My Fav Hotels in Venice

 

A #bench at hotel #cipriani in...

A #bench at hotel #cipriani in… (Photo credit: MarcoSecchi)

 

You can certainly spend a great deal of money on a hotel in Venice. A night at the Gritti Palace in high summer will set you back at least £750. But for the same amount you could enjoy an entire week in most of the hotels listed here. You won’t get the same status, or quite the same service, or the same superb location, but you will still find a decently sized room, lots of character and a warm welcome.

 

 

 

Cà del Nobile San Marco 987, ria terà delle Colonne (528 3473; cadelnobile.com)

 

This hotel is just off one of the thronging routes between St Mark’s and the Rialto. Interestingly, it’s in one of the lowest points of the city: if you visit during acqua alta, you’ll be able to watch water bubbling up through the cobblestones below. Lots of stairs and no lift mean that it’s not for the unfit. Price from £79

 

 

 

Domus Orsoni Cannaregio 1045, Sottoportego dei Vedei (275 9538; domusorsoni.it)

 

In 1291, Venice’s glassworkers were banished to the island of Murano. Today, only one glass foundry remains in the city: Orsoni. Located in the Jewish Ghetto, and set in a delightful palazzo overlooking a private garden and the foundry, the Domus Orsoni channels the Orsoni family’s heritage in five rooms, resplendent with glass-mosaic-tiled walls and mosaic art works. Price from £71

 

 

 

Locanda Orseolo (Corte Zorzi; 041 523 5586; www.locandaorseolo.com; £160).

 

Step inside the hotel and you might be in a compartment on the Orient Express: elegant, enveloping, and richly coloured and furnished. But it’s the warmth of the young team at this equally young 15-room hotel that makes it really special – Matteo, Barbara and their brothers, sisters and friends. In the morning, Matteo dons an apron and cooks pancakes and omelettes to order, Barbara serves and everyone chats. The comfortable bedrooms are being transformed to echo the ground floor, complete with hand-painted murals and canopied beds. Secure one and you’ll have a real bargain.

 

 

 

La Villeggiatura San Polo, 1569, Calle dei Botteri (524 4673; lavilleggiatura.it)

 

A short hop from the Rialto markets, in an area buzzing with restaurants and residential activity, La Villeggiatura is an elegantly tasteful home-from-home. Tea and coffee-making equipment in the spacious bedrooms, and gently attentive service, add to the pleasure of a stay here. Price from £71

 

 

 

Hotel Centauro S Marco Calle della Vida Cpo Manin (www.hotelcentauro.com/)

 

Located in the historic centre of Venice just a stone’s throw from St Mark’s Square (five minutes walking distance), the Centauro Hotel offers elegant, welcoming accommodation from which you can enjoy the city’s art and culture. Housed within an ancient palace from the 1500’s, the Centauro Hotel has Venetian style furnishings from the 18th century and 30 comfortable guestrooms. Rooms have air conditioning and satellite television, some have canal views and those on the top floor have a private terrace from which you can enjoy panoramic views over the rooftops of Venice.

 

 

 

Al Ponte Mocenigo This is another charming 16th-century palazzo, so tucked away that you could walk right past and never know it was there. You will find one entrance down a very narrow alley just up from the San Stae vaporetto stop; the other is on the opposite side, over a small bridge. Officially it is a two-star hotel, but frankly it rivals many establishments with double that number of stars. The very smart, high-ceilinged rooms are in Venetian styles and colours. The best are numbers five and six, on the first floor overlooking a tiny canal to one side (they are classed as “superior” doubles and cost £128 in mid-season).

How to Find an Address in Venice

 

Italy's Venice is a city with many sights to see, but finding these sights can be difficult if you're not familiar with the town's address system. The city was built to make sense to those using the canals, not those on foot. You're bound to get lost at least once as you wander the streets searching for hidden gems of the city.

A map may tell you the name of alleys and squares, but a typical Venetian address is simply: San Marco 1323. Venice is split into districts called sestieri, and each building in a sestiere is numbered in one long consecutive sequence. Venice's random and informal street names are not officially part of an address, although many businesses will helpfully provide one. To pin-point a location therefore, you don't just need the brief official address, you also need a street/square name and also some helpful geographical pointer, e.g. a nearby church.

