Venice is world renowned for its romantic allure, unique architecture and beautiful artistic craftsmanship. Wander through narrow, labyrinthine alleys while singing gondoliers glide by along Venice's ubiquitous canals. Also be sure to take advantage of some of the freshest seafood and finest wine in Italy after shopping for world-famous Venetian masks, silks and stained glass. Venice is a delight for the senses for everyone traveling in Italy.
The public transportation system in Venice is unique in that most of the transport is via boat. ACTV is the public transport company in Venice, and it offers a wide variety of boat options to get visitors from one end of Venice to the other. Some of the boat options included are vaporettos (motorboats), battelli fornei (larger motorboats to get to the islands), and ferries. There are one hundred and twenty floating stations throughout Venice and thirty different lines to take visitors to every part of the city. It is wonderful to truly see Venice while you explore the different attractions of the city. Venice also offers a bus service that connects Pizzale Romo and the mainland, as well as buses to the airport. Public transport tickets include access to all the ACTV boats and buses. Visitors can buy a one day, two day or seven day pass, and passes can be purchased in advance online, or from one of the many ACTV booths located at attractions throughout the city. Children under five can travel for free on the boats and there is a discount available for senior citizens.
With its Mediterranean climate and winding canals traversing the expanse of the city, Venice makes for a beautiful destination - which is why it is one of the most popular cities in Europe. Venice's charming waterways see thousands of visitors throng its streets and hotels. Peak season is between June and August and with the heavy foot traffic and higher hotel rates, its best to visit Venice in other months. The best times to visit Venice are the shoulder seasons from March to May, and September to early October. Although the weather during these periods is sometimes lower, there are generally fewer crowds, and hotels are more affordable. Among the biggest events in Venice is the Venice Carnival, which is held in late February through early March. With the mist rising from the lagoon as the city comes to life from its winter lull, the popping colors from the festival costumes, and the elaborate masks and events surrounding the carnival, this period offers travelers a remarkable sight. Families, friends, or individuals traveling to Venice will have something to write home about as they enjoy the picturesque city with a rich history, grandiose architecture, and iconic design.
Walking is the best way to see some of the most beautiful sites in the city of Venice. Situate yourself at the Academia Bridge near the Gallerie dell' Accademia to take a walk through the heart of the city. Find the gondola stand and from there walk towards the Rio de San Trovaso canal. Take a moment to enjoy the scenery as you cross the bridge at the Calle della Toletta. Walk along the Calle della Toletta and stop at one of the many coffee shops along the way for a delicious hot cappuccino or espresso. You will soon arrive at Campo San Toma and from there can head north towards the Campo San Polo and the Campo San Silvestro. There, you will see the Rialto Market, which is the oldest fish and produce market in Venice. Take a break from your walk to explore the market, and taste some of the unique produce of the region. Next, cross over the famous Rialto Bridge and stop at a cafe to enjoy a delicious pastry and reflect on all the fantastic things you have seen on your walk around the city of Venice.
With its close proximity to the Adriatic sea, Venetian cuisine gives great importance to using simple but fresh local ingredients. Before dinner, visit any nearby bacari wine bar for aperitivo hour, where you can sample light but savory snacks like Cicchetti. Similar to Spanish tapas in design, Cicchetti are small dishes of fried food, such as the ever-popular olive ascolane - fried green olives stuffed with meat. Variety and affordability is the name of the game during aperitivo hour, so if deep-fried isn't your thing, you can also try tramezzini, which is a crustless sandwich stuffed with any filling of your choice (think tuna, artichokes, ham, cheese, etc.). As Venice is surrounded by water, you'll have no shortage of fresh seafood options at your disposable. You can't go wrong with baccalà mantecato, a creamed cod paste served on bread, or sarde in saor, an antipasto made with sardines, sweetened raisins, and lots of wine, both rich in seafood flavor. For dinner, eat like a Venetian by ordering polenta, made of boiled cornmeal and served either as a side dish or a main meal. Once again, variety is key, as you can order polenta with a number of toppings, ranging from hearty vegetables to red meat and seafood. As for dessert, you can't visit Venice and not eat gelato - by far the most popular and tasty option around. Buon Appetitot!