Everyone knows Venice is a unique city-break destination with global appeal, but what are the ten top tips which allows you to maximise your time experiencing the authentic Venice?
My lovely client Kate and her husband Gordon, travelled to Italy in May 2016. Spending four nights in the city gave them some couple-time away from domesticity and work.
1. Use the public water buses rather than a private taxi: they are frequent, easy to use and are a great way to see the city from the water. An unlimited three day pass cost €40. Much cheaper than a private taxi and certainly less than a gondola.
2. Stay somewhere quiet to get away from the hustle and bustle of city-life: at times the sheer number of tourists was overwhelming, so book somewhere which offers calm and tranquillity. The Ca’ Nigra Lagoon Resort hotel (near the train station at the opposite end of the Grand Canal to St Mark’s Square) is steeped in history (it was built in the 18th Century) and its gardens offered space away from the crowds. The rooms displayed a faded grandeur of a bygone era but with modern facilities.
3. Visit Scuola Grande di San Rocco: with long queues for many of the tourist hotspots we opted for the Scuola Grande di San Rocco which displays over 50 Tintoretto paintings, the largest collection anywhere in the world. The entrance fee was €10.
4. Climb the Bovolo Staircase: Bovolo means snail in Venetian and reflects the spiral nature of the climb to the top. It was hard to locate but well worth it for the uncrowded space to view the Venetian rooftop vista. And it only cost €10 per person to access the staircase.
5. Visit the islands in the Venice Lagoon: this offers a different perspective when spending time on Murrano (glass factories abound); Burrano famous for its painted houses and leaning tower; and the quiet Torcello, the home-place of Marco Polo and original seat of Venetian power.
6. Bring comfortable walking shoes: Venice is comparatively small so getting around on foot is viable and healthy. Exploring is part of the Venetian experience and is to be embraced wholeheartedly.
7. Visit the Jewish Quarter: this area of Venice is 500 years old in 2016 and has its own distinctive flavour. Did you know the word ‘ghetto’ originated in Venice?
8. Try an orange-coloured Aperol Spritzer: this Venetian alcoholic beverage will make you feel like a local.
9. Buying Murrano glass and leather: if you are considering buying either beware of cheap imitations and Chinese imports. If you want the real deal look hard and ask questions.
10. Make use of hotel staff’s knowledge: the staff at the Ca’ Nigra were knowledgeable, offering great tips of places to go and restaurants to eat.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Venice and will return in the future. A huge thank you to Lizzie Adamson-Brown for her organisational skills and good advice.
Kate writes the most incredible blog: https://mummysnowboarder.com/ If you're a keen snowboarder, pop along and follow her blog for the best top tips ever! I'm not a snowboarder and I love it!