Soulboy

Venice....any inputs?

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We are going in April.

Flights and accommodation booked.

Now I know there's lots of classic things to see and do.....but just wondering if anyone has anything else to add - sort of stuff not on the usual tourist hit list?

Ta

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Never been before  but will gladly update you when I get back as my Ms and I are going in three weeks time I think. +++

Will keep an eye in here as well for any ideas the seasoned in here might give.

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Fantastic city.  My favourite, easily.

Do all the tourist stuff, it is essential (and there is plenty of it).

I see Venice as a people watching City.  It is glorious to sit, sipping a drink, watching people amble across the square or anywhere else for that matter.

To be honest, beyond the tourist stuff there isn't a great deal more to do except take in the breath-taking marvel as to how the place is even still there.  The buildings come to life in the warmth of the late afternoon sun.  It is a photographers paradise in that respect.

You're very close to the Austrian border (and Slovenia for the matter) too so you could always plan a day trip over there (easily do-able). 

However, it depends on how long you're going for.  I see it as the perfect 3-day weekend City.

p.s. I forgot to add, I don't care what anyone says, it is essential that you grab a coffee (if you're into coffee) at Florian.  Cake too, they do delicious cake!  For food, if you treat yourself to one expensive place then do Riviera.  Stunning view of the grand canal when you're eating.  It is worthwhile getting off the beaten track a little but don't forget that you're still in a major City.  I think it is easy to do that in Venice but it is a City in which 90% of what you'll want to do and see is in a very small and concentrated area anyway.  Make sure you have a pizza anywhere along the front route of the grand canal where all the tour boats (glass roofed) pull in.  Down from there are some of the best pizza making restaurants you'll find anywhere in the world and they're well priced too once you get further away from the square.

Edited by NewNiceMrMe
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Oh and yes, as you might have guessed, I do rather like Venice. :roflmao:

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44 minutes ago, NewNiceMrMe said:

take in the breath-taking marvel as to how the place is even still there.

The city "foundations" are tree trunks which were hammered (literally) into the sea. They rely on an anaerobic environment to stay as they are, although it's slowly being eroded.

Reminds me of the end of that James Bond movie in Venice where one building collapsed straight down into the sea...

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Yes, I have been watching the series and I'd been on a short tourist thing that explained that when I first went there (1990, I think).

Brilliant series as you say and it emphasised how important Venice used to be as a City.

Unfortunately, and something that I felt the programme failed to put across - the work they're doing to prevent the erosion isn't anywhere near as fast enough as it needs to be.  The place isn't going to be there for future generations, or at least not in the way you can still enjoy it today.  

I don't have the figures but I think the ratio of visitors to residents per annum is now 100:1.  It is the popularity of the place that will kill it.

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5 minutes ago, NewNiceMrMe said:

It is the popularity of the place that will kill it.

It's a shame Birmingham's not popular then...

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Thanks NNMM for the tips.

We are going for a week - so prob get a train to Florence as well one day, as it's only 2h.

Have also been watching the hidden cities programmes.

+++

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A week is plenty of time to explore it fully and I really would recommend a trip over the Brenner Pass and into Austria.  The scenery is breath taking.

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I'm guessing Spring is the best time to go isn't it? Given that it's a bit pongy in the heat of the summer. 

Or is that a false rumour. 

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I went in the middle of summer.  You only get the odor people like to talk about down the really shitty side canals and even then I didn't notice it.

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Joking aside... :roflmao:

I have done a lot of business in Birmingham over the last 3 years.  Prior to that it wasn't a City I'd been to much.

I have to say it is nothing like most people think it is, or certainly not nowadays.  The canals around the City centre area look fantastic and it has had a huge amount of money spent on it.  Anyone visiting it today can't help but be surprised at how many cranes are towering in the sky because of all the building projects.  Oh and they have by far the most impressive rail station in the UK, probably Europe.

The problem is one of perception.  It is perceived as a shit hole because I'm told it used to be (as I say, I didn't go there often so I can't claim to say that is personal knowledge of it in the past).

Compared to London it is also very clean in the City centre.  The only City that I think has rivalled it for development and change is Manchester, as the two are locked in a battle to be the UK's No.2 City (and Manchester is winning commercially right now).

