"Wandering around Venice with Suvanki" Top 5 Page for this destination Venice by suvanki

Venice Travel Guide: 8,203 reviews and 21,709 photos

Venice

My first visit to Venice was in August 1978, a day trip from Lake Como with 3 friends.

I was very disappointed - our trip was a bit of a rip off, and the day we visited it was thundering and lightening, with a torrential down pour!

It was a place that I'd really wanted to see but I couldn't wait to get back to Lake Como!

I don't remember much about this day, apart from a rushed visit to St Marks to see the gold alter, a quick dash to see the Rialto Bridge, and a sprint over to Murano for a whirlwind tour of a glass factory.

However, over the years, I read, and heard about others wonderful experiences of Venice, and I became increasingly interested in re-visiting this city.
Reading 'Miss Garnet's Angel' by Sally Vickers, spurred me on to book a bargain flight to Venice for my first Christmas away from home.

So, nearly 30 years since my last visit I was alighting from the airport water bus, on Christmas Eve 2006 near San Marco Piazza. It was even more magical than I'd anticipated!

I spent hours wandering the narrow streets, soaking up the atmosphere. Taking hundreds of photos, and getting a crick in my neck from constantly looking up at buildings and paintings in the churches

I'd fallen hook, line and sinker for Venice, So it wasn't too long before I was back.

June 07, Aerosmith and The Killers, were due to play at The Heineken Festival in Mestre. A great excuse to re-visit Venice. My planned weekend soon stretched to 12 days! The festival was cancelled the night I arrived, due to a freak tornado!
After travelling to Padova and Lake Garda I had another 2 nights in Venice. I stayed on the lagoon island of Sant Erasmo, where I would definitely stay again! I got to explore more of Venice and thoroughly enjoyed wandering around Cannaregio.

Christmas 07, I was back again, staying in Cannaregio. Time to explore more of 'hidden Venice' and the islands of San Michele, Torcello and Murano

Christmas 08
I arrived in Venice from Treviso, where I'd spent the previous night (well worth a visit!!) to thick fog!
I enjoyed exploring more hidden corners of Venice including Sant. Elena and Dorsoduro. Isola St. Giorgio Maggiore and Giudecca.

Christmas 09 an unexpected trip, as I had booked a trip here for January-but, I couldn't miss my Venetian Christmas. I got to visit Lido on Boxing Day.

January 22-24 2010 My Big Birthday celebrating with 9 friends.

September 21-25th A 'cheap trip' Ryanair bargain flight to Treviso, and a hostel. Got to see Chioggia, Pellestrina, Burano and Mazzarbo for the first time. Re-visited Lido, Giudecca, Torcello, and ended with a mini VT meet in Treviso with Maurizioago

Christmas 2010 1 night in Venice, then train to Firenze (Florence) for Christmas. I'm afraid that I still prefer Venice.

June 2011 A few hours after Eurmeet reccy to Bergamo I caught the train from Padova

June 2013 A short visit, during our long weekend in Padova

I still feel that there is more to see of Venice - I haven't had a good look inside Saint Marks Basillica yet (apart from during Christmas Eve Midnight Mass), and I still haven't set foot in the Doges Palace or the museums.

However, I've no interest in riding in a gondola!

Off the Beaten Track in Venice

I love 'getting lost' in a place geographically and in losing all track of time, something that I can do easily as a solo traveller, especially in this fascinating city (without any cars and bikes to look out for)!
I was surprised to read recently, that 80% of visitors to Venice, only ever see San Marco Piazzo!

I'm afraid that I can't understand those who say that you can see Venice in a day - although back in 1978 I'd probably have agreed with them!

However, I realise that for some people, their only chance to fullfil a wish to see Venice might be as a day trip from another town, or as part of a cruise or coach tour.

If you have free time- don't waste it queueing!

For example -Instead of spending 30 minutes queueing for the Campanile -walk out of San Marco Piazzo, turn left and catch the number 2 Vaporetto from San Zaccaria (run every 10 minutes) to the island opposite with the church - San Giorgio Maggiore. Here it costs half the price of S. M Campanile, smaller queues (if any) and great views over Venice and beyond, then catch the vaporetto back to San Zaccaria. Time your visit for around sunset if possible

Although I never fail to be awe struck by the sight of the Piazza and San Marco in the daylight, it's difficult to ignore the crowds, souvenir stalls and pigeons, so I tend to enjoy my first sighting of my visit, then head off the beaten track. I do like to return late at night though, when the crowds have departed.

