While most travellers in Italy take the A1 towards Florence and Tuscany, we turn to the left, Venice bound. Most people believe Venice is best to visit by plane, because a car is a no-go in city. What many travellers do not know is that there are quite affordable parking garages just outside the city. One of them has even Belgian roots: Interparking Trochetto. It is located on the man-made Tronchetto Island, just next tot he Ferry Terminal and easy to reach when coming from the highway. Tronchetto Interparking is a covered and guarded parking lot where you pay 21 Euro per 24 hours in high season. The VIP parking where each car has its own box, close to the entrance and exit, will set you back 30 Euro per 24 hours. From here the vaporetto water bus will take you in 20 minutes to the city centre. (A Vaporetto ticket costs 7 euro and if you are planning to spend the whole day hopping on and off, take a 12-hour day pass for 18 euros.
Remember Venice is a city to explore on foot and the famous bridge are there to jump from one island to another. If you have a bit more budget, you can also take a water taxi or the VIP limo boats like Blitz Exclusive who even have Riva’s in their collection. Venice is a city for lovers so take a romantic ride in style, with or without a bottle Prosocco on ice. ClichÃ©s are OK in La Serenissima.
Venice has to deal with a ton of opinions and prejudices. It is touristy and crowded, it is damp and humid, it stinks, and it’s full with mosquitoes. And yes, it’s damn expensive and you eat awful food for the price you pay. To see if all these prejudices and myths are true or not, we’re here right now, in the height of summer when hundreds of thousands of tourists spilling out of numerous cruise boats and charter planes into the Water City. Because for every tourist hotspot, there are techniques and tricks to avoid the masses and experience the city in your own style.
First fact: you will have to get up around 6 o’clock in the morning and walk to the main tourist blockbusters like the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. You will have them to yourself. Take a city walk in the early morning light, without the noise of cars or traffic, with the waterways still quiet and empty … Bellissimo! Venice wakes up between 6 and 9 hours, then the tourists take over the city until sunset. Have breakfast in a bar, Italian style. An espresso or cappuccino with a cornetto (croissant) while standing at the counter, observing the Venetians coming in and out, grabbing a coffee and cornetto too, browsing the local newspaper, having a quick chat before they continue their walk to work. By noon, you better avoid the Rialto district and sticky crowds along the Grand Canal.
Go to San Polo to get lost in the narrow streets. In the morning there is a fruit and vegetable market and fish market. Perfect for those who are renting an apartment in Venice (via Homeaway you can find a nice selection, even penthouses overlooking the Grand Canal) and occasionally even want to cook yourself. There are plenty of inexpensive lunch options where you pay around 10 to 15 euros for a set menu. The local style is to choose a bacari: a small bar where wine is drunk and mostly chicheti (Venetian tapas) are served. All’Arco (Calle Arco) in San Polo is only open at lunchtime and is a good place for a cool glass of Veneto wine with some chicheri or a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. Do not expect a menu (let alone in English) and just pick what you see at the counter or let the patron choose. The less you behave yourself as a tourist, the better you will be treated. This is unfortunately not a myth in Venice.