Venice Passes

Dec 31st, 2008, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Hi 2010

About the Biennale. My husband and I agreed that this was one of the greatest art experiences of our lives.

I have heard others say that they weren't thrilled, but we were beyond thrilled and plan to go back.

The access to the Arsenale alone was worth the tickets. We spent a huge amount time there, and thought the displays and the use of space were superb.

Another part of the Biennale that we loved was the access to so many private buildings in the city. We were in one palazzo where we were out on a balcony, over the Grand Canal, waving at people passing below. I felt like the female Doge!

That plus tons of great contemporary art... I couldn't have asked for more.

Our Venice Cards included discounted tickets to the Biennale so that was great.

If I had to choose just one of the two major areas, I think I would pick Arsenale, because of the historical buildings.

The experience calls for some appreciation for contemporary art. If you have been to the Whitney Biennial, or similar events (or like the MOMA, the Pompidou, or gallery visits) and enjoyed them, I think you would like this.

And if not, there is an overwhelming amount of beauty in Venice and plenty of free Biennale venues to duck in to. Do try a few of those; we saw some terrific things.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 07:42 AM
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Hi again, 2010,

here's the link to the biennale - -

it's on from june to nov THIS year [ie 2009] and the film festival is on in september, so that might affect the availability of accommodation if your stay co-incides.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 09:56 AM
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Thanks for sharing all this information & your experiences with Venice travel! That's what makes Fodor's an amazing resource!

We will be in Venice from September 15th to 19th (4 nights) and we have reservations at the Locando Orseolo.

Although we are not contemporary art aficionados, it will be exciting to be in Venice during the Biennale! It has happened to us several times in our travels that upon arrival in a town, we've discovered & attended an exhibit or event serendipity and have LOVED it! So, we definitely look forward to some visual treats this trip!

I think it would be convenient to have a vaporetto passes in our pockets to hop on a boat whenever we please ... especially since day light hours will be shorter & walking back to our hotel after dinner in the dark may not be so appealing! The 72 hour vaporetto pass will be perfect for us!

2010 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2009, 09:11 AM
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Three full days in Venice is not a lot of time to visit all the wonderful places we would like to see. So first, I looked at sights by neighbourhoods & prioritized them so we will visit a variety of places and still have time to explore Venice by foot. Then I checked to see which of these are on the various culture & transportation passes.

Having done this, the 72 hour vaporetto pass still makes sense! For us this time, none of the cultural passes including the Venice cards & the Chorus Pass will give us any cost savings. We will pay as we go.

It has been a useful exercise in that it has given me a chance to plan our itinerary & set a budget for this part of our trip!

Thanks again for everyone's help!

2010 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2009, 09:50 AM
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hi 2010,

I like your idea of grouping your sightseeing together - I assume the Frari with San Rocco, san Marco and the Doge's palace, etc.

but do remember opening times as well - eg San salute shuts promptly at 12 noon every day, as does the Gesuiti [fabulous marble curtains, our DS was transfixed by them].

popular sights can be easier to get into later in the day - we were just going past the accademia about an hour before closing, saw there was no queue, and nipped in. for some reason we never discovered, it was free too! [actually I think it was something to do with a free museum week in italy around easter time, but we could never work out which museums it applied to, when as it seemed to be a moveable feast!].

ref walks in Venice, you might like to look at a book by J G Links called "Venice for Pleasure".

happy planning,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 08:42 AM
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Hi! Ann:

Thanks for the book recommendation! My local library has Venice for Pleasure: 40 Years On (2008) on order & I have placed a hold on it!

2010 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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some books you may enjoy reading before you go

No Vulgar Hotel by Judith Martin (2007)

City of Fallen Angels by John Berendt (2005)

Harry's Bar, The Life and Times of the Legendary Venice Landmark by Arrigo Cipriani (1996)

A Thousand Days in Venice, an Unexpected Romance by Marlena De Blasi (2002)
Remus is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 08:42 AM
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Remus: Just as you have suggested, I have been reading books set in Venice & have read many that you recommend! In addition, I have read about 6 Donna Leon's mysteries! It is fun to read books set in places one plans to visit! Thanks!

Ann: I just finished reading your Venice trip report & bookmarked it for future reference! Thanks for all the useful details!

Just a question to you about posting trip reports. I am planning to do one (my first!) upon our return from Italy. Do you think it will be better to do separate ones for each destination (eg, Venice, Lake Como, Tuscany & Florence) OR just do one for the entire trip?

2010 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 09:02 AM
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hi 2010,

you're lucky getting an up to date version of JG Links - my copy is showing its age, though I only bought it this time last year.

funnily, some of the restaurants and cafes were still there!

I enjoyed writing my trip report and I'm glad if it helps some "fellow travellers".

do feel free to come back to me if you've got any questions before you go.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:37 AM
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I second others' endorsement of the art Biennale. Since our first visit, we feel the need to go every time, for a week. If you are not generally into contemporary art, though, you may find the Giardini (c.25 different national pavilions, all architecturally different, scattered around a park) more fun than the Arsenale (one big building). Plus as ann says, the 'offsite' shows in found spaces are fun - you are bound just to stumble across some.

Ann, have you seen John Cale is representing Wales this year ?!? Sounds exciting !
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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hi caroline,

It was Tuscanfeedlit who made that comment about ducking into random biennale sites, not me. My only personal experience of the biennale is over 25 years ago on the ist trip DH and I made to Venice.

I wouldn't know John Cale from a pot of jam. and having just googled him, I'm not going to retract that remark!

I think I will leave the Biennale to those who can appreciate it!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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PS 2010,

I've been meaning to metion what I think is a really good little guide book, with maps, that is small enough to pop in a pocket of small handbag or day-sack.

it's called "Venice art/shop/eat" and is published by blue guides. I suspect I got it through amazon. it describes Venice area by area, and gives directions to and opening times of all the main sights, a very good map, plus cafes, etc. and shops too. also there's a section on vaporeto passes, a vaporeto map, etc. if you had it, you honestly wouldn't need anything else - useful on a long trip, IMO.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  

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