Dress Code: Light cotton clothing is preferable for comfort in the summer months. Although air conditioning is likely to exist in the majority of business environments, it is not necessarily available everywhere. For business occasions, a jacket and tie are acceptable.
Greeting Someone In Venice: It is considered very flattering to attempt a little Italian, so try buon giorno (good day) if you feel linguistically inclined. On formal occasions, shaking hands is a well-understood greeting and is quite sufficient. Don't address someone by their first name unless you know them well, however, as this could be seen as rude.
Venice Business Hours and Banking: Italian banks are open on weekdays from 08:30 to 13:30 and 14:45 to 16:15. Commercial office hours vary from one industry and sector to another but in general, most will operate somewhere between 08:30 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.
Smoking: Since January 2005, smoking has been banned in all enclosed public places that do not offer sealed off rooms equipped with smoke extractors. The controversial new law covers bars, restaurants, offices, public buildings, public transport and cinemas. Smokers face fines of up to €275, whilst businesses could be hit for €2,000.
When to Visit - Arts, Events, Weather
Fancy dress and water-based festivities are common special event themes in Venice. The city hosts over 100 regattas, which commence on January 6th with a veterans gondola race, the Regata delle Befana, from S.Tomà to Rialto.
Theatrical types don masks, wigs and regal costumes for the biggest event of all, February's Venice Carnival. For a fortnight, key venues like Piazza San Marco are alive with the performing arts. Performances, balls and pageants, with an ongoing theme of elaborate costumes and masks, are sponsored by local government and held in the city's squares.
Pomp and ceremony typify the Festa della Sensa (Sensa Feast Day) celebrations in May, with city dignitaries sailing from St Marks Square to Port of S Nicolò to mark Venice's ties with the sea at the Sposalizio del Mar (Wedding with the Sea) festival. The Vogalonga boat race is a tumultuous event with thousands of participants.
The unmissable summer event for modern arts afficionados is the biannual Biennale di Venezia, which for over 60 years has hosted festivals of film, art, music, architecture, theatre and dance in the Giardini Pubblici pavilions.
Other highlights of the year in Venice are the regatta and fireworks festival, the Festa del Redentore; on the third weekend of July; free music concerts all over the city for Venezia Suona on July 3rd; the Venice Film Festival – once described as 'Cannes without the hassle' - brings together cinema's great and good on Lido island from late August; whilst the Regatta Storica Grand Canal gondola races have been entertaining Venetians for over 200 years in early September. The races feature a fine procession of historic sailing craft and a highly competitive trial of strength between the Venetian gondoliers.
The extraordinary Basilica Santa Maria della Salute hosts the religious festival of La Salute (All Saints Day) in November, whilst the year concludes with ends in theatrical style with the many Venetian masked balls.
Venice averages between 80 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit in summer, and around 50 degrees in winter. High humidity can be a factor in high summer, whilst rain and thunder are not infrequent due to Venice's Adriatic Coast location. Spring and autumn temperatures generally range between 60 and 75.
It is useful to remember that August is Italy's official holiday month and many shops, restaurants and services are likely to be closed or offering a reduced service.
1 January: New Year's Day
3 January: Bank holiday
6 January: Epiphany
25 March: Good Friday
28 March: Easter Monday
25 April: Liberation Day
2 May: Bank Holiday
30 May: Spring Bank Holiday
2 June: Republic Day
15 August: Feast of the Assumption
29 August: Summer Bank Holiday
1 November: All Saints Day
8 December: The Immmaculate Conception
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: Feast of St Stephen
Value for Money Sightseeing
Venice Card: The Venice Card is a good option for visitors wanting to get full benefit from the city's public transport, attractions and entertainment. These flexible tickets can be used extensively across the city for discounts, are valid from one day, three days or a week, and are available for Juniors (aged 29 and under!) and Seniors. The Venice Card also covers Alilaguna motorboat shuttle services to and from the airport and discounts of up to 20% at restaurants, bars and nightclubs showing the Venice Card logo.
