walking directions in venice

Nov 16th, 2008, 12:49 PM
  #1  
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walking directions in venice

Can anyone recommend an internet service that tells you how to walk from point A to point B in venice? something like Via michelin or mapquest! something to help navigate through this confusing city
ironandsilk is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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The only thing I've ever found even vaguely useful is a VERY detailed paper map. Not the free kind the hotels give away - but one we bought some years ago.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 01:00 PM
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Before everyone rushes in to coo at you that you're *supposed* to get lost in Venice and enjoy it, I'll just share that I stopped getting lost in Venice (which I hated) when I realized that the city is a bunch of hubs called "campos" and that -- sort of like swinging from ring to ring on a jungle gym -- you should head toward the nearest campo in the general direction of your ultimate destination. When you get to that campo, you will see that several streets in all directional points converge in on it. Pick the one that will get you to the next campo closest to where you want to go.

Also, please note as you walk above your head that there are signs painted on the walls naming famous places and using an arrow to point you that way. So if you do enough studying a map to know that the train station and San Marco are at opposite ends of Venice, with the Rialto bridge in between, you can get some orientation that way too.

Those signs are infrequent but you will quickly learn that if you just keep on a path in the direction they obviously point, you will get another sign when you need one.

I've seen people using GPS's, and they seemed to work quite well.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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No, there is no "way" to find the correct route in Venice. There are 451 bridges and hundreds and hundreds of tiny tiny teeny streets and nothing goes in a straight line. You've just got to use your map, walk until you've got a name of a street or a bridge, then look it up. BRING A COMPASS. This will probably work better than anything. The 20-something girl who showed us to our apartment last month said she had been lost in Venice a thousand times - and she lived nearby on the mainland but was born in Venice and her job was to bring people to their apartments and even then, she took wrong turns occasionally. Good luck and have your camera at the ready because the best photo ops come when you're lost!
lizcakes is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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I have been to Venice many times and still get lost . . . although it is not as easy to do since they put up all the signs, pointing to San Marco and the Rialto Bridge. I agree with all who say you're "supposed to get lost," but I admit that it can be frustrating. A detailed map is essential and keep an eye out for signs pointing to the vaporetto!
Athena39 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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We have been to Venice a bunch of times, and had an apartment in Cannareggio for a week a year ago. We got lost returning home to the apartment nearly every single night. Once it was dark, we had a hard time.

I do think a compass would have helped. We always had a good map with us.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 01:24 PM
  #7  
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Thanks for the good consel everyone. I am trying to be as organized as I can on my first trip to Venice.A GPS! Food for thought!
ironandsilk is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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hi james,

ditto what zeppole said.

ref the signs on the walls, they are a bit like the termini of a bus or underground system - you may not want to go all the way to "ferrovia" [the railway station] but if your goal is in that direction, that's the way to go.

also, there are a no. of "main drags" which can be a help with getting around - piazza san marco to the aforesaid ferrovia being the main one. familiarise yourself with that, and you'll be surprised how often you end up at a point on it, even if you didn't mean to.

However, at night everything gets much more complicated. DH and I went out for a drink one night at about 10 pm, and didn't get back to our apartment til after 1am - and most of that time, we'd been hopelessly lost. our kids of course [don't worry, they're grown up, sort of] didn't notice a thing.

a really good map, a torch!, and GPS are all good ideas.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 02:11 PM
  #9  
ira
 
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Hi I,

Have you tried choosing "Pedestrian" under "options" at viamichelin?

ira is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 02:18 PM
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This is the closest I've found:

http://maps.venicexplorer.net/maps.php?hlangs=en

Ou can input an address it it will show you where it is, particularly good since actual addresses in Venice have nothing to do with the street name but rather the number of the building within the sestiere. Most places will have the address--"Dorsoduro 922"-- and also a street location--"Fond. Zattere near Fond. Nani". Once you're on Fond. Zattere, look for 922--and the numbers may or may not go in order.
ellenem is online now  
Nov 16th, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Been there several times myself,and a gps would be great to have.Just got back from Rome and used a gps there it was awsome not to be lost and trying tio figure out the map like everyone else.
Venezia123 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 06:29 AM
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of course, these online directories are all very well when you are indoors, but not much use when you're wandering the streets.

unless you've got a blackberry or similar.

