Need suggestions about our Venice trip

Aug 19th, 2010, 01:40 AM
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tarquin: "Is there any more enjoyable topic than Venice?"

YvonneT is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 01:53 AM
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Your wife's bank is not giving you any kind of deal. The interbank exchange rate + 3% (the mark-up charged by most banks on ATM withdrawals) was $1.25 yesterday. Add roughly $0.02 per Euro in transaction fees. It's a fair difference between $1.27 and $1.34...

Nor is the convenience argument totally convincing; there are ATMs every few hundred yards in Venice. The only "inconvenience" is informing your bank that you intend to use your debit card abroad so they don't put a stop on it for suspected fraudulent activity.
Zerlina is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 03:32 AM
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I would never travel with more than a few hundred euro with me when ATMs are so abundant (in Venice in particular) and so cost-effective.
tarquin is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 04:06 AM
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I don't know that most banks charge a 3% mark-up on ATM withdrawals. But then I'm only familiar with my own bank--which charges only 1%. I wouldn't get cash at the bank for $1.34--first, I don't want to carry the cash with me, and second, bank ATMs are easy to find in Italy. But do what makes you comfortable.
Paul1950 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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I've always stopped at the first ATM I find after getting into the terminal from an international flight no matter where in the world I am. I've never had a problem (well once on Bali when the machine ate my card - on Friday afternoon, no less - but it was my own fault because I failed to remove the card fast enough ((remove the card as soon as possible - I was counting my money when the machine sucked my card back in)). And more inconvient, we were leaving the next morning. Fortunately, my travelling companion had a card and we used hers. Whew). At any rate, I have checked with my bank and I get the best rate at the ATM whereever I am. It is VERY inconvient to try to change traveller's checks and you do not want to carry whole bunchs of money from the US. Money changers, well you've heard about them. Not quite as bad as Shylock, even in Venice, but very costly. I always take my maximum $400, (converted to the local monetary unit) because even though there is a usage fee, it is per transaction and not related to the amount you take. Have a great trip. We will be in Venice in late September and even though I have been there often in the past, I always get excited when I go. As others have said, there is no such thing as getting to know Venice even if you literally live there.
auerjac is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 05:09 AM
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Several comments:

keep in mind that the Alilaguna lines from the airport to the Zattere stop are the Red and Blue, which alternate at 15 and 45 minutes past every hour during the day, and take 1h22m and 1h30m respectively to reach the Zattere stop, and the Alilaguna dock is about a 10m walk (maybe a little less, luggage carts available for a € coin deposit) so you are probably not doing your wife any favors, timewise, though the arrival by water *IS* definitely more romantic and scenic than the arrival by bus+vaporetto. It is not quick, but it is more beautiful.

The n°5 ACTV bus (included in the transport pass available through //Venice>Connected which you seem, wisely in my opinion, to be getting) takes 20-25 minutes and runs 4 times an hour, every fifteen minutes. The stop is right outside the Arrivals hall (second lane, slightly to the left). The last few times I've taken it around midday it has *not* been crowded at all, with plenty of room for luggage, and has taken less than the scheduled time, under twenty minutes between Airport and P.le Roma, Summer road construction included. It also runs twice as frequently as the ATVO bus, which is twice an hour nost of the day. From Piazzale Roma, to reach the Zattere stop, you can catch the n°51 vaporetto which runs every twenty minutes and takes less than a quarter hour (but it takes the "back canals" past the port, not in front of San Marco). All told, less than an hour airport to Zattere, and another 5-10 minutes to reach the hotel. With the money saved, revive your wife with cichetti and an ombra at the nearby Cantinone Già Schiavi after her obviously "heroic" efforts.

The Public Transport Passes are usually a good deal, as they allow you to hop on and off as you want, even just to cross the canal or sit for a few stops and enjoy the scenery of the Grand Canal (the more times you see it, the more details you realize you missed *last time*) and rest your feet. With the Film Festival, the Architectural Biennale, and Regata Storica all going on during your stay, it will not be the least crowded time in Venice for sure, but I am guessing you will get your money's worth just the same.
I_heart_Venice is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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I will be visiting Venice soon, so the information you gave is very helpful. I'm not sure how worthwhile the passes would be for me (I will be outside of Venice during part of my visit), so I am thinking of buying the 10-ticket booklet instead. The booklet does not provide much cost savings, but would be a lot more convenient than having to buy a ticket at every station. Do any of you know if it is possible to buy this booklet at the airport?
JoyceL is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:01 AM
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JoyceL, Where did you see this booklet? the only booklet I know is for local land bus transport.
ellenem is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:06 AM
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All well said, I_heart_Venice (I, too, btw), but I think it would be better to take vaporetto no. 1 - to the American Dinesen, I wouldn't walk from Zattere with the luggage, it's much closer to Accademia (actually, on Campo S. Vio); plus for first timers, the vaporetto ride down Canal Grande is definitely worth those additional 20 minutes on the vaporetto that the no. 1 will take (7 or 8 of which you'll spare by not having to walk as long as from Zattere)
franco is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:14 AM
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We just got back from our european trip ( Italy and France). We were in Venice for full 2 days. We stayed at Hilton Molino Stucky which was in an island of Giudecca. Fortunately the hotel has free shuttle to 2 points, one is Piazza San Marco and I forgot the other one. Anyway, our experience was its fairly easy to walk around once you are at the main.We bought our vaporetto ticket when we arrived at the train station 6.50 euro per person. 3 days later, on our way out, we took the vaporetto again and didn't know where to get the ticket nor anyone checking, so we got off without paying. Which we observed what the locals does, hop on and off anywhere and any time.
svarcue is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:25 AM
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It a fairly stiff fine to not have a ticket on the vaporetto. More than likely the locals have a monthly travel card.