Even street names are far from straightforward. Most have evolved to describe an established location and mean descriptive things like 'Alley of the carpenters' or 'Courtyard with a well'. Consequently there are often several places with the same or similar names. If you are locating a street, you will require the name of the sestiere as well (what's more, sometimes there is more than one place with the same name in one sestiere). And even armed with official address, and street name, your task still isn't simple.

The next confusion is that sometimes one place may have more than one name. Even one name may have different versions - many streets in Venice are known both by their dialect name and by the Italianised version. Either of these may appear on maps. This is why you'll see many variations of placenames such as Fondamenta Nove (even throughout this website).

Streetsigns are not always easy to spot in narrow lanes. They may offer one or more variations on the name (o means 'or'), and they are often joined on the walls by signs identifying the parish (parocchia) and any adjacent canal (rio) or bridge (ponte).

If you're spending a long time in Venice or are just very interested in the city's structure, there is a good book called Calli, Campielli e Canali which provides extremely large scale street plans, along with property numbers. It covers Venice and the lagoon islands, and enables you to locate any address in the city, as well as providing some background information in Italian and English on landmarks and principal buildings. You can buy it in most bookshops in Venice. Sadly, it's rather too bulky to carry around as you explore.

What the names mean

Here are some of the most common titles for places in Venice: Calle - a lane or alley Campo - public open space (irregularly-shaped and less formal than a 'piazza'). Campo means field, and once these were rough-surfaced in earth or grass, and used for burials. They are still the hubs of their neighbourhoods. Campiello - a small square or courtyard. Corte - courtyard. Fondamenta - canalside walkway. Piazza - public square. There is only one in Venice, Piazza San Marco. Ponte - bridge. Piscina - filled-in pool of water. Ruga - significant lane, generally one which used to contain shops. Ramo - branch off a more important thoroughfare, whose name it takes. Rio - canal. Rio terrà or terà - filled-in canal, now a street. Salizzada - name given to the earliest streets to be paved. Sottoportego - covered passage under a building, often leading only to water.

Navigating Venice - theories, routes and landmarks

You can spend many idle moments in Venice evolving navigational theories. Landmarks are all-important, both major ones and private reminders. Routes between significant points are learned this way: e.g. ' left by the greengrocers, straight over the square with a tree in it, down the lane between the red house and the yellow house, left past the Renaissance doorway'. Even if you're the sort of person who has an excellent sense of direction, you'll still find that concentrating on a chain of landmarks is more effective in Venice than working from a mental map. If you're arriving for the first time and finding your hotel, make sure they give you simple, descriptive directions. Once you've found your base, memorise the route to the nearest major landmark or street (one that's marked on your map) - then you'll be able to find your way back. While route-finding and consulting maps, do bear in mind the Venetian rules of conduct; walk on the right and don't block streets.

There are certain through-routes in Venice - chains of lanes linking places together. At busy times of the day you'll see locals filing along these tortuous routes, striding down seeming dead-end alleys and darting around sharp corners. After a while you learn those of use to you, and create your own mental database of Venetian routes.

The only destinations signposted at all consistently are St. Mark's (San Marco), the Rialto, the railway station (Ferrovia) and the bus terminus (Piazzale Roma). Even these painted signs do sometimes falter, but generally they are reliable and can help you to head in the right direction. The ones to San Marco are the most suspect, as some signposted lanes can take you a long way round (something to do with shopkeepers wanting passing trade, perhaps?).

My Favorite Maps are here

High Tide in Venice

  Yesterday we had the first high Tide of Autumn-Winter 2012.

Today saw the first high tide of the season in Venice with water reading  the level at sea f 110 centimetres above sea level (Marco Secchi)

Generally Venice only has high water in Autumn and Winter and even then it is not every day that the streets are flooded. However when a higher than usual tide is expected in the city, sirens blare to warn the population so that they can prepare themselves. Maps as posted at the boat stops showing alternative pedestrian routes around the city that are equipped with special footbridges to avoid the high water and to reach the main parts of Venice.

level of tide and % of Venice that is flooded less than 80 cm. Normal tide at 100 cm 4% at 110 cm 12% An emergency sound alert the Venetian at 120 cm 35% at 130 cm 70% at 140 cm 90%

If you would like to check the level of your area you can check it here

The causes of the tides are the following: - astronomic: the attraction of the sun and the moon cause the regular rise and fall of the water: "6 hours rise and 6 hours fall". You therefore have two maximums and two minimums a day. - meteorological: a strong south-east wind ("scirocco") may cause the tide to increase by as much as 1 meter. - geographical: the seiche is a sort of long wave that runs through the whole of the Adriatic Sea with a period of approximately 22 hours.

