2 days in Venice before the Mediterranean cruise

Our Mediterranean cruise starts on 08/09/2015 from Venice.

We decided to go to Venice 2 days before the start of the cruise in order to visit the city.

We landed at Venice-Marco Polo airport at the end of the day on 08/07/2015. The airport is located outside the center of Venice.

Venice from the plane

To go to the city center, you can take a casual means of transport (bus or taxi) which will take you to the gates of the city at the Venice-Santa-Lucia station just after the Liberty bridge which connects the historic center to the continent.

The second option is the Vaporetto. The Vaporetto is Venice’s water bus.

Getting around in Venice:

The company that manages land and river transport in Venice is “Azienda Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano”. You can get around by bus (outside the historic center or at the Lido) or board a vaporetto to travel on the Grand Canal or go around Venice.

Prices :
– 7 € for a single trip valid 60 minutes
– Package : 12h (18 €) – 24h (20 €) – 36h (25 €) – 48h (30 €) – 72h (35 €)
The packages are also valid for the islands of Murano, Burano, Mazzorbo, Torcello, Treporti

Map of maritime transport – Venice

The packages are not valid for going to the airport via Vaporetto
The journey to and from the airport is managed by Alilaguna. (€15 one way, €27 round trip)

The airport Vaporetto pier

We managed to find a hotel 5 minutes walk from the famous Piazza San Marco. For 120 € per night for 2 people (Hotel prices are quite high in Venice), we find a good hotel:

Hotel : Hotel Casanova Venezia
Address : Sestiere San Marco 1284, Venise
2 nights, from 08/07/2015 to 08/09/2015
Price : €240 for 2 people (€120 per night)
Reservation : Venere.com

Hotel Casanova Venezia

In 2 days in Venice, we were able to appreciate the charming city and discover its essentials:

Piazza San Marco and its surroundings:

Piazza San Marco

The famous Piazza San Marco (45°26’02.8″N 12°20’18.0″E), heart and symbol of Venice. We find there :

  • San Marco Basilica
  • The Campanile of San Marco. You can climb to the top of the campanile for 8€ / person via a large elevator from 09:00 to 21:00
  • The famous Doge’s Palace which was the official residence of the Republic of Venice Doges
  • Statue of the four tetrarchs : representing four Roman emperors

Piazza San Marco remains lively at night.

Piazza San Marco

Next to Piazza San Marco you will find the « Bridge of Sighs » (45°26’02.5″N 12°20’27.1″E). It connects the old prisons to the interrogation cells of the Doge’s Palace. The name refers to the sigh of the prisoners who look at Venice for the last time before the judgement.

Bridge of Sighs

The second symbol of Venice is « The gondola« . As it is said « Without the gondola, Venice would not really be Venice »

Venice – gondola

The prices are fixed and the capacity is 6 people maximum. In 2015 :
– During the day (from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.): €80 for the first 40 minutes then €40 per additional 20 minutes
– At night: (from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.): €100 for the first 40 minutes then €50 per additional 20 minutes.

Venice – gondola

You can also take a tour of the town’s churches:

  • Basilique Santi Giovanni e Paolo (45°26’20.6″N 12°20’31.1″E) : Known as San Zanipolo. It is an imposing religious medieval building
  • Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church : Saint Mary of Miracles (45°26’22.5″N 12°20’21.9″E)
  • Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari : Also called I Frari (45°26’12.9″N 12°19’34.0″E)
  • Santa Maria della Salute : Located at the southern end of the Grand Canal (45°25’51.2″N 12°20’03.9″E)
  • Church of the Madonna dell’Orto (45°26’46.7″N 12°19’56.8″E)

Or, discover the 4 bridges that cross the Grand Canal of Venice:

  • Ponte di Rialto : The oldest and most famous
  • Ponte dell’Accademia
  • Ponte degli Scalzi : Literally « barefoot bridge »
  • Constitution Bridge (in italian : Ponte di Calatrava)
Venice Grand Canal Bridges

Otherwise, you can simply stroll between the canals of the city

Venice – Canal

Or end up at the « Zattere » quay which, along its 1,500 meters, is one of the most pleasant walks in Venice. In this quay, you can have a drink at the end of the day with a great view :

Venice – Zattere 

A week later, we return to Venice at the end of our cruise with a superb view of the city and San Giorgio Maggiore