Bella Venice - Serenissima

  1. It's expensive.
  2. It's so small.
  3. It's too crowded.
  4. It's smelly.
  5. It's full of water.

So, there is no purpose in going there, is there?

Well, Venice is not the cheapest place in the world, that's definitely true. But there are ways to go around the expenses. You do not have to stay at the most expensive hotels in the centre of Venice. The farther from the centre, the cheaper, that's the golden rule. But if you wish to feel the kick of experiencing Serenissima at its most, to live in the heart of the city, then you cannot behave like Dickens's Scrooge. It all depends on how much money you can afford. Anyway, your stay in Venezia can be equally satisfying no matter if you are going to live in a palazzo or in a small hotel.

The Carlton and Grand Canal Hotel, Venice, Italy

The four-star Carlton and Grand Canal Hotel in Venice, Italy

The Danieli Hotel, Venice, Italy

The five-star Danieli Hotel in Venice was designed in the late 14th century

Gondolas parked on the canal in front of The Cavalletto Hotel, Venice, Italy

Gondolas parked on the canal in front of The Cavalletto Hotel, Venice, Italy

The Cavalletto Hotel in Venice has been in service since 1308.

Gondolas on Canale Grande in front of The Monaco Grand Canal Hotel, Venice, Italy

Gondolas on Canale Grande in front of the four-star Monaco Grand Canal Hotel, Venice, Italy

The Serenissima Hotel, Venice, Italy

The Serenissima Hotel - the Venetians like to call Venice Serenissima - the most serene

The Rialto Hotel near The Rialto Bridge on Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

The four-star Rialto Hotel overlooking The Rialto Bridge on Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

The Marconi Hotel near The Rialto Bridge on Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

The three-star Marconi Hotel next to the Rialto Bridge on Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

What's more, Ponte della Libertà, the dike with its causeway, enables an easy access from nearby Mestre to Venice in no time at all, either by car, bus or train. So it's possible to live in Mestre and experience Venice at a low cost. It's up to you how to take advantage of some advice you can find here.

Ponte della Libertà - the causeway from Mestre to Venice, Italy

Ponte della Libertà (the Freedom Bridge) - the causeway from Mestre to Venice - was opened in 1933.

Ponte della Libertà - detail - the causeway from Mestre to Venice, Italy

This is only the car and bus part of Ponte della Libertà.

Point two

Venice only seems to be that small. Believe it or not, you can really get lost in the narrow streets and canals, even constantly looking at the map. But do not worry. Very soon you find your way back as the signposts of landmarks like Piazza San Marco or the Rialto Bridge are marked distinctly on the walls of the buildings you pass by every now and then.

A signpost directing to San Marco, Venice, Italy

A signpost directing to San Marco, Venice, Italy

Signposts near Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

Signposts near Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

Signposts directing to San Marco and The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Signposts directing to San Marco and The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Paradox? Only theoretically.

Besides, if you decide to explore Venice fully, it's absolutely necessary to visit the islands of the Lagoon like Murano with its colourful glass,

Murano glass elephants, Venice, Italy

Murano glass elephants, Venice, Italy

A glass rooster from Murano near Venice, Italy

A glass rooster from Murano near Venice, Italy

The artists' imagination is limitless

Burano with lace and fabulously painted buildings,

Lace, serviettes and a mask from Burano near, Venice, Italy

Lace, serviettes and a mask from Burano near, Venice, Italy

You can also find lace fans and small decorational pictures made of lace there

Colourful buildings at a canal in Burano, Venice, Italy

Colourful buildings at a canal in Burano, Venice, Italy

When you spend some time surrounded by the colourful houses in Burano you feel like in a fairy tale.

Torcello with the Attila's stone throne

Attila's throne in Torcello near Venice, Italy

Attila's throne in Torcello near Venice, Italy

They say that if you sit in the Attila's stone throne you will get married soon.

