Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Venice on my Mind

Ciao a tutti,
This week I've been up to the beautiful city of Venice and would like to talk to you about what Venice can offer you at this time of year. This weekend reached 24°c in Venice so if you're lucky it can still be a temperate time of year.

Venice - the QT
Home of the gondola, the Rialto bridge and St Marks Square, we all know the basic tourist sights in Venice. At once familiar to all of us from films, television commercials and even computer games the Venitian cityscape is a magnificent thing of beauty. Venice was once a bustling city state independent from Italy and in many ways, as well as being geographically adrift from the mainland, still likes to think of herself as seperate entity. Today we are going to look not at the Venice of memory, but Venice as the Venetians enjoy. These attractions and recommendations come from th people of Venice.
Who flies to Venice?
  • EasyJet fly daily from Gatwick, Belfast and East Midlands.
  • RyanAir fly daily to Treviso from Dublin, Stansted and Liverpool.
  • Click Here to view all incoming flights into Treviso Airport.
  • Click Here to view all incoming flights into Venice Marco Polo.
What hotel deals can you offer me?

Venice is packed with beautiful hotels positioned on the Grand Canal that are somewhat pricey. There are cheaper options on the Island but for a really cheap deal you'll need to be on the mainland in Mestre or the cheaper Island of Venice Lido. These prices are an example of 7 December, 2 Nights, 1 Double Room.
We highly recommend the deals on offer at the Duodo Palace or the Hotel Delfino, which offers great prices for a 4 star hotel in Venice. The hotel has its own pool and is very luxurious - a great bargain.

Click to see all Venice Hotels

What else can I see and do in Venice?

The City of Venice is split into 6 main areas that you will need to be familiar with when touring the city. The six districts are named Cannaregio, San Polo, Dorsoduro (including the Giudecca), Santa Croce, San Marco (including San Giorgio Maggiore), and Castello (including San Pietro di Castello and Sant'Elena). The Cannaregio is the most populus area of the city with many hotels options. It is also home to the Jewish Ghetto, the Ca' d'Oro and the St Lucia station. San Polo is the smallest and oldest part of the city situated along the Grand Canal the main attraction here is the Rialto Bridge. Dorsoduro also includes Giudecca and here you can find the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, the Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim collection. Santa Croce is the only area of Venice where cars can travel and houses the main bus depot. Attractions in Santa Croce include the Church of San Nicola da Tolentino and the Centre for the History of Costume. San Marco is Venice's msot famous district where St Marks square is located as well as Doge's Palace, La Fenice Theatre and Palazzo Grassi. Finally Castello, the largest district and home to the 13th century shipyards and the Scuola di San Marco.

Accademia - L'Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia was founded in 1750 by the Venetian Senate as the city's school of painting, sculpture, and architecture. In Vencie, it is uniformly known as the Accademia and mainly as a museum. The aim was to replicate official institutions which had existed for many years in other major artistic centers. It was one of the first institutions to study art restoration starting in 1777 with Pietro Edwards, and formalized by 1819 as a course. L'Accademia still holds some of the worlds greatest works of art including works by Canaletto, Giorgione, Charles Les Brun, Lorenzo Lotto, Mantenga, Piazetta, Preti and most famously, Leonardo da Vinci's "Drawing of Vitruvian Man"

Doge Palace is a hugely impressive building standing on the Grand Canal next to the Bridge of Sighs. Perhaps it is here, more than any other Venetian building where you get a real sense of Venice's changing fortunes. Visit the Chancellors Office, the man responsible for writing all the secret documents of the Republic and learn how the Venetian guaranteed his loyalty! Check out the gruesome Torture Chamber where enemies of the state would be tortured before the state inquisitors. Learn about the single form of torture that the Venetians used, and why no-one was able to resist the pain! "I Piombi" Prisons, were wooden cells beneath the lead roofs of the Palace that would be intolerably hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter months. It was in these cells that the famous lover Casanova was incarcerated and here you learn about the trumped up charges that Casanova's enemies used against him to imprison the world's most famous lover. If you want to take a tour of the Doge's Palace in Venice offer summer tours.  

Peggy Guggenheim Collection is Venice's most eclectic and forward looking museum with prominent American modernists and Italian futurists artists on prominent display. Famous artists including Picasso, Dali, Brancusi and Jackson Pollack all have works on display. The collection is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an unfinished 18th century palazzo which was never built past the ground floor level. In one room, the museum also exhibits a few paintings by her daughter Pageen Vail. In the courtyards between the main buildings are sculpture gardens containing an extensive collection of works. Its most famous (or notorious) exhibit is the 1948 bronze "The Angel of the City" by Marino Marini, positioned at the front of the palazzo, facing the Grand Canal.
Where can I eat in Venice?
Venice is an expensive city but it also has some of the best cuisine on the planet. Below we offer some suggestions that cater to all budgets.
Here are some recommendations (£ - Inexpensive - under £10 for a main course - ££ - Reasonable £10-£15 for a main course - £££ - Pricey £15-£24 for a main course- ££££ - Expensive £25-£35 for a main course - £££££ - Daylight Robbery - £35+ for a main course)
That's it for Venice. A city worth a second visit and offering more than €10 coffee's in St Marks Square. We also recommend, if visiting in summer, to use the beaches on Venice Lido that are very appealing and child friendly. Venice is a city of Expos and Film Festivals so book well in advance.

Next Wednesday we will review the city of Dublin and take a look behind the Guiness and Temple Bar. Ciao for now HotelClickers!

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