So, you decided to go to Venice for one day. One day only. In addition your budget is only 100 euro. How to spend that day in the best way possible? Read this and knock yourself out.
Of course I could start saying you should spend more time in this beautiful city and its surroundings, but that would be a cliché. In fact, most people only go one day and I understand it would be best to simply know how to spend it best. And I happen to know how. I’ll assume you will be in town from 10.00 till 21.00 with a pair of comfortable shoes on your feet. I’ll plan a route for you from Piazzale Roma (near the train station Santa Lucia), as most tourists arrive here before heading into town.
First of all, I should point you to two other articles to read: ‘ Venice is not that expensive‘ and ‘ Food Venetian style, this is how it’s done‘. Also check out ‘ Venice Backstage, a video on how Venice works‘, so you’ll appreciate the city’s uniqueness.
This is your route
|sallizzada||grotere straat, vroeger al geplaveid|
|fondamente||kade langs een kanaal|
|ramo||verbindingsweg tussen twee grotere verkeerswegen (waterwegen), vaak een doodlopende straat|
|sottoportego||straat onder een gebouw door|
|rio terrà||gedempt kanaal, nu bestraat*|
|campo||plein (vroeger een veld/weide, niet geplaveid)|
This is how it works
In the morning
First buy a bottle of water in the supermarket at Piazzale Roma (Coop). Then head to Campo dei Frari. You can pick either route that seems attractive to you. You will pass coffeebars. Take a cappuccino standing at the bar. That should cost you no more than 2 euro. After crossing Campo dei Frari you go to Scuola Grande di San Rocco nearby. This you will check out from the inside. It has amongst other things beautiful paintings of Tintoretto. Done? Go via Campo Santa Margherita to Campo San Barnaba. Of course you will have a delicious glass of wine or beer at the Campo Santa Margherita (around 4 euro) before you go on. With a little bit of luck there is a fleemarket at Campo San Barnaba. Take a look around and then enter the church to see the permanent exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s machines. Your morning is way over and you’ve spent 25 euro. Now of course you need to lunch.
Around Campo San Barnaba you will find a variaty of restaurants where you can have a spaghetti for a reasonable price. However, the best option is probably to buy two tramezzini at a bar like Bar Alla Toletta (which seems to have the best sandwiches in town). A tramezzino is a typical Venetian sandwich, not too expensive. Two sandwiches and something to drink should cost you no more then 7,50 euro.
Now you head to the Chiesa Santa Maria della Salute, following beautiful streets. I bet it gets a bit more crowded as you are now near one of the three bridges that cross the Canal Grande: the Accademia-bridge. If you do not dislike crowds, take your change for a nice photo of the Canal Grande. There you will be able to spot the beautiful and famous Salute-church already. When you are there, you can relax at the stairs as no traffic needs to go through. Enjoy the busy waterways.The entrance fee of the church is free. Once you are here, you should head on to the Punta Dogana. From this point you have a beautiful view on the Bacino San Marco and a bit further the Doges Palace and the Campanile (tower).
Now you need to see to get across to the other side. You could head back to the bridge, but I suggest you go by traghetto. You can hop one from Santa Maria del Giglio to Gregorio (also called Campo del Traghetto – Calle Lanza). The traghetto is a kind of an gondola with two gondolieres. It takes you across in about 5 minutes and it costs you about 2 euro. Well-spent I’d say. When you are there, it begins to get crowded as you are in the vicinity of Piazza San Marco. Follow your route to Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. I’d advise you to go via Campo Santo Stefano, Sant’Angelo and Campo Manin. From Manin turn right. You could settle down for a bit and have a drink before you climb the Scala Contarini del Bovolo to enjoy the view over the city (10 euro). It is not that busy as it is not very known and the tower has been closed years for restauration.
Now go to Chiesa Zanipolo. This is a bit further to walk and you can get there by a variaty of routes. Pick one through Piazza San Marco if you must or simply avoid the crowd (although this area in the city is crowded everywhere, especially in summer). The Zanipolo-church can be found at a beautiful, serene square. Go check the church from the inside. Several Doges are buried here and the church is really impressive. It will cost you about 3 euro and you are allowed to take pictures. When you are done, walk passed Scuola San Marco to the water. You are now on the other side of town and you can spot Isola di San Michele from here.
So, by now you have spent around 60 euro, seen a lot of the city and your stomach tells you, you need food. Time to grab a bite to eat. That would be best at the most lovely little square of the city: Campiello del Remer at the Canal Grande. During ‘Happy Hour’ you can have one glass of wine and eat from the buffet as much as you like. This is every day between 17.00 en 20.00 uur. In 2012 this would cost you 5 euro. To be on the safe side, count on 10 euro. However, that should be no problem at all. You will have 30 euro left and this is well-spent taking a few drinks at another nice terrace or maybe a souvenir. Spend your last 7,50 euro to take a boatride on the vaparetto back to Piazzale Roma.
When it does not work out at Campiello del Remer (the menu is quite pricey), then head for Cannaregio to get something to eat. In this area there are several restaurants where locals come and where you can have a lovely meal for a normal price. That should be possible for 40 euro. Many of the restaurants there have cozy tables near the canal side. From here you can walk your back to Piazzale Roma.
Hints to save money
- Buy your food and drinks in a supermarket (just do not consume on streets and bridges, take your picnic to the parc)
- Avoid the expensive vaporetto; a single ride costs 7,50 euro and a dayticket around 20 euro
- Avoid the routes all tourists take, they will only take you to the most expensive shops and restaurants
- Do not buy souvenirs (ah well)
- Enjoy yourself with all the free stuff of the city, check out ‘Venice, carved in stone and pick a route along the red markings
Then again … always consider spending money to stimulate the local economy. There are a lot of ways to avoid tourist traps and see to it that your money is well-spent.