Venice

Flying into Venice, you can see the causeway which is the only vehicular access to Venice.
Flying into Venice, you can see the causeway which is the only vehicular access to Venice.
Venice with its many canals and bridges.
Venice with its many canals and bridges.
Our hotel on a canal in Venice
Our hotel on a canal in Venice
The view from our hotel window of numerous bridges and canals.
The view from our hotel window of numerous bridges and canals.
A canal in Venice at night
A canal in Venice at night
A water bus on the Grand Canal at a "bus stop".
A water bus on the Grand Canal at a "bus stop".
A lot of boat traffic on the Grand Canal.
A lot of boat traffic on the Grand Canal.
Piazza San Marco mostly dry when we first arrived there.
Piazza San Marco mostly dry when we first arrived there.
Piazza San Marco with water starting to come up when we were leaving.
Piazza San Marco with water starting to come up when we were leaving.
A merchant in Piazza San Marco ready for the water!
A merchant in Piazza San Marco ready for the water!
Our gondola ride with music in the gondola beside us as we pass under a bridge.
Our gondola ride with music in the gondola beside us as we pass under a bridge.
Piazza San Marco at night completely in the dry
Piazza San Marco at night completely in the dry
Unloading a boat in Venice!
Unloading a boat in Venice!
Typical narrow canals in Venice
Typical narrow canals in Venice
A normal scene in Venice
A normal scene in Venice
Peggy Guggenheim Collection located on the Grand Canal
Peggy Guggenheim Collection located on the Grand Canal
One of Peggy's favorite bronze sculptures in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
One of Peggy's favorite bronze sculptures in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
More gondolas on the Grand Canal as seen from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
More gondolas on the Grand Canal as seen from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Getting back to our ship just before it set sail.
Getting back to our ship just before it set sail.
Piazza San Marco as our cruise ship sailed past Venice.
Piazza San Marco as our cruise ship sailed past Venice.

Venice is a city of 117 islands, separated by 177 canals and connected by over 400 bridges. This is an amazing sight to see as you fly into the Venice airport (if you happen to have a window seat on the right side). Hundreds of cruise ships begin or end their trips in Venice, thus there is a large cruise ship terminal to accommodate these thousands of tourists such as us.

Our trip actually included an additional day in Venice before we boarded our cruise ship. Getting from the airport to our hotel in Venice turned out to be very simple, we took public transit for 3 Euros each. We hopped on the bus with our suitcases at the airport and the end of the line was on the main island of Venice. From there we walked about 300 ft. to our hotel, the Best Western Hotel Olimpia. The secret is trying to get a hotel near the end of the causeway in Venice to where vehicles are allowed to drive, otherwise you either have to take a water bus, a water taxi or walk from there to your hotel which could be a very long way through narrow laneways and crossing numerous bridges. You also could take a water taxi directly from the airport to your hotel for about 100 Euros.

 

There is just so much to see and do in Venice but I will only mention the few things that we actually did. All the buildings are old and thus the hotel rooms are small but comfortable. We were on the fourth floor and the elevator holds either two people or one person with two suitcases!

 

We were hoping for a great Italian dinner and we were not disappointed as we found a small restaurant that had fantastic Italian cuisine. Afterwards we walked around the canals near our hotel but did not wander too far off as you can easily loose your bearings especially at night with so many bridges, canals and narrow walkways that go in all different directions.

 

The following morning we took a water bus along the Grand Canal to the Rialto stop and from there walked along numerous narrow alleys that had great shopping to Piazza San Marco which is the most famous area in Venice. When we arrived the plaza was mostly dry however some water was starting to seep through drains onto the surface. We spent about an hour there and by the time we were leaving we had to use some of the platforms that were set up to cross over the water. Apparently the water comes up if the wind and tide conditions are right, however the merchants have all adapted to this and when the water starts coming into their stores, they move things off the floors! They also wear waterproof boots or covers.

 

We took another water bus back to our hotel, checked out and a taxi driver helped take our suitcases the 300 ft. to the taxi, then onto our cruise ship, the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam. After dinner on the ship we had signed up for a shore excursion for a gondola ride, thus a water taxi met us at the ship and took us back to Piazza San Marco which was completely dry again. We had to walk through several narrow alleys at night and finally ended at a small water area that held about 20 gondolas. As we were traveling with two other couples, all six of us got onto the same gondola and began our nighttime romantic adventure. The gondola next to us had a guitar player and Italian tenor and they stayed with us, thus we had an amazing hour gliding along the dark canals of Venice, under numerous bridges (and kissing under the bridges) and into the Grand Canal being serenaded by Italian musicians in this City of Love! This magic moment ended too quickly and before we knew it, we had to return by water taxi to our ship.

 

The next morning we took a shore excursion to see the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and another water taxi had to take us there. This was Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection of amazing fine art located in a building on the Grand Canal. We made it back just in time to board the ship before it left. Luckily we had booked the excursion through HollandAmerica and they waited for us to return before leaving!

 

We then were treated to a fantastic sail past of Venice in beautiful sunny weather as we saw Venice one more time while the Venetians and tourists watched our ship glide past.

 

We definitely want to return to Venice the City of Love!

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Comments 2 comments

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Joe, we were in Venice 2 years ago and this brought back great memories. We are going back to Italy this fall and plan on spending 4 nights back in Venice and we can't wait. From Venice we will head to Sicily for 10 nights. I loved the aerial photos as you were flying into Macro Polo. Looks like the right side of the plane is where you want to be to get a view of Venice as you fly in? Thanks for sharing.


Joseph Hollick profile image

Joseph Hollick 4 years ago from Hamilton, ON Canada Author

Thanks for visiting this Hub and your comments. Yes I was on the right side of the airplane and was extremely happy to see Venice as we were landing. We only spent two days in Venice and would love to return for an extended visit as you are doing!

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