We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

Devon
Level Contributor
14 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

Thanks to all those who helped me plan a recent trip to Venice to celebrate my wife’s birthday. We had a fantastic time and it was made a little easier by the help I received from this board. Below are my impressions of the city as a lay person and non expert, and made purely from my own experience and perspective.

Marco Polo airport is clean, modern and efficient, the baggage is quick, and you won’t have to wait too long. After you collect your bags leave the airport by turning left outside. Follow the signs to the waterbus and water taxis, it is a short walk and as long as you are not infirm or heavily laden it is an easy level walk even with a suitcase on wheels.

If you have the money (even if you haven’t) take water taxi to the Islands. It cost me 90 Euro and believe me it was worth every penny/cent. We arrived in under 20 minutes having sat on leather bound seats with the roof open and the wind in our hair. The taxi was all walnut , carpet and leather and after slowly meandering through the canals that were softly lit and veiled in a faint mist, it dropped us off directly outside our hotel, the Londra Palace. We felt like millionaires. (the brownie points I earned were immense)

You can walk everywhere in Venice; you don’t need public transport unless you want to visit another island. We bought a 72 hour pass and only used it twice.

Allow at least one day to just meander aimlessly through the streets, don’t take a map just follow your feet. You will find some fantastic squares and fantastic places to eat and drink. Look for the places full of Italian people taking their lunch break and avoid places crammed with tourists.

If you do get lost (and you will) signs everywhere point to the Rialto Bridge, San Marco or Academia; all central places.

If you do go, go out of season the atmosphere will be fantastic and you don’t have to share it with thousands of others, I imagine the place would be dreadful in season because of the crowds and aimless wondering would be close to impossible.

If you see something you like buy it, you may not find the shop again and the chances are you will never go back.

Visit the island of Murano by taking the waterbus, avoid the free tours. Shop for your glass on the Island of Murano but be prepared to wade through rubbish and outrageously overpriced pieces and you will find some really lovely and keenly priced, unique and individual glass. Don’t pay the ticket price, every day is discount day!

Watch out for the graffiti, it is horrendous and IMO Venice needs to get a grip of it, the city is covered in pen and spray paint. It blights most of the standard tourist sights, and not just the back alleys.

If you want a reasonably priced trattoria with good food eaten by Venitian's and Gondoliers try the one tucked away under the bridge directly behind the Danielli hotel. Its called Alla Rivetta, its busy and you may have to share a table but the food is brilliant and sometimes spontaneous, We enjoyed fresh scallops served in the shell straight from a tray of about twenty, straight from the kitchen and offered to all. The service is good and the surroundings “comfortable”. Try a 1L carafe of Prosecco for 8 Euro, better than any cheap supermarket champagne you can buy in the UK.

I don't have a clue where the other places we ate were, but the food was good and we stuck to my basic rule of eating where the locals eat.

I could write far more and go on for hours, but in a nutshell, go and relax, don’t worry about what to see or do just let it happen. If you rush about ticking all the boxes and seeing all the sights you will never see the real Venice.

Once again thank you very much for a wonderful and informed forum, and if your about to go for the first time--I know you will enjoy it.

Daz

Mentioned in this post
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Marco Polo Airport
Marco Polo Airport
Venice, Italy
Hotel Londra Palace
Hotel Londra Palace
1,670 Reviews
Venice, Italy
Hotel Rialto
Hotel Rialto
2,358 Reviews
Venice, Italy
Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
546 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: 1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

We have also just returned from Venice and had a great time, you mentioned the grafitti, we also were suprised by the amount of dog poo.

We used our 72hour vaporetto pass alot and also went to Murano & Burano, both were worth seeing. The glass Christmas tree was still up and lit in Murano and we went back one evening to see it in the dark. Burano has lovely coloured houses, which looked great in the sunshine.

Glad you enjoyed your trip and weel done for the good write up.

Mentioned in this post
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Devon
Level Contributor
14 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: 1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

LOL, I forgot about the dog poo! but even so there was less on the floor than you find in North Devon towns.

You don't need to book the Alla Rivetta just turn up you will either get squeezed in or have a short wait. I suppose you could book if you want too. Its closed Mondays. We ate there twice, once with two dishes and a 1/2 carafe of white wine it was about 35 Euros and second time we had a blow out with lots and lotsof dishes including the most fantastic mussels and a superb bream, prosecco and tiramisu, polished off with coffe for about 90 Euros. We waddled out that night the short distance to the hotel!!

The funny thing about that trattoria is that we tried it the first night after landing and had a quick meal there. The next day we saw a guide (Time out) and directions to a good trattoria and followed the map right back to the place we had eaten in the previous evening. So armed with some knowledge of the staff and menu we loosened our belts and tucked in.

We never got to Burano, too busy eating lol! but wasn't that Christmas tree fantastic.

Take care,

Daz

Mentioned in this post
Devon
Devon
England, UK
London, United...
Level Contributor
1,247 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
13. Re: 1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

Glad you and your wife had a lovely time,and it all went well.Great point about buying something when you see it,so true.Graffiti always saddens me in Italy,why they don't remove it is crazy,so many beautiful buildings that are marked.

Mentioned in this post
Italy
Italy
Europe
Chorley, United...
Destination Expert
for Venice
Level Contributor
18,983 posts
123 reviews
Save Reply
14. Re: 1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

The latest (2007) edition of Chow! Bella says that reservations are recommended at Alla Rivetta, Salizzada San Provolo, Castello 4525.

I have not eaten there myself but the report seems favourable

UK
Destination Expert
for Venice
Level Contributor
48,724 posts
88 reviews
Save Reply
15. Re: 1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

Robert

Is the latest edition of Chow Venice much improved from the last edition,or would I just as well sticking with the one I have already got,

Sophie

Mentioned in this post
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
London, United...
Level Contributor
3,028 posts
182 reviews
Save Reply
16. Re: 1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

Daz, agree about the doggy-doos, Venice may be bad but really don't notice it compared to Bristol which I am sure it is the Poo-Capital (Sorry to bring the forum to an all-time low folks!) Tabby.

Mentioned in this post
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Bristol
Bristol
England, UK
St. Andrews...
Level Contributor
152 posts
111 reviews
Save Reply
17. Re: 1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

Much enjoyed your trip report; just wandering is the best isn't it - am thinking I'd Love to go back to Venice, maybe in the autumn?? Fingers crossed.

Poo-wise, Amsterdams the worst I've come across so far....

Anna

Mentioned in this post
Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
18. Re: 1st Timers impression and a quick rough guide to Venice.

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 17 August 2009, 06:21