One of the reasons travelers flock to Venice is that in many ways it has changed little over the centuries. You can see St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace much as they appeared during time of the Venetian Republic. Yet, any world-class city like La Serenissima is always evolving and here is a sampling of what’s new in Venice:
New Vaparetto Service – In June, a new hop-on, hop-off vaparetto service began on Venice’s Grand Canal. Vaporetto dell’Arte runs daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and makes eight stops between the train station and San Giorgio. Vaporetto dell’Arte has 80 seats and space for 20 additional passengers to stand. The seats are equipped with multi-language audio-visual systems. Each passenger receives a welcome kit which includes disposable earphones, a map and special offersA 24-hour pass costs 24€ for adults and 15€ for children and seniors. A better deal, for those staying a dayor more in Venice or exploring the city on a wider basis, seems to be purchasing the Vaporetto dell’Arte pass in conjunction with time-limited ACTV tourist tickets (12, 24, 36, 48, 72 hour, 7-day and 3-day Youth Card: Rolling Venice). This pass only 10€ in addition to the price of the other ACTV tickets. All of these passes/tickets are available for pre-purchase through Venice Connected up to a minimum of four days before collecting and/or using them.
Bike Sharing – With all of those waterways, who would imagine that a bike might be useful in Venice. Yet mainland Venice and some of the city’s larger islands like Lido are actually good places to get around by bike. Bike Sharing Venezia is the latest of worldwide bike sharing programs where you can swipe your credit card and affordably rent a bicycle for a few hours. According to Jaunted though, it is a little harder to rent a bike in Venice: “The trick here is that you need to register in advance and score one of the city’s IMOB access cards. The only bummer here is that—at least according to our limited foreign language skills—is that registration must be done in person either at the Venice-Mestre railway station or Venice-Lido. Registration will set you back 15€ for the year.”
New Hotels – There have always been fabulous luxury hotels in Venice. A few more have joined the old guard over the past year or so. Celebrated Venice hotelier Francesca Bortolotto Possati opened her latest property, Villa F, offering 11 one- and two-bedroom apartments, just a few doors down from one of her most famous hotels, Bauer Il Palladio. Hotel Palazzo Giovannelli is also a new-ish entry on the Venice hotel scene. The 4-star property is housed in the 16-the century Foscarini Giovanelli Palace, which once counted the Mozart family and Frederick Christian IV, King of Denmark among its inhabitants.
By Kathy McCabe
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Photo by Cantabrigensis, flickr.com