Iphone photo walk and workshop

  Today, like it or not, two most commonly used cameras on photo sharing site Flickr are the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4.

My Instagram and iPhone Pictures (Marco Secchi)

While more serious DSLRs from Canon and Nikon make up the rest of the top five cameras listed it is Apple’s iPhones that are clearly the most used cameras in the world right now—something that doesn’t look like changing any time soon. With each new iPhone release, improvements in both cameras are included as standard and over the last two years we’ve seen an amazing array of photography apps released. Along with these developments there has been an increased amount of iPhone-related questions, so I thought it might be time for a iPhone Venice Photo Walk.

The best camera is the one that you have in your pocket or your purse; the one you can pull out in a restaurant and use to photograph your lunch; the one that is readily available when you catch up with friends, when you’re walking your dog, when you’re on holidays, when you’re feeling spontaneous. And these days, if you have a phone, you have that camera. This Photo Walk will show you how to make the most of that mobility. Mobile photography, iPhoneography, or phone photography—it doesn’t matter what you call it, what matters is that it’s a real and important form of photography. The photos you take on your mobile phone are as valuable as the ones taken on your DSLR or rangefinder. They are valuable because you have captured a photo that would not otherwise exist. While mobile photography as a practice and genre certainly encompasses the range of devices available on the market, this photo walk focuses on the iPhone. The iPhone remains the most popular mobile camera device, and supports the most comprehensive photo app infrastructure. However, people using other devices will be able to benefit from the techniques and concepts described in this book. Most of you will already be taking photos on the iPhone, using your own combination of apps,processes, and filters to produce interesting images. What this short workshop will help you do is use your iPhone to create beautiful, professional looking photographs. It will equip you with the skills to take control of the iPhone, rather than rely on its auto functions. It will give you the confidence to capture the shot, wherever you are, day or night.

Once you have the shot, the book will help you gain control over the editing process, and then show you how to share your images online with your audience.

A 2 1/2 h walk around Venice taking pictures with your iphone/ipad (Androids are welcome ;-) )discovering landmarks and hidden areas of Venice. Talking about composition, apps and how to use them to get great pics from your iphone and  bring back home perfect memories of you and your loved. Special introductory offer $ 190. Max 2 people or 2 adults + 2 Teens.

[contact-form subject="Iphone Photo Walk REQUEST" to="msecchi@gmail.com"] [contact-field label="Name" type="name" required="true" /] [contact-field label="Email" type="email" required="true" /] [contact-field label="Comment" type="textarea" required="true" /] [/contact-form]

Get around in Venice

How to get in and get around....

Because Venice is on a lagoon, the water plays a crucial role in transportation. Whichever way you arrive, the last part of your journey will be on foot from the nearest waterbus/watertaxi jetty. If you need to carry or wheel bags along the narrow streets, bear this in mind when choosing your hotel location and route to it.

Participants Gather For Historical Venetian Wa...

By plane

The closest commercial airport is Marco Polo Airport  (ICAO: LIPZ, IATA: VCE), on the mainland near Mestre (a more typical Italian city, without Venice's unique structure). There is a city bus and a shuttle bus from Marco Polo to Piazzale Roma. See the details in the By Bus section below.

By Boat - Turn left on leaving the terminal and walk 10 minutes along the covered walkway to the boat jetty. Alilaguna water-bus costs €15 for a leisurely 75 minute boat trip. Murano costs €8 and takes only half an hour. There are three Alilaguna routes to different areas of Venice. A direct waterbus from the airport may be be more convenient than taking the bus to the bus station and then changing to the local waterbus. Note that the waterbus services that run to the airport are operated by a different company (Alilaguna) than the other public waterbus services in Venice, so separate tickets will be required. Alternatively, from the same jetty, you can travel in style (and much faster) by hiring one of the speedy water-taxis (30 mins) for about €110. All these tickets are now buy-able online, as well as the airport waterbus route map.

