Below we provide only a few basic information because there are many books and travel guides on Venice, while there are already many other websites with suggestions on what to visit in Venice and its surroundings.

How do you get around Venice? 

Venice is famous for its many bridges and canals scattered around the city. The historic center of the city alone includes 121 islands connected by 435 bridges. Thus, understanding how to get around is really very important. In Venice you move mainly on foot, in fact it is forbidden by law to travel with bicycles or kick scooters, as well as obviously with cars and motorcycles. The only means of transport you can find are water buses, water taxis, gondolas, and other boats. Public transport in Venice (for non-residents) is more expensive than elsewhere in Italy. AVM/Actv is the main public transport provider for the urban area of Venice and the suburban area up to Padua, Treviso, and Rovigo. Considering the extent of the area served, there are many travel solutions available at various prices. To move around Venice by public transport (i.e., by vaporetto) it is possible to purchase day or multi-day tickets (valid for up to 7 days) at the ticket offices or at the self-service ticket machines in Venice. You can also create your Venezia Unica card for free on the official tourism website of the City of Venice: and select the services to purchase: public transport, entrance to the main places of interest and many other services. With this card you can buy in advance the tickets for public transportation which however must be printed at the self-service ticket machines.

To find out public transport timetables and routes, please visit the AVM website:


When moving around the city, always ask yourself if it will take you less time moving from one place to another on foot than by vaporetto or gondola. Venice's Grand Canal is winding and the vaporetto makes numerous stops and won't always save you time. A tip can be to buy a very detailed city map in advance in case your navigator has problems in the maze of streets and alleys of the city. There are several maps of Venice, which can be purchased in any shop from Santa Lucia railroad station to Piazza San Marco; each can be specialized for a different use or for a different route. It is possible to find maps concerning:

  • the connections with the islands and the Lido
  • the list of monuments or points of interest
  • the routes and the vaporetto stops
  • the universities
  • the high-water map, where the areas most at risk are indicated or where the walkways are usually placed.

In fact, it may be that in order to move easily in Venice, it is necessary to keep under control not only the weather forecast, but also the sea level. Mainly in autumn and winter it is possible to come across the phenomenon of high water, typical of the city of Venice. Information can be found at

Monuments and museums in Venice have a huge influx of tourists until the end of October. It is worth considering the possibility of buying skip-the-line tickets in advance. Here are some websites that offer this service (although we decline any responsibility for the services offered by these sites):



Viator (a Tripadvisor company)

Skip the line in Venice

Doge's Palace Tickets by Headout 

More information on the Venetian Lagoon

The Venice Lagoon is the largest lagoon in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of about 550 square kilometers, of which 8% consists of mainland (Venice itself and many smaller islands), about 11% permanently composed of dredged water or canals and about 80% made up of tidal flats or artificial bridging coffers. In 1987 the entire territory was included by UNESCO in the list of world heritage of humanity.

Venice is divided into "sestieri." The sestiere corresponds to the "quartiere" (the district) of other cities, which ideally represented the fourth part of the Roman encampment, an ideal scheme for the construction of a large number of inhabited centers in Europe. In ancient times this subdivision was also reflected in the composition of some magistracies, such as that of the six ducal councilors elected to the Minor Council at the rate of one for each sestiere. The surveillance of these areas was then delegated to particular officials, the "capisestiere" (the district managers), in charge of reporting to the government on a timely basis on the identity and behavior of the resident citizens. In the city, the civic numbering is unique for each sestiere, with some exceptions for larger areas included in islands not connected by bridges and reaches four-digit numbers (the sestiere Castello reaches almost 7000). This particular numbering system, combined with the natural complexity of the Venetian road-network, sometimes leads to having two very different house numbers close to each other. Once again, a tip can be to buy a very detailed city map in advance in case your navigator has problems in the maze of streets and alleys of the city.


The traditional names of the sestieri of Venice are:

  • Cannaregio, so called because it developed in a marshy area where reeds were frequent (reed is “canna” in Italian). Not to be missed: Jewish Ghetto, Lista di Spagna and Strada Nova, Church of Madonna dell’Orto, Ca' D'Oro, Campo Santi Apostoli, Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli.


  • Castello took its name from a now disappeared fortress around which the area developed. Not to be missed: the Venice Biennale, the Giardini della Biennale, Riva degli Schiavoni (suggestive walk from San Marco to the Giardini), Arsenale, Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo.


  • Dorsoduro, we could translate it into hard back, probably its name recalls the compact sand dunes of this area. Not to be missed: Campo Santa Margherita, Ca’ Rezzonico, Gallerie dell’Accademia, Zattere (the longest promenade in Venice), Chiesa della Salute, Punta della Dogana Museum.


  • Santa Croce takes its name from the demolished church of Santa Croce (Holy Cross) and also includes Piazzale Roma, the Tronchetto and the Stazione Marittima. Not to be missed: Church of San Nicolò di Tolentino, Campo San Giacomo dall’Orio, Ca' Pesaro (Museum of Modern Art), Church of San Stae.


  • San Marco takes its name from the homonymous basilica. Not to be missed: Mark's Square, Campanile (with a wonderful view over the whole city), St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs, La Fenice Theater, Campo Santo Stefano, Correr Museum.


  • San Polo takes its name from the church of San Polo and is in the center of Venice: The Rialto market is located here. Not to be missed: The Rialto Bridge, the Erbarìa, the Pescarìa and the Beccarìa, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Campo di San Polo.

These subdivisions are not sufficient to describe all the areas of the historic center which is also composed of the Giudecca islands (belonging to Dorsoduro), the island of San Giorgio Maggiore (in San Marco) and the island of San Michele, where the city cemetery is located, which is part of Castello.

Sometimes it is also customary to divide the islands of Burano and Pellestrina into sestieri, although they have five and four “quartieri” (or districts) respectively. Also, keep in mind that the islands of the Venice Lagoon are 62, reachable only by boat (not all of them can be visited). Many can be reached with the ACTV public transport of the lagoon.

The main islands of the Venetian lagoon that are more easily accessible by public transport are:

  • San Michele
  • Murano
  • Mazzorbo
  • Burano
  • Torcello
  • San Francesco del Deserto
  • Sant'Erasmo
  • Lazzaretto Nuovo
  • San Lazzaro degli Armeni

Finally, the Lido of Venice (often referred to only as Lido) is a thin island that stretches for about 12 km between the Venice lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, bounded by the ports of San Nicolò and Malamocco and connected to the city and to the mainland only by means of scheduled water buses and motor rafts for the transport of vehicles.

About 12.2 km long and from a minimum of 196 m to a maximum of 1.7 km wide, it is one of the few islands in the lagoon where there are roads for vehicles; there is also a small tourist airport. With the nearby island of Pellestrina it forms a municipality of the Municipality of Venice. The toponym Lido refers, specifically, to the main town (San Nicolò), located in the northern part of the island near the Nicelli-Lido airport and distinct from the other places on the island, such as Malamocco and the Alberoni.

How many days to see Venice?

This very simple question finds an infinite number of answers. In reality, a lifetime would not be enough to discover Venice.