After a relaxing cruise through the Adriatic Sea I was ready to explore Venice with its one hundred and seventy-seven Islands and one hundred and seventeen canals which are connected by four hundred bridges. The days were hot but the sea cooled the air and at night you had to dress more warmly. Some people have said that you can see Venice in two days. However that is only if you are wandering around and not really going into any of the art galleries or museums. I had two days to tour this small floating-sinking northern Italian city.
Choosing to have your accommodations on the mainland of Venice in Mestre is a much more economical option. I had a private room at a buddy’s place which was close enough to the train station. From the station it only took a twelve minute ride to Venice. I would have liked to have explored Mestre as well since there are nice cafes, stores and a good bicycling infrastructure with dedicated bike paths with own traffic signals.
Getting a Travelcard with a specified time limit (12, 24, 36, 48+ hours) will allow you to explore the city by hopping on and off the water-buses. I opted for a 24 hour pass for $20 Euro with the additional audio guided tour of the grand canal. The water-buses are frequent and at each stop there are information display boards indicating when the next one will arrive. The system runs 24 hours with night transit but at less frequent intervals.
You can take also take water taxis if you are in a hurry or do not like the crowded water-buses and you can also hire a gondola for $70 Euro an hour to explore the smaller canals with their own charms.
The speed of all boats is limited to 25 km/hr since the canals do get crowded and it is better to avoid accidents that will clog up the waterways. Also, there are traffic cameras that will fine anyone for exceeding the speed limit.
In Venice you can check out the Campo Santa Margherita, Chiesa di Santa Maria di Nazareth, Chiesa dei Gesuati o Santa Maria del Rosario, Palazzo Ducale, Punta della Dogana and Campo Santa Margherita. And you also must check out St Marks Square.
Venice is exposed to the largest tides and the city has worked to reduce the impact from the ebb and flood of the sea. Yet that will not stop the city from sinking 2mm every year. So it is best to visit this little part of Italy before it disappears; you have about twenty years.