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Tom's Venice Tips

TIPPING - It is not generally not necessary to tip in Venetian restaurants. Service charge is usually included. Liam S.,

FLOODING - Beware acqua alta - in winter serious flooding can occur. Liam S.,

GONDOLAS - Make sure you're aware of prices before going on a Gondola or being coaxed into a restaurant by the proprietor. They prey on tourists. Liam S.,

WANDERING - The best way to get around the city of Venice is just by wandering the streets that are away from the tourist spots. This way you will find the more beautiful concealed canals, local squares, and also the best cafes. Usually, the most interesting areas are well away from the tourist spots. Patrick P.,

WINGED LIONS - A winged lion is the symbol of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice who's buried in the Basilica di San Marco. Lions thus became the symbol of the city of Venice itself, when Venice ousted its former patron saint in favor of St. Mark over a thousand years ago. You'll see lions, both winged and regular, everywhere around the city if you keep your eyes open.

SAN PIETRO - Island of San Pietro, also known as Island of Castelleto, lies at the eastern end of Venice. It was one of the first part of the town to be inhabited by the founder fathers. Today it is probably the most peaceful part of Venice, visited only by the few tourists. Sharon J.,

EATING OUT - - Food can be expensive and poor in the tourist areas. Find out where the locals eat. Liam S.,

LOOK UP - When in Venice, I suggest you look out for are the famous Venice "altana" (Venetian roof-terrace). If you raise up the eyes to the roofs, you often see them. An altana is a terrace with a design similar to a pilework... in summer venetian people here take the sun or - if the altana is quite big - also eat.

INTERNET - If around the train station, or you need internet access, try the is a conveniently located Internet point only a minute or 2 away. VeNice Internet point is located on just down from the station on Rio Terra Lista di Spagna. There are plenty of high speed computers and while not the cheapest internet place in Italy, it is clean and convenient. Oh, and there is a fabulous pasticceria next door!

AT NIGHT - You will find that the most impressive and most historical buildings and landmarks are lit by night. For example, in the centre, the sights at St. Mark's Square and the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore are well worth seeing.

SERENISSIMA - Is the coloquial name for the Veneto Region in common use among the locals. In fact, they never says "I am coming from Veneto", rather then that they will say "I am from Serenissima" or this (Veneto) is Serenissima.

TWILIGHT - Evening twilight is perhaps the time of the day when Canal Grande looks in a most spectacular way. Sundown enrich the intense colors of the buildings, which are mirroring in the water, making them more pitoresque then usual.

PACKING LIGHTLY - Spending more time on organising your suitcase can help you to realise that the first time you pack, you have probably taken too much. When you have selected the clothes that you think you would like to take, lay them out on the bed, and try to cut this amount down by half. SoundGuides,

PACK SMARTLY - As opposed to folding your clothes when you, pack, roll them. When you arrive at your hotel, hang your clothes upright in the bathroom, the steam shold make the creases fall out. SoundGuides,

TAXI - It 's always a pain after a flight, when you have to stand for what seems like an eternity in a queue waiting for a taxi. It's likely that the rest of the people from your flight, and many other flights, also are waiting in the same queue, so instead, go to the departure area set-down to get your taxi instead, and get on one in which has just dropped somebody off. SoundGuides

VAPARETTEO - The vaporetto is the name of the waterbus that it is the best way to travel around Venice b esides walking. Try to avoid picking it up at Piazza San Marco, where it's usually packed with tourists. The number 1 is the slow boat, so if you want to take it easy and be able to admire i palazzi along the Grand Canal and take pictures, this is for you.

WINTER VISITS - If you get the chance to visit Venice in the winter, you will find it is much easier and bearable to get about because the majority of the crowds and the tourists have gone.

VENICE IN MAY - - I recommend visiting in May, when you might see the Vogalonga. This is a friendly race of hundreds of boats from all over the world.

GELLATO - Do not miss out on the Italian Gellato. It is sort of a soft ice cream. It can be found everywhere and is inexpensive. You have to eat quickly as it melts fast in the hot weather. It is very refreshing.