Handy Tips for a Venetian Trip

From Ernest Hemingway to Ezra Pound to Italo Calvino to Thomas Mann, several known writers and poets have raved about the city of Venice. After all, it is called the most serene (La Serenissima) for a reason!

But let’s face it, traveling to Venice can be overwhelming and crowded. Venice is also very touristy so I thought of making a post for you! Thanks to everyone who contributed to this post and encapsulated some really offbeat suggestions. Here are some tips for a great trip to Venice:


1. Diana of Italy Translated gives us a very simple yet important tip!

“When you visit Venice, go with an open mind as its very touristy. But remember that there is no other place like that in the world. People don’t like it for these reasons but try to see beyond it”


2. Debra of Bagni di Lucca tells us about a lovely dining experience:

“If you want a local experience dine at Alla Vedova. Its a great place with delicious food and is not expensive.”

3. Monica of Cook in Venice tells us exactly like a local would:

“When you come to Venice don’t try to squash too many visits in a short time: you won’t savour the real feel of Venice. Pick maximum two visits/activities per day and then enjoy the pleasure of not having any cars around.”

4. Lyn of Traveling with Lyn suggests a budget tip:

“In Venice use the local transport- the Vaporetto, which is the water bus. It is a fun way to travel. Don’t forget to buy a day or multi day pass as it makes it so easy to hop on and hop off the vaporetti to get to different islands.”

5. Laura of My Corner of Italy says,

“Get a detailed map as there aren’t many signs along the streets and they only indicate the path towards the major sights such as San Marco, Rialto, Accademia, Ferrovia (train station) and Piazzale Roma (bus station). So a map is indispensable to move around.”


6. Susan of Timeless Italy gives a fun tip:

“When you visit Venice, do a pub crawl. Relish cicchetti with the locals, its fun.”

7. Margie of Margie in Italy says,

“Get away from the main tourist areas by wandering around in the calli behind them. Don’t be afriad to lose yourself in the narrow paths. It’s there that you discover the magic of Venice”


8. Molly of Letter Arte Mente tells us as a past local:

“Walk through the back streets of Dorsoduro towards Zattere and Santa Maria della Salute. It’s one of the most meditative walks especially early morning or during a foggy winter’s day”.

9. Michelle of Il Bel Centro says,

“Go in December when the tourists are so thin that there are more pigeons than people in San Marco. There aren’t lines for sights and there are several Christmas lights in every street that give an evocative and mysterious feeling. It is just magic. Plus Santas rowing gondolas, that’s just brilliant!”


10. My suggestion:

As much as it sounds touristy, take an experience at Caffe Florian. It is deemed to be one of the oldest bars in the world!

Order a coffee and do some people watching (Italian style), after all this is where Hemingway and Dickens frequented.. It is worth the money!!


Hope you loved these travel tips to Venice!



61 thoughts on “Handy Tips for a Venetian Trip

  1. I agree about taking the vaporetti. You get to hop on and off these different islands. Also, the Venice islands are pretty small you don’t have to worry about getting lost. You’ll eventually find your way!

  2. Great post with great advice, I especially agree with you, it’s ok to splurge once in a while, especially while in Italy. Oh, and the idea of getting lost is a great one too…and so easy to do in Venice, but what you will see will make it worthwhile. I also visited the casino in Venice, that was a very different experience from any casino here in the US, and was one of the interesting highlights of my time there! 🙂

    1. Wow Tony that’s a great great tip. I haven’t been to the casino there and maybe next time I will 😉 Thank you for stopping by! Haven’t seen you here since a while now..

  3. Here’s my two cents: Venice is simply mesmerizing. One can keep walking around in the narrow alleyways and yet not get lost because everything seems so familiar 😛 Take evening walks after 6 pm when the lights go on and the tiny water city drowns in the beauty of the night 🙂

  4. Great tips from some great bloggers! Too many people don’t want to visit Venice because they’ve heard that it’s too touristy (I WAS one of them). But as a few of these writers have mentioned, it only takes a little effort to step off the beaten path for a magical experience! Ciao! (<— which is actually a Venetian word, by the way!)

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Rick. You are right. I didn’t enjoy Venice on my first visit. But I gave it time and like you mentioned a little extra step to go offbeat 🙂 Ciao ciao!


