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Venice -tips please for restaurants etc

Discussion in 'Personal' started by jubilee, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    We're going for a short break in November. I'd really appreciate any tips, things to beware of and restaurant recommendations. Thanks.
  2. Buy a vaporetto pass online before you go and take comfortable shoes for walking around in.
    If you want to see the basilica, either get up very early and go to a church service or get up very early and queue.
    Don't fall into a canal.
    Most restaurants are for tourists. Avoid any with menus in English or waiters outside trying to get you in. Go to restaurants the locals go to, away from the main tourist areas.
  3. Richie Millions

    Richie Millions New commenter

    The food market is fabulous take a camera. The vaparetto bus boats don't stay on one side of the canal like buses in English towns. They jump from side to side. Expect to get lost frequently it is all part of the fun. Comfortable shoes best to walk everywhere and it is small enough to be able to do so. Avoid the main squares to eat it will be expensive. The quieter areas are much cheaper but a smattering of Italian in these areas will help. Lots of free concerts in the numerous churches often at midday. Have a great time it is wonderful.
  4. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Take the boat out to see the glass factories and buy at least soemthing made from Murano glass.
    The best meal we had (by far) was actually at a kosher restaurant in the Old Ghetto quarter named Gam Gam. Simply excellent.
    Walk around and get lost in the back streets to get away from the crowds and tourist areas.
  5. Richie Millions

    Richie Millions New commenter

    Gondolas are expensive but you have to do it on your first time. They will take you on a circular trip of 30 minutes or an hour discuss where you are going and how much before you start. Gondoliers will mostly be able to speak English or in the central areas there will be a sort of manager who will explain what is on offer in English. They are well regulated but as I say expensive.

    If you can afford it private water taxi from the airport to the centre is a lovely way to arrive, on my last visit I think it was about £30. These are little beautifully furnished speed boats that whizz through the Lagoon and make you feel like a 50's film star. The normal Vaparetto though is cheap and does the job.

    Expect to pay at least £6 for a coffee if you sit in the main squares but very much cheaper a few streets in.
  6. Richie Millions

    Richie Millions New commenter

    Just realised you are going in November this is in the season for "Acqua Alta" a sort of high tide in the Lagoon which can flood parts of the city. This sounds dramatic but it is common and they are prepared they put out little wooden walk ways on top of the pavements. All the shops will sell wellies or shoe covers. These floods are short lived a few hours maybe but can be inconvenient as they slow progress around the city considerably. They are quite rare but best to make plans to anticipate one as you are only there for a short time and it could take a chunk of time out of your stay. (Don't worry about this all functions as normal it just takes longer to get about.
  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    For cheap and cheerful mid-day fare beside the Canal Grande within easy sight of the Ponte di Rialto, try Ristorante Omnibus, a short walk SW from the bridge. Not sure if you'll want to sit outside in November though.

    If you're planning to have a drink at Florian's or Quadri in the Piazza San Marco, arrange your second mortgage now. I'm not sure if their orchestras play on November evenings, but in warmer parts of the year they add a definite ambience. In addition to Gondolas (have been three times but never went in one due to the price) there's also the Traghetta, which is a low cost ferry gondola that criss-crosses the Canal Grande, and you can try standing up in it for the ride - great fun.

    I agree with the comments about getting into the Basilica San Marco early, and visiting the Rialto Market(s). Can't say we were over-impressed by the islands but you should give them a go. The water buses are fun, and regular, and a day ticket is your best bet for hopping on and off them.

    Once you've done the obvious places, I'd recommend a stroll along the waterfront away from the Piazza San Marco and up towards the Arsenale - there's actually one or two quiet green spots with foliage up there, and the restaurants aren't as costly as in the centre. Likewise with the souvenir mask shops - they're more expensive in the centre. In that direction, and in the direction of the railway station you start getting into more local type shops like mini-supermarkets in case you need to stock up on bits and pieces at non-tourist prices, or want to buy a snack that doesn't cost a fortune.

    If you have even the slightest interest in taking pictures make sure you have plenty of spare camera batteries - Venice is a photographer's paradise.

