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 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 Location and Weather:
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. 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.
Transportation to 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
Transportation 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 it’s 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..
Gondolas are a romantic form of transportation but today they're used mainly by tourists and can be costly.
Venice is divided into six sections. 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.
Tourist Information Offices in Venice:
The train station tourist office is almost always very crowded but has lots of information and can help with hotel reservations. The main tourist office is by St. Mark's Square and also has lots of information. Most staff speaks at least some English.
What to Buy in Venice:
Venetian glass, especially from the island of Murano, is a specialty. Carnival masks make great gifts or souvenirs. Venice is also known for its marbled paper and you might find some good lace here, too. You will also see many nice watercolors of Venetian scenes.
Venice's Carnevale celebration is one of the most lively and colorful carnival festivals in Italy, held 40 days before Easter. The Venetians don festive masks and costumes for a 10-day street party. The Redentore Regatta is an important festival in July held on the Grand Canal.
Food Specialities of Venice and the Veneto:
Seafood is a big part of Venetian cuisine as are polenta and rice. Seppia, cuttlefish, is popular and risotto nero is a rice dish colored with its ink. Try zuppa di pesce fish soup here, too.Radicchio trevisano, red chicory, comes from nearby Treviso.