Venice in 2 weeks from now

Dec 28th, 2015, 11:22 AM
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Venice in 2 weeks from now


After reading a lot about Italy, and since we can't travel from Feb to Apr, we decided not to wait and see Venice before the Carnival begins, which means in Mid-January.

We'd have about 5 days to see Venice and its surrounding towns.

We are not interested in indoors (Museums, Churches, Mosaics, etc).

We enjoy strolling in picturesque towns and streets, vibrant markets, rivers that flow within the city.
We're more outdoors type of persons.

I have a few questions please:

1. How would you allocate the days per town?

2. Would you recommend to go to Burano Island for a day trip?

3. We thought to go to Verona after Venice.
Considering that we are not into outdoors, would 1 day be enough to see Verona?

4. Is there other nearby town you'd recommend to visit other than Verona?

Thank you very much!
catj is offline  
Dec 28th, 2015, 11:24 AM
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**Correction to Bullet #3:
3. We thought to go to Verona after Venice.
Considering that we are not into **indoors, would 1 day be enough to see Verona?
catj is offline  
Dec 28th, 2015, 11:37 AM
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Yes, that is enough time to stroll around Verona and see most of the historic center and see the river.

Towns that have both rivers and markets, plus beautiful architecture that are less than an hour from Venice by train: Treviso, Padova, Vicenza

The boat ride to Burano is rather long, and while the vaporetti have heaters (as I recall), if it is very very cold, you might not want to take the trip. But if it is not too cold, then sounds like you might enjoy Burano.

Look at a weather report when you are packing and check the temperatures after dark. You must dress very warmly if you want to spend most of your time outdoors in northeastern Italy in January, including warm boots and socks. Even if it doesn't snow, the pavement can be very cold, especially if you are walking on paths near water. It helps to wear a coat that goes below your knees.
sandralist is offline  
Dec 28th, 2015, 02:41 PM
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Buy this book; you will find it immensely useful.

Several years ago we were in Venice over New Year's, and we found the weather great for just walking around a lot. That said, I recommend that you re-think the ideal of not visiting some indoor venues. Pick one or two that sound really exceptional TO YOU, and then visit them.

We were lucky that it did not rain, although we had a day when there were a few snow flakes swirling around. You will be fine with a hat, gloves and a scarf in addition to your coat.
julies is offline  
Dec 28th, 2015, 04:15 PM
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You may e lucky and get cool and sunny or you may be unlucky and get cold and rainy (friends went one year at Christmas and it rained 6 days and snowed the 7th - with high temps in the low 40s).

Not sure how well this will fit with your desire to be mostly outdoors. Definitely there are tons of things to see in Venice outdoors - just not sure Jan is reliable enough.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 29th, 2015, 02:59 AM
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1. How would you allocate the days per town?

No need to overplan. Just start walking. Venice has an excellent waterbus (vaporetto) system which offers a kind of inexpensive sightseeing. There are lines that go round the islands, lines that go through the Grand Canal and lines to the island. You will enjoy these boat rides. Otherwise, you can walk the different neighbourhoods of Venice. The general rule is: the town becomes the more picturesque the farther you are from the main tourist drags. The former ghetto is one of those neighbourhoods where you still see authentic Venetian life but there are more. Just explore. With five days you have enough time. When it comes to indoor attractions, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco is IMO the best attraction of Venice. Also the Palazzo Ducale and, of course, the Duomo. Besides, there are hundreds of beautiful churches, houses and museums to visit. But the main attraction is the cityscape.

2. Would you recommend to go to Burano Island for a day trip?

Of course, you have the time.

3. We thought to go to Verona after Venice.
Considering that we are not into outdoors, would 1 day be enough to see Verona?

One day will be enought to see the arena and Julia's balcony (which is not a terrific thing) and also peep into St.Zeno.

4. Is there other nearby town you'd recommend to visit other than Verona?

We drove along the Brenta Channel which is lined by magnificent villas and palaces to Padova where you find the breathtaking Srovegni Chapel. You have to reserve your tickets in advance, either online or with the help of the hotel concierge.
traveller1959 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2015, 07:45 PM
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We went to Burano and Torcello in the middle of Winter and it was pretty special. Torcello almost deserted, frost on the roof of the church, ice in the canals.

If you go to Burano, get off the vaporetto at Mazzorbo, last stop before Burano, and you can walk through a vineyard and across the bridge to Burano.

You can climb the campanile on Torcello, costs three or four euro, and it is not a hard climb. It gives a fantastic view over the lagoon, and gives something of an understanding of what Venice and the lagoon is all about.

Poke your nose inside the Querini Stampalia Foundation near Campo Santa Maria Formosa. There is a cafe, and from the outside tables, you get a view of the garden, which is pretty special.

Have a look through the window of the Olivetti showroom, a great interior. North side of the Piazza, about 20 metres west of Quadri.

A book that gives great clues to Venice is "Secret Venice" by Jonglez. It gives great suggestions for little details that most visitors miss. Like the site of the print shop where the italic font was invented, or the ice house in the garden of the Hotel des Doges in Cannaregio.

Padua is worth a trip, half an hour from Venice. Great street market in the centre, and the Botanical Gardens, founded in 1550 are fun. There is an enormous greenhouse in the gardens, special architecture.

The Rialto market is worth an early morning visit when it is still dark and is being set up. Not Sunday or Monday though, as there is no fish on those days.

