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October 4 and 5 in Venice (need to plan 2 days)

October 4 and 5 in Venice (need to plan 2 days)

Sep 13th, 2009, 03:27 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,183
Your plan for Burano and Murano sounds fine. Rather than return to San Marco, I'd get off the vaporetto on Fondamenta Nuove and wander back through Cannaregio and Castello to San Marco.

Please be thoughtful about people's suggestions: rome / athens / venice / florence / mykonos / santorini. That's Italy and Greece--two countries/two guidebooks. You are spending a lot of money to travel and quibbling about $30-$40 in guidebooks? You are suggesting eating at Harry's Bar, the most overrated tourist trap in Venice, yet questioning the need for guidebooks? You can go to your local library and check many of the same books if you want to save money. There are also online sources for 1-, 2-, and 3-day visits to the popular places you plan to visit. We'd like to help you with your trip, but we'd also like to know that you are doing a little of the work yourself.
ellenem is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 04:34 PM
  #42  
 
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Here's a link to a free guide book (of sorts) for Venice. I wrote it last Christmas, over the nine weeks or so that we were there, and it might give you some flavour for the place. Oh, and don't go to Harry's bar - it is grossly over rated. While Ernest might have enjoyed it with Scott Fitzgerald, that's about seventy years ago, and even in Venice, things change.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...st-verbose.cfm
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Sep 13th, 2009, 04:49 PM
  #43  
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ok, so harry's bar is off the list

thanks for the trip report and yes, I'll grab a few guidebooks for the plane....I already have a greece one, so I guess I'll grab one for venice and one for rome

good idea re getting off before and wandering
alpinemccain is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 04:56 PM
  #44  
 
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Here's a plan.
Take the Molino Hilton shuttle bus to San Marco first thing, and then follow the tour that I wrote. No museums, and one church. I wrote the tour for teenagers, and so it's a bit quirky. But it will lead you around Venice.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-teenagers.cfm
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Sep 13th, 2009, 05:27 PM
  #45  
 
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Just get an Italy book--it will have Rome, Florence and Venice in it. Browse the books at the store to see which brand has the type of features you value.
ellenem is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 07:05 PM
  #46  
 
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ttt
pjsparlor536 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 03:32 AM
  #47  
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Peter_S_Aus...that link is pretty cool!
alpinemccain is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 02:13 PM
  #48  
 
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Here is another option- a guided tour. This company is well respected-

http://www.walksinsidevenice.com/
zoecat is online now  
Sep 14th, 2009, 05:24 PM
  #49  
 
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It’s easy to see Venice as just a theme park, a town devoted to the tourist experience, and that is selling Venice short. Venice is also a working town, and there are real Venetians living there – about 60,000 of them, with a sadly declining population.

I’d suggest just ignoring breakfast at the Hilton one morning, and getting the earliest ferry that you can to San Marco – try to be out of the hotel by 5:00 or 6:00 AM. The Piazza will be deserted; there will not be a tourist in sight, and it is then the most romantic of places.

Walk under the clock tower, (check out the statue of the woman who stopped Tiepolo’s revolution by dropping a mortar about 20 metres past the clock tower, high on your left). Follow the signs saying “Per Rialto”, and after you cross the Rialto Bridge, you’ll be at the Rialto fish and produce market. It’s about a ten minute brisk walk at that time of day, with no (or at least few) tourists around. Try and get there really early – we were there at about 5:00 AM, when the boats are unloading fish, artichokes, potatoes, oysters (very expensive, we fancy), fruit, cherries (20 Euro a kilo), eels, everything. It’s like being in an aquarium. It was dark, and we saw a different side of Venice, a reality that the tour group tourist does not encounter.

Have a coffee and a croissant at a café – it will cost about 3 Euro each if you have it standing up, and that’s how Venetians have breakfast. You order the coffee, and just help yourself to a croissant from the warm case on the counter.

Walk back to the Rialto Bridge, and just before you cross it, on the left hand side you’ll see the Law Courts. There is a pair of little plaques on the wall, at the corners of the Court building, about five metres up, that say something about the construction and frustration of building the bridge.

The bridge took some three years to build, and ran late – the Rialto merchants were not amused by the delays, and started the rumour that the bridge would not be finished until “the male member grew fingernails, and the female equivalent caught fire” – or obscene words to that effect, which Fodor’s would likely censor.

The contractor, Antonio d’ Ponte, placed the pair of plaques depicting those events on the court building, the male version at the corner closest to the markets, the female closest to the bridge.