Boat Passes: Two unlimited use travel passes are available: Blue Passes include all public transport by water bus (vaporetti) and regular bus plus free use of public toilets from €14 and reduced parking fees, whilst the €29 Orange Pass extends to museum entry to key attractions like the Museums of St. Mark's Square including the Doge's Palace; the 18th century museums including Ca' Rezzonico on the Grand Canal and the Murano and Burano Island Museums specializing in glass and lace. Junior Blue Passes start at just €9.
However, boat passes for larger groups may not viable: four or more travelers using public transport will not save money against hiring a private water taxi, which is also more comfortable and faster.
Other Passes: The Rolling Venice pass for 14 to 29 year olds costs just €5 and provides a range of visitor discounts: the pass is available from tourist offices and train stations. Students can use ISIC and IYTC cards for reductions up to 50% in museums. The Chorus Pass allows entry to 15 of Venice's finest churches - including Frari, Madonna dell'Orto and Maria dei Miracoli - funds from which contribute to church restoration.
Some of Venice's key attractions are free, including the grand Basilica di San Marco, the baroque masterpiece of Santa Maria della Salute and the gothic SS. Giovanni e Paolo churches. A host of superb spectator events are held in Venice – notably the pre-Easter Mardi Gras where the city is awash with masked party goers.
Tourist Advice: The Venice Tourist Board is located at Castello, 5050 Fondamenta San Lorenzo 30122 - Venezia - call +39 0415298710, fax +39 0415230399. Their recommended itineraries include the best of the historical centre, the islands, archeology and art. More useful Travel Tips here.
Telephones: Public telephones accept euro coins, tokens and phone cards, sold in tobacconists, newstands and post offices. Many public phones now accept international credit cards.
Internet Cafes: Venice has cyber cafes conveniently located near the train station and elsewhere. For a full list click here
Emergencies: For police and general emergencies, call 113 from any phone. There are two forms of police, military (carabinieri) and civilian (polizia). For medical emergencies, phone 118. The Ospedale Civile of Venice can be reached on 041 529 45 16 and the Red Cross ambulance service on 041 528 63 46. The fire service can be reached on 115; road assistance on 116. The nearest US Consulate in Milan - call 02 290 351. The British Consulate in Venice is at Piazzale Donatori di Sangue 2/5, 30171 Venezia-Mestre; call 04 15055990. Opening hours are 9am to 4pm.
Banks: Italian banks are open Monday to Friday from around 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and from 3 - 4 pm, though some banks in tourist areas stay open all day during the week. Most banks close on weekends and national holidays.
Flood Risk: Venice's streets and plazas usually flood several times a year, during which time the city deploys temporary raised walkways. It is not uncommon to see St Mark's Square submerged under three feet of water during 'acqua alta'. Listen out for the special warning sirens on wet winter days! Updated tide forecasts are published here.
The tourism industry in Venice is very mindful of the challenges Venice sets for disabled travelers, with its prevalence of bridges, boats and canals.
Visit the Comune di Venezia site for extensive information on disabled visitor facilities and services including getting around, accommodation, dining, cultural attractions and maps and itineraries.
APT tourist offices can help with lists of wheelchair-accessible accommodation and free maps of wheelchair-friendly routes on all the islands.
All public "vaporetti" boats are accessible by wheelchair with the exception of line 52. Venice's train stations at Mestre and Santa Lucia are both accessible to the disabled and fitted with access ramps, disabled toilets and Welcome Centres.- contact 041.785570 from 7.00 am to 9.00 pm. Assistance to board the trains is available given 24-hours notice.
Travelers with impaired vision can download tactile maps from the Venice City Council website. Informa Handicap offers phone helpline for physically disabled and deaf travelers in Italy - call 041 534 17 00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Venice Tipping Advice
As well as a standard service charge, expect to tip between 5% and 10% to waiters in restaurants for good service. Taxi drivers should also get between 5% and 10%, whereas chambermaids and bellboys should get up to EUR 1.00 per day / bag. Smaller tips to any other staff are sure to be appreciated, as tipping is widely practised in Italy.
