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Venice - Tips & Resources for your next visit
Venezia is still one of the most interesting and lovely places in the world, it’s virtually the same as it was six hundred years ago, which adds to the fascinating character.
Did You Know?
- Venice is built on 117 islands, features 150 canals and over 400 bridges.
- Only 3 to 4 Gondolier licenses are issued annually. To qualify, applicants must be able to finish extensive training after passing a rigorous exam. There are only 400 licensed Gondolas operating in Venice today.
- Many famous people in history were born in Venice including the playwright and famous lover Giacomo Casanova, the explorer Marco Polo, and composer Antonio Vivaldi
There’s plenty to see and do within Venice, Romance is in the air with destination wedding services, charming art galleries and merry wine tours! In no particular order, here are some of my best picks from the internet below:-
The trip of a life time happens just once for most of us, make sure you get it right and visit MyMelange.net run by European Travel Consultant and Queen of the carry-on bag Robin. Robin is extremely passionate about Italy & Paris and offers custom itineraries that include things like foodie adventures for the independent traveller. Don’t be restricted by overcrowded group tours - Seek something more personalized than guidebook itineraries!
Whether you are travelling solo, with your significant other for a romantic vacation, or perhaps planning a girlfriend getaway, Robin will work with you to plan a unique experience, based on your interests, budget and travel style. Contact her to get information on custom tours which include things like cooking classes, wine tasting & market visits. All the tours are small and private and planned with English speaking locals.
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog
What better way to learn all about Venice than to follow the blog of award winning author Cat Bauer? Cat has lived in Venice since 1998 and is the author of Harley Like a Person & Harley’s Ninth, she was a regular contributor to International Herald Tribune's Italian supplement, Italy Daily, writing about the art, culture and architecture of Venice. Her popular blog, Venetian Cat – The Venice Blog has been featured in the Financial Times Arts & Weekend Magazine. Certainly one to follow ladies and gentleman!
War minus the Shooting
A site that I happened across upon my internet travels is a blog called “War minus the Shooting”. A sports blog written and edited by Dan Blows who is a second year sports journalist at Kingston University. Sports and travel lovers should check out his latest post on Venice as he highlights that the much loved lagoon isn’t all just full of water. Did you know the name of Venice’s football stadium? I didn’t either...
Venice Art Galleries:-
A couple of suggestions outside of the bigger galleries for those art lovers who may want to see what Venice can offer in terms of modern and contemporary painting and sculpture. Venice has always been considered one of the most important homes of art and culture in Italy, and the city offers countless possibilities you can make the most of by following their own taste and maybe asking around for a few insider tips.
Galleria San Maurizio
Galleria San Maurizio - Found in the historical part of Venice, 50mt from Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Francois Pinault Foundation and 20mt from Centurion Palace, The Galleria San Maurizio displays art from a variety of local artists and is well worth a visit. Space is also available for hire so you can view independent shows too.
Galleria S.Eufemia is a contemporary art gallery opened in 2008 in the Giudecca Island, Venice, its very bright and clean cut finish draws your eye to each piece of art. You might have to drag yourself out of here when visiting
Other than art galleries there are plenty of other sites to see and things to do in the beautiful city:
The very popular Venice Tours offered by the company Venice Events, have a huge number of tours on offer, you can take a trip to Cortina & the Dolomites, try some wine the Venetian way, or indulge in a Gastronomy tour, as well as this you can also opt to see Verona & Amarone, or Lake Garda in a Day ! Make sure you book your Grand Canal boat tour too, which is great value for money at 40 Euros for an hour’s guided tour. Venice Events aim is to try and show people places where you’d take your friends and family to see if they were visiting, and not just the main tourist sights! Notably they have been featured in The London Times, Top Ten Venice, Eye Witness guide and many other guide books
A leading wine tour operator in Venice, WineToursVenice.com offers some of the finest Wine Tasting Tours in Venice and the Veneto and Friuli region. For those who have a love of Wine and Food or just interested in visiting the gorgeous regions of the North, a tour is one of the easiest ways to experience all the flavours of Italy.
On offer to you are daily public tours, half and full day, and private tours with English speaking drivers/guides. Their love of Italian Wine and Gastronomy and the area will help you fully appreciate all there is to see.
A Venice running tour is a unique way to discover the real Venice and the perfect combination of fitness and sightseeing! To see Venice at 7.30am is to see it at its most charming. Free of tourists and crowded streets, the city is peaceful, beautiful and serene. With this unique jogging tour you can appreciate the real Venice, get some exercise and finish feeling refreshed and ready for a day of sightseeing. The route is about 5kms long and will give you the opportunity to see a great deal of Venice in a short space of time.
