Venice, Italy, comes with all the charm of historic buildings, and busy canals. The ambiance and history of the city make it a top attraction in Italy. Literally constructed in a huge lagoon, the “floating city” actually includes over one hundred islands. These are linked by bridges and canals. When you visit Italy, it’s useful to know a few things before you go on your tour as it’s like no other city in the world.
1. Stay overnight in Venice proper
Most people don’t actually overnight in Venice proper. However, to experience it without the crowds and get a glimpse of Venetian life it’s worth stopping over for a few days.
The most important tip is to choose a hotel close to the Canal Grande. With no cars in Venice, you won’t want to heft a lot of heavy luggage around. Try for one of the hotels close to the Rialto water taxi stop. From there, you can easily explore the Bridge of Sighs, Riva Degli Schiavoni and the Piazza San Marco.
2. Know the rules for tickets and ferries
The ferry tickets may be purchased at machines. But if you get stuck and cannot find one, you can buy them when you go aboard. But please remember to tell the staff on the ferry immediately that you don’t have a ticket. Trying to ride for free could land you a hefty fine.
Even if you do buy your ticket from a machine, you still need to validate it in the water taxi stop’s machine. But the top tip for your Venice tour is to go online to the Venezia Unica website and look at their Public Transport Tickets. Often, these come discounted and last for days. You can select the options you need for 24/7 transport around the city.
3. Don’t forget to tour the outer islands
Venice has more to offer than just the usual sights from the bridges and the Canal Grande. The outlying islands also form part of this magical city and tours take you there under the watchful eye of a guide.
For a first-time Venice visitor, a Murano, Burano, and Torcello half-day sightseeing tour helps expand your perceptions. The North Lagoon islands present a range of crafts like lace making and glass blowing. Each island comes with different types of local food to try.
4. Take an iconic gondola ride with a difference
When you think “Venice, Italy,” you probably think about gondolas. These sleek black boats bring ancient history to life and of course, you should take a ride on one. But Real Venetian Row takes it a step further.
They take you around the canals in a gondola but also teach you how to row it. Just as the Venetians do, learn to wield your paddle on the canals. The professional instructor may not serenade you, but hey, you’re in Venice, so you could always burst into song yourself!
5. Go on a Kayak tour for an eco-friendly adventure
Eco-travelers will appreciate the natural low-impact aspect of a kayak tour. Not only do you get to see the canals and buildings of Venice at sea-level, but you do some good as well.
Strongly anti-pollution and determined to protect the waterways, you may even see your guide collecting litter from the water to take it away. The kayaks, of course, have no motors, so they don’t pollute the water either. Real Venetian Kayak offer group, private, and night tours. When the tide is high, you may even enter areas where the pavements glide beneath your boat.