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  • Writer's pictureMarie Ohanesian Nardin

Marie’s Venice, Italy, guide for visitors!

Updated: Feb 28

Updated January 2023.

For the 30+ years I've lived in Italy, family members and countless friends, and friends of friends have asked me for travel, hotel, restaurant and getting-around Italy advice. So, I'm pulling together "Marie's Italy Guide" which will include only those towns and regions I have visited. Of course Venice would be the first! Have a look, and share with anyone planning to visit. And keep an eye out for more cities to follow soon.


How to get to Venice historical city center

· From Marco Polo Airport:

· MotoscafoVenezia is a private water taxi service. Expect a 10 minute walk from the airport arrivals terminal to the embarcadero, and a 20-30 minute boat ride from the airport to your hotel in Venice. Pre-book, reserve and pay online.

· Alilaguna public water transportation from the airport makes various stops around Venice. Expect a 10 minute walk from the arrivals terminal, and up to 1 hour by boat to your destination stop.

· ACTV public ground transportation to and from the airport. More info and tickets at VeneziaUnicaCityPass

· From Santa Lucia Train station, the Tronchetto car park or Piazzale Roma car park:

· ACTV public water bus (vaporetto) transportation. More info and tickets at VeneziaUnicaCityPass

· Water taxi from Piazzale Roma.

You'll find the private water taxis station near the public water bus embarcadero.

Marie’s Venice hotel suggestions:

· 5 Star Luxury

o Hotel Luna Baglioni – adjacent St. Mark’s Square – water taxi access

o Hotel Palazzo Venart – 5 minutes from Rialto Mercato – water taxi access

o Londra Palace – 5 minute walk from St. Mark’s Square – water taxi access

° St. Regis, Venice - a bridge and a pleasant stroll away from St. Mark's Square - water taxi access

· 4 Star Hotel

o Hotel Ai Reali – Quiet area not far from St. Mark’s Square – spa – water taxi access

o Hotel Splendid– 5 minutes from St. Mark’s Square – water taxi access

o Hotel l’Orologio – adjacent Rialto Mercato, water taxi access Linea 1 vaporetto stop nearby

· 3 Star Hotel

o Rosa Salva Hotel – near St. Mark’s Square – inquire about water taxi access

o Hotel Canaletto – near St. Mark’s Square – possible water taxi access

o Hotel Antiche Figure – across Grand Canal from Santa Lucia Train Station

· Bed and Breakfast (Marie does not support Air BnB)

o Cima Rosa – 5 minute walk to Rialto Mercato quiet neighborhood and easy access from San Stae waterbus stop

o Residenza Ca’Osmarin – 10 minute walk from St. Mark’s Square easy access from San Zaccaria vaporetto stop

o B&B Fortuny – in quiet Venetian neighborhood with easy access from San Samuele or Sant’Angelo waterbus (vaporetto) stops

Marie’s favorite Venetian eateries:

Trattoria Alla RivettaCastello $$

Busy locale with good Venetian home cooking.

Vineria All’Amarone San Polo $

Venetian cicchetti with nice wine selection.

Birraria La CorteCampo San Polo $$

Good pizza and salads.

Osteria al Diavolo e l’aquasantaRialto in Calle della Madonna $$

Authentic Venetian cooking.

Antico Calice Rialto $$

Good pasta dishes and seafood.

Osteria Al Cantinon - $$$ - Near Campo della Maddalena, Cannaregio

Venetian cuisine with a contemporary flair.

Quaint indoor seating. Weather permitting, canalside - sottoportico - tables.

Luna SentadaCastello $$$

Asian-Italian fusion. Weather permitting, outdoor seating available.

Osteria Oliva Nera Ai Greci $$$

Traditional Venetian with a contemporary flair.

Indoor and outdoor dining.

Enoteca San Marco - San Marco $$$

Contemporary Italian cuisine and atmospher near St. Mark's Square.

Good wine list.

Ristorante Antico Martini Teatro La Fenice $$$$

International and Venetian dishes. Fine dining.

Ristorante Da Ivo – $$$$+ (My husband's cousin Giovanni's place & George Clooney’s favorite, too)

5 minute walk from St. Mark’s Square

Osteria alle Testiere - $$$$ charming place with seating for about 20.

