Venice

10 Things NOT To Do in Venice by Marco Secchi

In this article we’ll share with you what to do in Venice but it won’t include your standard itinerary. We are going to tell you how to see Venice in a different perspective, suggesting to you what you can avoid, that all the others normally do!

1. Don’t attempt to see all the sights – pick a few and see them well Even in shoulder season (late April/May), the crowds in Venice are so vast that it’s impossible to speed around the city – a pace that’s required for maximum sightseeing. Do yourself a favour: take the pressure off, pick a couple of must-sees and see them properly. Venice has history in spades and it’s best explored with an insider to take you through the stories that make up city’s history. For example, did you know that the copper horses at the top of St mark’s Basilica are replicas? The real ones, which are thought to be the oldest on earth at about 2,000 years old, are located inside the terrace. Life size, it’s hard to imagine how these four horses have moved over the centuries from Constantinople to Rome and Paris (where they sat on top of the Arc de Triomph after Napoleon stole them)

2. Don’t stare across at the Bridge of Sighs – Go INSIDE the bridge and stare out If only Venice could triple the size of the bridge opposite the famous Bridge of Sighs, the congestion along the waterfront in Venice would ease around 50%* (*random guestimate). But clearly, that’s never going to happen and in order to get a good look at the Bridge of Sighs you’re going to need to battle with the tour groups, selfie-stick wielding couples and people who are otherwise simply trying to squeeze by. But what bemuses me most about the fracas to get a shot in front of the Bridge of Sighs is that the whole significance of the bridge is the views it gives out over Venice. In case you didn’t know, the bridge is so named because prisoners inside the Doge Palace would walk through the interior of the bridge on the way to their execution in St Mark’s Square. The bridge and the tiny lattice gaps gave prisoners their very last view out over Venice before they died. And that last view is thought to have induced a final sigh at Venice’s beauty, hence the name: Bridge of Sighs

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3. Don’t pay tourist prices (+$5) for coffee – spend under $1.50, like the locals Sit yourself down for a mid-sightseeing coffee at Cafe Florian overlooking St Mark’s Square and you’ll be charged €6 for the music. We are not talking about a collection hat that comes around. I’m talking about an actual €6 cover charge. That’s in addition to your coffee price (€3 for an espresso, €5 for a cappuccino and €7 for filter coffee). Walk a few paces to the right of Cafe Florian and the coffee price plummets to €1.20 for an espresso. You have to shuffle in among the locals and drink your coffee standing (which is how the Italians do it anyway) but for a quick caffeine fix while still enjoying being in the square, this is a much better option.

4. Don’t take a Gondola ride – take an Electric Boat tour instead One of the biggest appeals of the City of Canals is the water and how everything is conducted on it. Deliveries are made, commutes occur, children travel to school and even ambulances take the form of a boat. Once upon a time, Gondola’s used to be nothing more than a reality of Venetian life. These days, with more tourists than locals, the gondolas exist largely for tourist purposes. Instead, take a tour with an Electric boat towards the smaller islands with Classic Boat Venice. The Southern Lagoon is defined by the long stretching islands of Lido and Pellestrina on the sea side. Some of the small islands like Poveglia and San Spirito are abandoned today but have fascinating histories. Others like San Clemente or Sacca Sessola are now exclusive hotel islands.

5. Ascend San Giorgio Maggiore for the best views in Venice Head over to the small island of San Giorigo Maggiore and climb the bell tower there instead (well, not climb – it’s actually a lift/elevator and there is no climbing option). By ascending the bell tower across the way, you get panoramic views across the whole of Venice island, including the famous campanile.

6. Don’t linger around San Marco – head to Canareggio for crowd-free Venice The few locals left in Venice’s historic centre tend to spend most of their time in the Canareggio district and if you make the effort to head away from the water and the highlights of San Marco, where most of the day trippers tend to linger, you’ll see the crowds thin significantly. As though another part of Venice has opened up, with a modern shopping street but also the history of the Jewish Ghetto, in Canareggio you can spend a few hours getting to know real Venice without the crowds.

7. Don’t play Russian Roulette with the food – take a food by the locals At the millennial Rialto Fish Market you will find the best fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. All the venetians go there to buy their food! Then around the city there are a lot of small local bakery or market where you can find fresh and tasty local products, like Baccalà Mantecato, or Sarde in Saor.

8. Don’t go for a Bellini at Harry’s Bar – have a spritz with the locals Having a Bellini at Harry’s bar in Venice is a bit like taking a Gondola ride – for some people, they just have to do it. If you didn’t know, the Bellini was invented in Venice by the owner of Harry’s bar. If you don’t want to set yourself up for a Bellini, get on the Aperol Spritz. Perhaps the most popular aperitivo you will see in Venice (and the rest of Italy) the Aperol spritz is a cocktail made with a large measure of Apersol (similar to Campari but much sweeter), topped with Prosecco, chilled with ice and served with a slice of orange. Be warned, it’s hard to tell how potent this all-booze drink is and it has a tendency to evaporate (from your glass into your mouth).

9. Don’t order pizza – have risotto or seafood instead Did you know that there’s a law in Venice prohibiting wood-fired ovens? The rule makes sense given so much of the city is made of wood and we hardly want to see the Venice catch alight. In a country where food is highly regional, you’ll do your taste buds a favour if you stick to what’s local. So when in Venice, look out for risotto, polenta, seafood and tiramisu. If you’re brave enough, try the "sepe al nero" – cuttlefish served with ink.

10. Don’t sweat away your day in crowds – see Venice at night Finally, if all the day crowds want to make you jump into the lagoon, take some solace in the fact that once the night arrives, the city quietens considerably. St Mark’s Square seems to expand back to its grand size; the bridges are passable and the narrow streets are near empty and inviting.

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Tips for visiting Venice during Art Biennale by Marco Secchi

Dating back to 1895, Art Biennale is one of the oldest art exhibitions in the world. Created to give voice to art and artists, the festival now celebrates all forms of art including cinema, theatre, dance and architecture.


The 58th International Art Exhibition, titled "May You Live In Interesting Times", will take place from 11 May to 24 November 2019 (Pre-opening on 8, 9, 10 May). The title is a phrase of English invention that has long been mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse that invokes periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil; "interesting times", exactly as the ones we live in today.

The 58th Exhibition is curated by Ralph Rugoff, currently the director of the Hayward Gallery in London. Between 1985 and 2002 he wrote art and cultural criticism for numerous periodicals, publishing widely in art magazines as well as newspapers, and published a collection of essays, Circus Americanus (1995). During the same period he began working as an independent curator.

