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2 Days in Venice

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California, USA
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2 Days in Venice

Greetings TA Members,

I am planning our summer (July 09) trip to Italy and Switzerland. Our first stop in Italy itinerary is Venice as we will be flying into Zurich and taking Cisalpino into Italy. We are staying near the St. Lucia Station. We will have 1 full day and on 2nd day we have a 5:00 PM train to Rome.

Can you offer feedback on the below itinerary and let me know if this makes sense?

Day 1:

- Vap # 1 to St.Mark's Square. Doges, Basilica, Campenille, etc...

- Vaporetto to Riato Bridge.. Walk the bridge.. See markets..

- Walk to San Polo or take Vaporetto.. St Mary's Friars etc...

- Vaporetto to Academia... Walk through Dorsuduro..Campo San Margharita..Eat..

- Vap # 1 or 82 .. Grand Canal Tour..

- Head back to hotel

Day 2:

- Checkout and store luggage at hotel

- Vap # 42 to FN and LN ferry to Murano..

- Spend time in Murano

- Take LN ferry to Burano.. sight-see and lunch

- Take LN ferry back to FN and Vap back to St Lucia

- Get snacks and board 5:00 pm train

Is this too aggresive? I plan to buy the 48 hour Travel Card before leaving US and pick it up on Day 1 of our Venice sight-seeing.

Question:

- Is the 48 hr card the best option?

- Am I missing anything major? We are not into Musuems with 2 kids (10 and 6).

- Is doing Murano/Burano on day 2 when we have to catch a train risky?

Thanks in advance,

Regards,

Nick

Cheshire, United...
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1. Re: 2 Days in Venice

Considering you only have 2 days I would spend them all in Venice, there is plenty to see and do, and visiting the islands would maybe a little too adventurous, or maybe limit to one of the islands.

Portland, OR, USA
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2. Re: 2 Days in Venice

It would be helpful to know more about your overall itenerary as Venice is one of the most magical cities on earth, and a two-day whirlwinder might not be the right answer.

As the previous poster suggested: see only one island or skip them altogether. If you do decide to see one, my favorite of the two was Burano - I didn't see a lot of distinction between Murano and Venice (although it was quite pleasant).

The best part of Venice is wandering, getting lost, and finding hidden gems such as Campo dei Santa Maria Nova. Every turn leads you to a new discovery.

Regards, Bruce

Venice Travel Images -- brucegcollier.com/galleries/italy/level2_z_v…

Chorley, United...
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3. Re: 2 Days in Venice

A very short time with a very great deal to see. Inevitably you will not be able to see the whole of Venice so very much a matter of what to miss out. That depends almost entirely on your particular interests.

Unless you have an especial interest in Murano style Venetian glass I would nt spend valuale time going out to this island, nor would I bother with Burano unless you are a devotee of brightly painted cottages.

I would take the No 1 or No 2 water bus (vaporetto) from the Ferrovia landing stage immediately in front of Santa Lucia station along the length of the Grand Canal as it is such a good way of viewing the great Palazzi which line the Canal. Try to sit in the few outside seats in the bows or the stern as the view is much better than from inside the cabin.

The Basilica of San Marco and the Doge's Palace are essential viewing for any visitor to Venice, however brief their stay. I would walk from Piaza San Marco to the Rialto and across the Rialto Bridge to the markets (se them in the morning as a lot of produce - fish or vegetables/fruit - will have been sold by mid-day) You could then walk from the Rialto Bridge through Campo San Polo to the Frari and o to Ca,po Samnta margherita where I am sure your chikldren would enjoy a gelato or a drink in one of the gelateria or cafes around the Campo. It is a pleasant walk o from Campo Santa Margherita passing the floating fruit/vegetable barge in the canal by Campo San Barnaba and on to the Accademia Gallery and water bus landing stage

Alternativley turn right from Camo Santa Margherita and walk down to the Zattere where your children can have a run along the broad Fondamenta which lines the Giudecca Canal, the widest in Venice along which the cruise liners sail.

