European Travelogue – Venice, Italy

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Canal

Sinking City

Truly one of the great cities of the world, Venice is known as the sinking city. Once it was a town with roads and streets, but the influx of water has made it virtually an island town. The only way to get around town is by boat or by foot. This city is also famous for it’s exquisite glasswork. A great city full of history and culture, Venice is a must see for anyone.

Getting There

Marco Polo airport is just outside of Venice on the mainland. From the airport, there are trains and buses to Venice itself. From Mestre, the main city on the mainland, you can take a bus. Once in Venice, it is either a water taxi or shanks’ pony. We drove to Venice from Switzerland, via Milan – the Autostrada most of the way – beware of the toll…it cost us L21,000 from Milan to Venice about 250km.

Where to Stay

Piazza

Piazza

We stayed at a B&B outside of Mestre, as the accommodation in Venice was around $200 a night twin share for a 2 star hotel! I would recommend a hotel in Mestre itself and just bus it to Venice for day trips.

Eating Out

There are many places to eat in Venice, from corner cafe’s to full-on restaurants, just walk around and take your pick. We found some great pubs and eateries up side alley’s and away from the main footways. We even found an Irish pub that has Kilkenny and Guinness on tap! The best beer though,

was Nastro Azzuro. I could live on this stuff at L2500 a half litre – If it’s good enough for Valentino Rossi (motorcycle champion), it’s good enough for me!

We also found a great pizzeria near the town we stayed in. This place had 6 pages of the 8 page menu devoted entirely to pizzas. We couldn’t believe the choices, so we ordered a few different ones and had a feast! There are places

like this all around the Venice / Mestre area.

Handy Stuff

There are markets aplenty in Venice flogging everything from t-shirts to leather and the usual trinkets. Hint, buy your stuff at the markets furthermost from the main square and you will get the best price. I settled for some shirts for the kids at around L10,000 each.

Internet

There are some internet cafe’s in Venice but be warned that they are expensive at around L20,000 per half hour. We decided to do the snail mail thing instead.

Museums

Grand Canal

Grand Canal

Yep, there are plenty of buildings, architecture, paintings, sculpture and the like. Grab a brochure from the Venice tourism department from any kiosk and explore Italy’s past to your heart’s content.

Summary

A very unique and interesting place to see, although all the tourists make it a little crowded. I would recommend a few days to take it all in and enjoy the place.

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