Help with Venice Q's

May 25th, 2008, 06:22 AM
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Help with Venice Q's

I have several questions:

We're flying into Marco Polo and don't want to spend the money on a private water taxi. So, we'll take the Alilaguna. We're staying near the Riato Bridge, so it looks like we get off the boat at St Mark's Square and walk?

I realize we can also take the bus to some point and then the vaporetto? Is that a better option? I was thinking the Alilaguna would be a cool way to approach Venice by water. But, I'm open to suggestions.

Any suggestions for good food in the Rialto area? Or what's your fave in any area in Venice?

Has anyone gone to Musica Palazzo? I was planning on an evening of music at St Mark's Square, but wonder if this might be a good option for one night?

What's the best game plan for seeing Bascilica San Marco, the treasury, the Bell Tower, the museum, la Pala d'Oro and (I'm forgetting the name....Loggia??) where the horses are with views, etc.???? We've been to St Mark's once, but it was on a tour and we were quickly moved thru the interior. Is there a natural "order" to see these sites? When are the mosaics lit up? Should we do a guided tour or do it ourselves? Do any of the tours combine with the Doges Palace?

Also, we want to return to Murano, but want to also see Burano this time. Any tips on either island? Last time we simply got off the boat and went to Ferro and Lazzarini. We want to return there, but does anyone have other recommendations?

I'm thinking we should plan on Murano and Burano on our first morning and maybe have lunch on Burano. Then, maybe the lines at San Mark's will be lighter later in the afternoon?

We only have three nights in Venice and I want to make sure we have time to just wander, get lost and soak it in.

Thanks for your help! Melissa

missmissy is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 06:36 AM
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If your hotel is right near Rialto Bridge I recommend getting as close as possible - it's not a short walk from St. Marks to the bridge with luggage in tow. Numerous bridges with steps up and down.

Take the airport bus to Piazzale Roma then vaporetto to near your hotel - ask them for the closest stop & which line.

See for orange city bus or for the faster (slightly), more comfortable blue bus with room for luggage. If you buy a 1 or multi day pass it can be used on the orange actv bus - saves a few Euro but not much.

You can pre-book entrance to St. Marks (can't find that website). You simply print out your reservation and walk in the exit. The person watching the exit didn't even care to look at the paper - just waved us in. There was also a mosh pit crowd waiting to get in the 'reserved time' entrance, so we simply walked around to the exit to bypass them. You can't bring any bags (even small backpacks) into St. Marks - you need to use the free checkroom just around the corner - they'll direct you there.

The Doges palace is a separate admission. I took the secret itineraries tour last summer and enjoyed the tour. Again, you can pre-book & pay when you pick up tickets.

Personally I think Murano is overrated waste of time, but many people enjoy it. Don't fret about arriving by water on your 1st day - if you take the boat to Murano or Burano you'll get the same view.
J62 is online now  
May 25th, 2008, 06:57 AM
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If you take the Alilaguna, you would still want to take the vaporetto from St. Marks to the stop your hotel recommends.

Like said above, the bus to Pze Roma would be cheaper and is very convenient. But I've never arrived by water...I think that might be worth the extra expense.
JeanneB is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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Frankly we enjoyed Torcello the most of any of the islands. I would definitely do that over Murano - esp if you've already been there.
nytraveler is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 09:22 AM
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I agree with ...

Take the airport bus to Piazzale Roma then vaporetto to Rialto Bridge. It is Line#1 (I did this last year, I doubt anything has changed)

You can reserve a time for entry to St Marks Basilica on-line. 2 things I did not know in advance and wish I had. You have to check any kind of purse/bag at a little place around the corner, And, if you want to go into certain areas of the basilica, there is a fee, be prepared with Euros. (I had no idea, so I was very disappointed)

I very much enjoyed going up in the bell tower, but recently read something about construction, check on that.

Enjoy Venice, It's truly magical
hpeabody is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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Alilaguna now has a line that will take you right to Rialto. Check it out on their website:

There are lots of good places to eat in the Rialto area and you'll be pretty central so you can walk to other areas to eat, too. What is your budget?
rialtogrl is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 09:46 AM
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I would suggest you buy the 72-hour vaporetto pass since you intend to see the outer islands and trust me, when you are tired of walking it will be nice to hop on a vaporetto to get back to your hotel. This pass can be used on the orange bus from the airport but we always choose to do the blue bus to store the luggage below and it is only 3 euro per person.
bfrac is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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The alilaguna orange line, leaves from the airport and reaches rialto s stop in one hour.

