Tips for Visiting Venice

Rialto Bridge Venice ItalyVisiting Venice is easier than ever, though more expensive than ever as the hotels have increased their room rates for the summer for the tourist season by as much as 36% according to a local source.

To save some money, you can buy some tickets on line in advance. In addition to saving money, the benefit of buying on line is generally you can shop in your language and you save a lot of time avoiding the lines.

Take some time before you go and know what you want to see. However, just wandering in Venice is the most fun so be sure to schedule a little down time for just taking in the atmosphere, wandering, getting lost and found in this beautiful city.

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It's free, needs no internet connection and will save you time.

VeniziaUnica: It’s free and you don’t need an internet connection to use it. Available for both Mac & Android. Just be sure before you go that you check for updates. It has a wealth of information, vaporetto time tables, news, suggested sites, events and exhibitions and of course history along with pictures. The only thing I see missing is the weather report and the high water forecast.  But there’s an app for that as well.

Prepare Before Going:
The web has some great sites on things to do and one we especially is:
Venezia Unica. The site is available in 6 languages, it gives you a wealth of information about visiting Venice, including such necessities as Museum opening times, exhibits, special events, celebrations.
Public Restrooms in Venice and how they operate, where they are located, important information as Venice is a city with decades old toilet facilities. If you are not near these public facilities, most bars will have a toilet and for the cost of a drink, you can use it without being harassed or annoying the owners, though they may be small or even the occasional Turkish Toilet (where you stand on the footprints). Bars are everywhere, they are not bars in the American sense. They serve coffee, small sandwiches, and of course wine and other alcoholic beverages.  Children can go into these ” bars.” Small gift shops will not have toilets.
Tickets for the Vaporetto:
A one-way ticket on the Vaporetto cost is 4 Euro (approximately $5.5 US) and is good only in one direction and 60 minutes. That’s a pretty steep price and makes the Tourist cards look very reasonable. You can buy online before your go, avoiding the lines and without ever speaking one syllable of Italian. And having the pass makes it painless to hop on a boat, for a short trip without having to look for a ticket office. Take a look at the time you will be there. You take the vaporetto in Venice not only to save time but energy and besides the scenery along the canals can only be seen from a boat. One of my favorite rides is the vaporetto which leaves from Fondamenta Nove, stops at Murano then on to Burano/Torcella, Pt Sabbione. You can see the marshlands that are the lagoon and some of the deserted islands. The double decker from San Marco to the Lido affords you a wonderful view and the Lido is a relaxed  beach town with a wide avenue and great gelato shops, children on bicycles and the novelty of it all, cars! And of course it’s home of the Venice Film Festival.The trip back to Venice will give you a impressive view of San Marco as well. (Great photo op!)
imobiMOB: Electronic Tickets:The benefit of having a pass is that you can pick up the vaporetto at any stop and it’s a great way for crossing the canal instead of walking a half mile.  Since the introduction of the iMOB, the electronic ticket. You need to hold your ticket over the meter at the entrance of the vaporetto station. You must do this each and every time you board, otherwise there is the possibility of a fine.
The same Venezia Unica site will let you buy your ticket online. To view the schedules (and yes they are generally on time) visit the ACTV site.
At the Airport: So you didn’t get your tickets on line. There is still time to pick them up at the airport in the arrivals halls. NOTE: the ACTV (vaporetto) ticket is not valid for Alilaguna, the private boat service from the airport to Venice. It is, however, valid for the #5 Bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma. Buying the ACTV ticket at the airport just saves some time, however it is not open if you arrive late at night. I always renew my iMOB at the airport, just because it is easier and that way when I arrive in Venice, I am ready to travel. As of 1 August 2014, here are the new tourist rates:  The 12 and 36 hours passes have been temporarily eliminated.
1 Giorno (day) 20 Euro
2 Giorni (days) 30 Euro
3 Giorni (days) 40 Euro  the same as the 72 Hours 40 Euro
7 Giorni (days) 60 Euro
 A one-way ticket on the Vaporetta is 4 Euro
A round trip ticket on the Vaporetto is 8 Euro (within 2 hours)
Screen Shot VeneziaUnica AppVenice Unica City Pass – Reduced Fares for Museums
Formerly known as the Venice Card, it gives you free entrance to a number of Municipal Museums, like the Doge’s Palace, Museo Corret, Ca’ Rezzonicio, Palazzo Mocenigo, Ca’ Pesaro, the Glass Museum, the Lace Museum and Museum of Natural History (houses in the Fondato Turkish. Many other sights and museums offer reduced admissions with the card. And you can add the use of public restrooms (not those in places of business). Again, the benefit is saving you time from standing in lines. You can buy online before you go at VeniziaUnica. Be sure that you check where you can pick up your tickets as well as the hours.
Reminder: If you buy your passes on line, be sure you print and take the email with you. Printing in Venice will occupy your valuable time as you search for a place to print. It is also a really good idea to print your reservation for the hotel, preferablly with address and phone number. It will make it easy for someone to help you find it.
Internet Access: These little shops tend to come and go. There are fewer people who need a computer as more people use their mobile phone for texting and accessing the web.  The one which I have used over the years is in Cannaregio, not terribly far from the train station. From the station, (coming out facing the canal), go left down Lista di Spagna and continue through Campo S. Geremia. Cross over the Ponte de le Guglie and it is on the right just where the outdoor market, Mercato Rionale, begins.  Hours are (hopefully) 9:30 to about 9 p.m. (It changes seasonally.)
A couple of Things Not to Do (not in order of gravity):
Super #1: Do NOT Climb on any buildings (See our post)
2. Do not sit on the door way, or window of stores and apartment buildings for a picnic. These are people’s home. Imagine if someone just walked up to your doorway at home with their sandwiches and had a picnic.
3. Do not sit in the seats on the vaporetto clearly marked with pictures of elderly people, handicapped people, and mothers with babies. It is their only way of getting around.
4. Do not block the aisles of the vaporetto with suitcases and strollers, or occupy the seats with the same.
5. Do not throw anything into the canals, including cigarettes. (Now you may see some ill-behaved locals doing this. But you should not!)
6. Do not stand outside on the vaporetto blocking entrance and exit. We all know you want to get the best possible picture, but locals just want to get home or to the doctor, dentist, school – all the places people have to go.
Making Pictures:
TReflects in Venicehe best time to make pictures in Venice is very early in the morning and late in the afternoon. That way, you won’t have hordes of tourist in your pictures, the sun makes beautiful shadows and paints the buildings even brighter colors and the canals reflect the buildings. Besides it’s the perfect time to see the city when it is quiet and peaceful.
Useful Phone Numbers:
  • 112 Carabiniere
  • 113 State Police
  • 114 Children’s helpline (Telephone Azzurro)
  • 115 Fire
  • 118 Medical Emergencies
  • +39 041 2385648 Venice Emergency Medical
  • +39 041 5300874 Tourist Emergency Medical