Hidden treasures

Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges? If you are planning your first trip to Venice don't be alarmed! If you get a nice map of Venice and follow our tips, you certainly won't get lost in the maze of streets and canals!

Look at the island of Venice in your map ... does it not remind you of something familiar? Yes, it really recalls the shape of a fish or, as the Venetian Tiziano Scarpa wrote, ‘a colossal sole lying on the sea bottom’!

Before leaving it is good to know the morphology of Venice precisely because it is a city different from its sisters on the mainland and as such, it has unique characteristics not elsewhere found in the world that you need to know about to enjoy a vacation without feeling anxious and stressed.

If you have a map of Venice in your hands, you can see that the island is connected to the mainland of Mestre by a long bridge, the Ponte della Libertà which allows you to reach it either by private or public transport up to Piazzale Roma - the only place cars can drive up to- or by train which calls at Venice’s Santa Lucia train station. Even Marco Polo airport is just a few kilometers from the historic center ... obviously by sea!! Simply book online a transfer service from Venice airport to reach your hotel in a few minutes!

Once you have arrived, the doors of this romantic city will open for you, which will initially seem complex, but if you consider the below landmarks, it will seem much easier to visit.

First of all, it is good to know that the island of Venice is divided into Sestieri or six large districts: Cannaregio, Castello, San Marco, San Polo, Santa Croce and Dorsoduro.

If you are looking for the location of your hotel or the building or museum you intend to visit, in its address you might find not only the house number and sometimes the name of the street, but also the area of Venice in which it is located; this will allow you to have a clear idea of its position within the city.

Secondly, it is important to know the name and location of the four large bridges that cross the Grand Canal - the main canal that flows through the historic center of Venice and divides the city in two – and also what they look like because they will allow you to easily reach the two banks:

  1. the Ponte della Costituzione which connects the area of the train station with Piazzale Roma
  2. the Ponte degli Scalzi located near the railway station,
  3. the Rialto Bridge, one of the most famous monuments of Venice in the world
  4. the Ponte dell'Accademia, from which you can admire a wonderful panorama of the Basilica della Salute and St Mark’s Bay.

Surely there will be a place that, above all, you will want to visit during your stay in Venice ... the beautiful St Mark’s Square. Known as the 'Lounge of Europe', it was the beating heart of the political, spiritual and social life of the city: you will find yourself surrounded by splendid buildings and historical monuments such as the Byzantine St Mark’s Basilica, St Mark’s bell tower or what was once the Doge’s residence, the Doge’s Palace. You will find that every building, every element that characterizes this square exudes history and beauty that are impossible to ignore, so find the time to participate in one of the guided tours run by us in St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, this will allow you to fully understand the origins and therefore the true nature of this wonderful island...

Now arm yourself with comfortable shoes, a camera in one hand and a map of Venice in the other and set off to discover this magical city! But if one day you happen to leave the map in your hotel, just do as the writer Tiziano Scarpa says: ‘The first and only itinerary I suggest has a name. It is named: just by chance. Subtitle: no destination. Venice is small, you can afford to get lost without ever really leaving it’

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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