Venice is a beautiful Italian city that surpasses all expectations. This extraordinary island city off the eastern coast of Italy deserves all the praise that it gets. There is truly no place like Venice. This is a city where you can truly get away from the hustle and bustle of real life. There are no roads, no cars, and no traffic. The island of Venice is separated by 400 canals that are connected together by bridges to make the island livable for its citizens and a dream for its visitors. Here you will find out how to make the most of your 24 hours in Venice.
Besides the absolute uniqueness and beauty of the city, Venice has recently been drawing visitors from all over the world for one very scary reason: The city is sinking. It is slowly sinking more every year. The waters have been rising around Venice over the past decades. The main square in Venice used to flood twice a year. Now it floods 60 days a year. In fact, when we went, the city was flooded.
History of Venice
Venice is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in the world. Its history is full of twists and turns, making it a fascinating place to explore. The city was founded by refugees from the mainland in the 5th century, and it soon grew into a major center of commerce and art. Venice was a powerful city-state for centuries, and its merchants were some of the most wealthy and influential people in Europe. However, its prosperity was not to last. In the 18th century, Venice began to decline as a result of wars and natural disasters. Today, it is a popular tourist destination, but it is also a city with a rich history that is well worth exploring.
How To Get to Venice
When driving to Venice, Italy, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, be sure to allow plenty of time for the drive, as it can take anywhere from 5 to 7 hours depending on your starting point. Secondly, make sure you are aware of the many tolls that are in place along the route; while they are not expensive, they can add up if you’re not prepared. Finally, be sure to plan ahead and reserve a parking spot in Venice before you arrive. There is a large amount of traffic going into the city and finding parking can be difficult and expensive. Once you get to the island, you will not be able able to drive anywhere so you will need to plan to park and leave your car behind while you explore.
How to Day Trip From Florence to Venice
There are a few ways to get from Florence to Venice. One option is to take a bus. Buses depart from the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence and arrive at the Piazzale Roma in Venice. The trip usually takes around 3-4 hours.
Another option is to take a train. Trains depart from the Florence Santa Maria Novella station and arrive at the Venice Santa Lucia station. The trip usually takes around 2-3 hours.
How to Day Trip From Rome To Venice
There are several ways to get from Rome to Venice. One way is to take a bus. The bus departs from Rome’s Tiburtina Bus Station and arrives at Venice’s Marco Polo Airport. The trip takes about three and a half hours.
Another way to get from Rome to Venice is by train. The train departs from Rome’s Termini Train Station and arrives at Venice’s Santa Lucia Train Station. The trip takes about two and a half hours.
How to Day Trip from Milan
When trying to get from Milan to Venice, the most popular option is to take a bus. Buses depart from the Milano Lampugnano bus station and arrive at the Venice Marco Polo Airport. The trip usually takes around three hours.
Another option is to take the train. Trains leave from the Milano Centrale train station and arrive at the Venice Santa Lucia train station. The trip usually takes around two hours.
Getting Around Venice
Venice is a city built on water. The only way to get around is by boat or walking. There are no cars in Venice. The best way to see Venice is by boat. There are many different types of boats that you can take. You can take a gondola, a Vaporetto (the ferry), or a taxi boat. A Vaporetto is a large boat that has room for about 150 people. It is the cheapest way to get around Venice. A taxi boat is a more expensive way to get around Venice than the Vaporetto, but it is also the fastest way to get around.
You can buy your tickets for the ferry in advance or simply purchase them when arrive, and you can flag water taxis down at any time.
Neighborhoods in Venice
There are six majo neighborhoods in Venice. The Cannaregio is one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in the city. It’s located on the north side of Venice and is known for its narrow streets and canals. The San Marco is another popular neighborhood in Venice. It’s home to St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, two of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. The Dorsoduro is another notable neighborhood in Venice. It’s located on the south side of the city and is home to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which is one of the largest collections of modern art in Europe.
Flooding in Venice
Venice is a city that is constantly subjected to intense flooding. There are many reasons for the flooding, but it continues to get worse over time. One of the main reasons for the flooding is the city’s location. Venice is located in a lagoon (an enclosed bay on the Adriatic Sea), and is therefore susceptible to high tides and storms. In addition, the city was built on mudflats, which means that it is not very stable and can easily be flooded. The city’s drainage system also contributes to the problem. The drainage system was not designed to handle such a large population, and as a result, it often becomes overwhelmed during times of heavy rain or high tide. In addition to this, Venice’s many canals also contribute to the flooding. The canals act as rivers, and when they overflow, they can cause extensive damage to the city. It is common for their to be rerouted streets or flood platforms around the city to help you navigate when the streets are flooded.
Famous Sites in Venice
There are many famous and beautiful places to see in Venice, and it is impossible to see them all in one day. With just 24 hours in Venice, you will have to pick and choose which sites to see (or decide to stay longer!). I recommend looking up some of the following famous sites ahead of time and plan which ones are most exciting to you so that you don’t miss them. You can also group sites by location. This is a tourist map of Venice and can be helpful in planning.
