Visiting Venezia

Venice Italy

Venice is large, historic city in Northern Italy made up of more than 100 islands, with a combined population of just under 280,000 people.  The various islands are interconnected by numerous canals and waterways, famously known as the hosts for romantic boat tours (Venetian gondola rides) through the “floating city.”   Thanks to US popular culture and movies, Venice is a hot spot to visit when traveling abroad, particularly when coming from the States.

Venice has been a primary set location in many of Hollywood’s top movies:

  • Casanova
  • Casino Royale
  • Indiana Jones
  • Just Married
  • The Italian Job
  • Tomb Raider

…and many more.  The list is extensive, and that’s just Venice.  If we consider all of Italy, hundreds of movies have featured a scene or two with the picturesque Italian backdrop.

Venice Waterways

The picture above is from the Rialto Bridge and was taken during the month of April.  Tourism spikes shortly thereafter, mostly in the summer months, as the warm weather rolls in and water temperatures increase.  Many people come to Venice to walk the streets and absorb the rich history and culture, while others fly in for big events like Carneval (carnival), which began in the 1200’s.  Hundreds of thousands of natives and foreigners pack the streets decked out in elaborate costumes, marching through Venice.  The event features concerts, costume contests, wine tasting, parties, masquerades, and of course pub crawls.  The planned events have a wide price range, running anywhere from $45 for a pub crawl to over $800 for ritzy theme parties.

Don’t forget about the beaches in Venice, as that’s another great reason for a visit.

colors of venice

The city may look like one giant lake, but hiding at the end of the waterway, among the colorful buildings is a 6 mile strip of sand known as Lido di Venezia, Lido beach.  This island sits in between Venice and the Adriatic sea, and is a popular tourist spot, which explains the heavy foot traffic during the summer months.  Although Lido isn’t the most beautiful or the most clean beach in the Italy, it’s a nice one to visit and is loaded with hotels and places to stay.  The accommodations and the food on Lido are tailored toward tourist families.  This is easily noticeable when you take a look at the restaurant menus & portions or at the pricing for hotels.

You pay to use the beach in most spots, in addition to paying for umbrellas, chairs, etc.  However, there are free areas as well, such as Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta.  Should you choose to visit a different beach, the next closest one is Punta Sabbioni – which can be reached by boat.