Local tip: All exhibitions and collateral events held outside Giardini and Arsenale are usually free admission. How to spot them? Easy! Just look for the red square with the white lion, the recognisable symbol of Biennale, along the streets of Venice.

How to get there

The Giardini pavilion and Arsenale are reachable by public transportation and both are walkable distance from Piazza San Marco. Our big tip is to buy a public transportation pass and jump on a waterbus to get to Giardini. From the train and bus station, get on line 5.1 and get off at Giardini della Biennale; the pavilion’s entrance is just in front of the water bus station.

To avoid the crowds — especially on the first opening week, weekends and last days of Biennale — we suggest you get up early and be there as the gates open. You can actually visit Giardini and Arsenale on two separate days with your purchased ticket, so that you have enough time to explore not only Castello, but some other Biennale locations scattered all over the city.

Explore Castello

The Venice Giardini in the Castello district is an area of parkland that hosts the Biennale Art Festival. Here’s what you need to know to explore Castello.

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This district is considered the most truly Venetian district. Castello has quiet residential streets where everyone knows each other, filled with that old-style community vibe that we love about this beautiful city. Get lost in intricate maze alleys, visit the oldest Basilica in town, sip coffee overlooking the gardens and get a real taste of our cuisine at some local taverns. You can actually spend an entire day just exploring and immersing yourself in this authentic part of Venice.

Fill up with good coffee and a delicious cake slice at La Serra dei Giardini, a fantastic greenhouse built in 1894, that now hosts not only a great flower shop, but also a relaxing coffee shop. All year round it hosts special workshops for kids and adults, and concerts are exceptional during summer.

Get your kicks on and walk through the long tree-lined street towards Via Garibaldi; turn right and ask for San Pietro di Castello basilica. This church dates back to 822, one of the oldest churches in the city that hosts one of the most loved festivals in town at the end of June.

While exploring the area, you will most likely end up towards the main street Via Garibaldi, once a canal that has been covered to make way for this amazing street filled with small taverns and bars. It is hard to choose the best, but our favourites are without doubt El Refolo with its high stools, great wines and tasty panini; and Salumeria, a former delicatessen shop, transformed by some young Venetians into a new, hip bar. Stop at both for some local cicchetti and wine. While cicchetti are considered appetisers by most people, trust us: a full plate of them makes for a good lunch.

Finish up your day relaxing in Sant’Elena, the extreme part of Venice, famous for its luscious green areas and beautiful views on Saint Mark’s Basin. Not only during the day for some relaxing time under the trees, but also at sunset for views of the city under the gorgeous, golden light.

20 Great Things to do in Venice 6/20 - Art by Marco Secchi

Tour the Venetian masters of art

Venice is a unique and precious repository of art. From the late Middle Ages until the mid 18th century, artists of the highest caliber left thier mark all over the city and works by Venice's grand masters Titian (c1488-1576), Tintoretto (c1518-94), Canaletto (1697-1768) and Tiepolo (1727-1804) can still be viewed in situ today. See Titian’s glorious 'Assumption' above the high altar at I Frari, Tintoretto's epic masterpiece 'Crucifixion' at Scuola Grande di San Rocco, and Tiepolo's monumental frescos at the Pietà and Ca’ Rezzonico.

For a one-stop-shop of Venice’s foremost artistic treasures, head for the Gallerie dell’Accademia.

VENICE, ITALY - NOVEMBER 23:  Two women admire two different paintings by Lorenzo Lotto at the press preview of Tribute to Lorenzo Lotto - The Hermitage Paintings at Accademia Gallery on November 23, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The exhibition which includes two very rare & never seen before paintings opens from the 24th November 2011 to 26th February 2012 in Italy. (Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

Crossing Venice Grand Canal by Gondola by Marco Secchi

Crossing the Venice Grand Canal by Gondola is a very interesting experience. Do not miss it Discover the real Venice with one of our photo walk tour . Video by Simone Padovani

The word "traghetto" means "ferry." In Venice, it describes a large gondola rowed by two oarsmen.

Half a dozen traghetto lines cross the Grand Canal, and most of them have been operated by the same families for generations.

How to ride a traghetto:

As you're walking around Venice, look for yellow or white "Traghetto" signs, or find traghetto routes on your map.

Follow the signs down to the water, where you'll find a wooden boat pier.

Board the traghetto and hand €2,-- to an oarsman. (If you don't have exact change, use a small banknote.)

Find a place to sit. (Venetians traditionally stand during the crossing, but sitting is safer if you aren't used to bobbing boats.)

When the boat arrives on the other side of the Grand Canal, exit promptly.

Two of the most reliable are:

Pescaria (Rialto fish market) - Santa Sofia (near Ca' d'Oro):

San Tomà - Sant'Angelo:

Note: Traghetti operate during daylight hours only, often with a break for lunch. There are no official timetables: The boats travel back and forth almost continuously, taking two or three minutes to cross the Grand Canal.

VENICE COSTUMES - THE ORIGIN by Marco Secchi

Up to 3,000,000 visitors visit the Carnival of Venice, Italy every year. They come from around the world to see the splendors of Venice and enjoy a centuries old carnival tradition. The Carnival in Venice began only in 1296, when a decree of the Senate declared a public holiday the day before the beginning of Lent.

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The Venice Carnival characters included jugglers, acrobats, musicians and dancers. They organized all kinds of events, including performances and exhibitions absorbing so much attention that Venetians business and production activities became less important. For many centuries, the celebration of the Carnival in Venice would last six weeks, from December 26 to Ash Wednesday.

Soon a close relationship started between theatre and carnival: in fact, as well as large outdoor parties, small performances and shows of various kinds were organized in private homes, theatres and cafes in Venice. In the eighteenth century the Venice Carnival became a real institution. Visited each year by thousands of visitors, the prestigious festival of Carnival in Venice at that time reached its zenith and international recognition: the effervescent and transgressive atmosphere, the comedy, masks, spectacular shows and the public gambling house made Venice 'The magnet of Europe'.

However, the intent of the Carnival in Venice, the origins and meaning of the festival, an opportunity to vent tensions and discontentment, caused the opposite effect: the ability to completely hide one’s identity in traditional Venice Carnival costumes and fancy masks increasingly became the perfect place for theft and harassment of various kinds.

These serious excesses forced the Venetian Republic to issue a series of decrees to limit abuses and fraudulent use of masks and costumes in Venice, measures that gradually went to undermine the very essence of the Carnival in Venice and the origins of freedom and equality. After sunset, under the cover of darkness, the Venetian Carnival transgressed into something more sinister, mysterious attackers could freely commit crimes of various kinds with the certainty of impunity thanks to the anonymity guaranteed by the mask. Since 1339 a ban was decreed on Venice Carnival masks and costumes at night.

