Tag-Archive for » Venice Italy «

Jul
21

To Venice

To Venice – one and only. No other cities in the world come even close to Venice. The water streets and the entire pedestrian city is just a dive into the past, where time stops and people walk suspended between eras as the world turns and Venice remains an island. The buildings and the hundreds of little squares are just beautiful, some “Calle”, (the Venetian name for streets) are so narrow that it is possible to touch from part to part extending your arms. Little shops, restaurants are all over and comfortable Locandas (Inns) are ready to welcome you. In Venice, the art speaks by itself. Visit Piazza San Marco, the Bell Tower, The Fenice theater, Ponte di Rialto or the Ponte dei Sospiri, then Take a couple of hours to visit Murano and its glass workshops. Gondolas sail everywhere, replacing noisy and polluting cars. On high tide season special wooden walkways are placed in the city, as it floods for several days. If you happen to be there during the Carnival, you can see Venice at its best, where customs and masks are worn and the atmosphere becomes even more surreal than usual, creating and extraordinary and magical experience. Another special event is the boat race on the Canal Grande, where the city stops to watch this spectacular show. For centuries Venice has been a city leader in the commerce and an important seaport, it was already important when Marco Polo made his expeditions to China, as another of its citizens, Casanova, highlighted Venice romantic and sometimes libertine tone

May
30

THE IDEAL VACATION: TIPS AND IDEAS

When it comes to vacation ideas, several options come into play. I have been on vacations with my family since early childhood, first dating back to when I was about 8 or 9 years old. The problem with vacations, having taking numerous ones from varying perspectives, ranging from child to adult and guardian. A famous sayiing about Americans is that we often need a vacation to recover from our vacation. We have an emphasis with activity, and often find it hard to just “relax.” Vacations are often agenda-oriented and planned according specific time intervals. A true vacation is one of fun, excitement, and pure joy, and spontaneity, which should be spent with friends and family. The prototypical vacation would be a cruise to…You pick the location: The Bahamas, the Caribbean, St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands, Venice, off the coast of Italy, or off the coast of Africa perhaps. Any tropic and tantalizing environment is ideal. Let someone else assume the responsibility of DD (designated driver) and kick back and enjoy fun in the sun. Take time to read a book while sitting in the sun, basking in its light and energy. There are pools and arcades for kids, and some cruise ships even have designated areas for young children. Many come equipped with casinos, exquisite cuisine that you can’t even pronounce, spas, and the works. They have gyms for the exercise buff and the for those who must be active. You get to enjoy a tremendous view that one typically sees on postcards on a daily basis, at least for a week, or however long you intend (or can afford for most of us financially challenged folk. That is what vacationing is all about, experiencing a breathtaking and once in a lifetime endeavor. Choose the location. After all, every place on this earth is surrounded by water, 70% of the Earth’s contents, so go and see it… and avoid the hassle of hotel fees, traffic jams, car rental agencies, and confusing and often outdated maps.

A vacation in the Swiss Alps, where you can literally feel on top of the world, is another ideal vacation scenario. Days full of adventure, hikes, nature, snow, deer, skiing, and ice-skating followed by evenings of hot cocoa and hot chocolate snuggled up next to the one you love accompanied with family and close friends perhaps sounds quite appealing. Sitting in front of a sizzling fireplace where the glowing embers engulf one’s eyes and spirit have an enticing aura and hypnotizing, yet soothing spell. If you have kids, what better place than to visit than an environment that resembles a “winter wonderland.” A “Christmas in July” illusion can make one forget the stress, tension, and one’s inner feelings that become susceptible to anger and frustration more easily, all of which accompany the summer.

Apr
27

I love Venice!

Venice is one of the most romantic places of Europe and is situated in the heart of Italy. Venice is in my opinion a must for every traveler. Not only the beautiful buildings but also the Italian atmosphere makes Venice a paradise for everyone. You will meet here tourists from every continent of the world and that proves that Venice is a special place for everyone.

Many cities in the world are called “the Venice of the North” but none of all these cities can be compared with this pearl of Italy. However, Venice is called the city of bridges; you can walk through the city and enjoy so many different activities. Venice is also a city where they celebrate on every moment of the year something. Carnival is one of the most popular celebrations in Venice however; there are also many celebrations during the flourishing months of spring and especially around Easter.

