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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Venice

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Venice each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

Late January–mid-February: Carnevale (local event)

Dating back to the Middle Ages, Venice's pre-Lenten Carnevale draws huge numbers of visitors from around the world every year. Today's carnival preserves much of the spirit of the traditional festivities, with their focus on social inversion and life affirmation. Donning all sorts of colourful and elaborate masks and costumes, participants enjoy theatre and music in the streets, dance balls in public squares and at the world-famous La Fenice opera house, not to mention costume contests and acrobatic performances.

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

May–November: Venice Biennale (local event)

Held every odd-numbered year, Europe's most prestigious international forum for contemporary art features numerous exhibitions and conferences, as well as music, theatre and dance performances at the most celebrated venues in Venice.

Sunday after Ascension Day: Vogalonga (local event)

This massive regatta, covering a 32-kilometre (20-mile) course extending over the lagoon and along some of the city's canals, is open to any crew in any type of craft powered by oars or paddles. Each year, the race attracts some 1,800 boats and nearly 7,000 competitors. The Canal Grande offers some of the best vantage points to view the race.

Late August–early September: Venice Film Festival (local event)

Inaugurated in 1932 under the auspices of the Biennale, this international 11-day film festival is the oldest in the world. All of cinema's leading lights – stars, directors, producers and film-makers – flock to the Palazzo del Cinemà on the Lido and other venues to view competing films alongside an international jury and the public. The festival also host retrospectives and other special events for film-lovers.

First Sunday in September: Regata Storica (local event)

One of the highlights of the year in Venice, this event opens with a spectacular pageant of historical, ornately decorated vessels, their crews decked out in Renaissance costumes, intended to re-enact the return of Caterina Cornaro to her native city in 1489. As queen of Cyprus, she had been forced to surrender the strategically important island to the doge at the death of her husband. Once the procession has made its way down the Canal Grande, the day continues with hotly contested races by gondolas and other boats.

Fourth Sunday in October: Venice Marathon (local event)

Each autumn, this major event attracts runners from around the world, eager to test their mettle on a course known as one of the sport's most beautiful and memorable, starting in the charming countryside near Padua and proceeding along the Riviera del Brenta. The last kilometres of the race take the participants through historic Venice, alongside the Canal Giudecca to Punta della Dogana, crossing the Canal Grande on a pontoon bridge to Piazza San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale before arriving at the finish line on Riva Sette Martiri.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Venice

Venice has a humid continental climate. Exposed to the winds blowing in off the Adriatic, Venice experiences rather cold winters, with snow, freezing temperatures and fog. Summer are often hot and humid, with occasionally violent storms. With more than 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, Venice offers its visitors many clear and beautiful days, especially in the spring.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -1/30 6/43 58/2.3 Not the best period to go
February 1/34 8/46 54/2.1 Not the best period to go
March 4/39 12/54 57/2.2 Not the best period to go
April 8/46 16/61 64/2.5 Good period to go Good period to go
May 12/54 21/70 69/2.7 Good period to go Good period to go
June 16/61 25/77 76/3.0 Good period to go Good period to go
July 18/64 28/82 63/2.5 Not the best period to go
August 17/63 27/81 83/3.3 Not the best period to go
September 14/57 24/75 66/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
October 9/48 18/64 69/2.7 Not the best period to go
November 4/39 12/54 87/3.4 Not the best period to go
December 0/32 7/45 54/2.1 Not the best period to go
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Venice Marco Polo International Airport

Venice's Marco Polo Airport is located about 7 kilometres (4 miles) north of the city centre, on the edge of the lagoon.

  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Venice and back :
  • By car
    • Accessible via the SS14 (Via Triestina).
    • Several different facilities are available, for both short- and long-term parking:
      • For the shortest stays, Stop&Go, Speedy Park and Sosta Breve offer the first 10 minutes free of charge, with rates starting at EUR 2.00 for up to 30 minutes at Stop&Go, EUR 3.00 for up to 1 hour at Sosta Breve, and EUR 10.00 for up to 2 hours at Speedy Park (50 percent discount on Saturdays and Sundays).
      • For longer stays, the best rates are available at P4 (EUR 5.50 per day) and P5 (EUR 10.00 per day).
    • Several car rental companies have counters on the arrivals level in the terminal building.
  • By bus
    • ATVO's bus 35 and ACTV's bus 5 connect the airport with the main bus station at Piazzale Roma, with service every half hour and a travel time of about 20 to 30 minutes. Tickets cost EUR 8 one way and EUR 15 round trip, including luggage.
  • By boat
    • Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia operates private water taxis direct from the airport to your hotel, which can be shared by up to 10 people, about EUR 100 each way (for 6 to 10 people, there is a surcharge of EUR 10 per person), with a travel time of about 25 minutes.
    • Alilaguna is a public water-bus service that runs three routes from the airport, with departures every 15 minutes and a travel time of about 75 minutes to Piazza San Marco. The fare is EUR 15 to any stop in central Venice.
  • By taxi
    • Land taxis are available at the ranks outside the airport.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +39 (0)41 260 6111
  • Website: http://www.veniceairport.it

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GETTING AROUND Venice

Getting around Venice by travelling along its waterways is a delight for all visitors. Apart from offering unforgettable views of La Serenissima's majestic architecture, the city's maritime transport options are convenient, efficient, and also relatively inexpensive, at least as far as the public options are concerned.