Another abuse was the opportunity to wear women’s clothes or religious costumes to break into churches, monasteries or convents and commit indecent acts and libertines. During Venice Carnival in the 15th century therefore it was forbidden to enter holy places wearing masks. The threat to the safety of the inhabitants of Venice was due to the possibility for criminals to hide weapons and other dangerous objects under Venice Carnival costumes. Numerous official documents containing the prohibition to carry objects of a dangerous nature were therefore issued. Venice Carnival 18th century also forbade travelling to the casinos with masks and carnival costumes, due to the numerous incidents in which unknown gamblers were able to escape their creditors.

With the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, a permanent ban of Venice Carnival costumes arrived, with the exception of private parties in Venetian palaces and the Ballo della Cavalchina at the La Fenice Theatre: the Venice Carnival history was hard hit and a long period of decline ensued that led to the gradual shutdown of all parties connected to it. The last Carnival in Venice is dated at 1797. The fall of the Republic at the hands of Napoleon marked the end of the long independence of Venice and the abolition of the many traditions of the Venetian Carnival for about two centuries. Only from 1967 the first parties were reorganized with parades of masks and costumes, bringing back to life traditions and the Venice Carnival history. In 1979 a program to engage the inhabitants of Venice in the Venetian festivities was drafted for the first time to return the Carnival of Venice to its origins.

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Venetian Traditional Carnival Food by Marco Secchi

Where to taste and how to cook them

Are you coming to Venice during Carnival? Then you cannot visit the city during the long celebrations of Carnival and don't try the traditional Venetian Carnival food and may you even want to make these pastries at your own place once you’re back.

The Venetian must-to-eat sweets are: the so-called "frittella", a couple of "castagnole" and some "galani".

Don’t feel guilty if you can’t stop eating frittelle once in Venice, is part of the trip in this period of the year!

Here a small list of our favourite places where you can taste these sweets:


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1. Nonno Colussi

Since 1956 Nonno Colussi has been making his desserts (including the famous "fugassa", the Venetian focaccia which is a sort of Pandoro thousand times more genuine and good, soft like a feather pillow), exclusively in the open laboratory in his shop. The sweets of the "grandfather" Colussi are very popular and, according to the Venetians, this is one of the best pastry shops in Venice.

Calle Lunga San Barnaba, Dorsoduro 2867A

2. Pasticceria Tonolo

Since 1886 one of the most famous and renowned pastry shops in the city. Frequented by Venetians, and of course tourists (recommended by locals), is always assaulted not only for the delicacy of pastries and brioche but also for the low price and for the generous portions of desserts.

Crosera San Pantalon, Dorsoduro 3764.

3. Laboratorio Castelli

One of the last real pastry laboratories still existing in Venice. For over 30 years, clients have been delighted with: Venetian bars, pastry shops, restaurants and hotels. Bake daily brioche, frolle, pies, muffins, cakes, pizzas, pretzels and much more. Mythical (and almost unobtainable in the Venetian bars where nowadays many use to buy frozen ones) its brioches with custard and chantilly cream as well as its Venetian pancakes, prepared both classic and with zabaglione, and / or with delicate chantilly cream.

San Marco 3994

4. Rosa Salva

A name, a guarantee. The legendary Ermenegildo Rosa Salva produced the fritoe in the old way, with the buso (with hole), baked daily are then distributed in the various Rosa Salva stores in Venice and Mestre. The classic version, with raisins and pine nuts, supports the production of those with custard and zabaione.

San Marco 950. Calle Fubera.

5. Pasticceria Marchini

The activity of the Vio Family has been present in Venice for over 40 years. Since 1974 he has been producing and selling his collection of high quality traditional sweets: the "Antichi Golosessi Venexiani". Wide selection of desserts and savories for aperitifs and lunch breaks.

RECIPES


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Here you can find the basic recepies for cooking at home these 3 tipycal sweets of Carnival. Enjoy and let us know how good you made them!

FRITTELLE

If you’ve been to Venice before during Carnival, you’ll probably have already tasted the frittelle, in all their variations, in fact, there are cream frittelle, frittelle with raisin, frittelle with zabaglione or chocolate but we are sure you don’t know the recipe yet.

250gr flour

30gr sugar

1 glass of milk

30gr pine nuts

Yeast

1 egg

30 gr raisin

Lemon peel

Peanut seed oil for frying

In a large bowl mix the yeast with a glass of warm milk and 50gr of flour, then let it rest for a while, at least until the mixture has doubled its volume.

In the main time, allow the raisins to soak in warm water for a full 30 minutes.

Take the mixture you’ve prepared earlier, and add the rest of the flour, an egg, 30gr of sugar, then the raisins, the lemon peel, and the pine nuts.

Work the mixture adding a pinch of salt, then use a spoon to make small balls you’ll fry in a pan full of hot oil. Before serving, sprinkle a bit of icing sugar, above the frittelle.

GALANI, A TYPICAL VENETIAN CARNIVAL PASTRY

Venice is not the only city in Italy where you can taste galani, but they probably have a different name. The galani recipe seems to date back to the Roman Empire, which means that they were born before the Venetian frittelle. Let’ see the recipe.

500gr flour

100gr sugar

40gr butter

2 eggs

Lemon peel

1 spoon of rum

A pinch of salt

Some icing sugar to decorate

Making galani it’s easy. First of all, mix all the ingredients into a bowl and let them rest for a couple of hours, then stretch it until it becomes very thin. Now it’s time to give the galani their typical shape, using a cutting wheel.

Fry them all making a small cut on the top of each galano, then serve them with some icing sugar.

CASTAGNOLE

Castagnole are a very typical Venetian Carnival food and the recipe is really easy. Let’s start with the ingredients you’ll need.

400g flour

50g sugar

80g butter

2 eggs

A pinch of salt

Baking powder with added vanilla flavoring

Lemon peel

Oil for frying

Icing sugar

Soften the butter and put it in a bowl with the two eggs and the 50gr of sugar. Stir everything and add the flour, the lemon peel, the yeast and a pinch of salt. Then make some small balls from the mixture, helping yourself with a spoon, and put them in a pan full of hot oil.

Let them fry and then serve them with some icing sugar.

20 Great Things to do in Venice 4/20 - View over Venice by Marco Secchi

Get a bird's-eye view of Venice

At almost 99m (325ft), the Campanile is the city’s tallest building, originally built between 888 and 912 (in July 1902 it collapsed, imploding in a neat pyramid of rubble. It was rebuilt exactly 'as it was, where it was', as the town council of the day promised). Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III rode a horse to the top of the original in 1451; these days visitors take the lift. The view is superb, taking in the Lido, the whole lagoon and (on a clear day) the Dolomites in the distance.

