Venice Italy

Discover Venice: A Journey Through Time and Waterways

Welcome to Venice, a marvel of architectural ingenuity and historical grandeur, floating gracefully upon the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea. This is a city where the past and present merge into an elegant tapestry of culture, art, and beauty.

Top Highlights

  • The capital of the Veneto region, a blend of historical significance and modern charm.
  • A city of no roads but a network of enchanting canals.
  • Iconic attractions such as St. Mark’s Basilica and the Rialto Bridge.
  • Vibrant districts like Dorsoduro and Cannaregio, each with its unique character.

A Deep Dive into Venice’s Rich History

Venice, a city in northeastern Italy, is known for its unique urban design and rich historical heritage. Here’s an overview of its history:

  • Early History and Foundation
    5th Century: The foundations of Venice date back to the fall of the Western Roman Empire when Germanic tribes and Huns were invading Italy. People from the Veneto region fled to the islands of the Venetian Lagoon to escape these invasions.
    6th to 8th Centuries: Venice gradually evolved from a collection of small communities into a city-state (an early example of a republic), largely due to its strategic location for trade between Western Europe and the Byzantine Empire.
  • The Rise of Venice as a Maritime Power
    9th to 13th Centuries: Venice grew into a significant maritime power. It was a key player in the Crusades and benefitted immensely from trade with the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim world.
    12th Century: The Fourth Crusade, manipulated by Venice, led to the sacking of Constantinople, reinforcing Venice’s dominance in the Mediterranean trade routes.
  • The Golden Age
    13th to 15th Centuries: Often referred to as the “Golden Age” of Venice. During this period, Venice was at the height of its power. It was known for its opulent architecture, like the famed St. Mark’s Basilica, and became a center of art and culture.
    Renaissance Period: Venice was a major cultural center during the Renaissance. Artists like Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese contributed to its rich artistic heritage.
  • Decline and Fall
    Late 15th and 16th Centuries: The discovery of new trade routes to Asia and the Americas by other European powers led to the decline of Venice’s maritime dominance.
    17th and 18th Centuries: Venice’s power continued to wane, and it faced economic decline and plague epidemics.
    1797: Venice fell to Napoleon Bonaparte, marking the end of the Venetian Republic’s thousand-year independence.
  • Modern History
    19th Century: After a brief period of Austrian rule, Venice became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.
    20th Century and Beyond: Venice faced challenges like flooding and the impact of mass tourism, but it remains a significant cultural and tourist destination, famous for its art, architecture, and unique urban design.
  • Cultural Significance
    Carnival of Venice: Known for its elaborate masks and costumes, the Carnival is a symbol of Venice’s cultural history.
    Venetian Art and Music: Venice has been a major center for the development of music, especially opera, and the visual arts.
    Venice’s history is characterized by its unique position as a bridge between East and West and its role as a major maritime power. Its architectural and cultural legacies continue to draw admiration and visitors from around the world.

How long does a visit take?

The duration of a visit to Venice can vary greatly depending on several factors, including personal interests, the pace of travel, and specific attractions you wish to see. Here are some general guidelines:

One Day in Venice: A Whirlwind Tour

Morning: St. Mark’s Square and Surroundings

Start at St. Mark’s Square: Arrive early to avoid the crowds. This iconic square is home to some of Venice’s most famous buildings.

St. Mark’s Basilica: Marvel at its beautiful Italo-Byzantine architecture. Don’t miss the stunning mosaics inside.
Campanile di San Marco: Consider a quick climb up the bell tower for panoramic views of the city.
Doge’s Palace: Explore this symbol of Venice’s glorious past. The palace is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, and its interiors are equally impressive.

Bridge of Sighs: A short walk from the Doge’s Palace, this famous bridge offers a picturesque view and a glimpse into the history of Venice.

Midday: Lunch and Rialto Bridge

Lunch: Grab a quick lunch at one of the local eateries. Try some Venetian specialties like cicchetti (small snacks) or risotto al nero di seppia (squid ink risotto).

Rialto Bridge and Market: Walk towards the Rialto Bridge, one of Venice’s most iconic structures. Explore the nearby Rialto Market for a glimpse into local life.

Afternoon: Gondola Ride and Walkthrough Lesser-Known Areas

Gondola Ride: Experience Venice from its canals. A gondola ride, while touristy, is a quintessential Venetian experience.

Explore the Backstreets: Spend the afternoon wandering through Venice’s lesser-known streets. Visit areas like Cannaregio or the Jewish Ghetto for a more authentic feel of the city.

Optional Museum Visit: If time permits, visit a museum like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection for modern art or the Gallerie dell’Accademia for Venetian masterpieces.

Evening: Dorsoduro District and Dinner

Dorsoduro District: As the evening approaches, head to the Dorsoduro district. This area is known for its vibrant atmosphere, with plenty of bars and art galleries.

Dinner: Conclude your day with dinner at a local trattoria. Enjoy Venetian cuisine, perhaps seafood-based dishes, which are a staple in Venice.

