Venice is one of Italy's top travel cities and a beautiful, romantic destination with many attractions. Its small, traffic-free streets along the winding canals make for great walking. You'll find many magnificent churches and palaces, lively squares, and interesting shops. Venice is a wonderful adventure and part of history that must be visited. You just have to learn how to avoid the crowds and know when to cut left or right from the standard sightseeing agenda and get to know the real Venice, not the souvenir stands and long museum lines.

Venice actually consists of 117 bodies of land connected by more than 400 bridges over its 150 canals. The Grand Canal is like main street, cutting through the center of the city. Venice is in on northeast coast of Italy. It is protected from the Adriatic Sea by a strip of land called the Lido. The region around Venice is called the Veneto region.

Since it's near the sea, Venice has moderate weather although there can be rain nearly year-round. Summers are humid and winters can be foggy and wet. To avoid the large crowds, spring and fall are the best seasons to visit. Venice experiences flooding or aqua alta about 60 days a year, October through early January (more). For more weather details, average daily temperatures and rainfall month by month, see: Venice Italy Weather.

Venice, Italy Travel Tips Before You Go

Venice as a city of stone built on the marshy mudflats of the lagoon is a feat of engineering and determination that legends and myths are based on. Venezia is made up of over 100 islands; some are full of Gothic Palazzi, a labyrinth of ancient alleys, and some are small sand bars in the lagoon connected by canals filled with boats and gondolas, this amazing place is a tourist attraction but at one time it was one of the greatest powers in the Western world, "La Serenissima"

The City of Venice (Venezia)
Capital of the Veneto
The city limits of the city includes 55,000 ha of land and water
It has about 65,000 full time residents (in 1953 there were 173,000)
Over 10 million people visit the city each year

Using the Venice Transportation Systems 

Getting into Venice - The best way to arrive in Venice is by train at the Santa Lucia Train Station on the northwestern edge of the city. The bus terminal and parking garages are nearby but across the Grand Canal in Piazzale Roma. Venice has a small airport, the Marco Polo airport. From the airport you can take a bus or boat (see Venice Airport Transportation). There are also ferries to and from Greece and Dubrovnik. From EUR 27,50 p.P. Direct bus to Venice.

Getting Around in Venice - The main public transport in Venice are the vaporetti, boats that ply the principal waterways. The #1 goes along the Grand Canal from the train station and makes many stops, so its a good way to cruise the main canal and get a good overview of the city. There are also more expensive water taxis and gondolas. See vaporetto information and fares for more about Venice's public transportation on the water.

Gondolas are a romantic form of transportation but today they're used mainly by tourists and can be costly. Here are Tips for Taking a Gondola Ride in Venice.

Where to Stay:

Start your hotel search by looking at our list of Top Rated Venice Hotels. San Marco neighborhood, near Saint Mark's Square, is the most popular area for tourists. If you want to stay there, check these top-rated San Marco hotels. Or if you're looking for luxury, check these top Venice Luxury Hotels.
Venice's Neighborhoods:

The city is divided into six areas or "sestiere". The Cannaregio is near the station. Also on the same side of the Grand Canal are San Marco and Castello. Santa Croce is across the Grand Canal from the train station and San Polo and the Dorsoduro are across the canal from St. Mark's.. Each sestiere was administered by a procurator and his staff.

Other islands of the Venetian Lagoon do not form part of any of the sestieri, having historically enjoyed a considerable degree of autonomy. Each sestiere has its own house numbering system. Each house has a unique number in the district, from one to several thousand, generally numbered from one corner of the area to another, but not usually in a readily understandable manner.

The 6 sestieri  (districts) are divided, by over 160 canals and connected by more than 400 bridge

Tourist Information:

Tourist office central office is located at Sestiere Castello, 5050 Fondamenta San Lorenzo (tel. 041-5298700), there are other smaller offices at the train station Santa Lucia, Piazzale Roma and the Vaporetto stop San Marco Giardinetti. The train station tourist office is almost always very crowded but has lots of information and can help with hotel reservations. Most staff speak at least some English.


Helpful Numbers:

  • Emergency
  • Ambulance: 118
  • Carabinieri: 112
  • Polizia:·113
  • Lost and Found: 041-2722273 (Monday through Friday 0730 - 1030/12.30-1600, Sat. 0730 - 1400)

Internet Sites:

Venezia on Line: www.turismovenezia.it (Offical tourist site)
Community Venezia: www.comune.venezia.it

Major Special Events

February-March: Carnevale, Su e zo per ponti (a fun walk or run over the bridges of Venice, usually the last Sunday in March)
April-June: Festa di San Marco (25 Apr), La Sensa (when the city marries the sea), Vogalonga (the Sunday before the Sensa, a 30 km regatta on the Laguna), Le Biennale (June to November, arts display of architecture (even years) Contemporary Art (odd years), music and theater (every year)
July: Festa del Redentore (third weekend of July),
August: Venice Film Festival (last week of August and first week of September)
September: Regata storica (historical regatta on the first Sunday of September
October: Maratona di Venezia (during the last weekend of the month)
November: Festa della Madonna della Salute (21 Nov)

Finding your way around:

Venice is a maze of alley's, canals, and bridges and it is easy to get lost. The street numbers are not always in order, and there are repeated street names in different districts (Sestieri), so you must remember first the district then the address.
Key words to help you stay orientated
- house
Calle - street that originated on land
Campiello - small square
Campo - large square or open area
Corte - courtyard, usually attracted to a sottoportico
Crosera - intersection of streets
Fondamento - street along one of the main canals of the lagoon
Rio - a small canal within the city structures
Rio Terrà - a street within the city at at one time was a waterway
Riva - street along one of the important main canals of the lagoon
Ruga - same as a calle
Sottoportego - a cover street

Hours of the Day

Churches - in general Monday thru Saturday 10:00-18:00, Sunday 13:00 - 17:00, you are not supposed to visit during services, but you can participate in services.
Museums - Hours vary
Restaurants - in general 12:00 - 15:00 and then 19:00 - 22:30
Post Office - San Marco 5554, salizzada Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Monday through Saturday 08:30 - 12:30
Shops - 09:00 - 13:00/15:30 - 19:30


Exploring the Venice Province, Italy


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