Venice Travel Tips For Local Experiences

April 24, 2012 11 Comments »

Venice Travel Tips
The skies opened up upon my arrival at the Venice train station

My arrival in Venice was a bit bleak as I looked out the train window. “It can’t rain on my short 4 days in Venice! I have too many fun tips to do for it to rain!” I thought.

Venice was the second stop on my Go with Oh Blogger Tour and I had chosen it as one of my 4 cities because I had always wanted to stay in Venice. I had actually been to Venice once before on my original career break, however, I was on a severe budget and stayed off the island and took a boat taxi every day to go explore which was good for my pocketbook, but it was a bit of a pain.

This time I was in the heart of Venice, in this palatial apartment thanks to Go with Oh!
Luckily I didn’t stay in this place all alone, instead, I had my friends Julie, Katrina, and Dario with me for a few nights since it had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms! It was a great home base from which to explore, and we even spent some nights ‘in’ cooking dinner for ourselves!

How to Have Local Experiences in Venice

I will be writing in much more detail about some of the Twitter travel tips and sites, plus some new ones I found on my own. But for now, this is a great collection of some of my favorite tips that led me around Venice…and yes, they got me lost!

Wine Tip

What can I say…I love wine, and I love wine even more when it can be bought in bulk…and it actually still good tasting! So, it may be no surprise that this was my pick for the Go with Oh tip winner!
@olga_valentin You can also take an empty water bottle/jug to a wine shop & fill it up with GOOD red wine for just a few euro

Do the Traditional

@Maria_Kristjans take a gondola ride:)

For the first time, I actually did take a gondola ride with Julie. We found that it is possible to negotiate prices with the Gondoliers, and if you go in the middle of the day (like we did) you can negotiate quite a bit. The demand is much higher in the evening for romance seekers. We talked our Gondolier, Little John, down to 60 Euro, and off we went! Little John was quite a catch since he sang to us the whole time. I guess he thought he’d supply his own romance! The vantage point of the gondola was great for photography!

Venice Travel Tips
Little John is warming up his voice!

@VickiFletcher88 Tip #1: Go to the peaceful and pretty old Jewish ‘Ghetto’ on Cannereggio where the word originated from.

Julie and I walked through the lovely Jewish Ghetto and even stopped and had a picnic lunch with this view dangling our feet over the canal and soaking up the sun!  A great way to spend little to no money if you take your own lunch and wander – sometimes the hidden spots have the best views.

Venice Travel Tips
A fun lunch spot near the Jewish Ghetto.

@GQtrippin chase pigeons in St. Mark’s Sq! Lol

Oh yes…a must-do!

Venice Travel Tips
Pigeon coming in for a landing in San Marco Square

Discover Hop-On Hop-Off European Train Travel!

See the markets and shop like a local

@JBCanepa To experience Venice like a local visit the Rialto Market in the early morning for some fresh food and homemade gifts!
@thetravolution Check out the fresh market at Rialto Bridge in the morn! U can beat the public eating ban and picnic in St.Elena Gardens!

Markets and me…well, we were a match made in heaven!  Of course, I made a stop at the Rialto Market. We even picked up food for dinner that night!

Venice Travel Tips
Artichokes were in season at the Rialto Market!

Drink Like a Local

@olga_valentin Join the locals in aperitivo w/ the orange-coloured drink Spritz (Campari, white wine & sparkling water)

Venice Travel Tips
Julie and I enjoying our Spritz

Eat at little cafes

@kets_1 Make friends with a singing gondolier! (you find them in cafés)

I did actually see a gondolier having a drink and a panini at a little local café, but I can’t say that I made friends with him. However, I did find that little cafes are the best place to experience local life. All the locals eat standing up!  In addition, I learned that the locals start drinking at 10 AM, and of course, I joined them…standing up.

Go to the islands

@wanderingwyatt My best Venice travel tip is to be sure to get to the little islands, like Murano! Oh, and have some tiramisu gelato. 😀

I did a whole day of travel around the islands of Murano and Burano and a very special stop at the Cimitero (the island cemetery). Want to guess which one was my favorite? The water taxis take you there and can get rather crowded – so my best advice is to go early and do them backward. Start with Burano (the colorful fishing village), then go to Murano (the glass-blowing island), and then make a stop at the Cimitero on the way back to Venice!  Oh yes, I did have gelato that day too!

Venice Travel Tips
Venice Travel Tips
Murano Glass
Venice Travel Tips
Cimitero – an island of graves

Get lost!

@Littleleona Hi! the best tip on Venice is to look up. High on the walls are directions to the nearest main bridge.You can’t get lost!

I loved this tip and used it every day. Pretty much every corner had an arrow to either the Rialto Bridge or San Marco Square. This really made it about impossible to get lost – and it also made for some great photos.

Venice Travel Tips
Signs in Venice were sometimes confusing!

@chipoblana No specific advice, but a heads up: you WILL get lost in Venice, and that will lead you to wonderful discoveries!!!

I specifically took time to simply wander with no plan, the smaller the street the better and I purposefully went to see dead ends. I took my time and my camera. These were a few of the ‘surprises’ I found when I was lost.

Venice Travel Tips
Venice alleys
Venice Travel Tips
I went right up to the edge of the canal and look what I found.

@aileenagan take the ‘wrong’ water bus on purpose and get to see another part of Venice. That happened to us!

I accidentally did this on my day in Venice as I was trying to head to the train station early in the morning. I intended to get on the ‘express’ perimeter water bus but ended up on a Grand Canal water bus. It ended up yielding the best boat trip down the Grand Canal that I took. Here’s why:

These tips should get you started for your stay in Venice, but there are many more where those came from! To see a complete list of all the tips including some great money saving ones, check out the Go with Oh Venice Tips. Thanks for all of the advice!

Also – check out my Go with Oh First Stop and the great Rome Travel Tips I received!

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