Delicious fresh ingredients grown in their "orto" on Sant'Erasmo Island. Fine wine list. Necessary to reserve online, even weeks in advance.

Chat qui Rit - $$$$+ Gourmet dining, tasting menu, extensive and fine wine list in a contemporary yet elegant setting. Reservations required.

Burano Island:

Trattoria al Gatto Nero since 1965 this historic and classic Venetian fish restaurant continues to be run by its founders, the Bovo family. Fresh fish arrives by boat daily. A favorite of locals and visitors. A must spot for a leisurely lunch when visiting the beautiful island of Burano. $$$

Mazzorbo Island (adjacent to Burano Island):

Venissa Michelin Star restaurant serving lunch and dinner in the quiet of a rare and beautiful lagoon vineyard where they have recuperated the rare native Dorona grape used in their Venissa and Venusa wine. Under the supervision of chef Chiara Pavan, Best Female Chef Italy 2019 & 2020, and chef Francesco Brutto, Michelin star, bring their refined culinary research and attention to the environment to the table. $$$$+

Torcello Island:

Locanda Cipriani Peaceful. Elegant. Serving delicious food and wine to the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Lady Diana, Elton John and mere mortals like me in one of the most beautiful garden settings in the Venetian lagoon since 1935. $$$$

The Lido:

Valentino fresh seafood served in a busy bistro atmosphere and on their large outdoor terrace. A short stroll from the main Lido embarcadero, this family run restaurant makes for a pleasant dinner, perhaps after a Venice Film Festival viewing or a day at the beach. Nice wine list and seasonal menu. $$$

Marie’s favorite Wine Bars, Cafes & Tea Houses:

· Gran Caffè LavenaSt Mark’s Square $$$

Best spritz in town! If you want to splurge sit at an outside table, otherwise have your tea, coffee or aperitivo standing at the bar.

· Wine Bar 5000Castello $$

Great for a light meal of cicchetti, cheeses or sliced cured meet. Excellent wine selection.

· Splendid Hotel Rooftop bar Minutes from St. Mark’s Square. $$$

Good drinks. Lovely view.

· Fujiyama Tea Room – Calle Lunga San Barnaba $

Nice selection of tea, light meals and desserts. Quiet small court yard and garden in the back.

· Sullaluna – Cannaregio $

Books, wine, light meals and tea. Delightful and cozy.

Things to know before you arrive:

Gondola Rides:

By law, up to 5 people can ride in a gondola including children. No exceptions. Without reservations, gondolas can be taken from any of the 10 gondola stations around Venice. Fees start at €90 for 30 minutes, and are regulated by the city. Rides are organized on scheduled routes. Custom rides are available on request. The price of such are calculated at the moment of request, and by time. You can also pre-book and reserve a gondola ride through the gondoliers' travel agency, Gondolieri Travel.

To Better Enjoy and Understand Venice:

Tour Guides:

It's important to state that not all "guides" online or in Italy Travel groups are authorized, qualified and accredited. Many are self-endorsed guides who do not hold the required legal license to practice; including but not limited to "Free Tour" guides. To get the most out of your tour and vacation, do choose and support qualified licensed guides.

Train Transportation Companies:

Free Weather and High Tide apps used by locals:

Marie's suggested BOOKS set in Venice (including her own novel, of course!):

"Beneath the Lion's Wings" by Marie Ohanesian Nardin

"The Talented Mr. Ripley" by Patricia Highsmith

"Miss Garnet's Angel" by Sally Vickers

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3 commentaires

22 janv. 2020

Yes, Maureen was touting your tour of Italy & I saw it. I’m not on FB much. I recently retired, my mama just passed away at 93. Our daughter was married 3 weeks ago. Now we can relax. I’ll have to look you up when in Italy. I didn’t realize you’ve been there so long!


Marie Ohanesian
Marie Ohanesian
22 janv. 2020

Hello, Debbie. Yes. And how nice of you to comment. What a coincidence you read my post on Maureen's FB page. I hope you are well.


22 janv. 2020

Marie, did you attend Santa Fe High School, graduating in 1975? A friend of mine (retired Fullerton Library Director, Maureen Gebelein) just posted your link. My maiden name was Debbie Hansen.

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