Little-known Facts about Travel to (and In) Venice

Best Time of Year to Visit—Least expensive time to visit, anyway, is late fall or winter. There will always be tourists in Venice, no matter the season, but this is the time of year to get the best deals on hotels.

Tiny canals all throughout the city serve as borders between the 100-plus islands that are Venice.

Sandy Beaches! Venice has sandy beaches on Lido Island. And Lido has streets, not canals, so that means Lido has cars, and can be accessed by car. Lido is also where the annual Venice Film Festival is held. (But you knew that, right?)

Take a Traghetto or Walk. Seriously. Taking a traghetto, as opposed to a gondola, which provides the least expensive method of public transportation during your stay in Venice, is the way to go. Otherwise, just walk, which is the preferred method of “transport” in Venice, anyway.

Air Travel or Train? It can cost the same to take a train while traveling to Venice from other Italian cities as it does to fly – and the time it takes to travel via train or air can be the same in some instances when you include check-in times or other such wait times like retrieving your baggage.

Besides, the faster trains can travel up to 180 mph to 210 mph (or 290 kph to 338 kph).

Least Expensive Accommodations—The least expensive places to stay in Venice are hostels, although they are few and far between. (Hostels are less luxurious than are hotels, but are usually just fine for many travelers, and some hostels even provide kitchenettes.)

The Best (Not the Worst) Food in Venice—By avoiding restaurants that have menus translated into several different languages, and by going to places where everyone seems to be speaking Italian, you will find the best (not the worst) Italian food.

It’s Okay to Get Lost in Venice—Really, it is. Even the most seasoned travelers get lost in Venice. Just be prepared to be patient. Know that Venice maps are divided into six neighborhoods (districts), or sestieri. Venice does not use street signs. And the addresses on the buildings go in order of having been built.

Districts, Not Street Signs! The six districts that Venice is divided into are: (1) San Marco, the center of Venice and most touristy; (2) Castello, which is east of San Marco; (3) Cannaregio, on the very northern edge of Venice, likely the first neighborhood you’ll happen upon when exiting a train; (4) San Polo, or S. Polo, located on the west side of Venice and is its commercial district; (5) Santa Croce, which is north of S. Polo, not very touristy; (6) Dorsoduro, the smallest Venice district and its most southern.

168 Outlying Venetian Islands—There are 168 outlying islands in Venice, but here are the four most notable: (1) the Lido, a summer resort and accessible by car, but well worth a visit year ‘round; (2) Murano, home of the famous glass factories; (3) Burano, which is famous for its lace and colorful homes; and (4) Torcello, the least populated of these islands but it contains the oldest Venetian monument, a Byzantine cathedral dating back from the 7th Century!

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