    You may take my deep envy as read - we're long overdue for another visit.
  8. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    If you do want to do this remember the prices vary according to where you sit. If you sit outside it is considerably more expensive than if you sit inside. But it is wonderful................
  9. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Go three or four streets back from any tourist attraction. Food will be much cheaper and much nicer.
    We made the mistake of having an icecream and coffee outside the Rialto. Thought we wouldn't be able to afford to eat the rest of the stay. Then discovered non-tourist restaurants.
  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Thank you, everyone, for your tips. I'm taking notes in a small notebook that I can carry around with me.
    Has anyone visited Padua from Venice? We arrive at midday on Day1, then have 3 full days and depart (flight) early afternoon on Day 5. If most sights in venice can be done on 2.5 days, we'd go further afield on one day and Padua looks the most likely venue.
  11. madwoman

    madwoman New commenter

    dont eat on any of the tourist streets - get yourself down to the student area - fantastic restaurants and not expensive
  12. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    This will sound odd, but we enjoyed a trip to the island cemetery. Got the water bus, had a stroll around, came back. Nice to be away from the crowds. A cool place. And I think Stravinsky is there somewhere.
  13. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    A trip to Murano is well worth it.
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Depends on how many art galleries you want to look in, but 2-3 days is a good estimate. You'll probably get heartily sick of seeing 'Adoration of the Infant Christ' paintings after a bit, or as my Dad once wryly observed, "I've had a bellyful of Botticelli".

    Padua looks about right, and Verona's not out of the question for a day trip. Have been to the latter but not the former.

    One thing to beware of in Venice though - Stendahl Syndrome, and no, you don't catch it from the canals ;-)
  15. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Also watch out for "venice neck" from looking at those fabulous ceilings (particularly at Scuola (?) San Rocco). If you take a ferry across the Grand Canal e.g. from the Rialto fish market to the Foscari Palace hotel you should stand up, like a local. Never eat in a restaurants with pictures of the food.The Jewish quarter of the city has a distinctive atmosphere. I would want to spend all my time in Venice rather than squeeze in another city but that's just me. Have a lovely time.
  16. indigo987

    indigo987 New commenter

    Oh I love Venice so much! Pretty much all the restaurants are expensive, but there are some nice slightly cheaper pizza places up near the train station. Getting the train to Padua is fairly cheap and easy and it's a nice place to wander about. You might get some torrential rain, definitely plan on walking through some water at some point!
    There's a nice cheapish cafe outside the SS Giovanni e Paolo church, and you can buy yummy pizza by the slice just over a little bridge from the Santa Maria Formosa church. There's a special card you can buy that lets you get into all of the main churches, definitely visit the large church - can't remember the proper name, something Frari - has some famous paintings including a great Titian and Bellini, much mroe interesting to see them insitu than in the Accademia gallery!
    In November, don't bother going to the Lido, not much there, but go to the Cemetery island (on a weekday, can be awkward on a Sunday when families go to visit the graves). Murano and Burano are very quiet, don't let the hotel arrange you a free trip out to Murano or you get a high pressure sales talk to buy some very overpriced glass. Just take the vaporetto there and have a look round the shops.
  17. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    Padova is about 30 mins on the train from Santa Maria : the last time I was in Venice (for Capo d'Anno) we stayed in Padova and travelled into Venice every day by train!
    Food in Venice: avoid "Ristorante" - eat in a"trattoria",an "Osteria" or a "Rosticceria".
    Buy a slice of pizza at a window and walk around eating it!

    Be warned that the weather is likely to be bitter - the damp and cold get into your bones! This is why women in Northern Italy love furs and boots!!

  18. Gondolas start at 80 euro a throw and the price rises exponentially according to all kinds of things - the time of day, number of passengers, etc. You'll be expected to tip as well. Its a total waste of time dodging dirty vaporetti while being relieved of your cash.
    My water taxi from the airport to just off the Grand Canal cost 65 euro and that was in 2004!
    The cheapest way of seeing the sights is the vaporetto number 1 which goes up the Grand Canal.
    I paid 7 euro 50 for a coffee just outside Piazza San Marco a couple of months ago. Its twice that, if not more, in the square itself.
  19. I was lucky enough to go on an educational cruise when I was a young teacher and we were stuck in Venice late Oct, early Nov for 3 days because of fog - yet we had lovely t-shirt weather and sunshine. (Must have been foggy early morning and evening.) One of the students made the mistake of buying an orange juice in St Mark's Square and blew her pocket money for the rest of the cruise!
  20. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    we had a tiny apartment just off st mark's and that cut costs a lot. so did spending a lot of time in the back streets. it was fab, i would like to go back because i had a cold when we went - that dampened things a bit. the art, though.. the churches... *swoon*

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