Lido with its sandy beaches covered with millions of beautiful shells

Lido beach, Venice, Italy

Lido beach, Venice, Italy

Lido beach shells, Venice, Italy

Lido beach shells, Venice, Italy

Lido is so close to Venice and yet so far from it as far as the atmosphere is concerned.

And then Venice will turn out to be not so small after all.

Point three

Venice is crowded. But not everywhere and not all the time. If you want to leave the crowds behind, just move a bit away from the historic centre. You are sure to find almost desolate places even in alta stagione (high season).

An empty piazza with a tower and a well, Venice, Italy

An empty piazza with a tower and a well, Venice, Italy

The further you get from the historic centre of Venice, the more places like that one you can find.

An empty street - view from a bridge, Venice, Italy

An empty street - view from a bridge, Venice, Italy

A canal, a bridge and a church, Venice, Italy

A canal, a bridge and a church, Venice, Italy

And even the places which normally are greatly occupied by tourists get less and less crowded in the late afternoon and in the evening.

The Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) in Piazzetta San Marco at night, Venice, Italy

The Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) in Piazzetta San Marco at night, Venice, Italy

The Doge's Palace with virtually no one in view? Definitely possible.

Saint Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) at night, Venice, Italy

Saint Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) at night, Venice, Italy

Experience the atmosphere of Piazza San Marco without its usual buzz (and without pigeons).

Or you can come early in the morning when most of the visitors haven't even woken up yet.

Point four

To feel Venice fully is to encounter different smells. But don't be afraid. It doesn't get that bad as to be forced to escape from Serenissima! Sometimes you don't feel anything unpleasant at all, and the worst odours happen when the water is low and it's hot. But even then it's quite bearable. Just take it as one of the vast amount of aspects of Venice, one thing that makes it different from all the other cities.

Building entrances in the water of a canal, Venice, Italy

Building entrances in the water of a canal, Venice, Italy

Such a view surprises, at least in the beginning.

A canal with buildings in water, Venice, Italy

A canal with buildings in water, Venice, Italy

The only way to move here is by boat.

The back door restaurant entrance above a canal, Venice, Italy

The back door restaurant entrance above a canal, Venice, Italy

Luckily, it's not the main restaurant entrance but a delivery door of some sort.

Steps leading to a canal, Venice, Italy

Steps leading to a canal, Venice, Italy

Nothing more natural in the city situated on water.

Point five

Venice is full of water. That's definitely true. And that is often the very reason people come there to experience acqua alta (high tide).

Acqua alta (high tide) - temporary walkways near Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

Acqua alta (high tide) - temporary walkways near Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

Temporary walkways are quick to assemble.

Acqua alta - temporary walkways near Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

Acqua alta - temporary walkways near Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

and very convenient when acqua alta comes.

Acqua alta (high tide) in front of Basilica di San Marco and Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) at night, Venice, Italy

Acqua alta (high tide) in front of Basilica di San Marco and Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) at night, Venice, Italy

The water appears like from nowhere ...

Acqua alta (high tide) in front of Basilica di San Marco at night, Venice, Italy

Acqua alta (high tide) in front of Basilica di San Marco at night, Venice, Italy

... and quickly makes its way forward.

Acqua alta (high tide) in Saint Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) at night, Venice, Italy

Acqua alta (high tide) in Saint Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) at night, Venice, Italy

Soon Piazza San Marco looks more like a swimming pool.

Acqua alta (high tide) in Piazzetta San Marco at night, Venice, Italy

Acqua alta (high tide) in Piazzetta San Marco at night, Venice, Italy

The water comes out from the drains, bubbling.

Venice's phenomenon consists in water, canals and buildings standing on piles. That is why it is so unique! That shouldn't be discouraging at all. Just the other way round. It should be the reason that brings you there.

Buildings with balconies above water of Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

Buildings with balconies above water of Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

And what happens when there is acqua alta?

View from The Rialto Bridge on Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

View from The Rialto Bridge on Canale Grande, Venice, Italy

A view from the Rialto Bridge - you'll never get bored.