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TPI World Report - Italy
01/12/2006 - Travel Professionals International

Imagine having a personal travel agent who can supply you with on-location information from time-to-time. TPI can do just that. Here’s the latest from our roving reporter, Carl Henderson.

Carl Henderson, TPI’s Director of Marketing and Communications – currently on leave for one year while traveling the globe – is logging diary entries and photographs in his TPI Traveler journal ( Already up to twenty-five entries with hundreds of photographs, Henderson’s journal is being provided to the travel community en gratis as a sign of TPI’s training commitment to not only its own Associates but to the industry as a whole. With entries from Toronto to Amsterdam to Dubai, visitors to the journal are given an inside look into prominent, as well as off-the-beaten-path, attractions, and tips on making the most out of each destination.

Carl's 10 Travel Tips for Venice

1. Purchase a detailed map of the city and don't go out without it - you will need it! When looking for your hotel or a restaurant and you are going by an address, note that building are not numbered in a sequential order as we are used to. This means that Castello 6499 may not be anywhere near Castello 6502.

2. An inexpensive way to see the Grand Canal is to take the #1 Vaporettta at a cost of 5 Euros per person from the Train Station all the way down the Grand Canal to San Marco. It is sure to be busy but try to get a seat at the front for the best views.

3. Take a gondola ride through the canals of the city. If the cost is an issue try to meet another few people and all do it together splitting the fare.

4. Vaporetta are like a bus system in any other city, but in Venice are boats on the canals. These are the cheapest way for you to get around from one point to another and if you are not into a lot of walking you can buy a full day pass or a multi-day pass.

5. Venice is very expensive. When dining try to get off the beaten track where there are not so many tourists and more of the locals to find a more economical meal. If you enjoy seafood there is no shortage of it here although avoid purchasing it on Mondays when the fish market is closed and your seafood may not be quite as fresh as other days of the week.

6. Hotel accommodations are pricey too but small B&B accommodations can be much more economical. Although we didn't have a canal view, we thoroughly enjoyed ours called the B&B Campiello Santa Giustina at a cost of 95 Euros per night.

7. Pack light. Remember when you arrive that there are no roads or cars in Venice and unless you are staying somewhere that includes transfers you are going to have to venture through the maze of city streets with your entire luggage which, can be a taxing introduction to Venice for many.

8. How long do you plan for Venice? If your time is tight 2 -3 days should be good for you to see the major sights and get a good feel for this unique city. If you are only on a cruise and have the day it will still give you a great feel for what Venice is all about.

9. There are only 3 bridges to get you across the Grand Canal that divides the city into two parts. If you are walking somewhere and find you need to cross the canal and one of the 3 bridges is nowhere near, look for a traghetto found at the end of a passageway called Calle de Traghetto. Here you will find a boat that will take you across the canal for fifty cents.

10. Wander and get lost in the streets and alley ways that are far from St Marks Square and the Rialto Bridge to get away from the densely packed streets of tourists and see where the locals live with the laundry hanging between buildings, refinished doors and unique door chimes and knockers.