The Treviso Airport  (ICAO: LIPH, IATA: TSF), located 25 km (16 mi) from Venice, is relatively smaller but becoming increasingly busy as the main destination for Ryanair, Wizzair, and Transavia budget flights. From Treviso Airport to Venice and Mestre, Barzi Bus Service [5] offers a €13 round-trip ticket price from-to Venice. Also these tickets available on their bus outside the airport for €13.

The San Nicolo Airport (ICAO: LIPV, IATA: ATC) is an airfield directly on the Lido. It handles only small aircraft, as the runway (grass) is about 1 km long, and does not have any scheduled flights, but might be of interest to private pilots (arrivals from Schengen states only) due to its convenience to the city (it is a short walk to the vaporetto landing).

By train

Trains from the mainland run through Mestre to the Venezia Santa Lucia train station on the west side of Venice; make sure you don't get confused with Venezia Mestre which is the last stop on the mainland. From the station district, water buses (vaporetti) or water taxis can take you to hotels or other locations on the islands, but walking is usually the best option. Direct trains to Venice are available from many international destinations, there are overnight trains from Munich, Paris and Vienna and also a weekly long-distance night train (four nights) from Moscow via Kiev, Budapest and Zagreb. Venice is well-connected with the domestic train network, Rome and Milano are only a few hours away. Also there are night trains from cities in southern Italy, the Bari-Venezia line having its terminus in Venice.

By car

Cars arrive on the far western edge of Venice, but remain parked at the entrance to the city (Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto - Europe's largest car park.) There are no roads past this point -- and never were, even before cars. Car parking is expensive here (26 €/12h, 30 €/24h) and the tailbacks can be quite large. An alternative is to use the car parks on the mainland (terra firma) and catch a vaporetto, train or bus into Venice. Park near the Mestre railway station, and catch a train to Venezia St.Lucia; there are many trains, it is very near (8-10 minutes) and quite cheap. (Don't bother searching for free parking near the train station - there are no free parking spots near.) Besides, Venezia St. Lucia is a good starting point to visit Venice. However drivers going to the Lido can use the car ferry from Tronchetto (vaporetto 17 - frequencies vary), right hand lane off the Ponte della Libertà into the city.

By rental car

Most of the major rental car companies have outlets at Piazzale Roma, at the edge of the city. These are on the ground floor of one of the major parking stations. When you are dropping off your car, you need to find street parking and then walk to the rental car outlet and hand in the keys. Do not park in the parking station! There is a vaporetto stop across the road from the parking station.

By bus

There is a direct bus between Marco Polo airport and the Piazzale Roma, on the west bank of Venice operated by ATVO. Starts twice an hour, takes 20 minutes and costs €5. The Piazzale Roma bus station is well served by vaporetti and water-taxis ... and of course, you can walk everywhere. From Mestre, you can take a bus to Venezia- Piazzale Roma. the ticket is €1.30 but if you buy it in the bus it will cost €2.50. You can buy bus tickets from specialized ticket kiosks and vending machines, as well as tobacconists and newsstands. All of the city is connected to Venice by bus.

By boat

Ships arrive at the Stazione Marittima which is at the west end of the main islands, it is served by vaporetti and water taxis.

Get around

Venice, the world's only pedestrian city, is easily walkable, and the absence of cars makes this a particularly pleasant experience. However, walking and standing all day can also be exhausting, so it is best to pace yourself. The Rialtine islands - the 'main' part of Venice - are small enough to walk from one end to the other in about an hour, provided you don't get lost (a common occurrence).

If you want to get around a bit more quickly, there are numerous vaporetti (water buses) and water taxis. The best and most tourist friendly Vaporetto map for me is here. The vaporetti are generally the best way to get around, even if the service route map changes frequently. If you are going to be in Venice for a few days visiting, it is a lot cheaper to use vaporetti than private water taxis. If you want to have a romantic ride along the canals, take a gondola ride, although they tend to exist for more scenic purposes, rather than getting people from point A to point B.