Who hasn’t heard about the romantic piazza of San Marco, the bridge of sighs and the Doge Palace? I think almost everyone and the greatest part of world travelers visited these places already in the past.

The San Marco Piazza is the heart of Venice and it is nice to see all the pigeons and other birds there. People like to feed them and they really enjoy it. These birds are not afraid because they are used on the many tourists. If you like shopping or drinking a cup of coffee or a glass of beer, there are possibilities enough in the environment of this place but the prices are expensive. I suggest searching a location in some streets which are not near to the most popular tourist attractions for limiting your budget.

The Saint Mark’s Basilica is the most important church of Venice. Above the main entrance of this church, you see four horses in bronze of Constantinople. It is a Byzantine Church and if you go inside you can admire the great mosaics who illustrated the St Marco’s tales and the scenes of the Old and New Testament.

The Clock Tower of San Marco is impressive. It is situated on the North side of the Saint Mark piazza. This Clock Tower has a height of 99m and shows the time, different phases of the Moon and it is possible to see how the sun moves through the different zodiac symbols.

The Doge’s Palace is in my opinion the most beautiful building of Venice. This palace was constructed from 1309 to 1424 and was the residence of the Doge of Venice. The building is built in a Gothic style and you can admire the beautiful paintings and murals. Do not forget to visit all the different rooms like the Great Council Hall, the Chamber of the Council of Ten and some other beautiful rooms!

Of course if someone speaks of Venice they will likely speak about the Bridge of Sighs. This bridge connects the Doge’s Palace with the old prisons. It is one of the most romantic places for lovers and if you throw something over the bridge, you can do a wish and lovers wish that they stayed together forever.

Venice is also the place of the many channels. The most important one between all the channels is “the Grand Channel” and if you are there, a gondola ride can’t be missed. This makes Venice unique in the word for every tourist.

It is important to know that there drives no cars and that the main road is a channel. Transport will happen by boat or a vaporetti.

Walking through the little streets, enjoying an Italian meal, and special events such as Carnival, Easter or Christmas makes Venice to one of the most beautiful cities of the world.

Apr
24

There are many different airlines in many different countries; some which fly internationally and there are those that do not. As far as here in the United States, there are an abundance of US airlines that fly all around the various parts of the world as well as most all points domestically.

For us here in the United States the major US airlines are all well known. Names like American, Delta, Northwest, TWA, Continental, etc are well know both here in the U.S. and abroad. And since these US airlines cover the bases of most travel plans both here and abroad you should have no trouble finding a US airline that can accomodate just about any travel plans whether they be locally (domestic) or foreign.

As you would expect with US airlines the domestic flights will be much cheaper that those that are intercontinental. So, it only stands to reason that a flight to Venice Italy is going to be more pricey than a flight to Venice, California. Most all of the US airlines will have similar pricing structures… but not the same so you’ll want to peruse each of those that seem to fit your travel plans carefully.

If you become confused by all the options or would just rather have a travel agent book your flights for you, you will find that many of the US airlines will be able to accomodate your travel plans. Some of the US airlines will even have partnership deals and arrangements in conjunction with hotels, car rentals, and even other airlines that can sometimes even sweeten the deal for you.

These types of deals can really come into play if you are one that accumulates frequent flyer miles. By taking advantage of these partnerships that some of the US airlines have with various other companies you can come up with some great deals or at the very least enhance the travel deal you’ve already come across.

This also brings up the point that you should be mindful of your frequent flyer miles when you are looking at booking your flights. You always want to be on the look out and inquire into what you can use your miles for and what travel benefits they’ll provide.

No matter if you are traveling across the country, or from one country to another the available options within the various US airlines and the packages they offer, you should be able to put together travel plans that both fit your needs and are affordable.

Apr
23

Whatever the time you select for your Venice vacations, you will find the place abuzz with some festival. It seems that Venice is always celebrating something. Just to give you an idea if you are particularly interested in Venice Festivals, spring is prime time in the city around Easter is the most happening time of the year and it is really difficult to get accommodation in Venice if you have not planned in advance. Actually the activity starts to pick up around Christmas time and just carries on, through the New Year. This is another factor out of many others which make a vacation in Venice a dream come true.

Then of course there is the Venice carnival or the Carnevale as the locals call it. It is a celebration that lasts several days and is one of the prime attractions of the city.

