The best of Venice?

May 5th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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The best of Venice?

Our upcoming trip includes 2 & 1/2 days in Venice. We have been to Venice once before. One thing that we plan to do is take the vaporetto to Burano and or Murano.

I want most of the balance of out time in Venice to be unstructured but we could have a portion of the second day for something preplanned.

So what are your opinions of the best of the best in Venice (maybe what is worth seeing twice). I like architecture. My wife like museums and churches.

We will be staying a few blocks from the Rialto.


Big_Red is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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venice is such a beautiful city. murano and burano are fun to visit. buranco is a rather long boat trip over but worth it.
be careful in murano though because you can get stuck in "presentations and history of glass making" which is usually a sales pitch and you are a "captive" audience. unless you are extremely interested in glass and want to purchase glass glown items i would skip murano altogether.
-- for a nice evening out, i recommend going to the piaza de marco (st. mark's square) and watching the battle of the bands who play in the evening for the tourists.
-- a trip to the jewish ghetto is historically interesting.
have fun.
nanabee is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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> be careful in murano though because you can get stuck in "presentations and history of glass making" which is usually a sales pitch and you are a "captive" audience.

That's only if you take those "free water taxi" rides sponsored by the factories. If you do it on your own with vaporetto, you can peek in to those demonstrations and leave as you please. I actually like Murano, not for the glass making but for a quiet time away from the crowded Venice mainland. Of course I like Burano too, though it's a lot longer ride than Murano as the poster above said. I have done a few times, Venice (Fondamenta Nove) > Murano > Burano, then return via Punta Sabbioni (change to Double decked bigger boat) > Lido > San Marco. Always timed it so that the boat arrives at early evening at San Marco. The sunset over Venice was always beautiful and worth the time. I did it only on sunny days though. Also Burano to San Marco via above route is also long so if you are rushed, maybe not a good idea.
kappa is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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My daughter and I actually enjoyed the free water taxi and demonstration on Murano. The boat ride across the lagoon on a beautiful sunny day was fun. The demonstration was very brief, then we walked through the glass showroom with no pressure to buy anything. We could leave at any time.

If you haven't taken the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges palace, I would recommend that. You get to see hidden nooks and crannies of the palace, including the attic with giant beams made from wood soaked in salt water according to shipbuilding techniques that have lasted for centuries.
Nikki is online now  
May 5th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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Here is my suggested itinerary for the city I spend the most time in, anywhere in the world:

For Venice, you want to see the history of La Serenissima, to get a sense of the Venetian republic at its zenith-to do that, you have to make the Palazzo Ducale your first stop, you'll want to see the astounding Sala dei Maggior Consiglio, with its huge Tintoretto mural on one wall, the portraits of the Doges along the walls (the Doges being the former civil head of authority in Venice) and the incredible frescoed ceiling-this huge hall, one of the largest in the world of its type, was the diplomatic reception area for the Republic during the 15, 16th century. You'll also want to tour the Basilica of San Marco next door, to see its magnficent golden mosaics inside, its frescoes, and to go up inside so you can walk around the outside of the Basilica to see the view.

In any visit to Venice, you'll want to take the vaporetto up and down the Grand Canal to see the magnificent palazzos that line the Grand Canal, but you'll also want to see the inside of one of these gorgeous palazzos as well, to see how the wealthy and titled Venetian families lived during the heyday of the Republic. For that you need to visit the beautiful Ca' Rezzonico on the Grand Canal, with its sumptious decor, and priceless art- works by Canaletto, Titian, and Tintoretto, which shows Venice and Venetians in various centuries, a fascinating pictorial history, as it were, with a lovely garden outside, and a nice little cafe for refreshment. Ca'Rezzonico is a must-see, IMO.

Then, I would suggest getting on the vaporetto, to go over for a visit to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, where Benedictine monks have inhabited this island for over 1,000 years, to see their stunning complex of a church built by Andrea Palladio, with its priceless works by Tintoretto, Palma di Giovane, and Titian, its two lovely cloisters, but particularly, to go up in their campanile (bell tower) to see the incomparable views of Venice and the lagoon area-you can see everything from here, it seems-really stunning.

And finally, I would suggest a tour of La Fenice, the exquisite Venetian opera house, to see Venice's present day culture, and I would try to get tickets to a performance so you can experience this opera house and its magnificent acoustics.

