I used to believe Venice is an overrated travel destination.

  •   Gondolas.. blaah,
  •    Serenading gondoliers.. yah yah,
  •    Bridges for roads… yawn,
  •    A historical pedestrian city..  gooey.

But when TC and I finally got to Venice,  our senses were overwhelmed with the beauty, history and uniqueness of this city.  From a swampy land where refugees from a decaying Roman empire found home, it became a power house of maritime might.  Check out the gorgeous sights…

There a just a few tips which you need to know before going to this glorious city.  Here are our top 5 tips on how to survive this “overflowing to the brim” tourist destination –

5.  Prepare to pay BIG for a water taxi – If your dream is to arrive in your Venetian destination via the water taxi, then prepare your EUR70.00.  This is the city wide standard minimum ride for the cost.

Is it worth it?  A big YES.  Gorgeous wood paneling, gentlemen captain and  spacious leather interiors.

The alternative:  The Vaporetto (the public transport system).  Cost for an ordinary ticket – EUR1.50.

The sexy and expensive water taxi

4.  There are only two directional street signs in Venice: Per S Marco and Per Rialto – San Marco is the most visited area of Venice as it has the Cathedral of St. Mark and the Duomo.  This is where all the tourist flock.

San Marco

If you are moving more “inland” then you go to the direction of the Rialto.  Everything in between are 117 islands connected by over 400 foot bridges.

Rialto Bridge under construction

3.  Avoid the pizza – Venice is the only place in Italy where we had  BAD pizza.  The dough was not quite to the standard of an Italian pizza.  This is because there are no wooden ovens in the entire Venice to be able to preserve this unique city.  So, just enjoy all the seafood pasta dishes in this part of the country. These are yummy.

A local market along Rialto

2.  Be respectful of the local residents’ home -The typical home of a Venetian is very unique.  There have 3 levels – the 1st is for the docking of the boat and a receiving area, the 2nd for living and dinning and the 3rd level for sleeping area. Due to this layout, you feel like the homes are abandoned as the street level (1st level) seldom have any activity.  If you feel the need to peep into the homes or take pictures,  just be conscious that there are 270,000 people who reside here and want their privacy respected.

A unique apartment doorbell feature

1.  Buy your tickets before you arrive at the sights.  This saves you time.  –  There are 20 million tourists who visit Venice each year.  Everyone wants to see the St. Mark’s Cathedral and Duomo so it is very common to see long lines for tickets.  A fast way to beat this time consuming activity is to purchase your ticket in advance.  Hotels, online vendors are good alternatives.

Happy Sailings Everyone!

Next week:  To Russia with Love

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