Summers in Venice can be a bit uncomfortable for Vacation in Venice with the humidity rising. It starts to get pleasant again by September. If peace and quiet and an opportunity to study the monuments is what you are looking for, try October for your Venice vacations. The crowds have left, its not hot and you will get the isolation that you are looking for. Moreover, you will easily get a cheap accommodation in Venice around this time.

The aqua alta or high water starts to make its presence felt during November. Flooding in the city will occur regularly from November and go on all through December. The city has adapted excellently to the water. Areas where water enters are clearly marked, sidewalks are raised and sirens warn the inhabitants as the water enters. Most city web sites have links to the meteorological pages that give out precisely when the next event will occur. Be warned, winters can be cold in Venice and wading in the high water is not recommended for enjoying your Venice Vacations since the water is anything but clean.

There is another reason you must hurry to visit Venice for a memorable Vacation in Venice, Italy. The city would not be around for long. Early in the 20th century, local industry began pumping water out from the ground. So much was extracted that the city began to sink. The ground floors of a number of buildings are now unusable and inhabitants have had to shift into higher floors.

The government is trying two methods to combat this. In the first, they are constructing a number of inflatable gates around the city. When the tide threatens to rise beyond 110 cm, these will be raised to stop the sea water from coming in. This project which incidentally has raised the hackles of environmentalists will be over by 2011. The other solution consists of pumping the water back into the soil and elevating Venice once again. In any case, the sinking of Venice seems to have been arrested with the banning of artesian wells since the 1960s.

Apr
23

Ah, Venezia! Venice is one of the most unique travel destinations in the world. Though often considered an expensive city to visit, there are many tips and suggestions that can both reduce stress and save money.

Getting around – Water taxis and the Vapporetto: Unlike other world class cities, where local transportation is often little more than a necessity, local travel in Venice is a memorable part of the Venice experience. Venice consists of a maze of waterways where the iconic gondola shares the watery thoroughfares with delivery skiffs, private watercraft and public safety motorboats. Water taxis are a plentiful and convenient (yet pricey) option. The vapporetto, (aka the water bus) on the other hand, is a reliable, efficient and cost-effective way to get around. And the scenic views on the Grand Canal are the same either way! Both options are available for visitor arriving at either the train station or the airport. Multiple day passes for the vaparetto are available at most floating “bus stops” and provide unlimited passage around Venice and to neighboring islands like Murano and Lido). These are a great deal for 3 days or more of independent sight-seeing. An important tipbe sure to stamp your ticket at the toll box before boarding the boat.

Gondolas: One of the most charming symbols of this romantic city is the gondola. While pricey, a leisurely gondola tour is considered by many to be a “must do”. While Venice has a standard price set by the local government, negotiation is a common practice. To save money, take a daytime ride and negotiate your own tour at one of the gondolas stationed a bit away from tourism intensive areas of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s square. Gondola tours arranged by tour companies or hotels are likely to be quite a bit more expensive. Many gondoliers docked in smaller canals are frequently open to negotiation and you can easily agree on a price and tour parameters that can make your ride unique.

Beyond St. Mark’s Square Getting Lost in Venice: In addition to the standard “must see” locations in Venice found in every tour book, many of the richest experiences are nearly free by simply wandering the streets and walkways of this fascinating old city. Be sure to spend a bit of time in the more residential areas on the south side of the grand canal, visiting small neighborhood shops and tiny espresso bars, and generally soaking in bit of the colorful daily life of Venetians. Be sure to visit some of the charming neighborhood

Apr
15

When traveling to Venice, keep in mind that the city is located on an island and that you will usually have to arrive by train. Venice also has an international airport, but the vast majority of people tend to utilize the train system.

Once you arrive, depart the train station and then you have to make a decsion: either jump on a ferry or turn left and take the back roads to Saint Mark’s Square. The ferry ride is on the expensive side and in my opinion, not worth the money. My advice would be to take the back roads. Just follow the clearly marked path and enjoy viewing local markets in addition to knowing that you are avoiding the turist traps. On the other hand, during inclement weather, take the ferry, as when it rains, the long trek on woodend pallets would damper a traveler’s motivation.