Photo By: Marco Secchi

Photo By: Marco Secchi

But my favourite view is from the Campanile of San Giorgio.....you can get there taking the Vaporetto n2 and is just one stop. The entrance is from the beautiful Church, and usually you should be able to admire as well Tintoretto  the Last Supper, 1592-94, one of the last works the artist painted. If is not there....write to Mr Vittorio Sgarbi one of the worst curator of the Italian Pavillion at Biennale...that decided to get it on loan to "sex up" his own very poor choice of "art" for 2011 Biennale Arte

P&O Cruise Ship "Oriana" enters Canale della Giudecca

20 Great Things to do in Venice 3/20 - Ice Cream by Marco Secchi

Cool down with a delicious gelato

Most Venetians agree that some of the city’s best gelato is served in Boutique del Gelato, a tiny outlet on busy salizzada San Lio. Be prepared to be patient though, because there’s always a huge crowd waiting to be served. See it as quality assurance – it’s worth the wait.

Artisan Ice Cream: The Art of Making Gelato

Artisan Ice Cream: The Art of Making Gelato

At Alaska Gelateria-Sorbetteria Carlo Pistacchi is passionate about making ice-cream and experimenting with new flavours using only the freshest natural ingredients. Stick to tried and true choices such as hazelnut or yoghurt, or branch out to sample seasonally changing exotic flavours, such as artichoke, fennel, asparagus or ginger.

Will add my best Ice Cream parlours in Venice soon

20 Great Things to do in Venice 2/20 - St Mark's Square by Marco Secchi

See three major sights in one square

Landscapes Of Venice In The Snow

Landscapes Of Venice In The Snow

Standing in the middle of the magnificent piazza San Marco is an experience in itself: Napoleon referred to it as the ‘drawing room of Europe’, apt today as, at times, it appears that much of Europe’s population is crammed into this great square. But it's St Mark’s basilica (Basilica di San Marco), often seen as the living testimony of Venice’s links with Byzantium; Doge’s Palace, once Venice's political and judicial hub; and Torre dell’Orologio, a clock tower built between 1496 and 1506, that are, not just the square's, but some of the city's main attractions.

20 Great Things to do in Venice 1/20 - Gondola by Marco Secchi

So obvious. No trip to Venice would be complete without a punt down one of the city's picturesque canals in a traditional gondola. The Istituzione per la Conservazione della Gondola e Tutela del Gondoliere (Gondola Board; 041 528 5075, www.gondolavenezia.it) website has recommended itineraries. Prices below are for the hire of the gondola, for six passengers or less. You do not need to book a Gondola (in general will be much more expensive!!)

8am-7pm €80 for 30mins; €40 for each additional 15mins. 7pm-8am €100 for 40mins; €50 for each additional 15mins.

Photo By: Marco Secchi

Photo By: Marco Secchi

70 percent of Venice covered in water by flooding by Marco Secchi

Around three-quarters of the Italian lagoon city of Venice has been flooded after strong winds raised the water level by 156 centimeters (nearly 61-1/2 inches) before receding, officials said Monday.

Venice frequently floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but Monday’s levels were exceptional. The peak level was the highest reached since December 2008, according to Venice statistics. The last time levels topped 160 centimeters, which had been forecast, was in December 1979.

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The public transport company closed the water taxi service due to the emergency, with connections remaining active only to the outlying islands. The city, built on a series of islands, deals with the high water by erecting a series of risers that permit people to circulate by foot. Residents and businesses typically reinforce doors with metal or wooden panels to prevent water from entering bottom floors.

Venice Carnival Photography Workshops 2018 by Marco Secchi

Carnival in Venice

This year the Venice Carnival will be from the 16th February to 5th March 2019. The Venice Carnival is the most internationally known festival celebrated in Venice, Italy, as well as being one of the oldest. This congregation of masked people, called Venice Carnival, began in the 15th century, but the tradition can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century! During those years one of the first laws made by the Serenissima was that masks cannot be used around the city at night. Later, Venice Carnival attracted foreigners - including princes - from all over Europe, who came to enjoy the wild festivities while spending fortunes.

2012 Venice Carnival Atmosphere
2012 Venice Carnival Atmosphere

During the ten days of Carnival leading up to Mardi Gras, Venice is a hive of activity and entertainment, from improvised street entertainment to performances put on by the organizers. A central idea is chosen each year that is taken from various cultural or show-biz themes. Saint Mark’s Square remains the heart of Carnival, with its huge stage, although other events take place throughout the city, helping to avoid an excessive build-up of people in pedestrianized Venice.

During this period I will offer a Carnival Photo Walks where during the first hours we will take pictures of the Masks and Costumes in St Mark’s Square and then we will head after a coffee break for the Venice Tour. 4h Tour Price is €400 Max 3 people or 2 adults + 2 Teens  – Extra persons MAX 2  € 70 per person.

Venice Real Osterie by Marco Secchi

A selection of Venice Osterie where you can get wonderful food for 30Euro or less!

La Frasca

This is a small restaurant with just the owner and his chef. Pleasant, no-frills trattoria on a quiet residential square. For a taste of tagliata di calimaro (sliced grilled squid) with arugula or pomodorini tomatoes with strawberries and violet artichokes, wend your way up quintessential calli to La Frasca. Far from the maddening San Marco crowds, this tiny eatery nestled on a remote campiello charms before you even taste the seafood sampler of grilled seppie cuttlefish, canoce mantis shrimp, excellent baccalà mantecato, or sarde in saor. Wines are an important part of the meal here; ask for a recommendation from the ample list of predominantly regional selections. With limited indoor seating, La Frasca encloses and heats their outdoor terrace to accommodate winter diners.

Address: Corte de la Carità, Cannaregio 5176, Venice, 30121 Phone: 041/2412585 Vaporetto: Fondamente Nove No lunch Mon. and Wed.

Dalla Marisa

Signora Marisa is a culinary legend in Venice, with locals calling up days in advance to ask her to prepare ancient recipes such as risotto con le secoe (risotto made with a cut of beef from around the spine). Pasta dishes include the excellent tagliatelle con sugo di masaro (in duck sauce), while secondi range from tripe to roast stuffed pheasant. In summer, tables spill out from the tiny interior on to the fondamenta. Book well ahead - and remember, serving times are rigid: turn up late and you'll go hungry. There's a €15 lunch menu..

