Ciao da Venezia!
TIPS FROM A FIRST-TIME TRAVELER TO EUROPE | VENICE
Vaporetto: Take it! I suggest this for many reasons:
- You will walk a lot and might want an easier (not necessarily faster) route to another sestiere.
- You get a different perspective of the islands, therefore different photo ops, from the water.
- You can buy a 24hr, 48hr, or 72hr pass. This is much handier than day passes.
Of course, if you get seasickness...hopefully you are able to control it. I'm not saying to take medicine for it; I'm not a doctor. Perhaps try seabands if you want to go the natural route? They seemed to work for my son when he was younger.
Transport from Airport:
Transport from Airport:
- Bus--If you're staying close to the bus station (Santa Croce or Cannaregio), this is a more economical choice. There is the ACTV #5 which we intended to take. We ended up taking the ATVO because a kiosk by baggage claim sold tickets for the route to the Piazzale Roma on the islands. It is a motor coach store and they have you stow your luggage below.
- Vaporetto--Costs more but can be worth it in the long run (see above). If you are staying in a sestiere further from the bus station, I suggest the vaporetto so you don't have to maneuver your luggage through the crowds for too long. (Not that the vaporetto won't be crowded but hopefully you can get a seat or stand with your luggage rather than dragging it around.) The walk from the bus station to our hotel in the Castello sestiere took about half an hour, and much more in frustration if you could measure it in time. It appeared that we were making the trek when many busses and trains arrived, and possibly some of the big cruises.
- Outlying islands: There are a few from which to choose. We visited two via vaporetto.
- Murano: This island is known for glassblowing. When we deboarded the vaporetto, a gentleman was directing people toward a glassblowing factory. I asked my husband if we should go even though it would be a tourist trap. We've seen a glassblowing demonstration at home in Seattle, and well known artist Dale Chihuly is from Tacoma. Still, it was nice to visit this island and see a demonstration from an Italian glassblowing master. He made a vase and a fish figurine in just a few minutes. Also entertaining and impressive was the narrator who gave us a quick overview in four languages: Italian, English, Spanish, then French. After the demonstration they move you into the showroom/shop where you cannot take pictures. After all, it is a business and they have several salesmen. We fully anticipated buying souvenirs so we were fine with it all. I don't know if other visitors were caught off-guard.
- Burano: This island is known for its colorful buildings and lace (embroidery-type artwork nowadays). In some cases we found ourselves walking through residential courtyards without realizing it. I suppose the residents are used to it in high tourist season. So many photo ops with the different hues, the canal running through, and bridges.
It's also a good place to eat seafood because local fisherman provide the catches. We walked around and finally decided to make a reservation at Le Gatto Nero (The Black Cat). It has a Michelin star and apparently celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has spoken well about it. I ordered a fish risotto as my first course and cuttlefish as a second. It was all so good as expected.
Passeggiata: Take an evening stroll. There aren't the crowds you experience during the day so you shouldn't feel boxed in. At the same time, there are others taking their passeggiata so it's not all empty streets with eerie silence. Follow a path. Or, don't. We tended to have a destination in mind then made our way back down whatever streets we chose until we finally decided to look at our phone to see where we were in relation to our hotel and headed to it.