Ixel’s Travel Guide for Italy Part 1 – Venice

Italy is an amazing country where with rich history, art, food, and wine.  This is the first part of a 5 part series on traveling in Italy.  I will give various tips on how to enjoy your trip and not get ripped off.

First is Venice.  Venice is a beautiful island city that basically is Amore and a perfect place for lovers and Romantics alike.  Venice’s airport, Marco Polo, is easy to fly into and is a small airport when compared to other Italian cities.  After you make it through customs, you will want to get cash.  There are several places to help you with the exchange.  Just as a warning don’t get anything over a 100 Euros as you will have a hard time to get change for it.  I learned that the hard way.

After you get cash go to Venice Tourist Center and get a Venice City pass.  The Venice City pass comes in 3 different grades is good for 3 days.  This pass is well worth it’s price.  Your most precious item when traveling is time.  The City pass is must have as you will not have to stand in lines to get tickets.  Just to give an example, as early as 8 am people were standing in line for tickets into St Mark’s Cathedral.  As I had a pass, I went to the very small line to wait to get into the St. Mark’s.  After I saw St. Mark’s, I came out and heard that one tourist state that they had been in line for 2 hours and still hadn’t seen the Cathedral.  Unless you want to spend a lot of time in lines, the City Pass is must have.  The City pass gets you into St. Mark’s, Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Square Museum, the Archaeology Museum, Monumental Rooms of Biblioteca Marciana, the Ca Rezzonico, Palazzo Mocenigo, Carlo Goldoni’s House,  C a Pesaro the International Gallery of Modern Art and Oriental Art Museum, Glass Museum at Murano, Lace Museum at Burano, Natural History Museum, Santa Maria del Giglio,  San Stae, Santo Stefano, Sant’Alvise, Santa Maria Formosa, San Pietro di Castello, Santa Maria dei Miracol, Santissimo Redentore, S.Giovanni Elemosinario, Santa Maria del Rosario, San Polo, San Sebastiano, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, San Giacomo dall’Orio, San Giobbe, San Giuseppe, Querinin Stampalia Foundation Onlus, Jewish Museum of Venice, Scala Contarini del Bovolo, Prada Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Grassi, La Biennale di Venezia, Ca Foscari, Ca Vendramin Calergi, Casa Museo Andrich, Naval Historical Museum of the Italian Navy, and Gran Teatro La Fenice.  Now if you were to buy tickets for all of these places, it would cost far more than the City Pass plus no waiting in lines for tickets.  It pretty much pays for itself after visiting just the Dorge’s Palace, St Mark’s, and one other museum costs more than the City Pass.  Save your money and your time buy the Venice City Pass.  While you get your Venice City Pass, be sure and get a more detailed map of Venice as the tourist map isn’t very detailed and it’s easy to get lost in Venice.  It’s worth the 10 Euros.  Don’t expect Google maps to work anywhere in Italy.  As we found out, Google maps will get you lost more than help you.

Some people stay on the mainland and take water taxis to Venice but this is waste of your time.  There are a number of nice B&B’s and Venice is magical at night.  Many of the tourists are gone and roaming the streets is quite romantic.  You can take private boat, which is bit expensive but they will take you around the island and show you the other islands of Murano and Burano.  Some are quite good at giving you a historical tour of the area.  If you want to just get there, water taxis can drop you off close to your hotel.  Be sure and get info on where exactly your hotel is so you will be dropped off very close to it by the taxi or private boat.  Once in Venice you will either have to carry your luggage or hire a porter.  It is illegal to use roller bags in Venice and you will be fined, not to mention the embarrassment.  Porters are pretty inexpensive and they work very hard.  Ours was quite friendly and told us stories about Venice as we walked to our hotel.  He also pointed out the best wine store in Venice after we mentioned our love for Italian wine.

Where to stay we have found that big name hotels such the Hilton are available but B&Bs have amazing charm.  We stayed at Locanda Casa Querini, a charming B&B with lovely small inner court yard for dining and they had a wine bar.  Their breakfast was quite good with lots of Italian meats and cheeses.

The must see sites

Saint Mark’s Church –

Saint Mark’s Square –

Saint Mark’s Clock Tower –

Doge’s Palace –

Campanile of St Mark’s Square

Academia –

Rinalto Bridge

Bridge of Sighs

Correr Museum

Peggy Guggenhiem Collection

Scuola San Rocco

Scu0la Dalmata de San Giorgio

Church of San Zaccaria

Church of San Polo

Murano Glass Museum

Burano Lace Museum









Ixel Balamke

Ixel Balamke was one of the two founding members of Sekhet-Bast-Ra in Oklahoma City. Currently living in the Twin Cities, she is currently the LBM of Leaping Laughter Lodge. She also is a Meanad and lover of fine wines. Her life long partner Hunahpu and she are well known for their Wine Tastings at NOTOCON. Together they have a small wine cellar that currently holds over 300 bottles.

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