Even though Venice is a year-round destination, the tourist peak-season lasts from April to September. This is the time of year when Venice experiences the highest number of daily sunshine hours. There will be some heavy outbreaks of rain off and on but are likely to lose momentum by the end of November. Venice has a humid subtropical climate. What defines this climate is plenty of rainfall and hot humid summers where temperatures approach that of the tropic but unlike tropical regions the winters are cooler. The best time to visit is after all a subjective question. Some may prefer the cool and dry winters. Others, coming from northern regions, would wait by the end of March when days start to get a whole lot more lively. The average temperature in summer remains around 22 °C.
Towards the end of November, winter properly sets in. Not many people visit Venice during this time of the year which is why it is considered to be the low-season. To encourage tourism, airlines offer cheap holiday packages and hotels are more than willing to offer discounted prices during the low-season.
Its proximity to water results in rainfall that has spread evenly throughout the summer. But winter (late November to February) is a completely different story. Humid subtropical climates are characterized by hot and wet summers but cool winters. The average daytime temperature is 4 °C.
Named after the famous Venetian explorer, the Venice Marco Polo Airport is the major international airport in the region. From the airport, Venice proper (Piazza San Marco) is just about 13 kilometres away and it would not take more than half an hour to reach there. Finding your way through the airport is quite easy seeing as it only has one terminal. Arriving passengers enter through the ground floor whereas departing passengers utilize the first floor of the terminal. In the lounges, waiting passengers can entertain themselves at confectionary stands, restaurants and shopping outlets. The IATA code of this airport is VCE.
Venetian palaces are mostly clustered around the Grand Canal. Likewise, this Baroque Palace is conveniently located near the canal. The palace courtyard is a warm welcome. Explore the rooms and halls of this marble palace and marvel at its rococo and baroque-styled furnishings. The high-ceiling ballroom is a major attraction. Joined by the Staircase of Honour, each floor holds its own set of wonders. The first floor, for instance, puts a great collection of art on display. There are eleven halls exhibiting paintings, sculptures and walled paintings (frescoes).
Piazza San Marco:
The central square of Venice is larger than life. It offers great views of the surrounding landmarks. Across the bell tower, Saint Mark's Basilica comes into view. The church is a mix of Italian and Byzantine styles and its gilded interior is just incredible. Inside the Basilica, the walls and ceilings are covered with mosaics that relate biblical parables. Visiting the museum is a time-travelling experience where centuries upon centuries are conjured up into one moment.
The Rialto Bridge:
It is one of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal. Stand and gaze across the panorama of almond-coloured buildings bounded by the shimmering canal. When viewed from a distance, the bridge looks splendid with its beautiful arch below and the sky canopy above.
As they enter this striking Gothic palace, tourists will see a courtyard surrounded by arches. On every floor there are big halls that house great collections of art. Take the gold staircase, visit the armoury and continue your visit across the Bridge of Sighs. Across the bridge is the palace prison – itself a big wonder.
Ca’ Pesaro Palace:
Overlooking the Grand Canal, this is a fine example of Baroque architecture. Notable for its two museums focused on modern and oriental art, the palace houses many masterpieces of some very important artists such as Giorgione, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Bellini and Tiepolo. Besides the international gallery of modern art, there is an oriental museum on the third floor that tourists can visit with the same entrance ticket.
This classical-style palace hosts many exhibitions of contemporary and modern art. Works of Italian and international artists displayed in this museum have a long history and much historical implication. The palace itself is fabulous both from the outside and the inside. The facade is richly decorated in the medieval style and in harmony with the rest of Venetian buildings.
Stop in Murano for impressive traditional glassware. There is an entire museum (Murano Glass Museum) dedicated to that end.
Unlike other cities, which rely on terrestrial transportation methods, the only means of commute within Venice is by boat. Venetians rely heavily on boats (and all sorts of boats) as the major form of public transportation. This system includes the use of the vaporetti (bus boats), the alilaguna (ferries), gandole (luxury boats) and water-taxis (smaller private boats).
With a fairly large seating capacity, a vaporetto - which literally means a steamer - is the most dominant form of public boat transportation in Venice. These motorised bus boats have scheduled routes across the lagoon and along the Grand Canal. There are four to five lanes but the routes which travel down Venice’s Grand Canal (route # 1 and 2) become overwhelmed with tourist passengers whose destinations are major landmarks or historic sites unique to Venice. Tourists stepping down from the buses at Piazzale Roma find themselves near the starting point of route #1. It starts from the Piazzale Roma and runs the length of the Grand Canal ending up in Lido, and the other way round. Major attractions and palaces are located here which is why vaporetti make frequent stops on this route. This route takes hours and is meant to be a pleasure trip mainly for the tourists. Spending quality time in an agreeable ambience is what makes this a priority one.
The second route operates from Santa Lucia Railway Station and reaches its target destination (St Mark's Square) in just 30 minutes with relatively fewer stops. The most important stopover is the Rialto Bridge. There are only 5 stops in total and this route is recommended to those in a hurry.
To handle the Venetian population, as well as the millions of tourists who come to Venice every year, an intricate ferry system has been introduced in the recent past. These ferries or water-buses, as are sometimes called, can easily be spotted by their white and yellow hull. For airport transfers, this is the best option. There are 5 major routes that run from the Marco Polo International Airport to different sections of the city. The boat stop is a short walk from the airport and arriving passengers can get the ticket from inside the airport. There are automated ticket vending machines installed for that purpose.
No waiting, no lines and a sense of freedom and luxury, the way it should be! Stack your luggage, sit back and enjoy the view. Water taxis are small boats that are on standby at every public boat stop and elsewhere. Water taxis are obviously more expensive. Like-minded commuters would have no trouble splitting the costs with their fellow tourists. But the plus point is that one can get as near to one's hotel as possible. An exclusive ride dramatically increases the experience of sightseeing - the sole purpose of tourism.
Bus and Train:
For airport transfers, there are ACTV buses as well as ATVO coaches. There are automated ticket vending machines installed in the airport and arriving passengers are to get their ticket issued before heading for the exit. First-timers are advised to scan their ticket once inside the bus. There will be a fine otherwise. It hardly takes more than half an hour to reach Piazzale Roma from the airport. Piazzale Roma is adjacent to the Grand Canal - the starting point of most tourists.
When travelling by train, the target destination is the Venice Santa Lucia station. This station is also very close to the Grand Canal and Piazzale Roma.