Below is a list of a few of the major sites that are worth looking into:
- St. Mark’s Basilica
- Rialto Bridge
- Doge’s Palace
- Bridge of Sighs
- St. Mark’s Square
- Campanile di San Marco
- Palazzo Ducale
- Piazza San Marco
- Teatro La Fenice
- Gallerie dell’Accademia
- Grand Canal
- Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
- Saint Mark’s Basilica
- Guggenheim Collection
- Accademia Gallery
- Peggy Guggenheim Museum
- Saint Mark’s Campanile
- Ca’ d’Oro
- La Fenice
Ideal Schedule for A Day in Venice
In the Morning of Your 24 Hours in Venice:
Take a Gondola Ride or Kayak Down the Canals of Venice
Everyone knows that Venice is famous for its gondolas with men in striped shirts and hats singing to you as they row you down the Grand Canal. For some people, it is a dream and a bucket list item, for others, it’s not their thing.
It is important to note that it may not be as romantic as you may think. The Grand Canal is like a highway for Venice. There are ferries, water taxis, personal boats, and gondolas all on one canal which means that it is busy and loud. If you are going to ride in a gondola, see if they will take you down some of the smaller side canals to have a quieter and more romantic view of the city. It is also important to note that gondola rides are extremely expensive (Like 120 euros expensive).
My advice: Skip the gondola and take a kayak tour instead. With a kayak tour, you can get away from the noise of the taxis and the tourists and really explore the beauty that Venice has to offer. With kayaks, you get to incorporate the canals of Venice with an adventure that is unlike any other. The kayaks will also allow you more time on the water, more views of the city, and less guilt for being overcharged.
Tips for Riding in a Gondola:
I would recommend that you go in the evening. Either when the sun is already set or late in the evening when Venice has gone quiet. Both will offer a more romantic setting. The best tip that Venetians give to tourists is to not go on the first Gondola that you see. If you can find a Gondola away from the main ferry stops, you will be more likely to get a better price.
Many tourists say that your gondola experience depends on your guide. Some guides get really into it and wear the striped shirt, have the cute hat, and sing or hum as they row you around. Some guides, however, will not give you that treatment. Singing is not required of the gondoliers. Regardless, riding on the water in Venice, whichever method you choose, is a definite bucket list item for your 24 hours in Venice.
You can also save a ton of money by booking in advance, but that also means that you have to schedule a time to do it, but if you only have 24 hours in Venice, then having a plan or a loose schedule isn’t a bad thing.
Read More: Things To Do in Venice
In the Afternoon:
Take the Vesperatto to Murano
Instead of spending your afternoon shopping, as completely tempting as that may be, getting away from the main island of Venice may actually be the best way to spend your afternoon in Venice! The island of Murano, kind of like a district of Venice, is about a 30 minute ferry ride from the Grand Canal. You will have to take the Verperatto in order to get there, but it is so completely worth it. If you only have 24 hours in Venice, you should still make visiting this tiny island a priority.
Have you ever heard of Murano glass? Well, Murano is actually considered the birthplace of blown glass. In Murano, you will immediately be bombarded with shop after shop of extraordinary blown glass art. It will immediately seem that every single person on the island makes blown glass because of the sheer quantity in the shops. You can find anything from tiny ornaments to HUGE art sculptures made purely of this fragile, colored glass.
My husband and I walked the streets of Murano going from shop to shop just to see what was available. We decided to try and find a glass-blowing demonstration so that we could experience the process of this beautiful art for ourselves. We found a place where we paid 10 Euros a person for the demonstration, but then the euros immediately converted into store credit to buy something with. They even let us combine our credits. It’s definitely a “we show you are craft so you buy something” kind of deal, but it was worth it because it was actually really cool to watch them craft glass into shapes and sculptures through their melting and flaming processes.
Watch a Glass-blowing Demonstration
Glass blowing is an art form that has been around for centuries. It is said to have originated in Venice and soon became a popular technique used by artists all over the world. The process of glass blowing is fairly simple, but it takes a lot of skill to create beautiful pieces of glassware.
The first recorded instance of glass blowing was in Venice, Italy in the thirteenth century. At that time, the process was used to create small objects such as beads and jewelry. Glass blowing quickly became popular among artists and craftsmen, and new techniques were developed to create larger and more intricate pieces.
In the seventeenth century, Venetian glassblowers began using glass blowing to create vessels such as bowls and vases. The technique quickly spread to other parts of Europe, and by the eighteenth century, it had become a popular art form all over the world. Today, glass blowing is still used to create beautiful pieces of art, and it remains one of the most popular forms of glassmaking.
The actual process of making the blown glass is amazing. There are so many people who have been doing it for years and can make this beautiful horse with pliers in just 5 minutes. It honestly blows my mind and is something that you have to experience for yourself.
Side note: Don’t be afraid to barter as some of the shop owners tried to barter with us.
