Venice is so unique and interesting that literally anyone who loves to travel, is interested in history, art or just wants to visit an unusual place should try to visit at least once. I offer you a ready-made scenario for a one-day visit to Venice, which you can add to your planned trip to Italy - a vacation on the Adriatic coast in summer, winter holidays at ski resorts in the Dolomites Alps, a tour of historic cities or business trip. One day is certainly not enough to thoroughly explore this amazing city, but with good organization you can have time to get acquainted with the main, most famous sights and feel its atmosphere. You can fall in love with Venice at once or you can't understand and accept it. But it is a fact that few people will remain indifferent after acquaintance with it.
As you know, Venice is located on islands. And that's why everyone who comes here by plane or by train, bus, car must first visit her city "satellite", located on the mainland - Mestre. Sometimes it's called Mainland Venice. Also in the vicinity of this city is the main airport "Venezia - Marco Polo". This is why Mestre is the most convenient place to get to know the famous city of bridges and canals. You can come here at the end of your holiday in the sea or ski resort to visit Venice before your flight, or vice versa - you can start your multi-day trip in Italy.
What else is convenient for Mestre - in one place is the railway station and bus stop, from which often leave the trains and buses to the "island" (only 15 minutes), the nearest airports, as well as the neighboring cities - Padua, Verona, Treviso, Bologna, in the Dolomite Alps or the Adriatic resorts. Here, literally "across the street", you'll find many hotels, where with comfort and relatively inexpensive (compared to prices in Venice itself) can stay for a couple of nights and find parking. Most experienced travelers, especially those who travel with luggage or by car, do so.
If you come to Mestre early enough, then after a check-in at the hotel and a little rest go for a walk in the city center. For tourists it is not as attractive as its famous neighbor, but as a "warm-up" is quite suitable. Especially since there you can definitely find a suitable restaurant for lunch or dinner.
Bridges, canals, palazzo, gondolas, that's what this was all about. You'll see how and what a famous city lives on the water. There will be everything "as you like" - a lot of walking, a lot of watching and of course taking pictures.
Today there will be a lot to do - plan an early rise, and breakfast can be missed or limited to a cup of coffee with croissant (an hour and a half later we will certainly fill this gap). In the morning we leave early for Mestre station, where almost every ten minutes trains "to the island" leave for Venice Santa Lucia station. Quickly buy tickets (by the way, you can do it the day before) and do not forget to compile them just before boarding. The train runs along a dam laid out on the Venetian lagoon - water from all sides. It won't take long, 15 minutes.
We leave the station building and there she is - Venice! Before us is the Grand Canal and our first bridge. How many more of them are there today... If you're interested, you can start counting. Together with all of them we cross over to the opposite shore and head for a maze of narrow streets, canals and bridges. We need to get to the market and the Rialto Bridge. It's going to be hard to get lost and pass by. A big canal makes a loop and will block our way again, and the bridge we need is the main one and almost the only crossing. One way or another, we'll get to it. Besides, if you raise your head, you will see "per Rialto" signs quite often along the way. Sometimes they are just painted on the walls of houses, but still make it clear in which direction you should go.
The old Rialto Market is a very colorful and perhaps one of the most "non-tourist" places in Venice. No, there are plenty of tourists here, but there are more local sellers and buyers. For several hundred years now, every morning housewives come here to buy fresh fish, seafood, fruits and vegetables. The market closes early enough - no one is here at noon. And that's why we came here to see native Venetians behind their traditional occupation, trade, to gaze at all kinds of fish and sea creatures laid on ice, bright placers of colorful fruits, sneaky gulls, dreaming of stealing something tasty and photographers, secretly shooting scenes of city life ... It's all worth it.
Close to the fish market there are traditionally many different restaurants, trattorias and snack bars. Let's take a look at one of them, especially since we missed breakfast... How about "pulperia"? It's a place where they make octopus snacks. Believe me, it's delicious! By the way, there's all kinds of bruschettes and even oysters here, too. What a glass of Prosecco, of course. No, it's not early, we're in Venice!
If you don't like seafood, on the way from the Rialto Market to the bridge of the same name we will pass a tiny Al Merca wine bar. It looks like a stall where you can have a glass of wine and snack on traditional Venetian "chiquetti" - prosciutto sandwiches, salami seasoned with truffle oil. Mmm... (chuckles) Even if you've just seasoned with octopus, you'll still stay here - a thin slice of lardo on a slice of fresh white bread and another glass of Prosecco or Valpolicello. No, not much - the situation is binding!