Cannaregio 652B, fondamenta San Giobbe Vaporetto Crea or Tre Archi Telephone 041 720 211 Meals served noon-2.30pm Mon, Wed, Sun; noon-2.30pm, 8-9.15pm Tue, Thur-Sat. Closed Aug

Trattoria Ca’ D’Oro

“This picturesque osteria [informal restaurant or tavern] has a well-stocked cicchetti [small plate] counter plus small tables in the back if you order from the menu.”—Michela Scibilia, author, Venice Osterie. One of the oldest wine bars in the city and also known as Alla Vedova; popular with locals and travelers barhopping along Strada Nova; serves Venetian classics and is famous for its polpette (meatballs).

Cannaregio 3912; tel. 39 041 528 5324.

Osteria al Garanghelo

“One of the ever decreasing number of old-time Venetian osterie.”—Ruth Edenbaum, author, Chow Venice: Savoring the Food and Wine of La Serenissima. This simple, casual restaurant is low-key and local; cicchetti (small plates) up front and tables in back; wines by the glass; menu includes a vegetable antipasta platter, seafood starters like sarde in saor (Venetian-style marinated sardines), and pastas.

Close to Rialto market. San Polo 1570; tel. 39 041 721 721.

Dai Tosi (37)

If you're stuck for somewhere to eat after a visit to the Art or Architecture Biennale and are in the mood for cheap and cheerful refuelling, this neighbourhood trattoria-pizzeria, in a residential street that always seems to be festooned with laundry, should fit the bill perfectly. In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice. The pizzas are fine and filling (try the gorgonzola, radicchio and walnut topping), and they also do a good range of Venetian and pan-Italian pasta dishes. This is a good place to come with kids, who can work up an appetite in the play area near the Giardini vaporetto stop. Beware of mixing this up with another nearby namesake restaurant; if you're in any doubt, ask for 'Dai Tosi Piccoli' (Little Dai Tosi).

In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice.
In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice.

In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice.

Address: Castello 738, Secco Marina, 30122 Getting there: Vaporetto stop Giardini Contact: 00 39 041 523 7102; trattoriadaitosi.comOpening times: Mon, Tue, Thu, midday-2pm; Fri-Sun, midday-2pm, 7pm-9.30pm Prices: pizzas from €5, pasta dishes around €12 Payment type: credit cards accepted Cuisine: Italian, pizza Reservations: not necessary

Restaurants in Venice....my favourites by Marco Secchi

 Venice Restaurants

This is not a traditional list of restaurants ...most of the places I mention are unlikely to see the light in a "regular" guide but are the places that for one reason or another myself, family or friends tend to use. There are two golden rules for eating well in Venice. First, don’t take pot luck: this is a tourist-trap city where a recommendation by a local, or a well-researched guide, is well worth heeding. Second, "the narrow the road the better the food" !You may have heard that Italy is a country that eats late, in Venice - despite the locals will go for dinner quite late particularly in summer – some of the restaurants serve lunch from noon and dinner from 6pm or earlier!

Venice Cannaregio
Venice Cannaregio

£ Restaurants

La Bottega ai Promessi Sposi

Though it’s well hidden, off the busy Strada Nuova, it’s easy to spot this restaurant: the locals spilling out into the calle, wine glass and cicchetto in hand, say it all. Whether you perch at the counter (the bar stools are hotly contested) or bag a table in the dark interior, you’ll eat excellent, unfussy fare – seafood and meat – served by a dedicated, enthusiastic team. The menu changes daily but generally manages to include some Venetian stalwarts. The ample choice of meat-free antipasti keeps vegetarians happy too.

Address: 4367 Cannaregio, calle dell’Oca Contact: 041 241 2747 Prices: Around €30/£25 a head for a full meal.

 Ristorante Diana

Good inexpensive lunch or dinner sitting on the side of a quiet canal in Cannaregio!

Address:2519 Cannaregio, fondamenta de la Misericordia , Venice, Italy Contact: 392 3623092 Prices: Around €13 For Fixed Price Menu

Trattoria La Misericordia

A nice restaurant. Lovely food, excellent service. Little extras such as the free aperitif and digestive and bruschetta made us feel very welcome. Lovely location, away from the crowds, next to a canal, on the way to the Jewish Ghetto

Address:2515 Cannaregio, fondamenta de la Misericordia , Venice, Italy Contact: 0418391729 Prices: Around €13 For Fixed Price Menu

Trattoria Chinellato

If you want a good and inexpensive lunch . First course and second course for about 12 euros/person including a cup of coffee or a dessert this is the place .And you will experience an atmosphere of a positive and good service in a flash !!! The lady who I think is the owner is talking all the time and I was so exciting watching how well all thing worked ...fast !! The food is good tasting . It is those small restaurants you shall visit to feel genuine Italian food and atmosphere. Staff and owners working here makes you feel welcome

Address: Centro Storico calle dei Albanesi No. 4227, Venice, ItalyContact: +39 0415236025 Prices: Around €13 for Fixed Price Menu

Al Nono Risorto

Don’t come here for peace and quiet, or refined service for that matter, but if you want good pizza served up in convivial surroundings – plus the bonus of a garden courtyard with outside tables – then this evergreen budget option certainly delivers . As well as all the pizzas there are a few pasta dishes and classic meaty main courses.

Address: Santa Croce 2338, Sotoportego di Siora Bettina. Contact: 041 524 1169. Prices: €20 should cover a starter, a pizza and a beer. Opening times: Noon-2.30pm, 7pm-11pm. Closed all day Wed, and Thu lunch. Reservations: Not usually necessary. Payment type: Cash only.

££ Restaurants

Antica Trattoria Bandierette Run by two sisters and relative husbands is a fantastic place. Specialty is fish, You can tell this is a place where the emphasis is on what is fresh and in-season. The menus had a moderate selection and you could tell they were typed up at home. Dishes ranged from €6-18. They have Set Menus from €13I had a wonderful Gnocchi and Capesante. I have never had such sweet, tender capesante in my life! The Frittura Mista is out of this world. Bandierette's food shows that you don't need a lot of ingredients or fancy presentation to enjoy good food. Start with a few quality items and let them shine through on their own with a simple preparation and you have a wonderful meal!

