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Venice, Italy Vacation Travel

More About Venice - Editor's Tips - Weather Maps & Dining

When to go?
Visit Venice for the annual festival of Carnevale, if your fancy is masquerade balls (some open to the public for a price), historical street processions, free concerts, and crowds. Carnevale reaches a festive crescendo the Friday to Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (check your calendar, Ash Wednesday can fall anywhere between February 4 and March 10). Be aware that the winter months can be cold and foggy, and several times each winter waters rise above the level of the plazas and streets. Boardwalks are constructed to mitigate the flooding and life goes on. Weather can get uncomfortably hot and humid in July and August, when southeasterly Scirocco winds in blow over Venice. Weather is generally best during April, May, June, September and October.

Where to stay?
Hotels in Venice are as unique as the city itself. Finding a room that best suits your preferences can be tricky. Due to groundwater levels, many hotels don't have elevators, including some of the luxury establishments. Also, a room with a view of the Canals can be romantic during the day, but a noisy nuisance at night. Your best bet is to ask lots of questions when making your reservation. Lastly, remember to pack lightly, as it can be difficult getting your luggage on and off boats and up and down stairs.

What to do?
Transporting yourself around town is one of best parts of the Venice experience. Water buses known as vaporetti, serve most needs. Three and seven day passes can save money and hassle. The private water taxis, taxi acquei, are expensive and do not offer much advantage. Of course, walking is always a great alternative, but be sure to get a map before going down the maze of alleys and bridges. And about Gondolas, yes they are touristy and expensive, but if you need to satisfy your curiosity, be sure to negotiate cost and duration before you leave. Shopping in Venice is also as unique as the city itself. Visit the island of Murano for blown glassware and the island Burano for delicate lace. You can find artisans selling hand crafted paper-mache Carnevale masks throughout town any time of year.


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