmas eve and day. I'm not sure what will be open but also and 'must see' places, neighborhood suggestions would be great! Thanks.
Roshi is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 03:58 AM
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Christmas in Venice can be quite touching, because usually all the tourists and shoppers depart by midday Christmas eve, and they are replaced by handfuls of young families, carrying gifts and dressed-up children over the bridges, coming into town to visit their grandparents for the holiday. Restaurants and museums shut up tight, and there is limited service on the vaporetti, not only for Christmas day, but the following day, the feast of Santo Stefano, an important saint of the city.

Midnight masses in the famous churches will often feature children's choirs and elaborate nativity scenes. (And those churches are cold, so dress warmly). For Christmas day, high mass at San Marco is a blaze of golden light, well worth seeing and sitting through the mass to get the best effect. Caffe Florian is open in the morning through brunch.

I would take advantage of the depopulation to really enjoy the peace of San Marco, the quiet in the city and the beautifully decorated churches. (Miracoli, S.M Glorioso in Frari might be lovely choices). It wouldn't be extravagant to take a gondola ride on the empty Grand Canal. There are often many musical concerts you can enjoy this time of year.

You should be able to get back into the museums on the day of the 27th, and possibly some on the 26th.

You will find many restaurants open on Christmas eve, but you will probably need the help of your hotel locating ones open on Christmas Day and the 26th. You might check out recommendations for hotel restaurants.



zeppole is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 04:00 AM
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PS: If the weather isn't good, there are sumptuous hotel lobbies, like the Danielli, that serve tea (at a price!), lavishly decorated, in addition to Caffe Florian and the churches.
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Nov 29th, 2008, 04:27 AM
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According to this article, get to St. Mark's basillica more than an hour in advance for seats on Christmas eve. They ate lunch on Xmas day at Cantinone Storico in Dorsoduro.

http://blog.buongiornovenezia.com/20...mas-in-venice/
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Nov 29th, 2008, 06:30 AM
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I believe there are more than 50 churches in Venice. When my daughter was 7 years old, she was into lighting candles, so we went to light candles in 20 of those 50 while my wife was out shopping. It was more interesting than I expected as we got to see so many different architecture and style.

Aside from San Marco, we found the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute to be very impressive. It's a huge imposing white baroque church across the canal from our hotel (Regina & Monaco). We went there during their Feast day in November and were very rewarded by the sight of the locals coming in all dressed up for the feast. I'd imagine that it would be even more impressive on christmas day/eve. www.italyheaven.co.uk/veneto/venice/salute.html

The gothic Miracoli that zeppole recommended is also a hidden treasure that is often skipped by tourists.
http://www.basilicadeifrari.it/itali...i_pittura.html

We had a cheap memorable lunch at the fun & lively trattoria by the Rialto bridge in the direction of the Salute basilica: www.ristoranteallamadonna.com/eng/locale.htm.
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Nov 29th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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topping for Roshi
suze is offline  
Dec 5th, 2008, 05:03 PM
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Thanks all. It sounds like Christmas in Venice will be magical (though from another posting I hear that the next high tide (and potential big flood) is December 27th when we're leaving so we'll pack in as much as we can on the 25th/26th)!
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Dec 5th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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The tide flood is unfortunately a small inconvenience when you visit in the winter time. In our experience it just meant that we're stuck in the hotel till at least 10 am every morning. Our hotel provided private cruise trips to Murano and other islands from the hotel boat landing or yellow rubber boots to waddle through Venice for a charge. We decided to just have breakfast in the hotel and relaxed till 10 am when we could walk all over the city on the gang planks. It's a bit surreal to see the city floating above water. You can perhaps bring your own cheap rubber boots and leave them behind.
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Dec 6th, 2008, 04:18 AM
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Two years ago, my sister and I saw
a nativity competition in an old empty church. Did't note the addresss, but it was a yearly event.
It was the highlight of our visit to Venice. They had the new exibits that were in competition and nativities from 1400 thru the present, on loan from families.
Nlingenfel is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Unfortunately, one of the problems with high tide can be not being able to take a water taxi to the airport. (when the tide goes up, the taxis may not be able to make it under the bridges). You should have a backup exit plan but I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.
mclaurie is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 04:37 PM
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Sounds like the nativity competition is one of those traveler's magical moments!
If you can't take a water taxi, how else can you 'get out of Dodge (or doge?)

Roshi is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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Hello Roshi, if you happen to be leaving Venice when there is a very high tide you could take the train from the SantaLucia train station and get off at Mestre (the Venice train station in Mestre) and take the bus to the airport I would think. There use to be a bus between the Mestre train station and the Marco Polo Airport and I haven't heard of this service being cancelled.
LoveItaly is offline  
Dec 7th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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If you can get to Piazzale Roma (by vaporetto) there's an ATVO land bus that goes to the airport. You should also be able to find a land taxi there. (Your hotel might be able to order a land taxi to meet you there)
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Dec 7th, 2008, 08:47 PM
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Thanks!
We're actually taking the train out of Venice, so it sounds like we'll be ok regardless.
Thanks for the input though.
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Dec 8th, 2008, 03:30 AM
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I've only been once at that time of year but it was incredibly cold - it may not be this year, but be prepared. San Marco was packed with visitors on Boxing Day so try to get there before then.
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