Or, as an alternative, I would get tickets to a performance at the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, to a concert or an opera that they regularly present. San Giovanni Evangelista is a stunning building going back several centuries, with murals and paintings by the great Venetian masters Bellini, Carpaccio, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, sculptural work by Mauro Codussi, among others. It is used by the Venetians for cultural presentations, and the President of Italy came for a visit just last week. The vast salon of San Giovanni is where the concerts are held, and it is truly stunning. You can view the salon, and/or purchase tickets for a concert at this website:

These are some of the places I would advise to see for a first trip to Venice, to get a sense of its history and culture, past and present.

Girlspytravel is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Girlspy...what if you truly had only l and a half days?
ljc4creb is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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gipsytravel - I love your suggestions.
rickmav is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Girspytravel, you make such good suggestions, many of which I will use.
But realistically, how many hours would
it take to go to San Giorgio Maggiore
and back ??
janemc is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 06:10 PM
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It's about a 3 minute vaparetto ride from San Marco to San Giorgio...well worth it! Take the #82, but make sure you are at the right stop. I don't remember the name of the stop, but if you are at the Grand Canal, facing SG with your back to San Marco, it is the one to your left.
AnneO is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 06:15 PM
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If I only had 1.5 days (my first trip there was that short), I'd do the Secret Itinerary Tour, visit the Basilica, ride up and down the Grand Canal, go to San Giorgio, walk the Zattere at sunset, visit the Friary (sp>)church, have gelato at every campo

Walk around from one campo to the other... I like the Rick Steves walks. Have pizza at the place at the foot of the Accadamia brige, walk across the Rialto bridge, have more gelato!

Spend the evening in San Marco, listening to the orchestras. Treat yourself to a table and have a very expensive glass of wine or mug of coffee or hot chocolate, but that buys you the table for the night. Listen to the bells at midnight.

Get up at sunrise and walk along the Canal, particularly around San Marco...wonderful to see the mists clear and see the gorgeous sites of Venice come awake!

Ok, that's it...I HAVE to go back to Venice!

AnneO is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 07:13 PM
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UNCBB113 is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 04:36 AM
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The best of Venice? It's Venice! buy a 2 or 3-days vaporetto ticket and "feel" the town. If you don't have much time, just leave Burano and Torcello (there'se a beautiful little church) for some other time. Murano is well known but, besides the glass industry, not worthwhile a visit (in my humble opinion, of course!), specially if you are short in time.
Nalinixs is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 07:32 AM
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mar_76 is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 07:48 AM
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Venice is the perfect place to do without an itinerary. Just get out and start walking! Or hop a vaporetto on the grand canal.

The one thing I would research better than I did my first two trips is restaurants. We didn't have very good luck just doing that by chance.
suze is online now  
May 6th, 2007, 08:46 AM
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Thanks everyone.
I am going to discuss the 'secrets itinerary Doge's palace' with the family. Is there a way to buy tickets for that on the internet? thanks
Big_Red is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 08:52 AM
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2010 is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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janemc is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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Great suggestions!
mauitammy is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 06:49 PM
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Big Red-your tickets for the Doge's Palace can be bought directly on the Venice Museums website here:

Scroll down to Secret Itineraries "tour in Englishquot;

Then click foward to the month and the date in question, and click on the time-a pop-up screen will appear and you can book it from there-make sure you get the 16 Euro regular ticket, which will include a tour of the Palace and the Secret Itineraries Tour.

Girlspytravel is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 07:00 PM
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Also, Jane-Anne is right-you take the #82, to "Maggiore" -and this will take you you around an hour or so, with the artwork in the church, to walk around outside, and go up in the magnficent Campanile-a must-see for a first visit.

ljc-if I had a full one and a half days-I would go first to the Doge's Palace-you have to see this Palace to get a sense of Venitian history, then, to the Basilica di San Marco) but not long here) then get on the vaporetto to peruse the Rialto fish and vegetable market, walk along the top of Rialto bridge to take pictures, and do a bit of shopping, and then go that night to a bacaro there behind the fish and vegetable market-pick one-Bancogiro, Al Merca, Do Spade, Cantina do Mori-to do as the Venetians do, have some delicious cichetti novetti (tapas-like appetizers, except way better than tapas) and wine. For dinner I would go in San Marco to the lovely, romantic TRATTORIA SEMPIONE and snag a table by the window so you can touch the gondolas as they go by.

Here's a picture of the Sempione, with excellent seafood dishes and friendly staff-many pictures taken of it because of its picturesque location:

I would then take a gondola ride in the evening, or a late night vaporetto ride down the Grand Canal, starting from around Rialto, down to San Marco, so that I could see all the beautiful palazzos, lit up with their Murano chandeliers, and ornate furnishings much of it visible as you glide down the Canal.
Girlspytravel is offline  

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