A few tips to make your visit to Venice more enjoyable
The Republic of Venice relied on its economic and trading power to achieve great status from the late 7th century until the end of the 18th century. Often referred to as La Serenissima, it was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice. These days, I would not exactly call it Serene. The problem is that lots of tourists will pack the streets and place incredible demands on restaurants and services. A little planning will make your visit to this busy destination more enjoyable. Leave the stress behind with a few tips.
Many visitors stay in the mainland and arrive only for day trips. Walking around Venice at night is something special. Stay in the city so you can explore Piazza San Marco and the bridges at night. The Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia has lockers. Take advantage of this and plan to leave behind anything that you will not need for your stay in Venice. This will lighten your load so you can move around easily. I always carry my camera equipment in a backpack so even after leaving stuff in the lockers, I was still pulling my rolling luggage. If that is the case, you will be better off spending the money to take a water taxi that will drop you off very near your hotel if not right at your hotel’s waterfront door. I did not take the right vaporetto or I missed my stop and ended one stop away from my intended destination. I was forced to push my way thru the crowds and up stairs with my rolling luggage in order to arrive at my hotel. This would have been a lot easier with just a backpack.
Obtaining a good map and keeping track of the available light is essential so that you are able to plan a few days of good photo opportunities. I will never forget my first impression when I arrived and walked out of the Santa Lucia train station. It was late afternoon and the sunlight was behind making all those buildings across the Grand Canal glow in red and gold. I regret not taking that shot. I was carrying my luggage and my priority was to find the right vaporetto to transfer into my hotel. I was not about to take out my camera and tripod and set up for a shot in such a busy spot. I should have returned to this location during a late afternoon while I was staying in Venice but I never did. I guess that I must return to this beautiful city. Here are some images captured during my visit a few years ago.
View of San Giorgio Maggiore from the Piazza San Marco
San Giorgio Maggiore is an island located east and south of Piazza San Marco out in the bay. Photograph it early in the morning before the thousands of tourists arrive at Piazza San Marco for the day. San Giorgio Maggiore also has a convenient vaporetto stop right in front of the church. If you want to escape from the crowds, you may want to explore this small island and church which appear to be less crowded. For more information on water transportation check the Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano website at ACTV. Not only can you obtain information about services and routes but the website also warns users of upcoming strikes. Always plan your train and public transportation around these strikes. Also consider a visit to the island of Murano or Burano – make it a day trip out there. The glass factories always offer free demonstrations.
Not much room for a garden in Venice.
These beautiful apartments next to the Grand Canal enjoy an attached garden which is a rare find in Venice. Barely seen in the image above, the palazzo in the background around the curve in the canal, is the Ca’ Rezzonico. It is one of the finest museums in Venice.
Elegant details of a gondola add to the cost of finishing these boats.
Many different woods are used to build the boats. Stylish ornaments also contribute to the expense of building a gondola. The ornament on the front of the boat is called the Ferro.
A beautiful Palazzo houses the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti
The Institute holds many lectures and exhibitions. I am always looking for a good photography exhibition.
View of Ponte San Moise – can you count the number of photographers on the bridge?
Campo San Moise is not far from Piazza San Marco. A gondola station is located in the canal between two hotels. This gondola station was one of the busiest ones I saw.
View of the Grand Canal from the the Rialto Bridge. Another busy crossing with Gondola, Vaporetto, and water taxis converging in one point.