Venice Dining Tips
Don't assume that all restaurants and bars accept credit cards - ask before ordering. Restaurants which accept credit cards will not allow you to put a tip on the card. Many smaller retailers do not accept American Express cards.
Cicheti, similar to restaurant antipasta, are often delicious and inexpensive snacks served in Osterie e bacari taverns. Other treats include saòr, bigoi in salsa, tripe, liver alla veneziana and fish fries.
A small 'bread and cover' charge (pane e coperto) of between €0.50 and €15 is added to restaurant bills except when eating 'tourist menus'.
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Giudecca, 10 - 30133 Venice - Veneto - Italy
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Piazza San Marco 1107, Venezia, I-30124, Italy
Best Western Hotel Cavalletto Venice Hotel is the ideal Venice hotel accommodation spot for tourists and business travellers. Offering amenities and services to suit the needs of all travellers, this Best Western Hotel Cavalletto Venice Hotel has become a favourite...
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Calle Buccari 10, Venezia, 30132, Italy
Description Close to the gardens of the Biennale, this hotel in Venice was formerly an old convent which has been completely restored respecting the original architecture and atmosphere. Elegant and sober furnishings, which perfectly blend...
Giudecca, 810 - 30133 Venice - Veneto - Italy
Of all Venice hotels, Hilton Molino Stucky is without doubt among the most impressive. Located on the island of Giudecca, and within easy reach of Venice airport by water taxi, Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice is ideal. You might be coming to visit attractions such as the... more
Castello 4196 - Venice - Italy I-30122
Hotel Description: The Hotel Danieli is a masterfully restored palace synonymous with the splendor and romance of Venice. We are just steps away from the Piazza San Marco and its Basilica as well as legendary sites such as the Doge's Palace... more
Campo Santa Maria del Giglio - Venice - I-30124 - Italy
Located on the Grand Canal, Starwood Gritti Palace Venice Hotel was built in 1525 as the residence of the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti. Blessed with breathtaking views of the Grand Canal and surrounded by a host of... more
San Marco, 1243 - Venice 30124 - Italy
In a beautiful, aristocratic setting, and thanks to significant restoration, the Luna Hotel Baglioni Rome, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, guarantees guests a magical stay with its magnificent ornamentation and beautiful paintings. The stamp of glamour and sophistication... more
San Marco 2159 Venice Italy 30124
The Westin Europa and Regina Venice Hotel is brilliantly located on the Grand Canal just minutes away from Piazza San Marco. Even though the building was upgraded to add modern... more
Riva Degli Schiavoni, 4110
The Hotel Gabrielli Sandwirth, a XIV century palazzo, one of the most exclusive hotels in Venice, is run by the Perkhofer family who can boast of 150 years in the hotelkeeping trade. The interiors, spacious and elegant, have period furnishings and exquisite Murano glass,... more
Castello, Ponte Dei Greci 3405 - 30122 Venice - Veneto - Italy
Newly created from an 600-year-old Italian palazzo, the Liassidi Palace Hotel embraces the future while enjoying a love affair with the past. Soaring ceilings, wrought iron screens, Gothic windows, and marble floors proclaim the grandeur of Venice, while sumptuous furnishings... more
San Marco 1332 Venice 30124 Italy
Formerly a 17th century palace, the remarkable Venice Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal is located only a few steps away from the impressive St Mark's Square. Offering elegant surroundings, Venice Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal is steeped in history.