    Fiction writers glean ideas for character descriptions by various means. If you’re a writer who enjoys sitting in a public location and scribbling notes on passersby, my recommendation for the primo spot to garner a wealth of character traits is Piazza San Marco, in Venice.
    By noon until the wee-morning hours, every conceivable facial feature and physical trait can be observed in the non-stop crush of visitors from all corners of the globe.
    There are three outside cafes that I recommend for optimum people gazing: The Florian; The Quadri; and my favorite, The Chioggia. I prefer the Chioggia for two reasons: one, they play great jazz, and two, because it faces the side of the Piazza where visitors enter after disembarking at the Vaporetto Stop. This way you capture their expressions when they view the Piazza for the first time. Thomas Coryat wrote of this experience: “…For so strange and rare a place as this, glory of it, that my first entrance thereof it did amaze or rather ravish my senses.”
    Certainly, the travel guides will caution that sitting at an outside table in Piazza San Marco can be costly, but it’s not over the top, especially considering what you get for that 18 Euro Strega. If you wish, you can sit and sip the same drink for 4 or more hours, and you’re sitting where Shelley said: “It’s temples and palaces did seem like fabrics of enchantment piled to heaven.” Give me a break; does it get any better than that? And to top it off, you get to chronicle the expression on someone’s face whose senses have been ravished.
    If you’re really on the dole, you can pack a snack to munch with your drink. The waiter may give you a “look,” but he won’t ask you to leave, nor will he hustle you to buy another drink. If you explain that you’re a writer doing research, he will turn the vexed “look” into a broad understanding smile; Italians love artists, poets, and writers.
    When you do call it a night, be a gracious guest and don’t stiff the waiter or the band.
    Buon Viaggio!

    1. Pamela, thank you for this wonderful and extensive comment full of new ideas and things. I know that people in Italy promote/like artists like you mentioned. so next time I’m in San Marco il grab a table and write. Il sit there for hours 😉 a snack doesn’t sound like my idea esp in the bustling San Marco but I’d surely eat and go. San Marco is highly priced and not affordable for the entire day! Thanks for stopping by again. I wish the Buon Viaggio was for me as I’m not visiting again right now. But I hope someone is and they like these tips! Ciao!

  6. Venice is fabulous and getting lost there is something you should do. The back streets are wonderfully interesting and not crowded at all. I also love the fish market. I would love to get an apartment with a kitchen and take advantage of the delicious things on offer.

  7. I don’t understand why I have heard negative things (not here or by you) about Venice. I suppose folks are referring to the crowds but let’s face it, in what large city, especially a city know for tourism, isn’t crowded? With tourists and locals alike. NYC? Boston? San Francisco? LA? etc….have you seen the line to get on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty??? Yikes!
    As far as expensive, I didn’t find Venice expensive at all. Ok, so again, in the top tourist attraction areas, it might be, but it is at any tourist spot, anywhere. That’s a given.
    I love the idea of sitting somewhere and writing for hours. Getting lost is a great idea too – I wanted to do that and never did – obviously I didn’t venture deep enough and will on my next trip 🙂
    Love your blog, thanks for a great post and so many tips by so many bloggers!

    1. Very well put Rae. In fact when I went the first time I didn’t like either. mostly for the crowd. I hope the perception changes as you explained all big towns/cities are full of tourists coz of their beauty. I love the idea of writing and getting lost too. Hope our paths cross sometime.

  8. I love it when you get quick paragraphs of what is different bloggers favorite experience in a destination. It was so much fun to read all of these! Lots of good memories and also some that will be new to try next time we are in Venice!

  9. O wish I’d had this great collection of tips before I went there this summer but then again, we did end up taking lots of water taxis mainly for convenience, did a lot of getting lost mainly unintentional and absolutely loved people watching and listening to live music one night in Cafe Florian ☺

    1. Hahaha 🙂 Glad you were able to Shikha. Somehow I have seen lot of people complain about Venice but all you need to do is give it a little time. Its like any other city full of tourists except that its NOT 😉

  10. Love this post! Very informative. It has been years since I last visited Venice, but it is one of the most beautiful places that I had ever been to. Being back in Europe, I would definitely like to return for a second time someday! 🙂

  11. I’m definitely due for a visit to Venezia. Haven’t been in a long time. Getting lost is great advice. My other 2 recommendations are Torcello and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Both are great places to sketch….well I guess anywhere in Venezia is!

    1. Thank you for stopping by. Yes maybe make that visit next time you are there. I love Torcello and Peggy Guggenheim sadly I saw only from the outside. Next time 🙂

  12. And while wandering the vivid streets of this serene city, perhaps you would love it when you stumble upon the Ca’ Macana mask shop in the Dorsoduro quarter. It is one of the oldest and finest mask shops in Venice, one that devotedly guards the traditions of Venetian artisans from 800 years ago. It is also the shop that crafted the masks for the movie “Eyes Wide Shut” by Stanley Kubrik and the magic of its creations will dance you away in your very own cinema story!

  13. That is such a fun post! I like to read others thoughts about a place especially if it’s a legend such as Venice. What is the least touristic time in the year in Venice? Sometime beginning November maybe Monday to Friday? I would love to use the local channel bus, looks so much more real then the gondolas. The other day I watched a documentary on DW about the problems places such as Venice and Barcelona face due to huge amount of tourists. It’s a shame that cheap mass tourism is exploiting such unique places. Solutions will need to be put in place because it can’t continue that way. Ishita you know Manali too right? It’s crazy in the main season, I can’t explain it in words, that bad the situation is.
    Thanks for putting together this informative read. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Helene. So happy you enjoyed it. Yes Nove- Feb is a good time to go but frankly it is always crowded. Of course its definitely not a circus as it is in the summer. I will check this documentary but I am already aware of the fact and extremely sad. Even Cinque terre is another example. Manali is the best example.

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