Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Venice Queen - Venice, Italy

On the way to Greece, we're making a quick stop in Venice. Just because we're in the neighbourhood, you know? Or maybe because it's a city dreams are made of.

Where we will sleep

Camping Fusina(Campsite)
How long? 2 nights
How much? €30.50 per night (2 adults in a cabin), €2.50 per night for the bike.
Check in? 2pm, but we’ll be arriving around 4pm after riding 6 hours from Munich
Check out? 10am, but we’ll be leaving early (5am!) to catch an overnight ferry to Greece from Ancona, Italy.
Why we chose it? It's on the edge of the lagoon, 20 min ferry to Venice, free wifi. Biggest pull was location.

What we want to see

All my research points to one common piece of advice – get lost in Venice. So that’s what I want to do! We only have one full day in Venice but once we’ve seen the main sights, I want to explore unguided by maps or ideas.

St Marks Basilica – a beautiful Byzantine cathedral, one of the most famous in Italy.
There are strict rules for visiting, which only takes around 10 minutes –
  • Clothes be appropriate for a place of worship.
  • You cannot enter the basilica with luggage. Luggage must be deposited in Ateneo San Basso (Piazzetta dei Leoncini - in front of the Gate of Flowers, north fa├žade).
  • Photos and filming are forbidden.
  • Loud explanations are not allowed, the use of earphones is permitted. 

Admission to the Basilica €0 except Sundays and holidays between 2-5pm. St Marks Museum €4, Pala d’Oro €2, Treasury €3.
Opening Hours for the Basilica 9.45am-5pm, St Marks Museum 9.45am-4.45pm, Pala d’Oro and Treasury 9.45am-5pm.

St Marks Square aka Piazza San Marco – the main public square in Venice
€0 admission
Opening Hours N/A

Ride a Vaporetto – like a bus, except a boat. And rather than paying upwards of €80 per 40 minutes for a gondola ride (the minimum government-regulated price), you can catch the Vaporetto the length of the Grand Canal for €6.50 each. Your €6.50 ticket gets you a 1 hour pass and I’ve heard the ride is the best in the evening.

Doge’s Palace – a gothic palace that also housed a prison.
€18 admission
Opening Hours 8.30am-7pm in Summer, 5.30pm in Winter.

Rialto Bridge – the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal.

What we are expecting

I’ve heard all the rumours about the smell and the rubbish. I don’t care. I’m expecting narrow lanes filled with deep doorways and lots of shadows. I’m expecting old ladies that don’t speak English, going about their day as their families have for centuries. I’m expecting huge crowds around the popular sights. I’m expecting nooks and crannies I can claim to have ‘discovered’ – with no tourists around. I’m expecting beautiful buildings. I’m expecting it took look run down. I’m expecting a little bit of magic that just needs polishing up.