Boats on the canal in Venice, Italy (Photodisc)

Gondolas on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy (Stuart McCall/PhotographersChoiceRF/GettyImages)

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What to do in Venice

Given its legendary network of canals and pitch-perfect boatmen, it may come as a surprise that the best way to discover Venice is on land. Just start walking. With each step, you’ll unlock a twisted maze of alleys and bridges that hide tranquil piazzas and 16th-century churches where few tourists venture. Step aside as children bound to school and apartment dwellers air laundry over narrow canals. That’s not to say you should hide from Venice’s signature attractions like Saint Mark’s Basilica on Piazza San Marco or the provocative artwork in the canal-side Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Quite the opposite. But knowing the quiet backstreets and the bustle of out-of-sight farmers’ markets, local wine bars, and artisan studios will let you appreciate the full vitality of the canvas on which Venice is splashed.

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Traveler Reviews of Venice


Alistair rates Venice
Venice is everything you'd expect (and even more so when you have some of those narrow little alleyways to yourself). My wife and I went in November and it just felt so magical, albeit a little chilly with the cold winds blowing off the lagoon. We spent much of our time wandering and ducking into little cafes and trattorias when hunger or fatigue struck. I really liked the art at the Peggy Guggenheim House, plus I'd highly recommend taking a tour at Scuola Grande di San Rocco. Here, you'll learn about masterpieces from Italian greats including Titian and Tintoretto. Loads of great romantic places to dine; our favorite was the Trattoria Corte Sconta, a mostly-seafood place. We stayed on the island of Lido, where you can find slightly cheaper hotel rates (especially out of season). It's not too bad getting to and fro on the water buses.
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Angela rates Venice
What an amazing, magical city unlike anything I've ever known! I was there on my honeymoon on Christmas Eve 2002. We attended mass at St Mark's Cathedral that night as we took in the six languages it was delivered in. Outside the Cathedral was a live manger scene. After we walked around the chilly city with soft snow falling and ventured into a small glass shop and brought home treasures. Staying at the Kettle Morraine was like being lost in victorian wallpaper. I hope to take my children there someday....
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Love2Travel rates Venice
I LOVE Venice! Go there in october or early march and avoid the huge tourist crowds, and it will feel like you are under a magic spell. Splurge and stay at one of the hotels for at least a night on the Grand Canal. I recommend the Europa and Regina....have stayed there 3 times. Every morning head to the Rialto bridge and take in the marketplace (fish market too). At night, stroll along the canal in the mist . At night head for Rafaellos--where a pitcher of house wine and excellent pasta meal will get you ready for the ultimate dessert--Tartufo! Vanilla gelato surrounded by chocolate and rolled in cocoa---fantastico! Best buys-textiles, calendars, murano glass, cameos. Don't miss-Sunset from the bell tower across from San Marco square.
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  • Venice Travel Q&A

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  • how to tour italy
    italy

    Asked on January 05, 2012 by  Debra Supan | 337 views

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  • Will be arriving in venice by ferry from greece in November with my husband and 2-yr-old...
    Will be arriving in venice by ferry from greece in November with my husband and 2-yr-old son. We are also bringing our car on the ferry. Have booked a hotel in San Marco area. Question is, when getting off the ferry, with car, of course, should we, must we go park first? Tronchetto garage? and then come back to hotel by water taxi? We are arriving Venice at 7am and we cannot check in to our hotel until 2pm- do most hotels allow you to leave your luggage there before check-in? I am not sure what is the best plan while waiting to check in without going back and forth with luggage and a toddler. Also, is the tronchetto garage a safe parking area? Any help is appreciated as will be first time in venice.

    Asked on October 20, 2010 by   an anonymous user | 137 views

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  • 1. Looking for the best train information from Montevecchia to Venice. 2. Traveling...
    1. Looking for the best train information from Montevecchia to Venice. 2. Traveling with an older person who will be unable to do alot of walking in Venice. Know of a route that will cover the important venues with miminal walking. We're wanting to take a gondola ride 3. Know of a student/person willing to act as our tour guide around the Montevecchia area. We'll need a vheicle large enough for 6 of us and a driver, who would be willing to come and go as we need for about 4 days in the Monteecchia area.

    Asked on September 11, 2010 by   an anonymous user | 91 views

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  • best restaurants to have a good meal in venice
    best restaurants to have a good meal in venice

    Asked on May 12, 2010 by   an anonymous user | 180 views

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