however, if you do get lost, you can always get a vaporetto back to somewhere you know - one reason for buying a pass, IMHO.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 08:57 AM
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Yesterday, I rented a GPS from Rentcell. I would have never thought of this except for your suggestion(zeppole). So thanks for wonderful idea.I couldn't seem to find any large companies to rent from so I choose the one that seemed reputable. I spoke to the young man himself. I learned from the Better Business Bureau to only deal with companies where you can speak with a live person. Well, I told him my plans and he recommened a Garmin Nuvi with maps ready for all of western Europe. My cost about $120.00 for three weeks. It sounds like a great deal and I hope it is.We plan a week in Paris and then on to Venice. Walking in both cities. I have recently read some fodorites complain their GPS didn't work right in Venice.They said they worked great in large cities but I wonder about Venice. Has anyone actually used one in Venice? My decision is made either way and I hope for the best. I just want my week in Venice to be productive and relaxing and not worrying. I'll let you know next month.Thanks again, Jim
ironandsilk is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Really Jim, you don't need to worry about this so much. if you've got in a week in venice, part of the fun is getting lost then finding yourselves again- it's nto as if the bit you're lsot in is going to be boring!

we found it a good plan to see one specific thing a day, then see where our feet took us after that.

also to be flexible - for example, one late afternoon we found ourselves at a loose end near the accademia. it turned out that there were no queues and [for some reason we never understood] it was free that day. so although there was only an hour to go before closing, we went in and saw everything we wanted to see without any crowds.

although I keep banging on about them, the vaporetti are sooo useful as they save your legs for the bits you want to walk around. if you are there for a week, IMO the 7 day venice card will pay for itself.

have a great trip

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 11:07 AM
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Thank you ,Ann, for your kind words. I know you are right. I am simply amazed by the power of the internet and the kindness of people like you. My last trip I planned everything went perfectly.I can only hope for such good fortune to continue.So many questions pop into my mind and all you fodorites have been a blessing to me. Thanks! Jim
ironandsilk is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Also keep in mind--Venice is not that big. If you do get lost, you're never really THAT lost.
ellenem is online now  
Nov 19th, 2008, 11:53 AM
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Ok! Hope it works out for you. Unlike annhig, I'm not a fan of getting lost and I can't stand taking the vaporetto in Venezia. After enjoying the peace of no motor traffic for a few hours, the grinding motor, the fumes when they back or pass other vaporetti, the hustling on and off, just gets on my nerves. I'd rather walk.

No two people's experience of Venice is the same. For all its state of preservation, the city is always in flux (and always slightly hysterical, so you'll have plenty of company for your worries!).

Have a fun trip.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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Just got back from a week in Venice. Don't worry about finding your way around. After "getting lost" on our way to the B&B, we took some time the next morning to learn the vaporetto system and it is wonderful! We also bought the detailed map from the TI and it was very useful. The signs on the walls that point to the vaporetto stops and major points of interest are accurate - trust them. We had a GPS with us but never used it in Venice.

Have a wonderful trip!
SCFoodie is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Jim - You might want to take a look at your local Walmart. they have the Garmin Nuvi 200 for $130. and the 360 for around $150. You should be able to load European maps into those as well as the north American ones.
notbob is offline  
Nov 20th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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hi zeppole

<<Unlike annhig, I'm not a fan of getting lost and I can't stand taking the vaporetto in Venezia. After enjoying the peace of no motor traffic for a few hours, the grinding motor, the fumes when they back or pass other vaporetti, the hustling on and off, just gets on my nerves. I'd rather walk.>>

so far as the grand canal is concerned and line no 1 i couldn't agree more. but as a way to get around the more obscure parts of Venice, IMHO the boats are invaluable.

for example, one day, we walked through to the zattere, caught a boat over to the guidecca, walked along to the san marco end, caught a boat to San giorgio, then got the boat back to the zattere, walked through to the ca' rezzonico, and finaly caught the no 2 up to the rialto where we were staying.

another day, we got the boat from the fondamente nove to Burano, then the shuttle boat to Torcello, and after lunch and touring the cathedral, the shuttle back to Burano, and the boat back to Murano, got off at the FAro, walked to the centre, got another boat back to Venice gardini, walked through the park, and finally another boat from zacharia up the grand canal.

and I could go on! and on, but I'll spare you the rest.

there's no way we could have seen so much without the boats.

hope you have a great trip, James,

regards, ann
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