You don't have to worry about such a busy breakfast. The thing is, we don't have lunch planned today. If you want to make it in time, you'll have to sacrifice something... So, let's move on. We go back to the Grand Canal, where one of Venice's main and most beautiful bridges, the Rialto (yes, yes, it's also called the market), is located. In its present form, this marble bridge has existed for over 400 years. It serves not only as a crossing, but also as a place for trade. To this day, there are jewelry and souvenir shops. Let's take a good look at it and of course use it for its intended purpose - to cross the channel.
"The Travel Bloggers' Secret Place is an observation deck with a wonderful view of the Grand Canal and its surroundings. It is located on the roof of the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi mall and opens at 10:30. We got here just in time. You have to enter the mall on the left of the Rialto Bridge and take the elevator to the terrace. Entrance is free, but there are restrictions - no more than 40 people can enter at a time and you can stay there for no longer than 15 minutes. To get there at the time you expect, you should book your visit on the shopping centre's website - [**link here**](https://www.dfs.com/t-fondaco/rooftop-terrace-booking/booking/terrace_venice_en.html). No thanks...)
After seeing the Grand Canal, the surrounding rooftops and the bell towers, we go to see the most important thing, namely Piazza San Marco and the "must see" category attraction located on it. We are now in the heart of Venice - the streets are getting bigger and bigger and more tourists. On the way, we are guided by the signs "per S. Marco. If you don't take pictures for a long time against the background of some special picturesque bridge, canal or palazzo, then in about 10-15 minutes we will be on the spot. The narrow lanes will suddenly end and you will see the expanse of the famous Venetian square. Let's take a little walk along it, take a look around and of course take another photo. But please keep in mind that feeding local pigeons is a bad idea. It looks romantic, of course... But firstly, it's very unhygienic, secondly, they scratch your hands and clothes, and thirdly, it's very expensive. They can fine you a few hundred euros for that. You can do without it, right?
There is a tower in Piazza San Marco with a unique clock - Torre dell'Orologio. It was built over 500 years ago. The age is more than respectable, without extensive repairs and restorations, of course, but we are assured that the structure itself and the clock mechanism have remained more or less intact. Very rarely, just a couple of times a year, you can see a unique performance - the figures of the magi who make a procession from the windows located near the dial. This was started hundreds of years ago, but nowadays it happens only on big holidays. However, we will still be able to hear the battle of the vintage clock, as we have for over five hundred years! Especially long and beautiful it sounds above the square at noon. And we are back in the right place at the right time. Let's stand for a while and wait for the bronze "Moor" at the top of the tower to start hitting the ancient bell with a heavy hammer.
If you turn your back on the clock at 180 degrees, the first thing you will see is the tallest, most important bell tower in Venice, the Campanile di San Marco. It was built in the 16th century, but after experiencing several earthquakes and lightning strikes it collapsed in 1902. It's said that from the general wear and tear of the entire structure. The destruction was complete, but fortunately, there were no human casualties. The tower has always been a symbol of Venice, so it was decided to restore it to its original form. Which was done only ten years later, in 1912. If you want, you can climb it by standing in line, buying a ticket and taking the elevator.
Right next to the bell tower there is a real "pearl", one of the main attractions not only in Venice, but also in the whole of Italy - St. Mark's Cathedral. You've certainly noticed it right away, strolling around the square. Now it's time to take a better look at it from the outside as well as from the inside. It's very beautiful! I hope the line to get in is not long. Anyway, it usually moves pretty fast. Entrance to the cathedral itself is free, but have to pay to see the treasury, the "Golden Altar" and access to the second floor terrace. Everywhere you will need to pay a few euros, but it's worth it. In a nutshell: The treasury contains jewels - religious utensils and relics that have been accumulated here for hundreds of years (the beginning of the collection was started by trophies taken during the sacking of Constantinople). "The Golden Altar" is a large altar image made of gold, painted enamel plates, inlaid with placers of precious stones. The main altar is also where the relics of Saint Mark are kept (smuggled out from Alexandria in Egypt). On the second floor you can see the original ancient quadriga of gilded bronze (you won't believe it, but it was also taken out of Constantinople after it was sacked). The one standing outside is a later exact copy. See it all, as well as the rich mosaics and decoration of the cathedral, and step out onto the terrace - you'll find yourself just behind the four horses that stand outside for all to see. From here, the view of Piazza San Marco and the lagoon of Venice is simply magnificent. Do you still have enough space left on your smartphone for a few dozen new photos?