California, USA
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4. Re: 2 Days in Venice

jessybobs:

Thank you. You might be right about skipping or limiting to just one island. It would be fun however to see the colored houses for the kids.

bg_collier:

First, fantastic pictures. Loved your Italy as well as Croatia, India and Turkey pictures. We will be spending 14 days in Switzerland and Italy (Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Vatican City, Naples and Pompei). While we realize that we can see any of these cities properly in the few days we have allocated to it, this is our "Getting acquainted" to Italy tour and we will be sure to return to specific cities that we loved the most.

California, USA
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5. Re: 2 Days in Venice

Robert-J:

Really appreciate you reviewing the itinerary and providing detailed feedback. Given that we are living near St. Lucia station and we want to catch the early morning market at Rialto(no worries the kids are up at 6 as well), we may just go to Rialto Market first and then walk to St. Marco and do the early tours of Basilica, Doges and Campenile and follow your suggestions. I have a few follow-up questions if you don't mind:

- What are starting and end points of Vaperetto # 1?

- Is the ride from Ferrovia to Academia the main length of the GC?

- Do Vaperetto go only in one direction from a landing? For example, if I catch a Vaperetto #1 from Academia, does it go in both directions or only one?

Sorry for the basic questions but this will help me map out what time of the day I should take the GC tour. May be I should be do it both in the morning and in the evening/night?

Nick

ireland
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6. Re: 2 Days in Venice

I am just back from two days in Venice and we were able to do most of main sights, do try to go to The Lido lovely beach, the children would enjoy a quick smim im sure. I did notice at the vaporetto stops they did leave in both directions.Hope you all have

a great time.

UK
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7. Re: 2 Days in Venice

Goodness how can you do all the main sight's in 2 day's.

Chorley, United...
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8. Re: 2 Days in Venice

The answer Sophie8 is quite iompossible.

Nickbhat Some responses to your queries -

The No 1 runs from Piazzale Roma the length of the Grand Canal and over to the Lido. IT runs in both directions - up and down the GRand Canal so checkl which direction the ferry is heading before you board it, though usually they will have a board on the side saying their destination.

Ferrovia to Accademia is not the full length of the Grand Canal. Full lewngth would be Piazael Roma to at least Santa Maria della Salute though most people I suspect, including myself, would say down to San Zaccaria or even Arsenale in the Basino di San Marco.

The various water bus lines differ NO 1 and No 2 both run in both directions so you ned to take care when boarding that the ferry is headingin the direction you wwant to go. In other words when boarding at Ferrovia a boat heading down the length of the Grand Canal will be going to your left.

Hoswever other lines such as the 41/42, 51/52 and 51/62 lines do run in one direction only - either clockwise or anticlockwise around Venice.

UK
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9. Re: 2 Days in Venice

THE 41/51 anti clockwise, 42/52 clockwise, makes a bit difference,

Lunenburg, Canada
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10. Re: 2 Days in Venice

Hi California!

You can't micro-plan a trip to Venice in quite that way. As some other writers have said, Venice is a magical city. It's the only major city in the world with no cars, because there are no streets. You can't even get around on a bicycle. You walk, or go by water.

First, the good news. Unlike those who say that the only way to see the city is to add on more days you don't have, I can tell you from my personal experience that you can easily get a marvelous taste of Venice in two days, or even fractions thereof. If you really like a lot (and you will) promise yourself that you'll come back.

When you arrive on the train, you're undoubtedly going to be staying at one of the hotels on Lista di Spagna street. Turn left when you leave the station. It's a popular area, full of shops and tourists. Check in, but don't go shopping on this street. Not yet.

Once you're in and freshened up, it's time to walk. Go back in the direction of the train station and take the big bridge over the Grand Canal, Scalzi Bridge. (It's the only one over the canal in this part of Venice.)

Now, follow the signs. You'll want to head in the direction Rialto and San Marco. This walk will take a minimum of a half-hour, and probably a lot longer. The signs lead you through a maze of little streets, some no wider than your outstretched arms. The way leads past ancient buildings, then shopping galore! There's so much competition that you'll find all manner of bargains on glassware, watches, chess sets and far more other things than I could list. This is where you should plan on some major shopping.

The way takes you to Rialto Bridge and across. If you're a first time visitor, it's absolutely fabulous!