Optional Evening Stroll: If you’re not too tired, a stroll along the Zattere waterfront or through St. Mark’s Square at night offers a peaceful end to your busy day.

Tips for Your Day Trip
Start Early: To make the most of your day, begin your explorations early.
Wear Comfortable Shoes: You’ll be walking a lot, so comfortable footwear is a must.
Stay Hydrated: Keep a water bottle handy, especially during warmer months.
Be Flexible: Venice is a city best experienced at a leisurely pace, so don’t rush. If something catches your eye, take the time to explore!

2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Day 1: Iconic Venice

Morning: St. Mark’s Square

  • Start Early at St. Mark’s Basilica: Admire the stunning mosaics and the beautiful views from the terrace.
  • Campanile di San Marco: Climb the bell tower for panoramic city views.
  • Doge’s Palace: Explore the symbol of Venice’s power and history.

Afternoon: Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge

Lunch at a nearby trattoria for authentic Venetian cuisine.

  • Grand Canal Tour: Take a vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal.
  • Rialto Bridge: Visit the oldest bridge across the canal and explore the surrounding markets.

Evening: Explore Local Neighborhoods

  • Dorsoduro: Wander through this artistic neighborhood.
  • Dinner in Dorsoduro: Try local seafood dishes.

Day 2: Hidden Venice and Islands

Morning: Cannaregio and Jewish Ghetto

  • Cannaregio District: Start in this less touristy area.
  • Jewish Ghetto: Visit the historic synagogues.

Afternoon: Islands of Murano and Burano

  • Murano: Famous for its glassmaking.
  • Lunch on Murano or pack a picnic.
  • Burano: Known for its lace-making and colorful houses.

Evening: Relaxing in Venice

  • Leisurely Dinner: Enjoy dinner along the canals.
  • Sunset Stroll: Walk along the Zattere promenade or through St. Mark’s Square.

Additional Tips:

  • Buy a Vaporetto Pass for frequent water bus use.
  • Carry a water bottle – there are many public fountains in Venice.
  • Wear comfortable shoes for a lot of walking.
  • Make reservations for popular restaurants or tours in advance.
  • Start your day early to avoid crowds.

When to Visit

Choosing the best time to visit Venice depends on various factors like weather, crowd sizes, and local events. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

High Season (Late Spring to Early Fall, especially June to August)

Pros: Warm and sunny weather, ideal for sightseeing and enjoying outdoor cafes.
Cons: This is peak tourist season, so expect large crowds and higher prices. Venice can also get quite hot and humid in the summer months, particularly in July and August.

Shoulder Season (April to Early June, September to October)

Pros: Pleasant weather with fewer crowds than in the high season. Spring brings the city to life with blooming flowers, while fall offers a more tranquil ambiance.
Cons: Occasional rain showers, especially in the spring. Some tourist services might have reduced hours compared to the peak season.

Low Season (November to March)

Pros: Fewer tourists and lower prices for accommodation and flights. The city has a more local feel during this time, allowing for a more authentic experience.
Cons: Cooler and unpredictable weather, with a higher chance of acqua alta (high water/flooding), especially in late autumn and winter. Some businesses may be closed or have limited hours.
Special Considerations
Carnival: If you’re interested in experiencing Venice’s famous Carnival, plan to visit in the weeks leading up to Lent (usually in February). It’s a unique and vibrant experience but also a popular one, so expect larger crowds and higher prices.
Biennale: Art lovers might consider visiting during the Venice Biennale, one of the world’s most prestigious cultural events, held from late spring to late fall every odd-numbered year.
Acqua Alta: Venice experiences high water levels in autumn and winter. While it can be a unique experience, it can also hinder sightseeing plans.

Recommendation:
For a balance of good weather, manageable tourist crowds, and the ability to enjoy most of Venice’s attractions, the shoulder season (April to early June, September to October) is often considered the best time to visit. However, your choice should align with your preferences for weather, crowd levels, and specific events or experiences you want to enjoy in Venice.

How to Get There

  • Traveling from Pula, a city located in Croatia, to Venice, Italy, can be an exciting journey as you move from one historical coastal city to another across the Adriatic Sea. Here are the primary ways to make this trip:

    By Ferry

    • Availability: There are seasonal ferry services that connect Pula with Venice, typically available from April to October.
    • Duration: The ferry journey takes about 3 to 4 hours.
    • Experience: This option provides a scenic route across the Adriatic Sea and can be a very enjoyable experience, weather permitting.

    By Car

    • Duration: The drive from Pula to Venice takes approximately 3 to 4 hours, covering a distance of about 250 kilometers.
    • Route: The route typically involves driving through Slovenia, so ensure you have the necessary travel documents for border crossings.
    • Tolls: Be prepared for toll roads along the way.
    • Parking in Venice: Since Venice is a car-free city, you’ll need to park at one of the garages on the mainland or the island of Tronchetto and continue by boat or on foot.

    By Bus

    • Duration: The bus journey can take approximately 5 to 7 hours, depending on the service and route.
    • Providers: Various bus companies operate between Pula and Venice, but routes may require a change, often in Trieste, Italy.