ACTV runs the vaporetti and other public transport services both in the lagoon and on terra ferma. Travel cards are extremely useful since the basic fare for one vaporetto journey is now 7.50 € where Travel Cards are

  • 18,00 € - 12-HOURS TRAVELCARD
  • 20,00 € - 24-HOURS TRAVELCARD
  • 25,00 € - 36-HOURS TRAVELCARD
  • 30,00 € - 48-HOURS TRAVELCARD
  • 35,00 € - 72-HOURS TRAVELCARD
  • 50,00 € - 7 DAYS TRAVELCARD

There are other versions available, including those offering discounts for youth under 29 year of age. Current rates can be found here. I have written before about the Waterbuses and also here

Since February 2009 the Venice Connected website of the Comune di Venezia makes possible to book online (at least 7 days in advance) most services controlled by the town administration (public transportation, access to the civic museums, access to public restrooms, car park tickets, entrance to the Casinò and access to the municipal WiFi network covering the entire historic centre); the online prices vary according to the projected number of visitors but are always cheaper than the current on-site prices (and cheaper than with a Venice Card).

You can also get a Venice Card, which has various options that you can choose when you buy it (public transportation, cultural attractions, toilet access, Alilaguna, etc.) There is a 'Junior' version of the Venice that is available at a slightly reduced rate for those between 5 and 29 years of age. Note, however, that a Venice Card is not recommended for those with less than 3 days in Venice, as most of the top attractions are not included in the Venice Card. If you'll be staying in Venice for a week - get the Venice Card and enjoy traveling from island to island and exploring the various museums and churches it offers access to.

Maps are available at the vaporetto stops in the ticket booths. The map is quite reliable, and is free when getting a Venice Card (€2 otherwise), or view the map here

Venice Cards can be reserved on-line for a considerable discount here. Keep in mind, though, that there are long lines when taking the Venice Card from the ticket booths. The Venezia St. Lucia ticket booth that offers Venice Cards is the one most on the right when you exit the train station.

Otherwise, take a walk! The city is not that big, and you can walk from one end to the other in a few hours (if you stick to the paths conveniently marked with arrows in the direction of major landmarks). But it would take months for a fit person to discover every path in the city. Along the way you will discover marvelous art, superb architecture and breathtaking urban landscaping. Exploring the city randomly by walking is well worth it but also be prepared to get lost easily! Signs all over the city indicate the direction to the main attractions, "Rialto" and "San Marco", as well as the way back to the train station ("ferrovia") and the bus terminal ("Piazzale Roma"). These signs make it easy to have the "get lost experience" even as a one-day tourist.

Be aware that addresses in Venice are of the form DISTRICT NUMBER (The Venetian word for district is "Sestriere"), not STREET NUMBER. To find a specific place using a map, make sure you know which district it is in. The numbers are assigned at the start of the district and increase as they move farther away from the Grand Canal.

Venice's Cats...where are they gone??

VENICE, ITALY - AUGUST 27:  A stray car sleeps on the "fondamenta" on the edge of a canal on August 27, 2011 in Venice, Italy. Dingo is the Anglo-Venetian association part of the AISPA,  founded in 1965 by Helen Saunders and Elena Scapabolla and is devoted to the welfare of venetian stray cats. (Marco Secchi) For a Gallery of Venetian Stray Cats click here

The Lion of St. Mark is Venice's mascot, at least among sculptors and decorators but in real life, the closest lion is probably at the Parco Natura Viva just outside Verona ;-)

With no living lions to reign over Venice, the local feline population has adopted a surrogate leonine role. Back in the 1980s, when I spent my year in Venice as part of the national army service, cats were seen everywhere in the city: sunning themselves on park benches, perched on bridges, wandering the streets, and dining on leftovers at the Rialto fish market.

Now the cat population has been limited mainly by laws and modern way of life, there are still few colonies the main ones are at Ospedale Civile (yes inside!) , at San Lorenzo near the Church, at Bacini, at Giudecca near Ponte Lungo at the Arsenale, there are quite few at the Lido and one at Torcello!

There is an Anglo Italian organization Dingo part of AISPA that works to feed, protect and maintain colonies in a healthy and modern way, they also run the "gattile" (Cattery)  at Malamocco. Despite several misconceptions and a bit of Italian racism there are no proofs (!!!) that Dingo or the Cinese people are responsible for the disappearance of cats from Venice!

In a brilliant book titled A Venetian Bestiary, Jan Morris wrote:"The cat has always been an essential scavenger in a city that depends on the tides for its hygiene, and has periodically been decimated by rat-borne plagues. It was Shylock the Venetian who declared the cat to be 'both necessary and harmless,' and when from time to time the municipality has tried to reduce the teeming feline population, the citizenry has always been up in arms in protest. Your Venetian cats are not like others. Sometimes of course they live in the bosoms of families, and are fed on canned horsemeat, and prettied up with bows: but far more often they survive half-wild, in feral gangs or covens of cats, and not infrequently some cherished household pet, observing the lives of such lucky ruffians from the kitchen window, will abandon the comforts of basket and fireside rug, and take to the streets himself."

