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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)

January 6: Epiphany (Feast of Befana, national holiday)

For all Italians, the 6th of January is the day when the benevolent white witch Befana, who predates Santa Claus in Italy, arrives on her broomstick with presents and candy for all children who have been good during the year, or a lump of coal if they have been bad!

Late January–early March: 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.

One week before Easter: Holy Week (Settimana Santa -national holiday)

Solemn processions and passion plays in the streets mark the week leading up to Easter in Venice.

April 25: Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione – national)

To commemorate the end of World War II in Italy, celebrations and parades are held throughout the city.

May 1: Labour Day (Festa del lavoro -national holiday)

Artistic associations organise events in the historic centre of the city: performances, workshops, street theatre, and more.

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.

June 2: Republic Day (Festa della Repubblica, national holiday)

Commemorates the national referendum voted on this day in 1946, when the Italian people chose a republic instead of a monarchy. In Venice, as in the rest of Italy, celebrations include official ceremonies, a military parade, fireworks, concerts and street parties.

August 15: Ferragosto (national holiday)

To celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, masses and processions are held in her honour in churches and streets throughout the historic centre.

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.

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.

November 4: National Unity and Armed Forces Day (Giorno dell'Unità Nazionale - national)

For this official commemoration of Italian reunification and the end of the First World War, military parades are held across the city.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

December 26: Santo Stefano (national)

Celebrate the birth of St. Stephen. Traditionally, Italians sit down to a large and festive meal with their families.

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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

The Venice 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 6.50 for the first hour, EUR 3 per additional hour.
      • For longer stays, the best rates are available from EUR 18 per day.
    • Several car rental companies have counters on the arrivals level in the terminal building.
  • By bus
    • ATVO's bus line 35 connects the airport with the main bus station at Piazzale Roma, with service every 6 minutes and a travel time of about 35 minutes. Tickets cost EUR 6.
    • ACTV's bus line 5 connects the airport with the main bus station at Piazzale Roma. Tickets cost EUR 8.
  • 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 (EUR 14 for e-tickets) to any stop in central Venice.
  • By taxi
    • Land taxis are available at the ranks outside the airport. Count EUR 35 for a 25-minute ride to the city centre.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +39 (0)41 260 6111
  • Website: 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 7.50 per ride). Instead of paying for each ride, opt for a “Tourist Travel Card”, an economic solution with unlimited rides (EUR 20 for 1 day, EUR 60 for 1 week).

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 30-minute ride from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. costs around EUR 80 (EUR 100 from 7:00 p.m. onwards), 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 13, then EUR 1.80 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. They are marked on the Prezzi Benzina website: https://www.prezzibenzina.it/regioni/veneto/venezia

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 organise 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 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 (EUR).

£ 1 = € 1.18

€ 1 = £ 0.85

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

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home. Venice counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Italy

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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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Venice, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

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

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Buongiorno Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Buongiorno</em>

Good evening: Buonasera Good evening: <em>Buonasera</em>

Goodbye: Arrivederci Goodbye: <em>Arrivederci</em>

Yes: Si Yes: <em>Si</em>

No: No No: <em>No</em>

No, thank you: No, grazie No, thank you: <em>No, grazie</em>

Thank you very much: Grazie mille Thank you very much: <em>Grazie mille</em>

Please: Per favore Please: <em>Per favore</em>

I don't understand: Non capisco I don't understand: <em>Non capisco</em>

Could you repeat ?: Può ripetere ? Could you repeat ?: <em>Può ripetere ?</em>

What time is it ?: Che ora è ? / Che ora sono ? What time is it ?: <em>Che ora è ? / Che ora sono ?</em>

Sorry: Mi scusi (formal)
Excuse me: Scusatemi (plural) Sorry: <em>Mi scusi (formal)</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Scusatemi (plural)</em>

Airport: Aeroporto Airport: <em>Aeroporto</em>

Train station: Stazione Train station: <em>Stazione</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hotel / Albergho Hotel: <em>Hotel / Albergho</em>

Hospital: Ospedale Hospital: <em>Ospedale</em>

Bank: Banca Bank: <em>Banca</em>

Telephone: Telefono Telephone: <em>Telefono</em>

I'm (…): Sono (…). I'm (…): <em>Sono (…).</em>

I'm looking for (…): Sto cercando (…). I'm looking for (…): <em>Sto cercando (…).</em>

How much is (…)?: Quanto costa ? How much is (…)?: <em>Quanto costa ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Ha (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Ha (…) ?</em>

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

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

I'd like (…): Vorrei (…). I'd like (…): <em>Vorrei (…).</em>

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Good to know

+39
+ phone number (without 0)
1 : 00
of time difference with
London
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 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Government offices
Usually open Monday to Friday in the morning only
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
At restaurants that have waiting staff, a 10 to 15% 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!

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