The route will take you past the picturesque district of "Castello", down to "S. Elena" at the end of Venice and then back to the centre, via the "Accademia Bridge" and the breathtaking "Zattere", from where you can look across to the island of Giudecca. The run will last between 45 minutes to an hour and there will be time for a coffee or a fresh orange juice in St Mark's before saying goodbye to your running companions.
You may have missed it this year but the Carnival of Venice 2011 is set to run from the 26th Feb to the 8th of March next year. Venice Carnival starts around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras). Get involved in the masquerade and find yourself swept away by the grandeur of the Masque Balls and Concerts, there is so much to choose from, it maybe be impossible to fit it all in.
Brek is a self-service style chain restaurant. On offer is a variety of pizza and pasta dishes along with mixed salads, fresh fruit and sweet desserts. The pasta dishes are usually cooked to order in front of you - A healthier option to fast food but still very fast! They also sell beer at reasonable prices and it can be found near the train station.
Rental Bike Venice
Available in Venice and throughout the whole of Italy, why not get a rental bike to meet you at your hotel or other point on your itinerary? You can arrange and pay for the service online before you leave knowing that you will have a bike waiting for you. There are also other services available such as looking after your luggage for you and getting it to meet you at a different point in your trip, tents, bike racks for your rented car – the list goes on. Visit their website for full information on the different kinds of services offered.
Logistics and Shipping in Italy
Bought too many souvenirs in Venice? Are they far too heavy to pack? I have the answer to your worries! Logistics and Shipping in Italy offers a special service for sending souvenirs and wine etc. They will come to your hotel and collect the items for you and then arrange shipping to your home address – Ah the convenience!
How to get Married in Venice:-
Venice is a city that represents the ultimate in romance. It is not a surprise to learn that it is one of the more popular locations in which to get married. To make your dream of a wedding in Venice come true. For a civil ceremony (if you are non-Catholic), you will need Certificates of No Impediment, passports and copies of them as well, witnesses, an interpreter if neither of you can speak Italian, and a registry fee. If one of you is Catholic, you can be married in a church.
This can be quite a challenging process if you don’t know what you are doing, here are choices of excellent destination wedding organizers who can help you through all of the confusion:-
Weddings in Italy is a full service event management firm, with twenty years of experience in creating Italy's most distinctive weddings - The only company able to organize weddings with legal validity in private locations throughout Italy.
They offer a one on one consultation, creation of your custom wedding budget, design collaboration & etiquette advice and if that wasn’t enough! They can also help you with the location of unique ceremony and reception sites, vendor search, guest accommodations, guest list management, on-site coordination for rehearsal, ceremony and reception and villa rentals for your honeymoon.
Working for Simonseeks, I come across travel services and other sites on the internet all the time. One that stood out from the crowd and truly caught my eye is TheVeniceWeddingPlanner.com. The Venice Wedding Planner is made up of a creative team of 3 (Anna Bozza, Giovanna Wurmbrand Stuppach & Hélène Salvadori).
They have lots of services on offer for couples looking for a Venice wedding which add that little something extra to your special day. Sit back and let the Planners take care of such things as guests baskets, hair and makeup artists, ceremony planning - This is just the start! Visit the website to find out more about the team and for a full list of services that make your day truly special.
Venice Events have created a range of Venice wedding packages designed to suit all tastes and pockets. These may be used as a whole and complete wedding programme or alternatively one may use each package as the basis for your wedding in Italy, choosing from a selection of 'extras' which can be added to the package which will also include all Administration, Handling and Documentation, Consular Fees, Wedding Licence and Marriage Certificate, Interpreter and a Wedding Co-Ordinator on hand throughout. Basically everything you need to get hitched without the hassle.
MyWeddingsandMore.com – Feel the love! This website can organise Flowers, music, jewellery, catering, your honey moon and much more. I recommend following their wedding blog which is excellent and full of fun stuff, tips and advice. They will cater for weddings all over Italy as well as Venice. Take a look at their “kudos” section to see just how happy they have made many other brides.
The pictures speak for themselves! MDV - Wedding in Venice Agency offers complete wedding services, enabling you to choose the level of involvement that suits you. Every couple has their own unique idea of what their wedding should be like. Here you have a whole host of options to choose from as well as a variety of services to tailor your wedding to your own needs and expectations.
If you’re looking to do some reading up about Venice, take a look at venice-italy-veneto.com and their page on the The Best Books about Venice, Italy. Whether you are looking to find out a bit more about food, history or simply looking for some travel tips, these books are well worth a read.
Let me know if any of the above proves useful to you or if you have used any of the above websites before. Tell me about your visit to Venice and leave me a comment below.
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