A Rough Guide To Venice
Venice is a city for meanderers, it rewards every minute devoted to penetrating it’s cat’s cradle of intertwined lanes. The city is built on 117 small islands and about 150 canals and 410 bridges. The city is divides into six sestieri or districts: Cannaregio, Castello, San Marco, San Polo, Dorsoduro, and Santa Croce. To fully enjoy the city’s beauty, don’t just stick to the tried and tested places like Basilica di San Marco, Palazzo Ducale, Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Gallerie dell’Accademia but as well on less traveled sights like Ca’Rezzonico, Ca’Pesaro, and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
The busiest times are between May and September, Christmas and New Year, during February and at Easter. In September, a film festival is held on the Lido. The best time to visit Venice is on early spring and late autumn. Summer is also good with fine weather and long days to visit churches and museums in the afternoon, going on excursions and picnics, watching concerts and operas. Between June and September many hotels are full so if you choose to visit on these months make sure to book two months in advance.
The public transportation is by vaporetto or small passenger ferry along the canals. What anywhere in Italy would be a via or street, is in Venice, a calle. Take note that a street beside a canal is called fondamenta, smaller streets flanked by houses and shops is called ruga or rughetta, a tiny side lane connecting two bigger streets is ramo, and a quay is riva. Venice has its own style of street numbering, each district has a long series of numbers. A hotel might give its address as San Marco 4687 but its number doesn’t help much, to avoid confusion rely on street names.
For up-to-date practical information, it is best to consult the current issue of Un ospite di Venezia. This can be obtained from the Azienda Promozione Turistica, Piazza San Marco 73c, and the reception desk in most hotels and pensioni. It lists the opening times of museums, scuole or shools, chiesa and cathedrals and more which vary from one season to another.
Trattorie are numerous than hotels in Venice. If you are looking for excellent international cuisine you can dine at Antico Martini near the Fenice. For local colour and good inexpensive Venetian food, go to Locanda Montin which has rooms hung with modern pictures and large shady garden. There are many Venetian dishes that do not depend on seafoods like risi e bisi or risotto made with peas and ham. Among cheeses, the rather dry Asiago is good. Most of the wines served in Venice come from Veneto like Tokai from Friuli, Soave di Verona and Pinot Nero. Soave, grappa, proseco are among the top local wines of Venice.
It is worth remembering too that in all cafes imported drinks are expensive than Italian ones. And if you sit down at a table you pay much more than if you stand up at bar. So like most Venetians, better to sip your coffee or have your glass of wine standing.
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