Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Off To Venice?

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, May 26, 2010
"San Marco - Lido! San Marco - Lido!," says the balding  Italian guy in-charge of assisting passengers on the vaporetto. Tourists ask where they should get off but his answer remains the same: San Marco - Lido! San Marco -Lido!!

Nothing prepared me for Venice. So these pointers might be helpful for any budget traveller.

 The thick crowd in Piazza San Marco

1. Make sure that your train stop is at Venezia Sta. Lucia. That is the last station but still many people hop-off at Venezia Mestre which is a town on the mainland and five minutes earlier than Venezia Sta. Lucia. Don't go along with the crowd.

2. Get a good map. Know what landmark is nearest to your hotel. It could be The Rialto Bridge or Piazza San Marco or anything popular. Venice streets are uber complicated and locals might give you a blank stare when you ask where is Calle Specchieri.

3. Venice is expensive. It is, beyond your imagination. One way you can save is to bring a decent amount of food/grocery from Rome or Milan whichever you are coming from.

4. Aside from the colorful carnival masks, do your souvenir shopping in Rome.

5. No cabs but they have elegant water taxis with the price to match. Your cheapest and best option is to ride the Vaporetto #1 which runs up and down the Grand Canal. It has frequent stops so do know your landmark as to when you should hop-off.

6. Stay healthy and avoid touching the water in the canals.

7. Have a bite of the Burano cookies. 

8. For the best deal, book your hotel near Piazza San Marco. It is where the main monuments and sights are located so you never need to spend  more for vaporetto to explore. We stayed at Comfort Hotel Diana (100 yards from San Marco front entrance) with its charming Venetian furnishings, modern bath, and free Wifi. The thin, old man at the reception might give you a stern look but the lady and the other stocky gentleman were very accommodating and helpful. I can't say much for the food because we skipped breakfast for the whole time we stayed.

8. Have fun and get lost (you will be with the maze-like structure of the city) with your pretty flip-flops and Pucci dress (save the white sun dress for sunny Dubai). You can always ask which way to San Marco when you decide to return to your hotel.

9. Italians enjoys bringing along their pets so beware where you put your feet. Bring flash light when you decide to roam around at night.

10. Be sure to ride again the vaporetto #1 at night when the day trippers had left. Or early in the morning to watch the sunrise. You will forgive the "smell" when you first arrived and understand why Venice is worth ALL your life.

3 sweets for Kero:

witsandnuts on May 26, 2010 at 3:35 PM said...

I laughed out with the "smell" pointer. =)

kayni on May 26, 2010 at 8:40 PM said...

oh yes, dog poops are quite easy to find either in Venice or Rome. one time, it rained a lot in Rome and the streets got flooded and i was so disgusted with what i saw floating...lol. still, Venice and Rome are worth the visit.

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