Venice - 3 nights with kids

Old Mar 20th, 2016, 06:07 AM
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Venice - 3 nights with kids

Hello - We will be in Venice for 3 nights in late June. It is our first stop traveling from East Coast USA. Kids are 11 & 13 and well traveled. I do expect some jet lag the first day or two. Suggestions for a family of 4 first time in Venice for 3 of us. A gondola ride is on the short list. My husband speaks fluent Italian so we can go to less touristy areas (if that exists in Venice).

What are your top 5 suggestions for things to do?

Best places to eat - fine and casual dinning options?

Thank you so much for your thoughts on this - we are super excited about our trip!
familythattravels is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2016, 02:49 PM
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1. Shopping for fur coats with matching muffs.

2. Visiting the Pippi Longstocking Museum in San Polo (I especially recommend the "Pippi Throws Gondolier Who Overcharges Her Into Grand Canal" diorama.)

3. Eating hot dogs and cotton candy on the Zattere.

4. Walking into the Danieli all tarted
up for a Negroni.

5. Photographing the copulating pigeons in Piazza San Marco. (Don't fret; they are on birth control birdseed.)

6. Leave the snappers at home. Nothing ruins a holiday like bloody children. Blimey!

Have fun. Thank me later.

Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2016, 03:08 PM
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LOL! Although, the only one of the five I would do is 4, expect this tart would Negroni at the newly redecorated Gritti.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2016, 08:50 PM
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This recent thread may be helpful to you.
ellenem is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2016, 04:11 AM
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Thanks ellenem this thread has gotten interesting will check out the one you suggested.
familythattravels is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2016, 08:21 AM
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"this thread has gotten interesting"

It's difficult to make a 3-night visit to Venice interesting when the first day there comes immediately after an overnight flight from the U.S. Many of us experienced travelers consider travel days a bust, therefore, we don't plan anything on those days. Running around exhausted simply is not fun, and it could be an invitation to accidents.

Sometimes Venice can have absolutely magical weather in June. I've also experienced 100º heat with 100% humidity. And the vaporetti can be packed like sardines. Absolutely awful.

If everyone in your party is lucky to get a decent night's sleep, you're left with two days to explore one of the world's most fascinating cities. I can't imagine spending only two nights in Venice, however, in a sweltering heat wave, I'd rather imagine not going.

Good luck.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 06:46 AM
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We have been to Venice four times, twice with kids as teens. Besides exploring all the calles and canals, watching the tourists is part of experiencing Venice, quite frankly. So I think it's a great place to be jet-lagged--you all could enjoy yourselves without a lot of effort.

I would suggest you explore your restaurant wants based on your hotel location. Tell us where you will be, etc. and we might be able to help. Also advise if you want vegetarian.

Similarly, it's hard to know what to suggest what you want to do if we don't know what you like. I recommend you read up on the city to get some ideas, and then come back for confirmation of what you think would work for your family.

No matter what you decide to explore or what you decide to do, you don't have to plan a lot to enjoy Venice. Decisions can be made on the fly for the most part.Getting lost is a guarantee and also part of the Venetian experience. It is great that your husband speaks fluent Italian when you just can't figure out what calle you ended up on.

One thing that we, both adults and teens, always found pleasurable was to say good night EVERY night at St. Mark's Square, never sitting at a table but taking advantage of all the people watching and enjoying competing orchestras. Tip: Get your evening gelato AWAY from the square. It's cheaper and usually better.

We also made it a firm rule to take a nightly moonlit Grand Canal vaporetto ride.

Of course, seeing the inside of the Basilica of St. Marks IS a must. Just get there really early or really late, and make sure you climb up to see the magnificent original horses inside. The church's architecture is the visual reminder that once Venice was the European "bookend" on the Ottoman Empire, and as the dominant shipbuilding area in the world, this group of islands was a republic in its on right for centuries.

Back to ideas. I have always appointed our kids as our onsite "tour guides", so I usually searched ahead for guidebook or downloadable walking tours, plus online transport schedules. Venice was a perfect place to put them in charge.

With that in mind...

Your kids are the perfect ages to figure out the vaporettos (knowing which line and which direction takes some attention). I recommend transport passes if you are trying to save time in lines and trying to give yourselves ultimate flexibility of decisions. One link below:

Walking Tours:
Look online or in guide books for walking tours you can print out, and again, put the kids in charge.

For example, Rick Steves has a really good walking tour in his Rick Steves' Venice to Rialto, the market area, that your kids can "lead". Make sure you do it on a day the fish market is open--and do it early enough.

FYI: People on this board rail against Rick and I admit I often find his stuff off-putting. Sometimes, though, his suggestions are right on task.

For example, I think the tips on this one page work well:
and I suggest you do use this as a good jumping point for further planning.

I have told people over and over again that his free little mp3 downloads with maps for Venice
are a gold mine.

Art Museums:
There are many art museums and churches with important art in Venice, some of which Rick mentions in that link above.

The obvious museums are the Correr and the Accademia, but neither made our hearts sing. We ARE, however, big fans of the Peggy Guggenheim. Then again, my girls were really into 1920's-1950's art, so it may not be your kids' cup of tea.

We revisit Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and the Ca’ Rezzonico often, too.

Towers give you another way of taking in Venice,so I would certainly put ascending the Campanile di San Marco and the Campanile de San Giorgio Maggiore on your list of possibilities.

Island Exploration
Vaporetto passes allow you to tour the outlying islands for free, but boat crossings take up time.

We skipped Murano, mainly because where we live in the US, artisan glass-blowing places are rather commonplace (our city artisans have two-way apprentice partnerships with Venice). Your hotel probably will try to offer you a free tour (there can be catches on that, so beware).

We did spend a day going out to colorful Burano, but that would mean you spend more hours on the boat than on Burano. We had six days in Venice the time we visited in Burano.

We have gone over to Lido twice, which is the "beach island" where you could ride bikes. Since your time is so short--and remember, you will spend hours getting lost in Venice--I just don't see that as a good option on this trip. But it IS an option.

Special Church:
If you have a daughter, you just MIGHT want to show her a great church for a destination wedding. I LOVE this church:
Santa Maria dei Miracoli
Campo Dei Miracoli, 6074 Venice, Italy Cannaregio

Plus, it's guaranteed you'll make a wrong turn somewhere along the way trying to find it!


AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2016, 11:18 AM
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AZ thank you so much for your thoughtful suggestions. We are thinking of adding a 4th night to give us time to recover from the jet lag. At this point we are looking at VRBO rentals and not a hotel. Space and AC are important to us. I will sort through your suggestions once we nail down the rest of our schedule. I will get the kids involved with planning our trip they have different interests. Exploring, getting lost, finding really good food and people watching will be top of the list with a sprinkling of tours for good measure.
familythattravels is offline  
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