Address: Barbaria delle Tole, Castello 6671 Phone: 041 522 06 19

Ristorante Riviera

This comfortable, intimate restaurant, with seating inside for 30, is just a few steps from the Accademia, facing the Giudecca canal right in front of the Mulino Stuky. Here you can savour the delights of Venetian cuisine presented with refinement and attention to detail, in a balance between tradition and innovation. Monica and Luca, the young owners, invite you to savor their specialties on the splendid terrace (seating for 50) at the Zattere from the very first sunny days of January Closed Monday Average price € 35.00 – 45.00 (excluding wine and drinks)

Address Dorsoduro 1473, Zattere Venice tel 041 5227621 fax 041 2447722

Ristorante Le Testiere

Bruno and Luca have been friends for years, sharing a love of good cooking and fine wine. After working in various historic restaurants in the city, Bruno set up the osteria in 1993 and Luca soon joined him. The antipasti, first and second courses are all exclusively of the freshest fish, preferably local, prepared with a dash of creativity and an eye to tradition. The use of spices and aromatic herbs from the lagoon islands and the littoral recall the ancient recipes of the Serenissima while also adding a touch of modernity. The sweets are all made on the premises with simple but tasty ingredients. The wine list offers about a hundred labels, mainly from small local winemakers. The menu changes several times … a day, so is spoken, immediately creating a magical synergy between host and guest. There are only 9 tables, which is perhaps the real secret of this small osteria just a few steps from St Mark’s and from Rialto.

Information Closed Sunday and Monday Average price € 45.00 (excluding wine and drinks)

Address Castello 5801 San Lio, Calle del Mondo Novo

Vini da Gigio Paolo and Laura, a brother-sister team, run this refined trattoria as if they've invited you to dinner in their home, while keeping the service professional. Deservedly popular with Venetians and visitors alike, it's one of the best values in the city. Indulge in pastas such as rigatoni with duck sauce and arugula-stuffed ravioli. Fish is well represented—try the sesame-encrusted tuna—but the meat dishes steal the show. The steak with red-pepper sauce and the tagliata di agnello (sautéed lamb fillet with a light, crusty coating) are both superb, and you'll never enjoy a better fegato alla veneziana (Venetian-style liver with onions). This is a place for wine connoisseurs, as the cellar is one of the best in the city. Come at lunch or for the second sitting in the evening, to avoid being rushed

Address: Fondamenta San Felice, Cannaregio 3628/A, Venice, 30121 | Map It Phone: 041/5285140 Website: www.vinidagigio.com Vaporetto: Vaporetto: Ca' d'Oro. Location: Cannaregio

Corte Sconta

The Corte Sconta is now an important point of reference on the Venetian restaurant scene. Quality and freshness are ensured by using strictly seasonal products, attentively served in a space more geared to function than to form. Try the antipasti, from clams with ginger, with gorgonzola or on their own, to baccalà mantecato and sardines in saor; savour the lightness of our own pasta made fresh daily combined with seafood and vegetables delivered every day; don’t miss the lightest, crunchiest mixed fried fish, and don’t forget the sweets (real temptations). Accompanied by a wine chosen from our interesting wine list, with limited mark-up, the entire meal will offer you a pleasant memory and another reason for coming back to Venice.

Information Closed Sunday and Monday Average price € 60.00 (excluding wine and drinks)

Address Castello 3886, Calle del Pestrin (Arsenale) Venice tel 041 5227024 fax 041 5227513

Anice Stellato

Anice Stellato sits as the Al Timon on a very nice canal in Cannaregio. Tops on my list of Venice fish restaurants is L'Anice Stellato in the Cannaregio on Fondamente de la Sensa. Using spices more familiar on far Eastern menus (Anice Stellato means "star anice" a major component of five-spice powder), the chef manages to bring the flavors together in a way that brings home the idea that you're sitting upon the western edge of a major old eastern trade route.

Anice Stellato Fondamenta de la Sensa, Cannaregio 3272 Venice, Italy Closed Mondays and Tuesdays Telephone: (+39) 041 720 744

Al Timon Nice, busy and trendy place on a canal in the Cannaregio area. For me due to prices and style does not qualify as a traditional Bacaro but more as a trendy restaurant. At the same time do not expect a formal restaurant! Food and Wine are good, and you are right on the water!

Fondamenta Ormesini | 2754, 30121 Venice, Italy

Trattoria Altanella

President François Mitterrand of France used to eat here whenever he was in Venice. But the real draw at this sweet and cozy trattoria, which has been in the same family for 104 years, is the delicious homemade gnocchi, served with tomatoes or nero di sepia (squid ink). Address Calle delle Erbe, 268, Giudecca, Venice, 30133 Phone 39-041-522-7780 Cuisine Venetian Seafood Price Average meal per person 40€ ($51) without wine

La Zucca

This alternative trattoria in San Polo (5) has been going for years, but time has eroded none of its charm, value for money, or culinary bravura. The interior, with its slanted oak panneling, comes on a little like a designer Alpine chalet, but the bottle-lined shelves and paper placemats are pure Venetian bacaro. Unusually for Venice, the menu features as much meat and game as fish, and it also includes several vegetarian options, such as the sformato (a pastry-less quiche) of potatoes and broccoli with smoked ricotta. Service is laid-back but friendly. The few outside tables are sought-after.

Address: Santa Croce 1762, Ponte del Megio. Contact: 041 524 1570; www.lazucca.itPrices: €35 a head with house wine. Opening times: Mon-Sat, 12.30-2.30pm, 7pm-10.30pm. Closed Sun. Reservations: Recommended. Payment type: Cards accepted.

£££ Restaurants

Gran Caffè Quadri

Marcel Proust used to bring his mother to Quadri (2) for lunch, and the French wordsmith would no doubt feel quite at home today in these classically plush surroundings, with their extraordinary view over St Mark’s Square. Since the recent advent of the Alajmo brothers from Padua, however, Proust might be surprised at what he found on the plate.

Address: 121 San Marco, Piazza San Marco. Contact: 00 39 041 522 2105, www.caffequadri.itPrices: Expect to pay at least €150 a head for three courses, without wine. Opening times: 12.30-2.30pm, 7.30-10.30pm Tue-Sun. Closed Mon. Reservations: Essential. Payment type: Cards accepted

Osteria di Santa Marina

Wherea beer costs more or less 18 but where the quality of food and service is reliably high, whether you are a regular or just passing through. On a pretty square a short wiggle north of the Rialto, the Osteria does what might be described as “Creative Venetian” cuisine (sea bass ravioli in mussel and clam broth ) – nothing too fancy, but with an edge of refinement that lifts it well above the uninspiring Venetian norm. The outside tables are lovely, but on sticky summer days the air-conditioned interior can be a better option.

Address: Castello 5911, Campo di Santa Marina. Contact: 041 528 5239 Prices: €70/90 a head with a decent bottle. Opening times: Mon, 8pm-11pm; Tue-Sat, noon-2.30pm, 8pm-11pm. Closed Sunday. Reservations: Recommended. Payment type: Cards accepted.