If anyone gets the chance to visit it, go.  I think you'd get a pleasant surprise.  I am back there about 10-15 times in the year ahead (it'll end up being more, but I'll be there at least that many times) and when I see it in my diary I don't think "Aw, crap" like I do when I see other places - such as Liverpool, Glasgow, Sheffield, the other place I can't mention, etc.

I'm in York and London this week.  The former is becoming a mess and the latter is a dump when it comes to the cleaning of the roads and removal of rubbish from the pavements.  It might surprise people to know that I think Birmingham is a much cleaner place in the City centre than York, but it is.  If I was a student looking for somewhere outside of London that offered opportunities in future years, I'd be heading to Manchester or Birmingham, because they're both on a major route upwards.

 

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B'ham city centre is impressive.  The only parts I now see are the surrounding areas and it's just a mass of concrete, fecked up roads, high-rise dual carriageways, motorways and "Star City".  I'd rather not go there at all.

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18 hours ago, billy2shots said:

I'm guessing Spring is the best time to go isn't it? Given that it's a bit pongy in the heat of the summer. 

Or is that a false rumour. 

It is indeed a false rumour.

 

I've been a few times over the years, it used to be smelly, overpoweringly so, eye watering, make your retch smelly on a really warm day, but that was some 20 years ago, they have since installed a proper sewerage system and it solved the problem once and for all.

 

Personally I think a whole week is a bit too long for Venice, but if you take things slowly and make a couple of trips as well I guess you could fill your time, the Italian Lakes aren't far away and stunningly beautiful.

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I think a week is slightly long but if it is used as a relaxing trip rather than a normal City-break, it is the best place for it.

I'm not sure what it is about Venice but it has an almost unparalleled ability to make you want to sit outside a cafe and watch the world go by.  Perhaps it is because of its relative confinement and seeing so many people, from so many walks of life, go past.  

One tip I forgot to mention is regarding the glass roof boats.  If you go on one of those, wait until the absolute last minute before it sets off.  If it is a hot day they have a horrendous greenhouse feel to them.  I've seen people pass out, almost like they'd all been struck by a hammer, in groups over a matter of a minute.  

Oh and the gondoliers - get a cheery one.  They do exist, albeit in small numbers, but the majority are some of the most miserable feckers you could ever have the misfortune to meet.  The earlier in their day that you get them, the better they'll be.

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MrMe's comment about the glass roof boats reminded me of the glass bridge, completely irrelevant as it won't be winter and they've fixed it now, but I went to Venice in February something like 10 or so years ago, it was a bit cold and icy and the glass bridge was a death trap, I could see people slipping about on it but just thought they were being dramatic, I was young and full of bravado, did a sort of fast walk/jog type thing up the oddly spaced shallow steps with my small suitcase and promptly fell straight on my arse and knackered my coccyx, didn't do much sitting down after that for about a month.

Edited by Tipex

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Ah, Constitution Bridge.

The City of Venice sued the architect because of the oversight you mention.  I have never quite understood how they didn't think to ask if it would be slippery, especially given the arc it has, before commissioning it.  Perhaps they did and when he said "No" they just replied with "Oh, okay then, go ahead". :roflmao:

 

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2 hours ago, Tipex said:

10 or so years ago...  I was young

:roflmao:

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On 1/31/2017 at 6:29 PM, NewNiceMrMe said:

Ah, Constitution Bridge.

The City of Venice sued the architect because of the oversight you mention.  I have never quite understood how they didn't think to ask if it would be slippery, especially given the arc it has, before commissioning it.  Perhaps they did and when he said "No" they just replied with "Oh, okay then, go ahead". :roflmao:

 

The oddly spaced steps didn't help either, every time you get a rhythm the spacing changes, really awkward and you have to look where you're putting your feet rather than at the view.

On 1/31/2017 at 8:06 PM, Mook said:

:roflmao:

I was in my twenties 10 years ago, just, I think that qualifies as young, certainly younger than you. :P

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On 31/01/2017 at 6:29 PM, NewNiceMrMe said:

Ah, Constitution Bridge.

