Getting to Venice from the airport:
You have three options. 1) Take the bus, which goes to Piazzale Roma only. From there you can walk to your hotel. About 2.50 euros. 2) Take the Alilaguna water bus service, which stops at several water bus stops around Venice. One may be near your hotel. About 13 euros. 3) Hire a private water taxi, which will take you anywhere but is very expensive.
- Venice is divided into six districts, or sestieri. Addresses in Venice give a number and a district. The street name is not used. So Paradiso Perduto is at 2640 Cannaregio. You have to ask around to find out exactly where a place is located.
- Shopkeepers and salespeople help one person at a time. Be patient, they are not ignoring you.
- The water buses are called vaporetti (plural) or vaporetto (singular). Getting on and off is very orderly. Wait until everyone is off before you get on, and don't crowd the entrance. Stay back.
- If you want to buy something from a produce stand, point but do not touch. They will choose it for you. If you want something ripe to eat immediately, tell them it is "per oggi" (for today).
- Vedova. The only restaurant I had to wait to get a table at. Close to Ca' D'Oro. With your back to the Ca' D'Oro vaporetto stop, walk straight ahead. Eventually you will walk in through the front door.
- Enoiteca Mascareta. Try the Burrata di bufala caprese. In the Castello district near Campo Santa Maria Formosa. I think its on Ruga Giuffa.
- Pane Vino e San Daniele. 2861 Dorsoduro. On Calle Lunga S. Barnaba near Ca' Rezzonico.
- Al Fontego. In a corner of Campo Santa Margherita. A great lunch place with good salads, vegetables, and panini.
- Paradiso Perduto. A lively place at 2640 Cannaregio, even late at night. On Fondamenta de la Misericordia.
- Majer, for coffee, pastries, and arancini (fried balls of rice, ask for it "caldo" (hot)). Near Campo Santa Margherita on Rio Tera Canal.
They're all good, but the best gelato I found is at Il Doge on Campo Santa Margherita across from the Raging Pub. It's also around the corner from Majer.
Al Nono Risorto. I had trouble finding good pizza in Venice, but this was the best. Between Campo San Cassian and the Rialto Market.
Guinness Bar Santa Lucia, on Rio Tera Lista Spagna, near Campo San Geremia in Cannaregio.
- The island of Murano, for Murano glass. You can also see a demonstration at any of the workshops. Murano glass is sold all over Venice, but I like buying it at the source.
- The island of Burano for Burano lace. I didn't go to Burano, but they have been making lace by hand there for centuries.
- Vizio Virtu is a chocolate shop that sells every type, from ice cream to candy to hot chocolate. It's all made on site. 2898a San Polo, on Calle del Campaniel near San Toma.
- There are a lot of shops around San Marco and the Rialto, and they are very expensive. The further you get from these places, the lower the prices. If you want to stroll down a street and shop, try Strada Nuova in Cannaregio.
What to do:
- You must tour the Grand Canal by vaporetto. Take the No. 1 (stops at every stop) or No. 2 (express) vaporetto either from Piazzale Roma to San Marco, or from San Marco to Piazzale Roma. Try to sit in the front, and bring your camera! One vaporetto trip costs about 6.50 euros. If you are staying more than a few days, you can buy a pass that is more economical.
- You must go to St. Mark's Basilica (which is free) and the Doge's Palace (not free). They are both on Piazza San Marco and you can do them together.
- You must sip a spritz con Aperol (sweet) or spritz con Campari (bitter) while sitting at a cafe or bar along the Grand Canal. I recommend the bar Bancogiro, near the Rialto Market.
- You must stay at least one night, and you must see Venice at night. Wander through the streets to Pizza San Marco and listen to the dueling orchestras there. Dancing on the square is encouraged!
- You must explore the back streets of Venice. Put your map away, pick a direction, and get lost. I can't stress this enough.