Venice is full of miniscule “sights” like that – worth declining a Hilton breakfast in order to see them.
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Sep 15th, 2009, 10:08 AM
  #50  
 
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While I don't typically pipe in on these threads to recommend specific guidebooks, I thought I'd mention that you might find our Italy Essentials guidebook handy--it covers both Rome and Venice (along with a few other highlights) and is much slimmer than our main Italy guide.
http://www.amazon.com/Fodors-Essenti.../dp/1400007283
Katie_H is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 11:13 AM
  #51  
 
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Oh, Peter! I do hate to see "miniscule"!
I believe that the Hilton runs a regular shuttle to San Marco, so you don't need to get a 72 hour vap-pass. There is really enough to see in Venice 'proper' to keep you busy for two days (even a month) without ever going to the islands. But I would recommend a trip to Murano and Burano. A 12 hour ticket is all you need. Buy it at 9:00-ish, at San Marco. Take a slow trip along the GC to the Ferrovia (Number 1 or number 2). Then take a vaporetto to the Fondamente Nuove via the Cannaregio Canal. Next visit San Michele (the cemetery island) and find the tomb of Sonia Kaliensky near that of Diaghilev. It's really beautiful. (You can find a photo at allposters.com). Then on to Murano. You might take up to an hour here. Don't bother with the glass factories - it's like watching paint dry while someone points a hair-drier at your face. Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria e Donato, for the mosaic floor and apse. Then Burano for another hour or so (plus 30 minutes to get there and 45 to get back to F.N.). Torcello is worth a visit, but not if you are short of time, because as well as the wait for the vaporetti, there's a long walk from the landing stage to the cathedral and church. Come back by the quickest route you can (ask!). If there's time, visit the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, and go up the campanile for a great view of Venice, without a queue, and less than half the price of San Marco's. Finish with another cruise along the GC in the opposite direction to the first (if possible). Since it will be dark by 9 p.m. you'll get some great shots of the buildings that are illuminated.
Don't miss the greatest equestrian statue in the world, in front of the Scuola Grande di San Marco (now the hospital). Go inside the hospital between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and ask for directions to the library (upstairs). Look for some gory illustrations in old books on display and for ancient medical instruments, but, most important, look at the ceiling. You will probably be the only person there, apart from the fierce lady who guards it and stops you from taking photographs.
Bert4545 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 01:00 PM
  #52  
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wow, thanks! I really appreciate the level of detail
alpinemccain is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 02:44 PM
  #53  
 
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OK, Bert, let's compromise on "micro sight".

I'll take note of the library in the hospital near Mr Corleone's statue for our next visit. I'd not heard about that.

Cheers

peter
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Sep 15th, 2009, 05:52 PM
  #54  
 
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I hope I didn't miss anything in this long thread, but did anyone reply so far to the idea of having dinner near (or even on!) Piazza S. Marco and near the Rialto Bridge? Sorry if someone already did and I didn't notice, but... if you want to have two dinners that you'll remember for the rest of your life because they were 1. so overpriced and 2. so plain bad, then eat near the Piazza and near Rialto Bridge. ANYWHERE else, but certainly NOT there. You've got excellent advice on restaurants by enricomaria...
franco is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 10:55 AM
  #55  
 
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Oh, yes! The ceiling is not to be missed! I read about it in the Blue Guide. The books and equipment on display are fascinating, but it really bugs me that they don't allow photographs. Nevertheless ... [I was actually asked to leave, by the custodienne.]
I will not rise to your bait, Peter, about the name of the rider.
Bert4545 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 11:06 AM
  #56  
 
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Speaking of the hospital, who of you knows its church? S. Lazzaro dei Mendicanti - good late Renaissance architecture and well worth a visit, too. Not possible to combine with the library, though, since it's open before 11 a.m. only. You don't enter through the facade (which faces the canal left of the Scuola Grande di S. Marco), whose door is always closed (that's why almost nobody knows that it's ever open to the public) - you enter, once more, through the hospital's main entrance, i.e. from the Scuola Grande, and proceed inside to the church's narthex, i.e. behind the always closed canal front door...
franco is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 04:13 PM
  #57  
 
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The rider is, of course, Mr Colleoni. Maybe I was channeling my inner Godfather, or Marlon Brando. It is an excellent statue.

There is of course one advantage to eating near San Marco or the Rialto. One will be able to determine the English, Eskimo, Finn, Latvian, Korean, Japanese, Javanese, Indian, Pushtan and Russian translations for Tagliatelle con Ragu from the menu. Otherwise the food in those areas there is overpriced and ordinary.
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Sep 20th, 2009, 04:01 AM
  #58  
 
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Be sure to take a vaparetto ride down the length of the Grand Canal at least once

Torcello is my favorite of the lagoon islands
http://travel.nytimes.com/2006/02/19.../19dayout.html
Vttraveler is online now  
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