Italy, Venice travel and accommodation guide

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Origin of Venice

Venice’s history dates back to the days when barbaric tribes from the north started ravaging the northern part of the Italian mainland. Out of pure necessity to survive from a brutal death at the hands of the barbaric tribes, mainland Italians, started to settle down on the only refuge that they could find, a muddy swamp with 118 islands near the Adriatic Sea, now known as the Venetian lagoon. Built on foundations made from the wood of Alder trees, slowly and steadily human ingenuity built one of the finest cities of the western world, a seat of power and an icon celebrating the spirit of human survival instincts.

The beautiful city of Venice, Italy.

How to reach Venice

There are several ways to reach this wonderful city. Coming from the mainland one can take the train. Getting off at the Venezia Santa Lucia station (which is on the western side of the city) one can then take a vaporetti (water bus) from there to reach the city. If you are coming by air, the nearest airport is the Marco Polo Airport near Mestre. Mestre also is the last train station on the Italian mainland. Coming by car can be both expensive and inconvenient because there are no roads in Venice and parking is very expensive. Venice never even had any routes for carts either.

All cars must stop and be parked at either Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto. From here Venice’s amazing waterways provide easy and comfortable transportation to any parts of the city. However please bear in mind that the final legs of the journey, no matter where you want to go have to be done on foot and the streets can be very narrow.

The best time to visit Venice

Venice, lying at the feet of the Adriatic Sea is influenced heavily by the kind of weather that the sea brings in. Its uniqueness in being dominated on all sides by the water is also a major challenge for both the residents and the tourists alike. Visitors to the city will be exposed to the smelly waters, the infestation of flies and the high tide (Acqua Alta) that comes and goes flooding the streets and the squares.

The beautiful water filled town of Venice, Italy.

This is also an amazing thing to experience if you are in the city at the time of the high tides. By and large the best time to visit is the winter months when the total tourist population subsides a bit and you can experience the city at your own leisurely pace.

Accommodation in Venice

Visiting Venice is exciting and a cultural experience, but you need quality accommodation for your stay. The best way to stay in Venice is to rent an apartment. Renting an apartment in Venice couldn’t be any easier, with companies like Venice Apartments Italy offering quality accommodation at excellent prices. Find out more about apartments to rent in Venice by checking out the Venice Apartments Italy website.

Moving around Venice

Back when the city was established, the citizens of Venice realised that the water around them not only formed a natural deterrent from attackers but also provided the means of easy transportation. So more than a thousand years ago, early Venetians became master boatsmen and experts in designing boats. A unique type of boat known as Gondola, with flat under side and slim hulls were designed. Even today the Gondola is an important way of getting around the city. They however are slower when compared to the water taxis that are run by the ACTV.

The gondola is the preferred method of transport in Venice, Italy.

If you are in the city only for a day or a few hours, then a quick ride in one of the ACTV water buses is the best way to see the city. It is fascinating to note that there are no cabs, no vehicles and everything is transported only via the water route. For a truly leisurely experience of Venice, however, you will have to take a walk.

What to see  and do in Venice

Venice is not a big place, but can be confusing if you don’t read the signs. The total area is divided into boroughs and the most visited are the ones that make up the main 118 islands. San Polo, Santa Croce, San Marco, Cannaregio and Castello are the main places to visit along with a number of other places depending on the amount of time that you have.

This is a marvelous bridge located in Venice, Italy.

The best way to travel is by a water bus or for a more personalized experience a gondola is the ideal way to travel around apart from of course walking. However a gondola can be an expensive mode of transportation. Do your research and make a list of the places that you wish to visit and then negotiate with the gondolier so that he covers all of them for the agreed price.

The Basilica of Saint Mark is the finest specimen of Venetian architecture and the place that houses the relics of the patron saint of the city Saint Mark, the evangelist. Built in 832, legend says that the remains of the Saint were buried inside a crypt in the Basilica. Nearby is the Campanile di San Marco or the St Mark’s bell tower.

The old tower had collapsed back in the second decade of the last century and a new one exactly the same as the old one was erected in its place. The Doge’s palace is another must see. The Doges were the selected head of state in one of the earliest democracies of the world. This is the official residence of the Doges of Venice.

Getting around on the water is done by boat in Venice, Italy.

Dorsoduro is an important district of Venice and one that houses the Galleria dell’Accademia, Venice’s most important collection of renaissance works of art. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is another attraction which houses contemporary 20th century art collections from Picasso, Tanguy, Dali and Duchamp among many others.

The Mocenigo Palace houses an important collection of clothes that dates back to the 18th century. One can take a quick look at Carlo Goldoni’s house was a famous Venetian playwright.

Cuisine in Venice

The Venetian cuisine is not something of a real interest to someone coming in from other parts of Europe or the North America. The reason is Venice is not as famous for its cuisine as for its architecture and canals and food is very expensive. However having said that there are hundreds of small, medium and luxurious places to eat.

The best way to eat is how Venetians do, eating at the roadside eateries serving anything from pizza (which is by the way best served in the southern parts of the country), Venetian tapas, tramezzini (sandwiches made with white bread and cut in triangular shapes), polpette (fried meat or fish balls) and cuttlefish (which is a Venetian specialty).

Venice, Italy

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It's one of the world's most iconic cities. Venice, Italy is known for its masses of water and submerged houses. But, finding the right accommodation can be hard in this intricate and complex city. YouTravel loves everything about Venice, it's a must see destination.

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About Author

Rory Mukherjee

Rory Mukherjee is a freelance article writer specialising in digital photography and travel related topics.He is also an avid traveller who loves to document his travels in his articles and through his lenses.Rory currently contributes the latest travel news to YouTravel.com.au and hope to expand his travel prowess in the not too distant future.