I also prefer to visit at Christmas, when there are less crowds. There is still a celebration of Christmas, but it's less commercialised than back home. (Italians celebrate Christmas on 6th January)

I've attended Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at Saint Marks twice, (The first time in years that I've attended a church service voluntarily) which was quite impressive at midnight, as the lights are switched on to reveal the golden dome, and the bells ring peals to celebrate the birth of Christ - I still say that it was the incense that made my eyes water!! Staying to the end of the service, meant I could wander around the Basillica. Stepping out into the Piazza in the early hours of Christmas Morning, then walking along the Molo, taking photos until nearly 2am, was one of my special memories of Christmas 2008.

I've also visited the Christmas Market in Campo Sant Stefano a few times - Quality crafts and locally produced cold meats, cheeses, sausages, biscuits and wines. I always head straight to the stall selling Vin Brule- (gluwhein)

There are many events such as the annual (free) concert in The Frari on 26th December. Murano has huge glass decorations around the island. Christmas Eve in the Rialto Markets has a special buzz to it, as shoppers queue for goodies, while others enjoy a glass of wine in the markets bars.

For some info about Christmas and Winter in Venezia Click Here

My Venice Tips-

I'm still in the process of writing up my tips - It looks like it will be an on going project!

Some of my Things to Do tips might sometimes be more 'Off the Beaten Track' (and if 80% of visitors to Venice, only see San Marco Plazza, then every other tip should go here!!!). Then again, some of my OTBT tips might be better in 'Things to do'.

Pages 1-3 of my 'Things to Do' are written in an order that can be followed as a short walk around San Marco to The Rialto Bridge and Markets, taking in the main sites, with some 'off the beaten track' tips, which might not normally be seen. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO START WANDERING VENICE WITH SUVANKI

So if it's Your first trip to Venice, and you only have a day or two, to see the sights - feel free to use my mini guide. Some regular visitors might find some interesting information too. I'd be interested to know if any of you have followed this trail.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Architecture, Art, Scenic canals, atmosphere - A place I never get bored of!
  • Cons:Bloomin' pigeons! Crowds, Not being allowed to sit in Piazza San Marco
  • In a nutshell:Get off the beaten track and 'Get Lost in Venice'
  • Last visit to Venice: Jun 2013
  • Intro Updated Jun 8, 2013
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Reviews (188)

Comments (43)

  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Your love affair with Venice is quite apparent by this intro and wonderful pages. I enjoyed my May trip to Venice but I wish I had downloaded more of your tips.

  • Balam's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Fantastic tips, i'm getting lost just looking at them, Venice is a wonderful place, Added your tour to my travel log for August!

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Hello Sue... wow! Oh my god! I am planning to visit Venice for a few days this September and your page is amazing! I've only scratched the surface, but will be back to read more! All the best / Jess

  • spidermiss's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    I love Venice. My highlight was going and exploring the back streets where we had them more or less to ourselves. Plan to return there soonx

  • RoscoeGregg's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2011 at 5:21 AM

    Your post on Venice at Night was excelent! Very encouraging! Happy Trails, Randy

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2011 at 5:25 AM

    Finally booked our trip to Europe (despite our terrible economy) & will be in Venice in late May. Your Venice page is so fabulous that I will use many of your tips during our short stay there!

  • Myfanwe's Profile Photo
    Dec 26, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Wow... you have some great Venice tips, it really does look like a fantastic place to visit. I've always wanted to go... I'm sure I'll make it one day :-)

  • Kaspian's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2010 at 8:52 AM

    Thanks so much for the postcard, Sue!! :D It was completely unexepected. Holy cow--you have 600 photos on your Venice page!!

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    How was the latest trip? And why didn't you bring some warm sunshine back with you? Gillybob greetings

  • Herkbert's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Hi Sue.. Wonderful Venice pages. I'm gathering up info for our trip in May and must say you're a wonderful resource. Thanks for sharing the info and pics. Tom

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