My trip -- 08-03:
I visited Venice in August, 2003 and I stayed in the
Art Deco, a small and relatively cheap hotel located
two minutes away from the Accademia Art
Gallery and nearby Bridge. The hotel staff was friendly
and helpful, and the room price included a European-style breakfast
consisting of breads, pastries, cereal, yogurt, fruit, and cold
cuts. The room I stayed in was clean with large windows that
looked out onto the small side street below.
The hotel was situated on a narrow side street at one end of the
Campo Santo Stefano, and had numerous restaurants nearby. The
restaurants in the nearby square ranged from pizzerias to the more
upscale ristorantes. All of these food choices offered
relatively cheap (as compared to restaurants along the Grand Canal
or at Piazza San Marco) North Italian fare. Campo Santo
Stefano also had a small church which, as was typical in Venice, had
magnificent paintings on its walls. Of course these paintings
which would have been the centerpieces of most art museums
elsewhere, were not grand enough to make the church noteworthy in
In the 4 days I spent in Venice, I was able to see most of the main
sights which can be viewed on our main Venice
page. In other words,
4 days was enough
to cover most of Venice, but that meant my
feet were sore
at the end of
the day. Make sure you
Even though I had a guidebook and a map, the city was
not easy to
The tourist signs posted were intermittent and I often found myself
at a fork in the road wondering which way to go. Do not count
on getting directions from anyone, because most of the
locals do not speak
In addition, even if they do speak English (or if you speak
Italian), the locals do not give detailed directions.
It is not that they aren't trying to be helpful, but rather it is
the fact that the roads are quite old and nothing is as easy as
taking a right or a left to get to your destination. More
often than not you will find yourself at an intersection or in a
small square deciding between multiple right or left turns in your
path. But do not be afraid, the city is quite small and you
will always be able to find your way back. If worst comes to
worst, find a canal and follow it to the outside of the island.
From there you should be able to get your bearings.
If you are traveling on a tight budget, venture outside of the
tourist trap area around Piazza San Marco.
The open market area near
Rialto offers cheap
souvenirs and food.
There you will be able to find good sandwiches and even cafeteria
style eateries. Don't worry, all the food is delicious!
For the particularly adventurous looking to eat something
unique to Venice,
try the seppie,
which is a black sauce made from squid ink.
Overall, I had a
Venice rates as one of my top cities to wander through on foot
(alongside Jerusalem, Brugge, and Washington D.C.). The city's
main sights are located steps away from each other and half of the
enjoyment is the short journey from monument to monument. I
spend days just
wandering through the narrow walkways
and alongside the countless canals spread out across the city.
Piazza San Marco
The grandest of Venice's grand squares. This Piazza offers
much to visitors, with the Basilica San Marco, views from the clock
tower, and the surrounding markets.
The Grand Canal is
Venice's version of Main Street. The 4 km long canal forms an
'S' curve through the middle of the city, slicing right along
Venice's grandest tourist sights.
Venice only has three bridges which cross its Grand
Canal. Of these three bridges, the Bridge at Rialto is the
Santa Maria Della Salute
Chiesa Santa Maria
della Salute is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Venice.
It's towering dome dominates the Dorsoduro neighborhood and is one
of the main churches along the Grand Canal.
Venice's greatest art museum boasts masterpieces from the great
Venetian masters such as Bellini, Giorgione, Carpaccio, Tizziano,
Tintoretto, Veronese and Tiepolo. The building housing these
great paintings also once served as a church and a monastery.
Venice Travel Tips
WHERE TO STAY Find out which parts of the city to stay
near...and which parts to avoid!
walking? Like any other city, Venice offers several modes of
transportation. The catch is that they all travel on water.
Curious about what to buy in Venice?
a part of Venice most tourists never see!
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romantic Germany. The city's 17th Century red sandstone castle
ruin and the old bridge are two of the most majestic sights in all of
Moving to Europe?
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Force, Army, or Navy, check out our guide to moving to Europe.