In this article, I'll tell you about our trip to Venice and will share some information and tips that will help you if you want to go there.
When I was in Venice I felt I had been transported back 1000 years in time. The feeling comes from the fact that there are no cars in Venice, and the buildings – at least from the outside – are in their original state; you just feel like you are in a big museum.
We arrived at Venice airport and took the taxi boat. This was the best option for us. It was really fantastic; the kids enjoyed the experience and so did the adults! It was the perfect introduction to life in Venice.
Walking in the busy streets full of tourists, and also in the narrow streets which are quiet and feel like a big maze where you keep getting lost was a really interesting experience.
I like just to go and walk around, all the time discovering new places and then checking my way back by Google Maps. But because we were there over Sukkot I couldn’t use my phone so I either had to use a paper map or ask people for directions back to our accommodations. It was cool to use a printed map after being so used to using Google maps.
If you do find yourself out without a map in an unfamiliar place, it's important to have a Reference Point so that if you get 'lost' you can ask for directions and from this reference point you know your way to your hotel.
For example, I know how to get from the train station to our apartment very easily. So when I didn't know my way back, I asked for directions to the train station.
I notice many times that people ask for directions for a certain street or hotel which people on the street hadn’t heard of, so couldn’t help them. So, if you have a well-known Point of Reference, like the train station, it is much easier to find your way back.
There are many interesting viewpoints to see in Venice but the main thing in my opinion is just to walk and enjoy the atmosphere and embrace the environment of this special place.
What is there to eat? What is Kosher Lamehadrin in Venice?
We rented an apartment so we combined cooking ourselves and also went to the restaurants.
We took with us some kitchen utensils and some basic foods that we knew we probably won't be able to purchase in Venice.
We bought lots of fresh and delicious fruits, vegetables, and eggs locally.
There are two Kosher restaurants in Venice, both of which belong to Chabad.
Gam-Gam which serves meaty food and a Pizzeria that serves Pizza, falafel and spaghetti. In the pizza shop, you can buy some kosher grocery items and dairy products.
There is a bakery opposite the Pizzeria where the basic bread is kosher.
Also, there is a kosher fruit smoothie shop available called Frulala. They have a stand on the street and you have to ask for the kosher menu.
For the Shabbat and Yom Tov meals, we ate at the Chabad House. As always it was a wonderful experience to join them and to see the great job they are doing there. We have been to many Chabad Houses around the world and are always so impressed with their wonderful hospitality.
The Chabad synagogue, which is in the Venice ghetto, had a lovely sukkah and as the weather was fantastic, we really enjoyed sitting outside and welcoming all the tourists that stopped to look around.
Visitors to the areas should be aware of the many mosquitoes. Although it was already October and all the windows in our apartment were very well covered with a net, we still got bitten by mosquitoes all over.
Kids playing area, Public Parco.
Opposite the Gam-Gam restaurant, there is a nice playing area for children with lots of benches for parents to sit and relax while the kids are playing.
There is also a playing area opposite the train station that kids can enjoy.
Also, if you take the bus you can ride for 10 minutes and arrive at a lovely park outside Venice. There is a big playing area and you can hire, via the app, bicycles and electric scooters per hour and ride around the park. It is worth doing this in advance as they seem to get booked up quickly. When we were there, there were only two bicycles and three scooters available.
My kids really enjoyed the park.
If you plan to come to Venice with kids/babies/ buggies, please be aware that there are MANY steps to climb along your walk as the bridges have stairs. Also, you need to be extremely careful with small children that they shouldn't go near the water.
You can purchase a day ticket for the Venice Boat and travel to the three nearby islands. One day is enough to explore all three islands.
Murano is the place where they specialise in glass. It was quite early and most of the shops were closed. But there was one beautiful shop that was open. I took some pictures, but be aware that the shops don't like when you take too many pictures.
Then we took the boat to Burano. I really enjoyed walking through the streets with BEAUTIFUL, colourful houses. I felt like I'm in a fairyland!
There are loads of pretty small bridges and colourful houses, and I loved walking there. You can see the big difference in what
colour does for a house when you compare these streets to regular houses... What a big difference! (I’d love to live on such a colourful street!)
The third island is Lido. There is a very long strip of beach to walk along. I was there out of the holiday season so it was very quiet and I enjoyed a lovely relaxing walk along the beach. Then you can walk back or take the local bus back to the boat station. The day ticket for the boat can also be used on the local buses.
I wanted to visit the nearby cities but I knew that it was only me that likes to explore new cities so while everyone else in the family was still sleeping, I went out early in the morning and came back early afternoon.
I love exploring new cities. People ask me, ‘what's so interesting to see different cities? They are all the same, houses, roads, trees and shops... What’s the point?
Yes. I understand. We all enjoy different things, don’t we? Some people enjoy a good meal or cooking and baking and so on... My love is exploring new places. To me, no two places are the same. Each city, town and village has a different vibe, something interesting to explore, a different atmosphere, and I really enjoy the experience.
Padua It takes about 30 minutes by train to get to Padova.
Padova has a very rich Jewish Heritage but today you don't see much.
There is a Synagogue which from the outside you can't really see it’s a synagogue.
When walking in the Jewish Ghetto, there are no signs or anything to remember the rich history.
While visiting Padova, this article was very helpful and I used it to walk through Padova from point to point to discover the city.
Of course, I did some adjustments and went only to the places that interested me and skipped what didn’t appeal to me.
While walking in the Ghetto streets a lady approached me and asked me for directions to the Jewish Cemetery. She was with her son and her GPS wasn't working so we walked there together. (Her great-great-grandfather was the rabbi of the community 400 years ago) The cemetery was a 15-minute walk away. We knew it would probably be closed but we decided to give it a try anyway. I was indeed closed, but at least we tried, and I gained a new friend in the process. (-:
It's my second time going to Verona. I went there a few years ago but then we just strolled through the main streets and were short of time.
This time I wanted to see more of Verona.
I read this Blog which helped me to discover stop by stop the interesting points of the city. As usual, I adjusted the suggestions to my personal interest and then made my way around.
It takes about 2 hours by train from Venice. I really enjoyed walking along the old architecture there and seeing so many interesting things. Afterwards, I went on a cable car that takes you up to the top of a hill; the views from the top are beautiful.
A lovely city with great shopping opportunities. Once again I arrived early morning when everything was still closed but from the windows, it looks great!
There are more fascinating places to visit around Venice, for example, Lake Garda and The Dolomites but it didn’t work for us this time. They are on my list for next time!
All in all, it was a really lovely vacation, one which I highly recommend!
If you have any questions about Venice, please let me know. I will be happy to try and help you.