Ah! Venice! So what special can I say about this romantic capital of the world that has not been put into a poetic expression by best of the poets. I love Venice .. well who doesn’t I was there in September 2013 and memories are still afresh. Built entirely upon water ,it is an architectural dreams-cape. Venice has a vintage charm to it that makes it worth every cent! (Actually I should say Euro 😉 ) The three words that come to my mind when I think about Venice are boats , waterways & bridges. And to be true, I think that pretty much sums up the best of Venice. Well if you are anything like me , a person who tries to know as much as possible before reaching the destination , you will realize that a lot of things about Venice are heavily glossed over reality. No matter how much you’ve read up on the city, some things would be surprising! Here are my first impressions about Venice that might help you in planning your visit to Venice.
Venice is Beautiful yet crowded
I know everyone says go in off-season to avoid crowds .But I don’t think there is ever an off season for Venice. And you are definitely not the only tourists in the town.Specially in the day time, when cruise ships pull in and take their passengers on shore excursions to the museums , it may seem like everywhere you go is full of people. To enjoy the tranquility try early mornings or late evenings.
Do not eat at the restaurants with pictures on the menu
If you are looking for authentic restaurants I will definitely give you some recommendations but never ever eat in the ones which have pictures explaining the menu. Here are some pointers, if you see a menu translated in other languages- avoid them. If a restaurant has a person on the street luring new customers – avoid them. And last but not the least if you find more number of tourists than locals in a restaurants – avoid those restaurants too . Given Venice’s tipping system ,pricing system , and service charges , you are bound to feel as if you have been ripped off so better spend that money on genuine Venetian food.
Venice is truly romantic destination
Nothing feels more special than lying in the arms of your loved one , listening to serenade music and floating under the Rialto Bridge..(and yes I am saying this from personal experience 😉 ).Even those who hate cliches can’t deny the romance of this unique and captivating place.Merely walking hand in hand through the narrow alleys makes Venice the perfect place to enjoy a special couple break. and if you think your love is missing any sweetness, Gelato at rescue. The romantic atmosphere is just not localized to Gondola ride, I will use a cliche here “It is in the air.”
Venice is not cheap/budget travel destination but you can try to make it
Who doesn’t dream of a canal view from their hotel room ? or who does’nt want to enjoy a couple only Gondola ride without being cramped by 6 other fellow passengers. But yes that all comes with a price tag. A couple only Gondola ride (with music)costs $300-$400. I really do not want to exaggerate or scare you guys but reality is you will find Venice a bit expensive if you don’t bother to look around. We stayed at Lido which was 20 mins by ferry from Venice but hotels were much more affordable. And same holds true for eating away from the touristy areas. Bottom line is take time, do a bit of research since Venice can be enjoyed as a budget travel provided you make a bit of an effort! Museum pass and Chorus card help a lot.
You will get lost in Venice, Don’t panic
Not even the best of the maps can save you from getting lost in Venice. And when you do , please do not get panicked. I think locals in Venice understand how confusing can it get for newbies to make way out of streets which are basically in no rhyme or order. But the people there are extremely helpful and they will be more than happy to walk you over to your destinations. Happened with us more than couple of times and more than anything else my legs still hurt remembering that coz we had to walk a lot. The streets are medieval and are built in no order. To add to confusion is city’s signage which is very haphazard and full of twists and turns. But don’t fret, the best times we had was when we were lost and just wandered in the streets.
Coffee with a view will cost you more than coffee on the move
Restaurants and cafes right near the big tourist sites are very expensive so unless your feet are killing you or you are not big on saving money, do not sit down in a “cafe.” Why? Because as soon as you sit down, the price of whatever you’re eating doubles or worse. Almost every restaurant has two menus one for “Banco” (price if you stand at the bar) and the other “tavolo” (price if you’re sitting) , once you have looked at both , you will understand why Italians take their coffee and cornetti standing up.
If you do not follow rules, there is big fine for everything
I can imagine for so many people coming to Venice every year ,it must have been tricky for the govt. to keep everything in order and under control. Long story short it is good to know before you go to Venice which things might get you fined. To start with , there is a ban on feeding pigeons specially at St. Mark’s Square. There is a certain level of decency which is expected of everyone, locals and tourists alike, so walking around bare-chested is a strict No-No.If you decide to visit a church, cover your shoulders and remove hats. Italians are very particular about dress code. I was surprised to know that they have fines for fakes too. So if you are looking for bogus Prada or fake Gucci ,remember Italian police can be a more expensive than originals.
Well, I hope these little suggestions might help you avoiding any surprises in this beautiful city. Venice indeed is very magical and different. I mean how many cities do you know that float on water. More on where to stay, what to see and budget travel tips in my next blog post.Till then do let me know about your first impressions about Venice in comments below. Do ‘like’ TheTalkingTrails on Facebook and subscribe to my blog post to be part of my ever going, never ending journey. Thank you for stopping by.
PhotoCredits : Photostains