I'm not saying that you won't get away with it but getting caught is not cheap.
notbob is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:31 AM
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"Which we observed what the locals does, hop on and off anywhere and any time."
Locals have monthly passes which do not require showing or punching tickets all the time.
ellenem is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:50 AM
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Need to clarify myself. We didn't try to get away of not paying the vaporetto ticket. We had our money ready to get the ticket but the station didn't have any ticket machine, so when we got in, we figured someone would asked for the payment which no one did. I was holding on to our money in my pocket so I can pay easily. True. locals would probably have monthly passes but we have seen tourists too who would do the same. In any case, it was not our intention to get a free ride.
svarcue is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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svarcue - had you "validated" your ticket when you got on the first vaporetto? if not, the ticket would still have been valid, but you risked a fine for not validating it.

if you did, you risked a fine for travelling without a ticket on the way back. that's why passes are just so much easier.

that said, I doubt that Venice will go bankrupt because a tourist or two fail to punch their tickets.
annhig is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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In response to svarcue and as a help to others,

After you get on a vaporetto, no one "collects" your ticket, or punches it. It is assumed that you purchased a ticket and properly validated the ticket before getting on the boat, or are using travel card for a set number of hours/days.

But, special agents may ask to see your active ticket/travel card. If you don't have a valid one, you could receive a heavy fine. If you are in svarcue's situation—no place to buy ticket—you could chance riding and may have no problem; OR as you board you should approach one of the boat workers and purchase a fare.


I found your ticket booklet. . . I believe that you can only purchase the 10-journey booklets if you have a Cartavenezia, which costs 40 euro.
ellenem is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 10:22 AM
Original Poster
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Hi everyone again. Okay, I booked the 7 days Venice cards (me and my wife) with
the ACTV, Alilaguna Round trip, Museum Pass (Musei Civici), Museum of St. Mark's
Square Plus, Weekly Toilet Card and Wi-Fi 7 Days. Everything times two persons comes
out €232.

We are planning to use our IPhones there so the Wi-Fi package hopefully would keep
us connected with folks back home. We are not going to use the AT&T voice plan there.
I think their rate is pretty high for both data and voice and maybe incompatible network.

Our flight out of Venice is on Sept. 6th. The flight will depart at 11:45am. Since we already
booked Alilaguna round trip and the latest posting (thanks for detailing the route) mentioned
that it will take about 1 hour 30 min between Zattere stop and the airport, that would mean
we would probably have to check out at our around 7:30am. Assuming 2 hours arrival at the
airport prior to departure (as it is required at all U.S. airport). On the plus side, we get to see
all the scenaries before leaving Venice.

Now we have to carefully plan our trip during the 7 days visit.
I bought couple of books - Venice's 25 Best and Venice & The Venitian Arc by
Fodor's. And we will review forums relating to Venice on this site to get more

I have learned quite a bit from everyone from this forum. It has been very pleasant experience
for me and my wife getting to know Venice prior. That put our mind at ease. This is our fouth trip
to Europe. Previously we have been in Paris, Rome/Florence and London. Every time we have
counted on everyone's valuable suggestions. So once again, thanks so much.

petertsay1 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Joyce and ellenem, I suppose by "booklet", you mean the "carnet". First, this is not a "real" booklet anymore: there are ONLY electronic passes now, on which they upload anything from a single ticket to a monthly pass. Anyway, the former "booklets" are still called "carnets", even though they are electronic now, as well - they're available for the land busses, yes, for everyone; but also for vaporetti, or for vaporetti & land busses - the two latter, though, only for holders of the Cartavenezia (which is not the same as the Venice Card for tourists - it's a long-term pass mostly used by locals, or by some frequent Venice travelers like myself). The carnet is the same price for everybody on land busses, but WAY cheaper for vaporetto or vaporetto & bus than the tickets for foreigners; but once more, only available if you have the Cartavenezia.
franco is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 11:15 AM
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hi peter,

at the risk of being flamed for self-promotion, as you ae going to be in Venice for a week, you might like to read my trip report about the week we spent there, which was sadly over two years ago now, to get some idea about what you can, and can't, fit into a week.

just click on my screen name to find it!

PS - it's NOT the one about cucumbers.
annhig is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 11:22 AM
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Peter, one hour prior to departure will be fine at the Venice airport, which is really small.
franco is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 01:45 PM
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A couple points:
most public transportation in Italy (outside Venice too) runs on the honor system, where the passenger is responsible for having a valid ticket before boarding (or validating it upon boarding), or, if it is possible to do so, getting it as soon as boarding from the appropriate staff member (on a bus, usually the driver, on a vaporetto the "marinaio" that ties up to the docks and opens and closes the gate). There are numerous other sales agents for tickets before reaching the boarding docks in Venice (es.: newsstands and tobacconists) without there being a staffed ticket window at the stop.

As to WiFi, keep in mind that the areas covered match pretty closely the exact areas on the map without much coverage outside those specific areas. So, for example, just outside the Piazza San Marco, the signal drops off from the various sottoporticos leading out of the Piazza. So if you pass the areas on the map (which does also include most of the Grand Canal) there is coverage, outside the areas little.
I_heart_Venice is offline  

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