Tourist in Venice? What to do? NO, What Not to do!

It’s time for my annual what to see and do in Venice. 

However this year, I am a little afraid to recommend my favorite places given the behavior of recent tourist. I love sharing what I have learned in 20+ years of working in Venice, but I fear some of these hooligans would turn up in my favorite spots to bath or who knows what, having searched on google for what to do in Venice, as I am sure they all have a smart phone attached to their body.

Just their manners and upbringing are missing. So I am limiting it to WHAT NOT TO DO in Venice in pictoral form!

Drawing Room of Europe

It is not hard to understand why the Venetians tire of so many people invading their city (30 Million in 2015). A city that was described as the “drawing room” of Europe is being turned into the bedroom and bathroom for the “maleducated” the rude, ill-mannered people. Maybe I yearn for the days of the “Grand Tour” when the world sent their young adults around Europe to be schooled in art, history and the finer things of life. (I was never one of those elite – I just think it would have been fabulous!)

Take Out Anyone? Photo Nuova Venezia

Fine Dining: Take Out Anyone? Photo NuovaVenezia

You’ll have to run the gauntlet to get over this bridge. And they are missing the finest part of Italy – it’s food and wine! I often eat a panino (sandwich) and have a glass of wine which cost all less than 5 Euro – And I get to enjoy it in my favorite bar not sitting on the steps of a bridge, maybe read the local newspaper – or watch sports on TV. So I am not forgiving them that this take out is cheaper! And certainly not that it is better!

Sleeping Bags on Strada Nuova - Photo NuovaVenezia

Bedrooms of Strada Nuova – Photo NuovaVenezia

Yes Venice is an expensive town for a hotel room. But this is not the answer, try the youth hostels. Use that cell phone for “couch surfing” or AirBnB or?? Better planning is the answer! Take a night train to anywhere, it has bathrooms and you can sleep in relative safety. But actually it is far safer here on the streets of Venice than almost any place else. But it certainly does not make the Venetians feel safe when they must tiptoe over these sleeping beauties to get to the grocery store or to their local cafe for the time honored cappuccino.

After a good night’s sleep, well you certainly want a bath, and where better than in Piazza San Marco? This was the scene this week. The other tourist seem to be oblivious of intruding into his royal bath. Make no mistake, he is absolutely in San Marco Square – not in some hidden space. Where is the Council of Ten when we need them?

Bathing in Piazza San Marco Photo NuvaVenezia

The Baths of Piazza San Marco Photo NuovaVenezia

But well what would you say if you walked out into the main square of your neighborhood and found someone bathing?

I certainly never yearn for the days when grown men take a bath in San Marco Square or pull our their sleeping bags on Strada Nuova. Or break the windows in a clothing shop in San Lio to steal armfuls of clothing. If you recognize any of these people feel free to forward their wonderful pictures to them (or preferably their parents)….from their Venetian experience.

Relief is on the Way: Separate Vaporetto Boarding Lines:

One of the most often heard complaints are from locals who can’t get on the vaporetto to get to work, school, hospital, grocery store, baby sitter (you know the places you usually drive to – well they have to take the boat. But tourist who have no idea where they are going stand in the platform blocking access while the vaporetto motors away. One of the things I learned very early on about Venetians: They are punctual! They know exactly when the vaporetti will arrive and depart for every stop in Venice. I have a hard time calculating how long it will take me to get from my apartment to the boat stop – Venetians know in split seconds!

Special Lines for Venetians & Disabled

Special Lines for Venetians & Disabled Photo NuovaVenezia

At least Venice is attempting to make it a little less burdensome on the locals with new boarding lines for locals, pendolari (commuters who work daily in the city), students and disabled. These special lines will be available only in the higher traffic vaporetto stops, but should relieve the problem of locals unable to enter the vaporetto because tourist are jammed at the platform. Once pass the entrance, everyone will still be on the same vaporetto.

Vaporetto Venezia

Vaporetto Veneziab- Fondamenta Nove

Reserved Seating on Vaporetto

NOTE: The first rows in any vaporetto are designed for handicapped, elderly, mothers with babies….remember your manners and give up these seats when one of these come on board.

Summer is to be endured in Venice.

  4 comments for “Tourist in Venice? What to do? NO, What Not to do!

  1. Anne L
    June 15, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Horrifying news! But surely the local police are capable of moving these ill-mannered uncouths along? Or better yet, fine them! I have just returned from Venice, in May, and as I go every year, but I never seem to see much evidence of the Carabinieri. They need to actually police this awful public behaviour.
    Crystal Bay Jewels

    • June 16, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Agreed Anne. Being a tourist is like being a guest in someone’s home…It seems to have deteriorated in the pass couple of years. The sleeping beauties, the bathers and just yesterday swimming definitely does not come from the tour groups, buses or cruise ships. The out-of-school college crowd provides that entertainment. But on any given day there are more tourist than residents. The police (polizia as well as carabinieri) do their best, but they have little recourse. As I said ….summer in Venice is just to be tolerated, knowing it will end.

  2. June 16, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Unfortunately, some Americans through ignorance or just plain rudeness are the worst tourists when they visit other countries. However, other Americans go out of their way to do the opposite through embarrassment, and blend into the background not wanting anyone to recognize them as American tourists. It is unfortunate that manners are not universally taught in school or at home here anymore. And consideration of other cultures while traveling should be taught too. I’m not sure all of the offenders in the pictures were American, but I am sure some were. I can only apologize on behalf of the Americans who know better. Venice is such a lovely city. I’m sure the natives can’t wait for the tourists to leave.

  3. paxangel
    June 16, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    It is hard for me to imagine the thrill of going to Venice & then acting like a child, or worse, when I was there! It is such shame. I know for myself from what I have seen just in my own area, mannerss seem to have little to no credit as a useful tool. I am sure if they gave out tickets they would have hard time keeping up & getting the toll for them. I hate to see such disregard for others & the property, history & value of others.

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