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Venice

General   |   Getting Around   |   Where to Eat   |   Carnival

          General

Venice is a city of canals, bridges and palaces, with a rich history and an uncertain future. This enchanting city, said to have more great art and architecture per square inch than any other place in the world, is under threat of sinking under rising tides.

Venice is a cluster of 117 man-made islands at the center of a 200-square-mile lagoon on the north eastern coast of Italy. Founded by the Romans in the 1st century, Venice became a wealthy independent trading republic in the tenth century. This car-free city is comprised of narrow streets and passageways, often crowded, and has about 150 canals connected by nearly 400 bridges, making it difficult to navigate with heavy luggage and strollers. Fortunately, there are plenty of reliable water taxis and city waterbuses to help visitors get around.

Although it is always bustling with tourists, the busiest times in Venice are in spring between Easter and June; the months of September and October; New Year and Christmas; and in February during the Carnival. Accommodations can be hard to find during these periods, so it is best to book well in advance.

          Getting Around

Water Buses (Vaporetti)

Venice is a small city but be prepared to walk a lot. The distance from point A to point B may be short, but the likelihood that you will get lost in between is high if you are not familiar with the city. The fast and most reliable way to travel in Venice is by water bus, or vaporetto. There are many conveniently-located stops along all major canals and the wait time between water buses is normally just a few minutes. At some stops, boats come from both directions, so be mindful of where the water buses come from to avoid going in the wrong direction.

 

TIP: Twelve and Seventy-two hour travel cards for the ACTV buses are available at any ACTV ticket booth. This are more cost effective if you are staying in Venice for more than a few days and plan to use the buses each day.

Water Taxis

 

Venetian water taxis are small motor boats which can hold up to 10 people. Legitimate water taxis will have a yellow stripe with a license number.

Water taxis can be quite expensive. Always ask for a quote before you board, otherwise, you run the risk of being seriously overcharged. The average cost of a water taxi ride from the Marco Polo Airport to central Venice is €100. Short rides within central Venice may cost from €20 to €30. Extra fees may applicable, for example for ordering a water taxi by telephone, for trips after 10:00 p.m. and on Sundays.

To order a water taxi by telephone, call the Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia at 041 522 2303. And don't forget to ask about the price beforehand! You can also request a water taxi online at info@motoscafivenezia.it.

Gondolas

Although the city of Venice has declared official rates for gondola rides, gondoliers seldom adhere to them. Officially speaking, a 40 minute gondola ride should cost €80, with a surcharge of €40 for each additional 20 minutes. The rates increase after 7:00 p.m.to €100 euros for the first 40 minutes and an additional €50 for every 20 minutes thereafter. The real rates are more like €125 to €150 per hour. You can often negotiate a per person price if you are in a small group of 4 to 6 people.

A gondola can cost from €20,000 to €30,000 and the cost of living in Venice is quite high. Gondoliers also provide a unique service. It is not easy to navigate the busy canals of venice. Despite the high rates, it is worth taking a gondola ride in Venice at least once.

 
 
          Where to Eat

The food in Venice is generally good, but very expensive. Seafood and pasta are the main specialties. Expect to pay a lot for the novelty of eating near Piazza San Marco and other high tourist areas. The best restaurants, in terms of value for money, are in the residential areas. If you are brave enough to explore the tiny streets, or calle, beyond the main squares, you can find many excellent restaurants, those frequented by locals. If you find one that you like, make precise notes about its location, as you may never be able to find it again among the hundreds of tiny streets of the maze that is Venice.

TIP:   Most restaurants buy their fish from the Rialto open-air market. The market is closed on Monday. It is best to avoid ordering fish at restaruants on Monday, since it was likely purchased on Saturday.

CENTRALE RESTAURANT LOUNGE

The Centrale Restaurant Lounge is near St. Mark's Square and La Fenice Opera House. It has a sophisticated, chic atmosphere and is great if you are looking for a fun night out. The menu is mediterranean and traditional Venetian cuisine. The restaurant is open every day from 6.30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Chill Out and Lounge music provides a fresh, relaxing atmosphere.

Address : (Piscina Frezzaria) S. Marco N. 1659/a 30124 Venezia (VE) ITALY
Tel : +39 041 2960664
Fax : +39 041 5205282
E-Mail : info@centrale-lounge.com
WEB :   http://www.centrale-lounge.com

          Carnival
     

The Venice Carnival can be traced back to the 14 th Century. It is one of the oldest and most famous festivals worldwide, traditionally drawing rich, upper class foreigners from all over Europe . The Carnival was a magical time in Venice . The entire city participated. During the festival period, the streets of Venice came alive with singers and entertainers. The dawning of colourful masks and costumes allowed people to mingle at gambling dens, parties, restaurants, wine bars and other events with no differentiation between the upper class and the common people.

The spirit and tradition of Carnival continues today. Those lucky enough to be in Venice during this unique and special time can enjoy costume parties held in the beautiful historic palaces, theatrical events, parades, and fried desserts typical of the Venice Carnival. Carnival begins two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras , the day before Ash Wednesday.

 
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