 

Pick a number. The Venice waterbuses

Venice's vaporetti (singular - vaporetto), or water buses, are the public transportation of Venice and for the Venetian Lagoon. I have posted a Printable Map here. Vaporetti take visitors along the main canals, to the islands, and around the lagoon. Although often crowded, they are by far the least expensive way to get around (other than walking). If you're visiting Venice, sooner or later you'll probably find yourself on a vaporetto!The single vaporetto fare is a steep 6.50 euro (good for one hour from the time it's stamped) but if you plan to spend much time on the vaporetto system, it's wise to buy a travelcard that can be bought at any vaporetto ticket office. Travelcards are good for both water and land transport in the Venice area (land services on the Lido and in Mestre). Here are prices :

  • 18,00 € - 12-HOUR TRAVELCARD
  • 20,00 € - 24-HOUR TRAVELCARD
  • 25,00 € - 36-HOUR TRAVELCARD
  • 30,00 € - 48-HOUR TRAVELCARD
  • 35,00 € - 72-HOUR TRAVELCARD
  • 50,00 € - 7 DAYS TRAVELCARD

Recently, ACTV announced a renumbering of several vaporetto lines, effective November 2, 2011. Here's a handy chart to help make the transition. I can't even imagine what kind of havoc this is going to cause with all the maps of Venice having the old numbering system on them.

How does Venice work?

Venice, Italy, “stretching across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy,” may be one of the most amazing places in the world to live. Fans of Donna Leon’s fictional detective Guido Brunetti come to know it as a land of good food, water taxis and alleys that dead-end at the water.

Venice Backstage. How does Venice work? from Insula spa on Vimeo.

Having said that Venice is not just a stage set. It is also a city with a resident population, which has productive activities, transportation and services. But how does the “Venice system” work? How do the tides in the lagoon behave? How are the canals formed? And the embankments? What’s under the buildings?

 

Venice Vaporetto Map

I have been asked few times the best place to find a Waterbus - Vaporetto map, I have blogged before here about the vaporetti, prices and new numbers but here is a map, if you click you will get an PDF Hi Res map and info taken from ACTV! Or you can buy a printable Tourist Version from our friend Nan of Living Venice here

 

SEASONAL LINES Seasonal lines are largely dedicated to tourists and are activated on particular occasions, such as during the Venice Carnival or in the spring and summer to facilitate the mobility of large numbers of visitors. These seasonal lines provide rapid, direct backup to the city centre lines down the Canal Grande and Giudecca Canal. Line 5 on the other hand directly links the island of Murano with Piazza San Marco and the city centre of Venice, taking an external route.

CITY CENTER LINES These are the lines which crisscross the "heart" of the city, exploiting the two largest inner canals, the Canal Grande, probably the world's most famous canal, and ....the Giudecca Canal, large and deep enough to allow even the arrival of cruise ships. The city centre lines connect a number of access points such as Tronchetto, Piazzale Roma and the railway station with the Venice of shops, monuments and museums, passing through the San Marco Basin as far as Lido di Venezia, famous for the beauty of its beaches and its nature reserves.

CIRCULAR LINES These lines with a roughly circular route connect the perimeter of the city touching points of great cultural and commercial interest throughout the area. With the circular lines, you can easily reach the islands of Lido and Murano (famous for its glass products), passing through or starting from the railway station, Piazzale Roma and near Piazza San Marco. With the circular, you can also get off and reach Venice City Hospital after a short walk along a route free from architectural barriers.

LAGOON LINES These lines connect Venice with the most important islands in the lagoon, both in the north lagoon (Mazzorbo, Burano, Torcello, Sant’Erasmo) and the south lagoon. The lagoon lines also link transport nodes on the mainland and in Venice province with the city centre. You can in fact reach Venice directly from Punta Sabbioni, Treporti and Chioggia. The lagoon lines also include the ferry-boat line no. 17 connecting Lido di Venezia and the Tronchetto terminal and the bus line no. 11 linking Lido di Venezia with the island of Pellestrina. The San Lazzaro - Lido Casinò section of line no. 20 is seasonal, to verify availability contact the Hellovenezia Call Center (+39)-041-2424.