By vaporetto

Both practical and punctual, Venice's vaporetti (motorized bus-boats), operated by ACTV, are the main means of public transport in the city and serve all of its districts (sestiere). If purchased individually, tickets are a bit expensive (EUR 7 per ride).

Passes

Instead of paying EUR 7 per ride, a better option is to purchase one of ACTV's passes, which offer unlimited travel for 1 day (EUR 20), 2 days (EUR 30), 3 days (EUR 40) or 1 week (EUR 60). For children and young people between the ages of 6 and 29, ACTV offers a special “Rolling Venice” 3-day pass (EUR 29), including unlimited travel as well as discounts at museums and other attractions.

By gondola

Considered by many as the most iconic feature of Venice, today gondolas circulate most often on canals in the centre of the city, carrying tourists on rides at fixed rates, which tend to be rather high. A 40-minute ride costs around EUR 100, but may be shared by as many as six passengers.

By water taxi

Getting around by water taxi in Venice is costly, but can be a convenient option when you are in a hurry or need to carry a lot of luggage. The initial charge is EUR 15, then EUR 2 per minute. A supplement of EUR 5 is charged per person for more than four passengers. If you have more than one bag per passenger, there is a charge of EUR 3 for each additional piece. A further supplement of EUR 6 is charged if the taxi comes to pick you up at your hotel.

By rental boat

It is possible to rent a boat to travel around Venice's lagoon and canals. A boating permit is not required, but you will need to pass a basic turning and docking test before being allowed to rent a vessel. Rates start at EUR 30 per hour.
Note: There are only four fuelling stations for boats in Venice. Make sure you note their locations before heading out.

By bicycle

Cycling is prohibited within the city of Venice. However, bikes are ideal for visiting the islands in the lagoon, including Lido and Pellestrina. There are several bike rental agencies at the Lido vaporetto stop.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Venice, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Azienda di Promozione Turistica della Provincia di Venezia

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Informazione e Accoglienza Turistica (IAT)

At various locations throughout the city, Venice's tourism authority operates these centres where you can obtain information and recommendations for visiting the city and its surrounding area. Listed below are the main addresses for IAT offices in Venice:

  • IAT San Marco: San Marco, 71/F, 30124 Venezia
  • IAT Venice Pavilion: Ex Giardini reali, San Marco, 30124 Venezia
  • IAT Piazzale Roma: Piazzale Roma Garage ASM, 30135 Venezia

Further information available online for visitors to Italy

The official website of Italy's national tourist board (Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo, ENIT) provides a wealth of information on Venice.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Italy is the euro (€).

1 RUB = 0.01 EUR

1 EUR = 100 RUB

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Italy.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Venice.

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Administrative formalities

For a stay of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay in order to enter Italy.

As a general rule, all other travellers are subject to visa requirements, although citizens of some countries may enter Italy for a short stay of up to 90 days without a visa.

For further information, visit the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home/en

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Italian phrases that will make your stay in Venice a little easier:

Good morning: Buongiorno

Good evening: Buonasera

Good-bye: Arrivederci

Yes: Si

No: No

No, thank you: No, grazie

Thank you very much: Grazie mille

I don't understand: Non capisco

Could you repeat that: Può ripetere? (polite form) / Potete ripetere? (plural form)

Please: Per favore

What time is it: Che ora è? / Che ora sono?

Excuse me: Mi scusi (polite form) / Scusatemi (plural form)

Airport: Aeroporto

Train station: Stazione

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hotel / Albergho

Hospital: Ospedale

Bank: Banca

Telephone: Telefono

I'm (…): Sono (…).

I'm looking for (…): Sto cercando (…).

How much is it: Quanto costa?

Do you have (…): Ha (…)? (polite form) / Avete (…)? (plural form)

Where can I find (…): Dove si trova (…)? / Dove posso trovare (…)?

Where can I buy (…): Dove si compra (…)? / Dove posso comprare (…)?

I'd like (…): Vorrei (…).

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Good to know

intl. access code + 39
+ phone number without the 0 (calls to Venice)
-2 : 00
of time difference with
Moscow
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

Banks
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Government offices
Usually open Monday to Friday in the morning only
230 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
At restaurants that have waiting staff, a 10 to 15 percent service charge (servizio) is usually included in the bill. If the service is exceptional, you can certainly leave a few euros more. Some restaurants also apply a cover charge (pane e coperto, literally “bread and cutlery”), which is not considered as a gratuity, but is instead a set, nominal fee you will need to pay regardless of what you eat. You should therefore be wary of the very attractive prices posted in the windows of certain restaurants, because they may not include either the servizio or the pane e coperto!