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Top tips for your first visit to Venice

Venice has long been known as one of the European centres of culture – with its long history of wealth in the trade of jewellery and debauchery in the renaissance period and the notion of a city which is slowly sinking all add to Venice’s powerful draw.

Yet with any visit to somewhere new it can be confusing and difficult to know what to do when first arriving. With this in mind Generator Hostel Venice would like to offer our top tips for your first visit to Venice.

Venice view over canal

Be Prepared To Join The Crowds

Venice is almost always full to the gills – if you didn’t know better you’d imagine the city was sinking from the sheer weight of people pounding the pavements of the fair city! You’ll have to be prepared to join the crowds and muscle your way through to see the sights. What makes it all the more difficult is that Venice’s small streets become filled with stalls and markets, meaning there’s even less room to manoeuvre! The city has three peak months: February for the Veneician Carnevale, June for Art Biennale (odd-numbered years) and September for the Venice Film Festival.

Water Is At The Heart Of It

You can’t escape the water here – and why would you want to? The city of Venice can seem like a postcard come to life when taking a trip down the Grand Canal in a gondola or a paradise when relaxing by the Venetian Lagoon on the Adriatic Sea. If you’d like to see Venice at work you could also check out the Rialto Fish Market – be warned though, it’s an early start!

Be Prepared To Barter

Sometimes when walking around Venice it can feel like wherever the water stops, a miracle market begins! It’s as if every square inch which isn’t actually occupied by a customer is given over to a market stall. Many of the markets sell fresh fruit, vegetables and meat but also clothes, antiques and collectables. It’s the perfect place to pick up a little something for a loved one or sample a local delicacy from one of the food stalls. The Market of Miracles is a special market dedicated to antiques, glassware and crafts. Equally, if you’re looking for a bargain then the Rialto flea market (around the corner from the fish market) has plenty on offer for those who don’t mind a rummage.

Tipping and Etiquette

Tipping in Venice is often the exception and not the rule – although recent tourism has brought an expectation of a tip in some establishments. A traditional faux pas by tourists is to order a cappuccino after the morning, or after a heavy meal. In Italy cappuccino is a breakfast drink and it is usual considered bizarre to order after an evening meal especially! While neither of these rules is hard and fast, it’s good to keep them in mind.

Absorb the culture

Sometimes Venice can seem overwhelming when it comes to things to do, there is an extremely popular theatre and opera scene as well as many galleries to visit. Getting in touch with culture and history in Venice is as easy as visiting the Carlo Moretti glass museum to understand the relationship between glassware and the city, or Gallerie dell Accademia which has a simply unbelievable number of paintings by Italian and European masters – the collection cannot be compared to any other on the planet!

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