On the other side, you continue to St. Mark's Square. It's breath-taking, with the ancient basilica, the clock tower, the palaces, and outdoor cafes selling a glass of Coke a slice of cake for not much change from US$25. Behind it is the sea front, lined with gondolas, water taxis and water buses. Boats everywhere!

Look out across the Grand Canal from San Marco. See the two grand churches, Santa Maria della Salute and San Giorgio Maggiore? You have to go across and see them. The water bus takes you across. You can go inside, and they're worth the visit, including a trip to the top of San Giorgio's bell tower.

When you're ready to come back, you take the water bus. No. 1 is the milk run, stopping at around twenty stops up the canal and taking an hour. The No.82 is quicker, because it makes fewer stops. To get back to your hotel, take the 82.

Don't start with the water bus. You'll want to walk, because this is how the magic of Venice first overwhelms you. The water bus is for when you're tired and need a ride back on a hot July afternoon, or if it's raining.

Where's your gondola ride? Another part of the Venetian magic is a ride on a gondola for an hour, through the little canals. On my first trip, I begrudged the money, and didn't take it. After that, I spent years cursing myself and living down the derisory comments of my friends for being in Venice and not taking a gondola!

A gondola ride likely will cost well in excess of US$100, but it's worth every penny for the joy you'll get leaning back, sliding along the tiny canals past the ancient building of back-streets Venice. Wait until after you've walked a little, so that the rest will feel good. The most popular place for gondolas is St. Marks, but they're situated in other places too.

Now, have you got a marker pen handy? Get it, and strike a few things off your list. Get rid of Murano and Burano. If you haven't added the Lido to your list, don't! You'll find them merely a more spread-out, less charming version of Venice. You'll walk more and see less. It's also a long boat ride out to Burano, especially. I did the glass-blowing display in Murano and found it a waste of time. The shops there sell glassware more expensive and less appealing with fewer choices than in Venice itself. I don't doubt that some will disagree, but we found Murano and Burano to be time-wasters that gobbled up precious hours we could have spent in Venice.

After you're rested up from your first walk, you'll have to see the rest of Venice. You can make a nice stroll from the area of the Rialto Bridge, past San Polo Church, past the Frari church, and then southward shadowing the Grand Canal. Which is the best route? Who knows! The treasured charm of Venice is that it's a maze of tiny streets, canals and humpback bridges. Remind yourself that you're on an island and you can't get off, then just walk where the spirit takes you!

You'll eventually wind up at Accademia Bridge, within sight of Santa Maria del Salute Church. This bridge sets you on a course to St. Mark's Square via the back way.

Are you up for a really grand walk? On your second day, walk through the part of Venice where ordinary folks live. From your hotel on Lista di Sagna, go east, following the Grand Canal again but this time on the opposite bank. On this side, tourist shops are fewer, but there are lots of ordinary restaurants and stores where Venetians do their shopping.

If you walk all the way to the end, you'll pass Via Garibaldi, the closest thing to a wide street in Venice, where kids actually can ride their bicycles a short way. The route ends at the Public Gardens, the Park of Remembrance and the big soccer stadium. Who would have imagined that Venice would find room for a soccer stadium!

From there, the water bus gives your feet a chance to rest as you make your way back to the hotel.

As far as museums go, unless you're a museum buff, the ones in Venice are not grand like the Vatican Museums and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. You'll see large pictures and the rooms of state where the doge held court, but if you don't like museums (and I don't either) cut these. Even the Bridge of Sighs, which is sublime from the outside, looks like an ordinary old room when you're inside, as I discovered the hard way.

Plan to visit the big three churches: St. Marks, San Giorgio and Santa Maria della Salute. Don't make a special trip for the others. It isn't that they wouldn't be first-class attractions in any American city, but after the big three (and remember, there's lots more to come in the rest of Italy) you'll be so churched-out that you wouldn't cross the street to see another one, even if the street is no wider than your outstretched arms! By all means go in, if you're passing by, but don't plan your itinerary around visits to less-than-major churches.

By the way, I'm sure you know that there are two train stations in Venice: St. Lucia, the one in the city itself; and Mestre, the station on the mainland in the suburban city of Mestre. Don't make the mistake we did on my first trip, confusing the two.

Happy travels, and let me know if I can help further!

David

capetien10@gmail.com