Viale Ancona, 2 30172 Venecia Mestre, Italy
DescriptionDirecty connected with the Laguna Palace, the Conference Center is a futuristic auditorium with high and estensive technology. Ideal to cater for any convention or meeting, thanks to its genious modular system (with space enough for 750 people... more
Santa Croce 245, Giardini Papadopoli, 30135 Venezia, Italy
Description Sofitel Venezia Hotel, located in the land of perfect artistic culture and distinguished history, stands on the Tolentini canal in
San Marco Mercerie, 760,30124 Venice,Italy
Located in the heart of the historical part of Venice, just in the city center. Only a short distance to San Marco Square and the Rialto bridge. The Starhotel Splendid Suisse stands on the banks of the most famous city on water. Reachable by gondola, which can anchor... more
San Marco, 202/a Mercerie dell'Orologio 30124 Venezia Italy
Beautiful, luxurious and comfortable, the Torre Dell'Orologio Suites Venice hotel is located in a quiet alleyway of the Mercerie in the heart of Venice. The Torre Dell'Orologio Suites Venice hotel derives its name after the famous "Orologio" clock which... more
Viale Dandolo 29, Venezia, I-30126, Italy
Restaurant; buffet breakfast included; lounge; hairdryer in room; laundry and valet services; convention facilities for up to 80 people; baby-sitting service; private beach with extra charge; air conditioning; tennis and golf within 8 kilometres; free parking; pets... more
San Marco 2494 - Campo Santa Maria Del Giglio, Venezia, I-30124, Italy
Best Western Hotel Ala Venice is a conveniently located tourist haven for business and leisure travellers arriving in San Marco, Italy.... more
Riva Degli Schiavoni, Calle Della Pieta-3651, Venezia, I-30122, Italy
A traditional Venetian intimate little hotel, located just off one of the city's most majestic waterfront promenades, the Riva Schiavoni, within easy strolling distance of St. Mark's Square and all the sights.The hotel occupies a completely restored 16th century palace,... more
Via Piave 214, Venezia, I-30171, Italy
Best Western Hotel Bologna is in the perfect location to enjoy both Venice and Veneto. Right in front of Venice Mestre railway station, 10 minutes away from the Grand Canal by train, close to highway & airport, private parking , comfortable rooms and suites, surprisingly... more
Calle Specchiere 463-San Marco, Venezia, 00000, Italy
Located a few steps from San Marco Square, in an antique XVII century palace, the Best Western Hotel Montecarlo is the ideal point to stroll around the most important historical - cultural monuments and shopping areas. The hotel and its famous restaurant "Antico... more
Riviera San Nicolo 16, Venezia, I-30126, Italy
The Best Western Hotel Villa Mabapa is a Villa set in a garden with cedars and butterbush, 300 metres from the beach, 10 minutes by ferry boat from Piazza San Marco, and overlooking the stretch of lagoon, which was the waterway entrance during the period of Serenissima... more
Rotonda Romea 1/2,Marghera - Venice,30175 Italy
Description Venice... more
Piazza San Marco 905 Calle dei Fabbri 30124 Venezia Italy
Welcome to Venice, the jewel of the Mediterranean. Welcome to the Ambassador Tre Rose Venice hotel. The Ambassador Tre Rose Venice hotel is located in St. Mark's Square, in the heart of Venice. From here travellers can access Venice's main locations. For... more
Riviera San Nicolò, Venice Lido, 30126 Venice, Italy
Hotel IntroductionCharming standard class hotel with 29 rooms, located in a quiet area near St Mark's Square. Our hotel is an ideal place for vacationers as well as for business travelers. One can also enjoy the magical atmosphere of the International Film... more
848 Venice 30124 Italy
The San Marco Hotels group proposes one of its most romantic hotels to the traveller who is planning a stay in the most beautiful city in the world. The San Marco square is the jewel of Venice and in this jewel is set the Royal San Marco. The hotel... more
Piazza San Marco 875 Ponte dei Dai 30124 Venezia Italy
Going to Venice shouldn't mean that you give up all the comfort and familiarity of your home. Come to the San Marco Palace Suites Venice hotel - a traveller's home away from home. The Marco Palace Suites Venice hotel is located in the middle of St. Mark's Square, a melting... more
San Marco - Calle Specchieri Venice Italy
Housed in a 15th century building in the heart of the city. Completely refurbished, it offers a cozy atmosphere of a Venetian home. Hotel is situated at 100 meters from St. Mark Square. more
Gran Viale S.M.Elisabetta 51, Venice Lido, 30126 Venice, Italy
Hotel IntroductionOccupying three floors and equipped with a lift, the Hotel Cristallo is located in a charming palace dating from the 10th century and boasts the simple and elegant lines of the Renaissance. The internal fittings and furnishings bear the... more