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Trip List by fudgesmum

The glory of Venice for the poorer traveller

3 Jun 2006  British single parent with two daughters and very little capital
4.5 of 5 stars based on 31 votes

You can go to Venice on a limited budget and take the family for a wonderful treat

  • Category: Perfect weekend
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping
  • Appeals to: Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Budget travellers
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Albergo Silva

    This is not a luxury hotel by any means- but cheaper than most in Venice, it has very welcoming staff who serve breakfast as if it is their pleasure to oblige. I have stayed with children here many times, only a short distance to st marks in castello region. I do think you will need a good map to find it easily tucked away as it is on a quiet fondementa behind the Querini Stampalia museum over the bridge. The delights of Venice have to be getting lost whilst you wander the narrow streets in the cool of evening. This hotel has no bar, no room service, just offers a simple room and ample shower rooms, some en suite with clean towels, and a good breakfast. It like most Venetian buildings has lots of stairs to climb up, but I have had far worse accommodation at higher prices elsewhere, and never felt so welcome.
    If your budget is really low, then ask for a room without bathroom- showers are available on all floors. The setting is interesting, and a short walk will take you to the major attractions. I discovered it by accident when every hotel seemed to be full within our limited budget and go back there as often as I can. If if is Venice you want to visit and not a brilliantly furnished room in a grand hotel, then this is suitable for you for a few nights. You can hunt it down and email a booking online.

  • 2. cheap flights from Ryanair or Easyjet offered all the year round
    http://www.ryanair.com

    getting there on a limited budget

  • 3. shopping and eating

    Eat fresh white peaches and other local fruits from the stalls at Rialto market- try the cheeses (soft and creamy) and the delicious thinly sliced hams
    Venice has wonderful supermarkets with lovely produce at Piazzale Roma coop
    Standa and Nuova.
    If the budget is tight try pizza at many of the bakers and take away shops along the thoroughfares. We always carry bottled water.
    If you sit down for coffee expect it to cost a fortune, especially if you sit outside, but try standing at the small bars and having a freshly made cappucino from about a euro a cup, or if you fancy something really strong- try an espresso!! Italian coffee is the best. Eat at the self service establishments- try the railway station for good food to sit down over. Enjoy the entertainments of San Marco without spending a penny sitting on the stone steps in the square or walking around it at night with a crowd of other delighted spectators.
    A day ticket for travel on the vaporettas includes journeys to Murano Burano and Torcello- set off early and spend the evening riding up and down the grand canal until your 24 hour ticket ends. Venice is for walking- take comfortable shoes and walk- lose yourself in the heart of it. If you see something irresistable buy it, because once you leave the area it is sometimes impossible to find a particular shop ever again.
    Bargains for taking home (the inevitable mask- and if you must then I suggest you visit calle del leo late at night and examine the unique masks in the shop there run by an amazing man who reminds me of Pinocchio's maker) he will stop work and pck the one item that suits your shape of face better than any other. Look out for the leather bag shop with beautiful handbags- for about £30 i got a beauty, and wished I had bought more every day since.
    You can buy jeans for 10 euros in one shop in the main thoroughfare quite close to Lush. Avoid Lush and the body shop- you can buy cheaper back home.
    Take a camera- digital if possible with huge memory card because you will want to take hundreds of pictures.
    Go to St Marks on a sunday to appreciate the golden mosaics best- they light the church on sundays and the beautiful music drifts up from the service even if it requires your silence whilst viewing- well worth seeing.
    Under 26- take a passport photograph and get a young venice visiting card to save money. For especially wonderful entertainment value if you are present during the year of the biennale de Venezia, I recommend for the price of a good cinema ticket that you visit the two active sites, art as you never saw it- film, video and other in splendid garden setting or at arsenale- visit the old boat sheds open for the exhibition. Truly entertaining even if you do not see it as great art.
    if you want to go the beach- then take the vaporetta to the Lido and walk down the main street straight to the far side and hunt down the free beach. I n summer I suggest you take flipflops- the sand burns- or go in the evening when you can paddle quietly in the cooler air, with fewer people around. Many is the picnic we have had on the Lido beach in the evening, having popped into Lido Standa on our way down to the beach. Sharing cartons of red wine with straws, lean slices of ham and fresh fruits on a moonlit beach with the sea gently lapping is not a bad prospect for an evening so close to Venice.
    Always take a coach from the airport to Venice- far cheaper than water taxis, or try to share a water taxi if you are very lucky from marco polo airport. There is a cheaper bus like journey from that airport to Venice, but it is not pleasant because you are indoors most of the journey.
    Everyone should see Venice. It is quite remarkable- unique!! Enjoy it whilst it remains available to us.
    Do not leave litter behind. Do not leave graffiti - there is so much to see and do- a weekend is not enough- but whatever it costs, you will never forget your visit.
    In spring take mosquito repellants, and a plug in mosquito repeller in summer I find an essential although many hotels provide them in your room.
    Definitely take suntan lotion and it is easy to keep shaded in the narrow streets during the heat of the day. We visit churches and museums then if possible to be cool for a while as well as to soak up the special Venetian beauty and art and architecture.