I have never been the biggest fan of Venice. I visited 2 years and a lot of problems with lodging, which just put a dark cloud on the whole trip. This visit was far better and enjoyable. But I will say that Venice is worth adding to your Italy trip with a day. With one day, you can do the major sites.
Where We Stayed
This hotel is the perfect location. I found that it is easier and cheaper to stay outside of Venice. The room was clean and the staff was friendly. One thing that was nice is that they offer a car service pick up from the airport. It is around the same price as a taxi, (40 euro from Marco Polo). I decided to use this service because we got in around 2300 and I was worried about the buses running. The bus was still running when we landed. The money was worth it because it my mom feel special.
Getting into Venice
There are 2 ways to get into Venice, bus or train. For this trip I took Bus #2. The bus stop is right outside the train station. To buy your bus ticket, (which is only good for an hour) go to the local cafe. You can purchase a 24hour pass for €20 that covers the bus and water taxi. We ended up buying accident later on. If you only place to be in Venice for a day, just buy one way, it’s cheaper. The bus will be packed in high season, so learn to be ok with being close to people. The bus ride was around 15-20 minutes. When you get off to go to the water’s edge and purchase a 1-hour pass. This will give you enough time to get to the center of the city, St. Marcos Square.
Rick Steve’s had a grand canal audio guide for the water taxi ride to the center. Make sure to listen to which taxi to take. You have to take the slower one to listen to the tour. The audio guide is worth listening to because it lets you know what you are looking at.
St. Marcos Square
St. Marcos Square is the main attraction in Venice.
Ride on a Gondola
It will cost you €80 but it may be worth it. My mom loved every minute of it. There are gondola service centers where you wait forever to get on the boat. I recommend walking around the city streets. When you happen to find one, get on then. There’s no wait and you won’t be in the same herd of gondolas as every other tourist.
I personally am not the biggest fan of Venice. The city does have not many locals. Most of the time tourists outnumber the locals. Venice does not have a heartbeat like other cities in Italy. Venice feels like a tourist trap in the making. But if you have never been to there, I feel that it is somewhere you have to go, for at least a day stop.