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Venice in March

Old Dec 9th, 2005, 09:03 AM
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Venice in March

Hello,

My family and I (Mom & 10 year old son) are thinking of booking a one week trip to Venice, the first week of March, 2006.

We have never been to Italy. Would this be a bad time of year to go? Would the weather be tolerable? The hotel we are thinking of staying is the Residenza Cannaregio. Has anyone stayed here?

Is it easy to get around Venice? What suggestions would you have on things that are a must see/must do, places to eat, best way to get around, etc?

We are a very open-minded family and love just about everything. We love history, walking, seeing/doing anything and taking in the culture. If I am not providing enough information, I apologize.

I truly would appreciate any input/opinions that anyone may have. Thank you!

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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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There really is no bad time to go to Venice. That time of year will likely be pretty chilly, and wet to boot, so be prepared with appropriate gear and you'll be fine. Fewer tourists, so that's a plus.

I've not stayed at Residenza Cannaregio, but the Cannaregio area is great: easy access to the train station, not far to San Marco. It's very easy to get around Venice---you could literally walk from one end to the other in a couple of hours, and the vaporetti (water buses) are very convenient as well.

There aren't any bad neighborhoods in Venice, by the way. It's just too expensive a place to live for that to happen.

I stayed at another place in Cannaregio that I can recommend, B&B Al Saor. New, very recently re-done property that includes some rooms with kitchens, so very convenient for traveling with a child. Very quiet location despite being right off the main street that runs from the train station to San Marco. Very nice owners, English-speaking.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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I've only been to Venice in summer months but from what I've read, the very wet weather (and the aqua alta - flooded streets that go with it) occurs mostly from November to February so March might be quite nice. It's certainly nice in other parts of Europe (Paris, Rome, London - they are all at similiar latitudes). Even Paris and London, which are futher north, have green grass and spring flowers in March.

Although you could spend months in Venice, if this is your first trip to Italy, you might find that an entire week is a bit long just for Venice. Have you thought about splitting the week between Venice and Florence, which is only a couple of hours train ride away? Three or four days in each town would give you a nice introduction, and Florence is very different from Venice. If you don't want to do that, at least conisder some day trips from Venice to the mainland - towns like Verona and that area.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Three years ago I took my 12 year old neice to Venice the first week of March. The weather was beautiful - although a bit cold. We wore jackets during the day. And if going on the water a pair of gloves would be helpful.

Your son will love Venice. There's tons to do. Just keep an eye on this board and you will get tons of suggestions.

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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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I forgot to mention that it may also be Carnival time. It was while we were there and it was fun seeing everyone dressed up.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 10:42 AM
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We were in Venice in mid-March a few years ago (with a 10 yr old son, and 12 yr old daughter). It was cold (50s during the day) and damp. One day ir rained lightly. Venice is even charming in the rain and fog! Just bring layers and an umbrella. South of Venice was much warmer. FLorence was 70s and sunny daytime and Rome hit 80!

I don't know that hotel, but you can rad reviews on tripadvisor or search for it by name here.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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As already mentieond, Venice is fairly compact so you can walk to most places. There are also the water buses.

Check out Doges Palace for sure. Take a tour or rent the audio tour. I 1/2 trip to Murano is fun, to see the glass blowers at work.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 05:48 PM
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Actually, March gets a bit more rain than January and February on average--about the same as December: 2.4 inches.

The high water days (that occur most often from October through March) aren't caused by the rain.

Carnival will be over by the first week of March in 2006.

It's very easy to get around in Venice. It's a walkable city--no motor vehicles, or even bicycles, to contend with for one thing. Have a good map showing all the streets. If you get tired of walking, hop a vaporetto to get from one end to the other.

Our biggest problem has always been walking past the streets we want, because we're always paying more attention to what's going on around us and because it's easy to forget how compact the city is and how quickly you can get from one place to another.

Some things to see depending on your interests:
Piazza San Marco, Basilica San Marco, Campanile, Palace of the Doges, Grand Canal on a vaporetto, Lagoon islands: (Murano, Burano, Torcello), San Michelle, Gondola yard. The Arsenal and the Naval Museum, Correr Museum, Accademia art museum, Peggy Guggenheim Gallery, numerous art shows and exhibits that are always running, The Ghetto. Another dozen or so specialty museums.

Too many churches to list with interesting and world-class art and architecture, but...Basilica Santa Mariadella Salute, Basilica dei Frari, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, San Sebastiano, San Pietro di Castello, Santo Giovanni E Paolo, Madonna dell'Orto. Venice's churches have some of Italy's greatest works of art--many free to view by the likes of Tintoretto, Veronese, Titian, Bellini, Vivarini, and Carpaccio.

Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Scuola San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, Scuola San Nicolo, Scuola Grande Dei Carmini, Scuole Grande of San Rocco.

Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Ca’ Rezzonico museum, Querini-Stampalia palace/museum, San Giovanni Evangelista, Ponte di Rialto, Rialto market, Ca’ d’Oro, Ca' Pesaro museum, gondola tour of smaller, hidden canals. Opera and concerts at La Fenice and other venues. Walking away from the daytripping herds and discovering a quiet, secret city that most tourists have no clue exists.

And don't forget the Lido of Venice in the summer.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 06:44 PM
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No summer heat or crowds.

We spent a week in Venice in March 2004. The weather was very pleasant. It may have rained twice. Sitting out on the coast, raining and floodings is what Venice is all about. Bring umbrellas and soak it in.

Research... the opera seaoon is still going strong. Check out the La Fenice Opera house or its affiliate opera house. Buy in advance.

We stayed 3 nights near St. Marks Square (part of a go-today package) and an additional 4 nights at the Hotel Ala, ( I learned about in this forum). It was like two vacation in one.

There is plenty to do and see in Venice for a week. If you want to see Florence there is always next rear.

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Old Dec 10th, 2005, 01:20 AM
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We bought a one week vaporetto pass when we arrived and it was really great value. You can buy the tickets as you exit the train station, just by the water. It meant we could hop on and off vaporettos whenever we wanted without having to queue for tickets or find change etc. You can use this ticket to go and visit the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. If you go early in the day, you could fit in all 3 in one day. Burano has very colourful houses and was once famous for lace making so lots of shops selling lace, Murano is very famous for glass blowing so you can see glass being made and lots of shops, there is a very old church on Torcello.
We were in Venice late March, days were fine but cool, nights were quite cold, we wore thermal underwear outside but it was very atmospheric.
Kay
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Old Dec 10th, 2005, 03:37 AM
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Hi JF,

You might want to look at the miniguide to Venice under "destinations".

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Old Dec 12th, 2005, 03:59 PM
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Another advantage to the cooler weather is that the mosquitos should still be dormant.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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One more thought on the vaporeto.

After much consideration, I went ahead and invested in 2-3 day passes.

Much to my chagrin, they called a strike on our second day and we lost out on some of our investment.

So much for planning...
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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I just wanted to thank everyone for their input! I truly appreciate your time, suggestions and opinions. We are SO excited and it's difficult to figure out just where to start in planning our itinerary!!

Thanks again and I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year!
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