City Tours in Venice: useful information on Venice

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City Tours in Venice: Useful Information

Venice street directionIf you dare exploring the City by yourself, you might get the feeling that you will soon get lost. Don’t worry too much! A detailed map is all you need to orientate. Yellow placards will point you in the direction of the main landmarks, such as S.MARCO(St. Mark’s Square), RIALTO (the Rialto Bridge), ACCADEMIA (the Accademia Galleries), FERROVIA (the railwaystation), P.LE ROMA (Piazzale Roma, the car terminal).

Venice street name sign The white signs rimmed in black are commonly called "nizioletti" (small sheets). They are painted on the houses walls at the hight of the ground floor ceiling, and give you the name of a street or of a square (campo). Venetian dialect is applied to local names so you might encounter some inconsistencies in spelling between street signs and guide books.

Venetian Gondolas A regular gondola ride is charged around 80 euros for 45 minutes. The price is the sameup to six persons, the maximum a gondola can carry . If you take the gondola after 7.00 pm the price increases.Gondoliers don’t sing! If you would like a serenade to be played for you, you have to consider an extra charge and book it in advance.
Along the Grand Canal you can find several gondola-ferry station (traghetto): there you can get a gondola to get across the Canal for 50 euro-cents. It’s not as romantic, but it’s much cheaper and still an experience

Venice CardVenice has an excellent public transportation system, but non-residents fares are high: 3,50€ for an adult riding on most waterbuses or autobuses, or 5,00€ to ride the vaporetto on the Grand Canal. If you plan to use public transportation often, you might consider to get the Venice Card, which comes in two colors, Blu and Orange, each available for 1, 3, or 7 days.

The Venice Card must be reserved at least 48 hours before your arrival in Venice. The easiest and cheapest way buy the Venice Card is to order it online. You then print out your receipt/voucher and use it to claim your card when you arrive in Venice.

You can purchase the Venice Card on line at:

Venice Museum CardThe "City Museums of St Mark’s Square" combined ticket (11 euros) covers the entrance to the Doge’s Palace, the Correr Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Sansoviniana Library.

If you visit Ca’ Rezzonico, the same ticket (8 euros) will allow you to see Ca’ Mocenigo, the museum of Ancient Costume.

If you are planning on visiting some of the treasuries contained in the churches of Venice, make sure you will dress appropriately. They are considered place of worship, so beachwear, shorts and sleeveless clothes are not allowed. You must wear bermudas or skirts to the knee and must cover your shoulders. At the entrance of the Basilica of St. Mark’s you can buy a pareo with 1 euro.

Generally pictures, with or without flash, and videos are not allowed inside museums or churches, as all works of art are copyrighted.

When visiting Museums and some of the Venetian Churches, including the Basilica of St. Mark’s, for security reasons you will be required to leave backpacks and large bags by a cloackroom (no charge).

Venice flooded From mid September to mid April the City is subject to floodings. You can’t say in advance how many time it’ll flood as every year is different. We can have 5 as well as 50 or more floods in a year. The acqua alta has always been a natural feature in Venetian life. Yet, in the last Century the problem has worsened and the phenomenum presents itself more and more often, expecially now that the Global Warming of the Earth causes the rising of the sea level .

It is a combination of seasonal tides and particular weather conditions that causes the Acqua Alta in Venice. The lagoon basin experiences two high tides and two low tides every day. . During high tide the sea flows in through the three port-mouths that provide access to the lagoon; then, during ebb tide, it flows back out into the Adriatic, carring refuse with it. It is a southern, warm wind (scirocco) which alters the natural flowing of water. First it forces the water of the Adriatic sea through the three port-mouths and then its constant blowing prevents the water from flowing back out again.

Old picture of Venice with high waters As Venetians, we have grown used to acqua alta. In our own way, we are organized. We have our rubber boots, an alarm which sets off and can be heard in the whole lagoon, and then all the gang-planks where people can walk on. If you happen to be in Venice with a flooding, don’t stop on the gang-planks to take pictures: they are the only way to get to work for many locals!

Usually from 9:00/9:30 am to 7:30/8:00 pm. Groceries close from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Visitors from non-European countries can claim a tax refund on purchases that exceed 150 euros from the one shop. Most shop keepers will have the tax-refund forms. The form is to be stamped by the airport custom office and mailed upon leaving Europe. You can also get a cash refund (euros or US dollars) in Venice from the appropriate office, yet you will still have to stamp and mail the form from the airport (credit card guarantee is required)

The main Rialto Post Office is open Monday to Saturday from 8:10 am to 7:00 pm. Other Post Offices usually close at 1:30 pm. Stamps are also sold at tobacconists displaying a black-and-white bi “T” sign.

Cashpoints are plentiful all over Venice, usually outside bank premises, and allow you to withdraw money 24 hrs.

All the mayor Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) are widely accepted in shops, hotels, restaurants
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