Buon Giorno Venezia !!
While we were getting lost on our way to Piazza San Marco we stumbled on these areas:
The Grand Canal
Santa Maria dei Carmini, also called Santa Maria del Carmelo and commonly known simply as the Carmini.
The Frari Basilica
Scuola Grande di San Rocco -
Although shopping in Venice is fun, it can also be a challenge due to the crowds and the fact that the city's waterways can be difficult to navigate. You should buy items you want immediately, rather than risk not being able to find the store later on.
The Crafts of Venice
The artisan tradition is still strong in Venice, making it a wonderful place to buy handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs. One thing good about not having a map is that Lulu and I were able to browse shops. Even if you aren’t much a shopper, you will appreciate the quality of the merchandise not to mention the things that are unique to Venice. Here are some items you should buy when you are in Venice:
As the saying goes, " WHEN IN VENICE -- BUY A MASK ! "-- there are many shops in Venice that sells masks. But to find quality masks is hard to do. I remember in one of my trips to Venice -- I stumbled in a mask shop that had good quality masks. I could not remember the name but fortunately while Lulu and I were walking we found it again. The name is Atelier Marega. They have the best and the most expensive papier mache masks being sold. A handmade mask can cost between 35 and 200 euros.
There are more than 1,000 glass shops in the San Marco district alone. It's also not surprising to anyone who has walked the streets of Venice, where every little hole-in-the-wall shop and big, touristy boutique seems to sport a display of delicate and colorful examples of the glassmaker's art.
Quality varies tremendously, and many of the items are actually machine-produced or crafted anywhere from Eastern Europe to Taiwan, but the best rule of thumb is simply to buy it if you like it. If you're looking for the real thing, or are buying with a collector's eye, you'll have to shell out big bucks to ensure quality. If you decide to buy any of their glassware --- have them mail it to you. They have a lot of experience packing glass so it doesn't break. Would you really carry the thing around in your bag or luggage??
Venetian glass is a popular souvenir, but Murano glass is in a league by itself. The island of Murano became a major glass-making center in 1291, and is still famous for specialties like millefiori (multicolored glass) and sommerso (sunken glass), made using centuries-old techniques.
After an hour and a half we finally reached Piazza San Marco!!! What a relief !!!
After dinner, Lulu and I decided to walk back to Piazzale Roma trying to retrace the way we reached Piazza San Marco. The walk back to where to the terminal where we took the People Mover Tram took another hour and a half.....
Some tips when you go to Venice:
1. When we visited Venice last April, we got lost. Of course, that’s part of Venice’s charm. There’s nothing better than being lost in such a beautiful city. Unless, you want to get to places and see sites in a limited amount of time. Try to imagine yourself walking through the confusing medieval streets and adding to your confusion lays the frequent obstacle of a canal blocking your path. After crossing the fifth bridge you feel that you are just going around in circles. You have to consider extending that amount of time a bit more than you might have originally thought necessary — allow time on your schedule for getting lost!
2. In general, the cheapest way to get around Venice is, simply, to WALK. But sometimes, your feet just can’t take it anymore. Not to mention that part of the fun of Venice is the way in which it’s just like a normal city… except that instead of streets, there are canals, and instead of buses and trains, there are boats! The problem? These water taxis ( known as vaporettos ) can be pricey. So, I recommend that you do a lot of walking in Venice. The beauty of Venice is in its back streets and piazzas—places that, often times, the boats just can’t get to.
3. Anywhere in Italy, when you sit down with that coffee at a cafe or bar, the price goes up. If you drink the same coffee, and eat the same cornetto, standing at the counter, the price is lower. ( That’s why you’ll see so many Italians eating at the counter ). At Piazza San Marco, when you take a seat with that cappuccino, and you can expect to pay three or four times more what you would standing.
Some cafes also tack a huge surcharge onto the bill—and, annoyingly, that surcharge isn’t for servizio, it isn’t for pane e coperto… it’s for “ listening to the band ” that they have playing at the tables. To avoid those kinds of surcharges, or the stress of worrying about them, stay away from eating at major tourist sites.
4. When you are shopping in Venice. Haggle...Don't be afraid to bargain, especially if you're buying more than one item.
Venice's appeal and authentic beauty is not so much in its largest sights, but in its labyrinth of alleys, canals and bridges; its multitude of piazzas; and its elegant architecture. You can just spend hours walking around taking pictures or sitting in a piazza watching people go by. Every bridge you cross, and take hundreds of pictures all look somewhat the same, but are all magical in their own way.
You have to experience falling in love with this magical city called Venice at least once in your lifetime!!!! I know that everyone has seen pictures or movies depicting the beautiful city of Venice, but when you actually go there you see that those pictures could never actually do it justice. It literaly takes your breath away. There is no other place in world like Venice!