Right before you arrive to St. Mark’s Plaza, on the left, there is a great restaurant serving great sandwiches. Once you arrive to the plaza, make sure that you are casually dressed and then enter the cathedral. Afterwards, buy a ticket and ride the elevator in the outside tower for a fantastic view of the city. From the square, take the ferry to the beach and then enjoy another cultural awakening.

Apr
08

Rates of hotel accommodation in Venice depend naturally enough on the season. But, regardless of the time of the year, the rates are high nearly all the time. You have an endless choice of stay in Venice, Italy, from the low budget hotels to five star. The best sights of course are from those hotels that surround the Piazza San Marco. These are prime locations for which, naturally enough, you can expect to pay a pretty penny.

But wait, there are other ways of seeing Venice without having to pay through your nose. In this article, I will give you some pointers on accommodation in Venice and eating.

Some Pointers to Select Cheap Hotels and Economic Accommodation In Venice

To begin with, if you choose to stay in Mestre on the mainland, you will pay a fraction of what you pay to stay in Venice proper. The advantages are many, you are lesser crowded, the rooms will be bigger for the same rent and the amenities better. The icing on the cake is the fact that Mestre is connected with Venice by trains leaving on the average every five minutes. So if this is the option you choose, you can really save money.

The other way to see Venice cheaply and to find cheap accommodation in Venice, Italy is to check the hotel websites for last day tariffs for Hotels in Venice. Very often, a guest cancels at the last minute and the hotel drops the rate on the room by a considerable margin to attract a last minute guest. Such accommodation is always available in Venice. So if you can put up with some uncertainty and do not mind going to a cybercafe as you get off the train, this mode is for you. This method is ideal for those with a backpack, footloose and free with no children or a wife to care about.

As far as food is concerned, pizza parlors abound in Venie. You can pick up what you want and maybe a glass of wine to keep you company and make a great meal. Just remember one golden rule. If you sit and eat you pay more, maybe double of what you would if you picked and walked. And if you sit on the sidewalk and enjoyed a view of the canal as you munch in Venice Italy, be prepared to pay a whole lot more. Being waited upon is murdering your wallet.

Italy is well known for its vast choice of food, appealing and mouth watering. Although a number of international restaurants have set up shop here to cater to the 22 million tourists that go through the city, you would not really want to eat Chinese here. Stick to the local cuisine is what I recommend.

Apr
06

Venice is a beautiful city by day, and is equally magnificent at night. It has an assortment of nigh time entertainment to offer tourists, right from the classical music that echoes in hallowed operatic halls, to the nightspots that are frequented by the young.

Mostly, the partying scene is not as prolific as in other cities, as the tone of the city is somewhat more cultured in its aspect. There are numerous classical concerts that are held by churches and theatres alike, where harmonious notes waft on the breeze to listeners outside.

In the early evenings, the Venetian nightlife mainly revolves around bars and cafes where people congregate to have a quick round of drinks before having dinner. Piazza San Marco is perhaps the most crowded and is well worth a visit during these hours. There is a famous place known as the Café Florian, said to have served Casanova during his flight from the Doge’s Palace. Another place to witness an interesting event is the Café Chioggia, where the band strikes up a medley of tunes.

Campo Santa Margherita is one of the top favorites among the youth of Venice. This location has numerous exciting nightspots, such as the Margaret Duchamp, an unusually titled bar with a large terrace. Apart from Campo Santa Margherita, there is also the Campo SanBartolomeo near the Rialto Bridge and adjacent to that, the Campo San Luca. Those with a decidedly sweet tooth should definitely visit the Campo Santo Stefano, a place famous for its excellent ice cream parlours.

Venice does not have a comprehensive party scene because of the city’s issues with noise pollution. However, during the summer, Lido is the place to live it up Hollywood style, as quite a few well known celebrities frequent this club. The local youth flock to Mestre, a club with ample space and therefore fewer noise concerns. Some prefer to commute to Padua where the nightspots are more raucous. However, within the confines of Venice, there is the Disco Club Piccolo Mondo, Dorsoduro and another called, Calle Contarini-Corfu.

Near the train station, there is Cannaregio, Casanova Disco Club and Lista di Spagna. These transform daily from simple bars and restaurants into pulsating discos at ten in the night. Expect all kinds of music, as a variety is played here.

Venice also has a liberal sprinkling of casinos within the city, and these provide alternate entertainment to partying. The casinos expect a certain dress code, and target the glamorous and rich crowd.