OUTSIDE VENICE

The Al Gatto Nero restaurant was opened in 1965 when the current owner, Ruggero Bovo, took over an old, popular osteria on the island of Burano. Ruggero and his wife, Lucia, then gradually transformed the old meeting place into a restaurant recommended by the most authoritative restaurant guides, presenting simple dishes but with a focus on quality and local lagoon products. The wine list is entrusted to their son Massimiliano, who has created a fine selection of wines to magnificently accompany every dish.

Information Closed on Moday Average price € 40.00 – 60.00 (excluding wine and drinks)

Address Via Giudecca 88, Burano Venezia tel 041 730120 fax 041 735570

20 Things to do in Venice – 15/20 Acqua Alta Bookshop by Marco Secchi

Photo By: Marco Secchi

Photo By: Marco Secchi

As you walk in the Acqua Alta bookshop you will be greeted by Luigi and one of his cats

Walk in the labyrinth of interconnected rooms, and you will see the full-sized gondola in the middle of the shop, overflowing with books then along to bathtubs filled with books and sleeping cats you will find a doorway leading straight out onto a canal where the water level seems a precarious few centimeters away from spilling into the room. It happened to us to get there in a rainy day and the owner was moving all the books from the floor to bathtubs and shelves because of the danger of high water level!

Keep searching (for books and memorable shots) and you’ll find yourself in a tiny quiet courtyard which hosts a staircase made entirely from books. Climb up to the top for a lovely view onto the Venice canals.

You may feel literally overwhelmed by books. New and old, romance and science fiction, best sellers and b-series novels, you can find anything here if you are patient enough to search. It’s possible that you won’t be able to find any specific books given the bizarre nature of the piles, or you may don’t like the smell of humidity or second hand books, but you should include a visit to Acqua Alta into your Venice tour anyway.

Libreria Acqua Alta Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa (Campiello Del Tintor) | 5176 - Castello, 30122 Venice, Italy

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If you are looking for unusual, rare, incredibly interesting books about Venice a REAL must is 

Libreria Editrice Franco Filippi Castello, Casselleria 5284 Venezia 30122

http://www.filippilibreriaeditrice.com/

FRANCO IS A WONDERFUL GUY AND AN AMAZING LIBRARIAN AND EDITOR!

The Befana in Venice by Marco Secchi

Every child of Italian heritage has heard of La Befana, a character in Italian folklore who delivers presents to children throughout Italy. It is believed that the legend of La Befana may have originated in Rome, then spread as a tradition to the rest of Italy.Some believe her name is derived from the word Epiphany, but others say La Befana descended Roman goddess named Strina.

In folklore, Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the 6th of January (the Epiphany) to fill their socks with candy and presents if they are good or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. Because she is a good housekeeper, she will sweep the floor before she leaves. The child's family typically leaves a small glass of wine and a plate with a few morsels of food for La Befana.She is usually portrayed as an old lady riding a broomstick through the air wearing a black shawl and is covered in soot because she enters the children's houses through the chimney. She is often smiling and carries a bag or hamper filled with candy, gifts, or both.

Christian legend has it that La Befana was approached by the magi (the biblical three kings) a few days before Christ's birth. They asked for directions to where the baby Jesus was, but she did not know. She provided them with shelter for a night, as she was considered the best housekeeper in the village with the most pleasant home. They invited her to join them on the journey to find the baby Jesus, but she declined, stating she was too busy with her housework. Later, La Befana had a change of heart, and tried to search out the astrologers and Jesus. That night she was not able to find them, so to this day, La Befana is searching for the baby Jesus. She leaves all the good children toys and candy, while the bad children get coal or bags of ashes.

Venice  Regata della Befana at Arzana..***Agreed Fee's Apply To All Image Use***.Marco Secchi /Xianpix.tel +44 (0)207 1939846.tel +39 02 400 47313. e-mail sales@xianpix.com.www.marcosecchi.com (Marco Secchi)

Another Christian legend takes a slightly darker tone. La Befana was an ordinary woman with a child whom she greatly loved. However, her child died, and her grief maddened her. Upon hearing news of Jesus' birth, she set out to see him, delusional that he was her son. She eventually met Jesus and presented him with gifts to make him happy. The infant Jesus was delighted, and he gave La Befana a gift in return; she would be the mother of every child in Italy.

Italians believe that if one sees La Befana one will receive a thump from her broomstick because she doesn't wish to be seen. This aspect of the tradition may be designed to keep children in their beds while parents are distributing candy (or coal) and sweeping the floor on Epiphany Eve.

Traditionally, all Italian children may expect to find a lump of "coal" in their stockings (actually rock candy made black with caramel coloring), as every child has been at least occasionally bad during the year.

S Martin's Cake by Marco Secchi

 The Saint Martin Celebration is an old traditional popular celebration in the North East of Italy that is rooted into the territory and has very old traditions

S. Martin xe 'ndà in sofita a trovar ea nonna Rita nona Rita no ghe gera S.Martin col cùeo par tera E col nostro sachetìn cari signori xe S.Martin

San Martin's short pastry cake

5c717-dolce-san-martino.jpg

This short pastry cake is made in Venice to celebrate the feast day of Saint Martin, on 11th November every year, and it is a favourite with Venetian children who receive one from their grandparents and parents. The cake is in the shape of Saint Martin on horseback with his sword and, if you come to Venice in that period, you will see it in confectioners’ windows, decorated with sugar icing or coated with plain or milk chocolate and decorated with chocolate drops and candies

Oven-proof paper mould Download it here Prepare the paper mould used to cut out the cake. Cut a sheet of oven-proof paper measuring about 30x40 cm. Draw the shape of Saint Martin on horseback with his sword on the paper, cut it out and set it aside.

Alternatively, in Venice, during the period of the feast day, you can buy the cake mould in shops specialised in household goods.