    By Combination of Train and Bus

    • Option 1: Take a bus from Pula to Trieste, then a train from Trieste to Venice.
    • Option 2: Take a bus to a nearby city in Croatia with a train station (like Rijeka), then a train to Venice.
    • Duration: This option can take a bit longer due to transfers but is a way to experience both bus and train travel in the region.

    Flying

    • Direct Flights: There are no direct flights from Pula to Venice, as the distance is quite short for air travel.
    • Indirect Flights: You could potentially fly with a transfer, but this would be less time-efficient and more costly than other modes of transport.

    Tips for Your Journey

    • Check Timetables in Advance: Ferry and bus schedules can change based on the season.
    • Book in Advance: Especially during peak tourist seasons, it’s advisable to book your tickets in advance.
    • Travel Documents: Ensure you have valid travel documents, especially if your route involves crossing international borders.
    • Consider Your Needs: Choose the mode of transportation that best fits your schedule, budget, and travel preferences.

    Each mode of transport offers a different experience, so you can choose based on your preferences for convenience, scenery, and travel time.

Where to park

  • When visiting Venice, it’s important to remember that the historic center is entirely pedestrianized and can only be navigated by foot or boat. Therefore, if you’re traveling to Venice by car, you’ll need to park it at an entry point to the city. Here are some popular parking options:

    Parking Options on the Mainland (Mestre)

    1. Parking Lots in Mestre: These are generally cheaper than parking on the island of Venice. You can park your car here and then take a train or bus to Venice. The journey from Mestre to Venice by public transport typically takes around 10-15 minutes.

    Parking on the Island of Tronchetto

    1. Tronchetto Parking Lot: Located right before the entrance to Venice, it’s the largest parking area in the city. From Tronchetto, you can take the Vaporetto (water bus) or People Mover (an automated tram) to get to the historic center.

    Parking at Piazzale Roma

    1. Garage San Marco: It’s the most convenient option if you want to park as close as possible to the city center. Piazzale Roma is the last point that can be reached by car, and from there, you can continue on foot or by Vaporetto.
    2. Autorimessa Comunale AVM: A large covered parking garage located at Piazzale Roma. It’s slightly cheaper than Garage San Marco but often fills up quickly.

    Considerations for Parking

    • Reservation: Especially during peak tourist seasons, it’s a good idea to book your parking space in advance.
    • Costs: Parking in Venice can be expensive, particularly at Piazzale Roma. Parking in Mestre and traveling to Venice by train or bus can be a more budget-friendly option.
    • Accessibility: If you have mobility issues or lots of luggage, parking at Piazzale Roma might be the most convenient option.
    • Duration of Stay: For longer stays, consider parking in Mestre to save on costs.

    Alternative: Park-and-Ride

    • Park outside Mestre: You can also consider parking in towns outside Mestre and taking a train to Venice. Some train stations have free parking lots.

    Tips

    • Check the Opening Hours: Ensure the parking lot is open for the duration of your stay in Venice.
    • Security: Choose a parking lot with good security features, especially if you’re leaving valuables in your car.

    Parking your car and using Venice’s public transport or walking is a great way to experience the city without the hassle of navigating its complex network of canals and pedestrian paths.

Location

FAQ

How can I travel from Pula to Venice?
You can travel from Pula to Venice by ferry, car, bus, or a combination of bus and train. The ferry service is seasonal and offers a scenic journey, while driving or taking a bus provides more year-round options.
Is there a direct ferry from Pula to Venice?
Yes, there is a seasonal direct ferry service from Pula to Venice. It typically operates from April to October and takes around 3 to 4 hours.
What is the driving distance from Pula to Venice, and how long does it take?
The driving distance is about 250 kilometers, and it takes approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic and border crossing times.
Do I need to go through border control when traveling from Pula to Venice?
Yes, you will pass through border control when traveling from Pula (Croatia) to Venice (Italy), as Croatia is not a part of the Schengen Area. Ensure you have the necessary travel documents.
Where can I park my car in Venice?
You can park your car at the Tronchetto Parking Lot or at parking garages in Piazzale Roma in Venice. Alternatively, consider parking in Mestre and taking public transport into Venice.
What is the best time to visit Venice from Pula?
The best time to visit Venice is during the shoulder seasons (April to early June, and September to October) for pleasant weather and fewer crowds.
Can I use the Euro in Venice, and what is the currency in Pula?
Yes, the Euro is the currency in Italy. In Pula, the currency is the Euro. 
Are there language barriers for English-speaking tourists in Venice?
Venice is a major tourist destination, so many locals in the tourism industry speak English. However, learning a few basic Italian phrases is always appreciated.
What should I not miss in Venice on a day trip from Pula?
Don’t miss St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, a gondola ride, the Rialto Bridge, and exploring the charming canals and backstreets of Venice.
Is Venice a walkable city, and do I need to use public transport?
Venice is very walkable and best explored on foot. However, you might want to use water buses (Vaporetti) to visit different islands or areas farther from the city center.