Take a look in the ground floor of the Ca' Rezzonice, a great space and you can walk onto the landing on the Grand Canal and watch the traffic. Free to enter, and there is a cafe there. Check out the pair of enormous carp in their tiny fishpond as you enter, and there is a garden too, for a picnic if it is not too cold.

You can have a great experience in Venice without entering any buildings. We were there last September, and did not visit a single church, museum or gallery. (Except the Fortuny and Querini, which we are totally besotted with.)
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Dec 31st, 2015, 11:50 AM
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I deeply(!) thank you my mates, you helped me so much.

I have been reading your posts very carefully and am planning the trip accordingly.

I also wish to take another trip on end of Jan to west Italy, but that's for another thread

Thank you!
catj is offline  
Jan 1st, 2016, 12:54 PM
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Last year we stayed for 7 weeks in Treviso which was about a 30 minute train ride to Venice. We went to Venice several times as a day trip and spent the weekend there for a special festival. What was really great about Treviso (beside it being a wonderful city) was that there was a bus station and a train station about 2 blocks from our apt. We took many day trips. There also is an airport there that Ryan Air flies into (short flights at great prices to many locations).
cmarchewka is offline  
Jan 1st, 2016, 01:13 PM
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Peter: Would you recommend going to the Mazzorbo stop for the return trip? As you may know, the Burano stop is normally quite crowded.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2016, 01:46 PM
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On the return trip, they HAVE to let you on at the Mazzorbo vap stop. But at Burano, if the queue is very long, some people may miss out.

So it makes sense to walk over to Mazzorbo.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Jan 1st, 2016, 02:00 PM
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Peter - has the campanile on Torcello re-opened? I was there October 2014 and it was closed for restoration works.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Jan 1st, 2016, 05:16 PM
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The Torcello campanile re-opened earlyier in 2015, and we climbed in September 2015.

"Climbed" in not really correct, as there is a spiral ramp that winds its way up, so it is an uphill stroll to the top. There is a warning buzzer that sounds a minute or two before the bells peal, and you vacate the very top floor.

From the top, you see all sorts of odd things. Like a villa on an island, with some acres of manicured lawns, a swimming pool and a helipad. People living in the manner of which I am certainly not accustomed.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Jan 1st, 2016, 05:25 PM
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We were there for Carnevale for ten days two years ago. It was lovely and surprisingly not too crowded. We stayed in Castello near the garden, maybe a ten or fifteen minute walk from San Marco.
Saraho is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2016, 01:25 AM
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Peter - thanks for that - I was so disappointed it was closed but was consoled by the amazing mosaics and the sparse beauty of the church - as well as the rural feel of Torcello which is such a paradox - so close to Venice but a world away in terms of no crowds.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2016, 01:46 AM
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Torcello is one of my most favourite places in Venice, worth a trip even in fog when it assumes a magical atmosphere. We had a great lunch in one of the restaurants along the canal leading to the Basilica - Trattoria Attila - which had a roaring fire and nice food reasonably priced.

When we were there last - Feb '15 - we discovered that they have replaced the old rickety landing stage on Burano with a brand new vaporetto stop with a roof and electronic signs for the boats arriving and leaving plus a proper biglietteria. There are no loos though - but the nearby cafe can be persuaded to allow you to use theirs if you buy something.

Burano itself is well worth an hour or two - and the hot chocolates in the cafes are very welcome on a cold day.
annhig is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2016, 04:08 AM
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It's impossible to see hoe anyone describing themselves as "We are not interested in indoors (Museums, Churches, Mosaics, etc)" would want to waste time going to Torcello.

Stripped of its cathedral and its glorious mosaics, Torcello is a flat, featureless island with an overpriced and mediocre restaurant an endless, cold and equally featureless boat ride away from Venice.

Personally, I'd consider any holiday in NE Italy pointless that doesn't involve revisiting those mosaics. But if they don't rock your boat, Torcello's not for you.

I also can't see the point of Burano under any circumstances if you've visited Disney World or Port Grimaud: rows of similarly painted cottages are a staple of almost any spuriously "quaint" seaside resort, anywhere. If you're short of things to do in the Veneto, it doesn't take as long to get to as Torcello - but it's hard to kill the time until the next boat back. It's not worth wasting two hours on, never mind an entire day.

But in 5 days, even if you're determined to ignore Venice's real indoor glories (which does beg the question of why go there in the first place), you won't have begun to scratch the surface of the buildings and streets in Venice proper.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2016, 04:00 PM
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If you go to Torcello, you will find it pretty flat - after all, it is an island, created by tidal flow. You might see a farmer planting a crop of artichokes, or take walk way out the back of Torcello, and find the locked gate of the Ashram. Try and figure out why the external window shutters on the church are made from leaves of stone. Walk round the back of Cipriani's (yes, overpriced, can't comment on the food) and admire the garden.

On Burano, find the house of the late Sweaty Beppi, who used to screen movies outdoor in his tiny campo. Find the house of Il Proffesore, quirky sculpture in the front garden.

Or for a different view of Venice, completely outdoors, taka a kayak tour. finds them, and we have paddled with them twice, great fun. You might paddle under the sacristy of San Stefano.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2016, 04:20 PM
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Apologies, I forgot that you are in Venice mid-winter. Venice kayak don't do tours this time of year.

I believe that the bright house colours on Burano date from the plague(s). Houses with plague victims were white washed with lime, in an attempt to contain infection. Bright colours were an indication that the house was free of plague.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 04:20 AM
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Peter - the story I heard was so that drunken fishermen could find their way to the right house when they came home late at night!
annhig is online now  
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