In the Evening:
See the Piazzo de San Marco
During your time in Venice, I would highly recommend visiting the Piazzo de San Marco. This plaza is considered the central area of Venice. Here, you will find MANY different shopping options and, even better, the St. Mark’s Basilica. This beautiful church was completed in 1092AD and has incredible architecture, design, and icons from different time periods in history. This church also bears the mark of the water damage that comes with the constant flooding of Venice. You need to experience this beautiful church before it ends up underwater.
Do Some Shopping
During your 24 hours in Venice, you will be constantly tempted by the wonderful window displays in all of the shops. The streets of Venice are lined with all kinds of shopping. It is your go-to place to shop for any designer brand you think of (Furla, Gucci, Jimmy Choo) as well as local Italian designers. There are so many unique shops that make you just want to stop and look at all that they have to offer. My favorite shop was actually one off of the Piazza di San Marco that specialized in making beautiful clocks and chess tables. My husband and I love chess so it was very interesting for us to see all of the beautiful sets.
Italians are actually obsessed with the concept of Black Friday! I’m honestly not sure that they even knew what it meant to Americans. They just assumed it was a sale. We were in Venice during the American Black Friday and we saw over 100 shops with “Black Friday” signs in the windows. However, they didn’t always get it right. We saw many signs that were labeled as “black week” which we found incredibly funny.
If you are enjoying your time in Venice, make sure to visit these 19 Great Cities in Italy!
In the nighttime:
Go the Casino
The Casino di Venezia is not only perfect for your nighttime adventures in Venice, it is also one of the oldest Casinos in the world. This casino was established in 1638, and it is a must-see. The Casino itself sits right against the Grand Canal. If you would like to arrive in style, you can take your own water taxi right up to its doorstep and take the red carpet entrance into the casino. The casino itself is upstairs and consists of card tables, roulette tables, and slots. I spent most of my time at the Blackjack tables and did pretty well for myself. The casino is a fun and classy way to spend your nighttime in Venice. There are so many things to do in Venice at night! Make sure you check them all out.
Venice is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever been to. There is truly nothing like it. Around every corner, there is a new beautiful street or new section of the canal system to see. It is so easy to get lost in Venice, and honestly, it is so worth it to not rush that process. I feel as if some of my favorite moments in Venice were just spent walking around and taking in the beauty and the uniqueness of the place. It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience. Even if you only have 24 hours in Venice, it is worth walking around with no itinerary for a little while and just seeing what you stumble upon.
There is a joke among travelers that wine is cheaper in Italy than water. I found that this is actually sometimes true! You could easily pay $3.50 for a bottle of water and $3 for a glass of wine. The accessibility of wine means that you can, and should, in my opinion, have it whenever you want. Take advantage of the amazing wine and use it even better enjoy your time in Venice. However, when in Italy, the abundance of wine means that you should be able to choose some high-quality drinks for cheap. Prosecco is my drink of choice when ordering alcohol in Italy, but you really can’t go wrong with anything you choose.
Where to stay during your 24 hours in Venice:
If you are only spending a day in Venice, then you won’t need to find a place to stay. But if you are planning on spending 24 hours or more on the island, then it is worth it to choose a nice hotel. There are a variety of options when it comes to where to stay in Venice. You can stay at one of the 10 best hotels in Venice or you can find a little Airbnb of your own. When I was in Venice, I stayed at the Hotel Dona Palace and LOVED it.
While we were in Venice, we stayed at this DREAM of a hotel. We decided to splurge (for my birthday) and pay extra for this beautiful hotel. When we saw the picture, I never thought we would actually be able to afford it. However, we got the Deluxe Royal Suite, as pictured above, for only $220 a night! I have never felt more like a queen than getting the true royal treatment in this hotel. It was on the main island of Venice, and it was easy to get to. I would highly recommend this one-of-a-kind night stay. Since we were only able to stay for one night, we decided to truly splurge.
Bonus tips for your time in Venice:
- Skip the heavy suitcase. You will be doing a lot of walking and maneuvering a lot of stairs in Venice. If your hotel is not directly on the Grand Canal, I would recommend skipping the suitcase as it will be a pain to maneuver around the rocky roads of the ancient city.
- Buy your blown glass in Murano. You will find so many opportunities and places to buy blown glass around the main island of Venice. Do your best to hold off on buying it though! You will find better quality and more intricate pieces of blown glass if you go to the island of Murano. You may also be able to meet the artist of your piece if you are lucky!
- Plan to get the day pass for the ferry, it lasts for 24 hours. It costs around 20 Euro per person, but it makes your life so much easier as all travel in Venice is done by walking or by boat. The Vesperatto will also take you to Murano.
- Hotels will hold your bags even after you check out for the day. If you are planning on spending part of the day in Venice after you check out, most hotels actually expect this and will have a plan in place to hold your luggage. Take advantage of this!
- You CAN’T drive in Venice. As soon as you cross into Venice, there are two parking garages at the entrance to the island. You will need to take the automated people mover (APM) to the plaza where you can get on the ferry to your hotel.
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