Ingredients for a “Saint Martin” of 20x30 cm

For the short pastry: 250 gr flour 150 gr butter 100 gr sugar 1 egg yolk + 1 whole egg ½ sachet vanillin or vanilla flavouring

For the icing and decoration: 250 – 300 gr icing sugar 1 egg white 5 drops lemon juice 100 gr mixed sweets: chocolate Smarties, sugar sweets, candies, chocolate drops Cooking time: 15/20 minutes at 180°C

Preparation Light the oven. Prepare the pastry base by putting into a bowl, in this order, the flour, the sugar, the softened butter cut into small pieces, the yolk and the whole egg. Keep the extra egg white to one side in a bowl. Start mixing the ingredients by hand, crushing together the eggs, butter and sugar. Once they are fairly well mixed, add the flour and vanilla flavouring. Knead the mixture with your fingertips until it is homogeneous as regards both consistency and colour, working into a ball. Sprinkle some flour on a sheet of oven-proof paper and roll out the pastry into a rectangular sheep measuring about 30x40 cm and cut the outline of the cake. If you like, you can use the trimmings to make a round biscuit. Put the cake in the oven and bake till golden (it will take about 15/20 minutes). When the short pastry is ready, leave it to cool and start to prepare the icing. Put the egg white in a bowl and add the icing sugar, a teaspoonful at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the first teaspoonful has been absorbed, add the second and so on, until you have added half the sugar. At this point squeeze 5 drops of lemon juice into the icing and keep stirring and adding the icing sugar as before. At the end the mixture will be quite thick and you will have to stir it energetically for a minute until it is nice and shiny. Pour the icing into a bag with a medium star-shaped nozzle and start decorating the biscuit. Scatter the biscuit as desired with chocolate drops, sweets or candies. When you have finished decorating it, let the icing “dry” for about 12 hours at room temperature.

An extra idea If you want, you can cover Saint Martin with melted chocolate or colour the icing with food colourings, choose the sweets for decorating it with your children, or change the shape of the cake, for example making biscuits with a hole at the top that you can decorate and hang on the Christmas tree.

How to Find an Address in Venice by Marco Secchi

Italy's Venice is a city with many sights to see, but finding these sights can be difficult if you're not familiar with the town's address system. The city was built to make sense to those using the canals, not those on foot. You're bound to get lost at least once as you wander the streets searching for hidden gems of the city.

A map may tell you the name of alleys and squares, but a typical Venetian address is simply: San Marco 1323. Venice is split into districts called sestieri, and each building in a sestiere is numbered in one long consecutive sequence. Venice's random and informal street names are not officially part of an address, although many businesses will helpfully provide one. To pin-point a location therefore, you don't just need the brief official address, you also need a street/square name and also some helpful geographical pointer, e.g. a nearby church.

Even street names are far from straightforward. Most have evolved to describe an established location and mean descriptive things like 'Alley of the carpenters' or 'Courtyard with a well'. Consequently there are often several places with the same or similar names. If you are locating a street, you will require the name of the sestiere as well (what's more, sometimes there is more than one place with the same name in one sestiere). And even armed with official address, and street name, your task still isn't simple.

The next confusion is that sometimes one place may have more than one name. Even one name may have different versions - many streets in Venice are known both by their dialect name and by the Italianised version. Either of these may appear on maps. This is why you'll see many variations of placenames such as Fondamenta Nove (even throughout this website).

Streetsigns are not always easy to spot in narrow lanes. They may offer one or more variations on the name (o means 'or'), and they are often joined on the walls by signs identifying the parish (parocchia) and any adjacent canal (rio) or bridge (ponte).

If you're spending a long time in Venice or are just very interested in the city's structure, there is a good book called Calli, Campielli e Canali which provides extremely large scale street plans, along with property numbers. It covers Venice and the lagoon islands, and enables you to locate any address in the city, as well as providing some background information in Italian and English on landmarks and principal buildings. You can buy it in most bookshops in Venice. Sadly, it's rather too bulky to carry around as you explore.

What the names mean

Here are some of the most common titles for places in Venice: Calle - a lane or alley Campo - public open space (irregularly-shaped and less formal than a 'piazza'). Campo means field, and once these were rough-surfaced in earth or grass, and used for burials. They are still the hubs of their neighbourhoods. Campiello - a small square or courtyard. Corte - courtyard. Fondamenta - canalside walkway. Piazza - public square. There is only one in Venice, Piazza San Marco. Ponte - bridge. Piscina - filled-in pool of water. Ruga - significant lane, generally one which used to contain shops. Ramo - branch off a more important thoroughfare, whose name it takes. Rio - canal. Rio terrà or terà - filled-in canal, now a street. Salizzada - name given to the earliest streets to be paved. Sottoportego - covered passage under a building, often leading only to water.

Navigating Venice - theories, routes and landmarks

You can spend many idle moments in Venice evolving navigational theories. Landmarks are all-important, both major ones and private reminders. Routes between significant points are learned this way: e.g. ' left by the greengrocers, straight over the square with a tree in it, down the lane between the red house and the yellow house, left past the Renaissance doorway'. Even if you're the sort of person who has an excellent sense of direction, you'll still find that concentrating on a chain of landmarks is more effective in Venice than working from a mental map. If you're arriving for the first time and finding your hotel, make sure they give you simple, descriptive directions. Once you've found your base, memorise the route to the nearest major landmark or street (one that's marked on your map) - then you'll be able to find your way back. While route-finding and consulting maps, do bear in mind the Venetian rules of conduct; walk on the right and don't block streets.

There are certain through-routes in Venice - chains of lanes linking places together. At busy times of the day you'll see locals filing along these tortuous routes, striding down seeming dead-end alleys and darting around sharp corners. After a while you learn those of use to you, and create your own mental database of Venetian routes.

The only destinations signposted at all consistently are St. Mark's (San Marco), the Rialto, the railway station (Ferrovia) and the bus terminus (Piazzale Roma). Even these painted signs do sometimes falter, but generally they are reliable and can help you to head in the right direction. The ones to San Marco are the most suspect, as some signposted lanes can take you a long way round (something to do with shopkeepers wanting passing trade, perhaps?).

My Favorite Maps are here

High Tide in Venice by Marco Secchi

 Yesterday we had the first high Tide of Autumn-Winter 2012.

Today saw the first high tide of the season in Venice with water reading  the level at sea f 110 centimetres above sea level (Marco Secchi)

Generally Venice only has high water in Autumn and Winter and even then it is not every day that the streets are flooded. However when a higher than usual tide is expected in the city, sirens blare to warn the population so that they can prepare themselves. Maps as posted at the boat stops showing alternative pedestrian routes around the city that are equipped with special footbridges to avoid the high water and to reach the main parts of Venice.

level of tide and % of Venice that is flooded less than 80 cm. Normal tide at 100 cm 4% at 110 cm 12% An emergency sound alert the Venetian at 120 cm 35% at 130 cm 70% at 140 cm 90%

If you would like to check the level of your area you can check it here

The causes of the tides are the following: - astronomic: the attraction of the sun and the moon cause the regular rise and fall of the water: "6 hours rise and 6 hours fall". You therefore have two maximums and two minimums a day. - meteorological: a strong south-east wind ("scirocco") may cause the tide to increase by as much as 1 meter. - geographical: the seiche is a sort of long wave that runs through the whole of the Adriatic Sea with a period of approximately 22 hours.