The City of Venice sued the architect because of the oversight you mention.  I have never quite understood how they didn't think to ask if it would be slippery, especially given the arc it has, before commissioning it.  Perhaps they did and when he said "No" they just replied with "Oh, okay then, go ahead". :roflmao:

 

Or maybe they said it will be hugely impractical.....but it will look really nice!

That would be a done deal in Italy.

 

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On 1/31/2017 at 10:08 AM, Mook said:

B'ham city centre is impressive.  The only parts I now see are the surrounding areas and it's just a mass of concrete, fecked up roads, high-rise dual carriageways, motorways and "Star City".  I'd rather not go there at all.

Brum. Urgh. 

Yes, I've been. Often and everywhere. Urgh.

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Back now so I'll update as I said I would before I forget. Got back last night.

Stayed in a fantastic old style (The Metropole) hotel overlooking the Adriatic about 100m from Piazza San Marco which is the main square.

As others have said. Extremely beautiful place and being there from Valentines day till yesterday, I think the 2 nights and 3 full days we were there was the right amount of time. By the time we were leaving last night, I was ready to leave.

We arrived Tues morning around 11 am, checked in and took a wander round the city. Carnevale was on (Masked party was on) So around the square, professional poseurs in outrageous costumes and masks were milling around the square. A sight to see.

After watching them for a while, we just walked and walked prepared to get lost knowing we could always trace our steps back to San Marco Piazza getting to know a lot of the back streets and delving further into the city. It is here we noticed that absolutely everything is tourist driven. Taking in the intricacies of all the backstreets and bridges, there is always a hotel, a gift shop, restaurant or designer branded shop at every turn. Grabbed a Pizza at a place that reckoned it was the first Pizza store in Venice in 1847 or so. Pretty good stuff.

Early evening, we returned to San Marco. Sat in the square to have a coffee and a bun and watch the world go by in the early evening sun. Pretty expensive though  I must say at  15 for a cup of tea. That made my eyes water but had been walking a while and just wanted to sit down so didn't mind that one time.

Valentines evening we got the Vaporetto (the public ferry) about 2 km to the next stop to go to Rivieras as recommended by NNMM. (Try imagine trying to explain who NNMM is to the Ms):lol:. Faultless meal though I feel getting a seat would've been difficult if we hadn't pre-booked though.

Wednesday, we bought an attraction day pass for about  25 each to visit a few of the attractions. Visited the Doges Palace that's in the square. As we'd watched the programme recommended by Mook above, it was nice seeing everything in real life and knowing the history behind it. Also visited a museum thats in the corner of the square. Didn't get to visit St.Marks Basilica within the same square as by the time we got there, It had shut for some reason.

In the evening, walked to the Rialto bridge, over the canal and was just moving from one alleyway to the next when we came upon this small place and decided to go in. Spent the rest of the evening indulging in chicchetti (Italian version of Tapas).

Yesterday we visited the Murano glass factory in the morning, the hotel gives it guests a ride to the Island and brings them back. Its €15 each way if you want to do this on your own. Here you'll see how Murano glass is made and be taken around their store afterwards where you can buy a set of six drinking glasses for €750 , Chandeliers for €50k and upwards or a nice glass chess set for €5k. Unfortunately I didn't see anything that tickled my fancy.

On arrival back from the factory, we did the mandatory Gondola ride. Paid €120 for the longer route which took us through a lot of the back canals and up the Grand canal before doing a U-Turn upstream back to where we started from.

Grabbed lunch, picked up our bags around 6pm last night and left.

A nice break and the right amount of time in my opinion. Beautiful. Nice to not see a car for a few days and enjoy the place.

My one gripe! Feckin Chinese/Japanese/Asian (Im not pointing fingers) tourists.

Is it the norm for them to blatantly barge in to you as you're strolling around and them to continue as if nothing happened? Aaarggh.!!

I cant count the number of times this happened. I really felt like tapping one of them on the shoulder asking them did they not realise what they did and lamp em one!

Oh and my feet still hurt!+++:roflmao:

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Ridiculous.

Just checked my Fitbit App

Day one  - 26 Floors (I presume that would be up the bridges), 17.62km Walked

Day Two - 37 Floors, 21.44km walked

Day Three - 10 Floors, 11.63km walked.

No wonder my feet hurt.:rolleyes:

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