Next to the gathering is the Doge Palace, the former residence of the rulers of the Venetian Republic. Now there is a museum, where you can get acquainted with the rich and very interesting history of the city, see the rich interiors, paintings, priceless artifacts and exhibits. Buy tickets and go to the inspection. A couple of hours should be enough. By the way, not far from the entrance there are two columns with the symbols of Venice - the sculptures of St. Mark's lion (taken out of the Middle East) and the patron saint of the city of St. Theodore, destroying the crocodile (taken out of Constantinople, however, I'm not surprised).
Once you've finished exploring the museum, go out to the quay. Another famous sight is the Bridge of Sighs, very close by. In fact, you have already walked across it when you moved from one museum building to another. Now look at it from the outside. To do this, you need to walk to the Ponte della Pagila, by the way, also an ancient bridge, but not so famous, and stay in its middle. Now look to your left - the crossing between the buildings above the canal is what we need. The covered bridge is a gallery with barred windows. It is believed that convicts were escorted from the courtroom to the place of detention and execution. Passing by the windows, they could take a last look at the "will" and sigh heavily about their fate. Hence the name of the bridge. You can breathe now, too, but it's a relief. Since this was the last item on our "mandatory program."
The tour can be completed in one of the nearest cafes or bars. Walk a little longer to the monument to the first king of united Italy - Victor Emanuel II, who sits on horseback right in the middle of the waterfront. Choose the first place you like and order a traditional local cocktail of Aperoli Spritz. Get ready just for the prices here to be a little "above average", yet this is Venice... Aperol Spritz, by the way, is another local celebrity. This light and perfectly refreshing drink made of orange bitter liqueur, prosecco and mineral water was invented here. Help yourself, you deserve it! Get some rest, exchange impressions and decide what you will do next. There are several options: You can realize the "dream of housewives" and ride a real Venetian gondola on the canals. And then go for a late lunch (or an early dinner, who likes it). You can go straight to the restaurant on foot, about the same route that we took to Piazza San Marco. Or go most of the way there by local water public transport - "vaporetto" (a stop next door, on the quay). Alternatively, you can take a local taxi - a boat - and get to the restaurant faster and at the same time explore the city from the water. The choice is yours.
An eight-hour walk is no joke! Must have had a decent appetite. It's time for a little refreshment and as thorough as possible. Finding a decent restaurant in Venice is a challenge. It's all about the huge number of tourists who come to this city every day. Because of this, most restaurants will either overprice or underestimate the quality. And it happens that both of them together. We're not happy with those options, right? Let's get out of the crowded areas and go to Cannaregio - it's going to be a "non-tourist" part of Venice again, where we will find exactly what we need. Especially since it's also close to the train station where we'll have to go soon. For example, two partner restaurants Al Timon and All'Antica Mola - one of them is meat and the other is fish. They are mostly praised and often quite deservedly. We have to be there a little earlier than usual Italian dinner time, so the chances of getting a table are very good. As a last resort, there are other places next door to them. What should I order? I'd look at the spaghetti wongola menu first. It's a traditional Veneto pasta with clams. And something for an appetizer - a couple of chiquetti or mozzarella or whatever they have. And a glass of cool soave, if you don't mind. Wongola's fine!
I hope you had a good time at the restaurant, and you went for a better walk. Time to go back to the hotel and get some rest. We go to the station Santa Lucia, on the way we follow the signs "alla Ferrovia". The trains in Mestre leave very often, almost every 5-10 minutes. Buy a ticket if you didn't buy it in advance and don't forget to compost it before boarding.
We're going back to the same dam as this morning. It's still 15 minutes. At the station in Mestre we don't stay much longer, there's nothing to do unless you need to clarify the schedule and buy tickets for the next day. This is in case if you have a trip to another city in Italy planned.
It ends where it started - at Mestre station. Someone will go from here to the mountains, someone by the sea, someone to get acquainted with other beautiful cities and places in Italy. And for someone it will be the final day of the trip and he will go to the airport.
Buses and trains that depart from Mestre station will take you to where you need to go - to the Dolomites, the beaches of the Adriatic or the airport. It's easy to walk from the hotel, even with luggage. Good journey!