TERMINAL LINES The terminal lines are a group of rapid lines with few stops which rapidly connect Venice with the mainland terminals managed by companies in the ACTV group. They consist largely of the Alilaguna group of lines and the line 16.

 

Christmas in Venice

While preparation are taking place in Venice and the Lagoon for Christmas here are few tips:A wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve is to attend midnight mass at St. Mark's Basilica. But remember, midnight mass starts at 10:30 p.m. and you should get there early to get a seat (no tickets are needed). Try to enter through the north entrance and not the west entrance often used by tourists.

VENICE, ITALY - DECEMBER 08:  Three gondoliers chat near a Christmas decorated Rialto Bridge on December 8, 2011 in Venice, Italy. HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)

Venice's main Christmas market is at Campo San Stefano and ends on Christmas Eve. I have been told that is going to open also this year....at today there is no trace of it! There is a small market and an ice rink in Cpo San Polo

Even though December 26th is a national holiday (St. Stephen's Day), most of Venice's museums and sites will be open.

Several Venice restaurants are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and even on the 23rd and 26th. Most hotel restaurants and Harry's Bar are open. Be sure to do your homework and make reservations ahead of time for Christmas meals. We hear Caffe Quadri and the restaurant - Piazza San Marco's famous cafe - is open on Christmas Day. Good place for Christmas breakfast and coffee!

Remember that the vaparetto schedule changes on major holidays. Check the signs posted on the platforms for schedule information.

Each year on December 26, the Frari Church in San Polo (in the Campo dei Frari) offers a free concert at 4:00 p.m. The church is filled with magnificent art, including Titian's Assumption of the Virgin, Canova's Tomb and a carved monk's chair from 1468.

For an incredible seafood dinner and a warm celebration at midnight, go to Trattoria Antiche Carampane on New Year's Eve. (San Polo 1911; (39) 041 524-0165) The price for dinner runs about £70 per person. No matter where you go that night, you must make reservations.

Another restaurant recommendation: Antica Trattoria Poste Vecie (Rialto Pescheria Venezia; (39-041-721-1822) is open on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. This restaurant also has excellent fish and a larger menu as well. The soups and Venetian-style calf's liver are terrific. Fireplaces keep the restaurant warm on cold nights.

If you're in Venice on January 6, don't miss the Befana races. Men clad in long skirts, wigs and babushkas climb into boats for races on the Grand Canal. The best views are from the Rialto Bridge.

Venice Photo Tour

During your Photo Tour of Venice your professional photographic guide will point out details invisible to the untrained eye and reveal the best vantage-points on your chosen route. Learn to tell a story through images, take great shots of iconic monuments and capture atmospheric images off the beaten track.

Venice Photography Workshop

So bring your walking shoes and be prepared to discover the mysteries of the city. Bring your camera and learn how to have more fun with your camera.

• Discover parts of Venice less traveled by tourists. • Hear interesting tales and stories • Take better photos • Turn your photos into exciting stories. • Have fun !

Let a Creative Italian Photographer walk you through the city of Venice in an unforgettable Photo Walk capturing real candid moments of your stay in beautiful pictures. Enjoy a relaxed vacation and bring home remarkable pictures of your visit.

Touring Venice can be a very exciting experience, but it can also be quite an adventure if you are unsure of which places to visit and how. Language barrier may also represent a curious obstacle but it can also be frustrating. We offer innovative and unforgettable Photographic Tours to welcome you in the most fascinating and romanitc place in the world. Experience Venice through the eyes of a native Italian Professional Photographer. He will guide you in an exclusive tour through the most interesting Venice landmarks and monuments.

All city excursions are exclusively custom-made to fit your needs. You can explore the sites whichever way you like and at your own pace.

Walking around Venice together with a professional photographer is an enlighten experience. He will show you all the tricks of the game but it is also a fun and new way to visit a city like Venice. You will be able to visit, see, experience and tour places, situations, people that would be otherwise difficult to come across. The Photo Tours will take you through off-the-beaten tracks to the most important monuments and landmarks. You will avoid the tourist pedestrian highways and will take more secluded, intimate and truly Italian passageways. Let it be romantic, creative, fun and friendly, the astounding imagery will do the rest. We will show you the right places to eat, where true Italian dwell and the hidden beauties of the wonderful city.