May 25th, 2008, 11:25 AM
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I have taken the orange ACTV bus twice, and there is plenty of room for luggage right on the bus. It only takes 5 minutes more than the blue bus and is covered by the 72-hour pass, which as mentioned, you should get.
SusanP is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Thanks for all the info! I was set on changing gears and taking the bus then then vaporetto. BUT, now I see the Alilaguna goes to the Rialto. hmmmmmm

One thing I need to nail down is HOW to get TO our hotel. Supposedly it's half way between the Rialto and St Mark's Square. We're staying at the Splendid Venice Hotel at Via San Marco Mercerie. Their website has instructions to take the vaporetto to the Rialto. Then, NO walking directions. Just a bad map. haha

From what I can tell and from what someone wrote on tripadvisor, it seems to be a shorter walk from San Marco.

Does anyone know????

Originally I wasn't wanting set times to HAVE to be somewhere, but it's sounding like we'd save a lot of time by pre-purchasing set times for things like St Mark's basilica and Doge's Palace. Does anyone recommend a website to do this????

Thanks for your help! Melissa
missmissy is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 10:52 AM
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morgiesmom is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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Yes, it is closer to Piazza San Marco, but I would take whichever Alilaguna comes first - the one going to Piazza San Marco or the one going to Rialto. I can tell you that the approach into Venice to the San Marco stop is absolutely stunning and then you'll walk directly into Piazza San Marco which will totally blow your mind.

rialtogrl is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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Thanks, Rialtogrl I can't wait! It sounds like San Marco is our best arrival spot. I'm sure we'll be WOWED! Melissa
missmissy is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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The ride into Venice on the Alilaguna is quite thrilling-but do be prepared to see a lot of construction equipment on the Piazza right now and along the waterfront of Palazzo Ducale.

If you want to see a live webcam shot of the Piazza San Marco, you can go to Venice City Hall's webcam here:
Girlspytravel is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Hi missmissy,

I agree with rialtogrl that your best bet is the allilaguna to san marco - apart from anything else, the orange one to the rialto has very limited hours as we disclovered when we wanted to take it at the end of our stay at easter.

it is closer to your hotel too, so far as I can see - I think they have suggested the rialto vapretto stop as if you are coming from piazzale roma, it's quicker [marginally] to get the boat to the rialto and walk than to stay on to san marco and walk from there.

once you have alighted at san marco, it looks as if the hotel is just round the back of the basilica, so you wil have to fight your way past all the tourists! but the web-site isn't brilliant is it? - i see what you mean about directions! your best bet is to go to google maps, and put the address in - you'll get a better view.

the good news is that there shouldn't be any bridges to cross, which can be tricky with luggage.

as for your other queries, I would suggest one main atttraction per day and play the rest by ear.

for example, you could book the secret itineraries on day 1, and after that get the vaporetto across to san salute, and from there explore dorsoduro, then san polo and san croce districts, [taking in the Frari and sculoa da dsan rocco on the way] working your way up to the rialto, whence you could walk or catch a boat back to san marco.

for a change of scene, on day 2, catch the boat out to Burano, then the little shuttle across to torcello, view the 6th century basilica, have lunch there or on Burano, and return to Venice via Murano - if you get off at the Faro stop [where the Burano boat stops] you can walk thorugh the town, and then get the no 41 boat back which either takes you all the way back to st. mark's or you could do what we did and get off a "giardino" and walk back via the arsenale.

on day 3, you could start off with an early mornnig visit to the rialto markets and follow that with any of the other things you haven't done - a visit to the accademia, a trip up the tower at san georgio [as good as the one in st. mark's square and half the price], or whatever.

as for san marco itself, as you wil be just round the corner, you should be able to get in easily enough, either just when it opens or just before it closes. however, if you want to book, by all means do so. the lights are on all day sunday, sat pm, and 11.30 -12.30 every day. [I think - i found those times via google]. if that is important to you you should check.

hope this helps,

regards, ann

annhig is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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Thanks, Ann.

Do you and others suggest we prebook Doges Palace and St Marks? We'll be there in July and I know the lines are likely to be long.

I'm going to email our hotel for directions from both the Rialto and San Marco because I can't find an online map that shows it. I don't want to waste time waiting for the Alilaguna if there's only one every hour and would likely take the bus and then Vaporetto. HOWEVER, if there's not a long wait I'm all about arriving by water and taking the Alilaguna to San Marco.

Your suggested plan sounds good to me. I cannot wait to explore and get lost in Venice!!!

missmissy is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 07:57 PM
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Try looking up the Splendid on the Venice Explorer interactive map:
ellenem is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 11:40 AM
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Thanks Ellenem! I finally got detailed info from our hotel, but the map link you listed is great. Thank you!! Melissa
missmissy is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Here is the site to pre book the asilica:

You pick a date and time then they email you back a receipt with a number. To visit the church is free but to see the treasure of venice etc is small fee.
JoanneH is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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Many useful answers to questions I have for an upcoming trip! Love the webcam shot of St Mark's Square! Thanks!

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