Visting Venice, Italy
Berkeley Parents Network >
Places to Go >
Visting Venice, Italy
We are planning on taking our family to Europe this summer and would like to
get recommendations for hotels and attractions in Paris and Venice that
would be interesting and attractive for our three children, ages 6, 10 and
We went to Venice (and worked our way down to Rome) last
year with our son, then 3 years old. Venice is a great place
for kids because there are no cars! Great place to just
walk, people watch, and you can't really get lost too
easily. In fact, getting lost is part of the fun. It is also
good because the food is pretty kid-friendly (pasta, pizza,
pastries and of course, ice cream).
That said, there aren't really any attractions per se. I
found some good ideas in a book from the library called
''Italy with kids'' or something like that. One suggestion if
you are into museums is to get postcards before entering the
museums, and make it a scavenger hunt to find the items in
the postcards. With older kids, find out what they are
learning in history and tie the locations you visit to their
Also we found that the other kids there (and the Italians)
are very friendly. My son would just jump in and kick the
soccer ball with the other kids in the piazza while we had a
glass of wine. Doesn't matter that they might not speak the
same language. There aren't many parks, so when school lets
out, all the kids run around the piazzas.
editor note: reviews also received for Paris
Looking for a hotel in Venice for 2-3 nights in July. This will
be for 2 adult friends traveling together, so doesn't need to be
traveling to Italy
I stayed at the Pensione Accademia a few years back and thought it
was really lovely. The hotel, which was once the Russian Embassy, is
in a quiet but convenient location with a very peaceful courtyard
I loved Venice but here is a tip: bring bug spray, the mosquitoes are
ferocious, especially in the Summer.
I don't know if you are travelling on a tight budget - we did last
year in July and we loved ''Hotel Florida'' in Venice. (Book months
in advance). It is close to the train station, so you can easily haul
your luggage over 3 bridges. It is very close to the Scalzi bridge,
which means you have all vaparetto lines at your disposal and
therefore less tranfers, you also have lots of evening entertainment
and a very reasonable and good self-service restaurant in the
shopping alley, where we were able to eat lunch or dinner for 3 for
22 Euro. If you eat elsewhere you can easily spend 50 Euro on 3
personal pizzas (smallest kind) and 3 lemonades.
Your other major
expense are the vaparettos. We bought the unlimited rides for several
days tickets (about 50 Euro per person?) and noticed that ticket
control only works at the docks Thursday-Sunday. The hotel is very
reasonable for being inside of Venice. I think we paid 90 Euros for 2
adults and a kid, which included an ''expanded'' continental breakfast (yogurt & cornflakes in addition to croissants. We
brought our own granola and soymilk, which they kept in their kitchen
refrigerator for us).
We had 4 days and explored Murano, Burano, the
Lido, visited the Peggy Guggenheim Museum (since we prefer
expressionists over old Italian Masters), split a Gondola ride with
strangers who became friends for the trip duration although we didn't
speak any language in common, and walked all over Venice. Relax for
half a day at the Lido and enjoy jumping small waves in the 85 degree
Adriatic Sea! Totally beats the Pacific Ocean in California.
Does anyone have some recommendations/recent experience how to explore
Venice, Italy on a low budget? Flight tickets are booked and so is a
reasonable hotel, but I was wondering about feeding my family in
restaurants for 4 days 3 meals a day. My daughter will want to live on
pasta and pizza. Any tips on where to buy produce, finding inexpensive
restaurants/cafes are welcome. Has anyone seen grocery stores in Venice?
(Haven't been there in over 10 years). Is glassblowing exclusively done on
Murano or can one see demonstrations of it in Venice too? I am considering
an outing to Burano, because I recall it being charming and colorful. Is
it fun visiting the Lido? (Never done before). Trying to think of
activities that a 10-year old would enjoy there next August in the heat.
Not sure if we can afford a gondola ride, definitely not in the evening.
Does anyone know the going prices/length of these rides? I think it was
about $90 ten years ago...
Hi. There are supermarkets, the one we went to was a very tiny little
shop. They have a great fruit/veggie market by the grand canal so that's
where I'd buy produce. We were there last august as well - it really
wasn't too terribly hot. The only other recommendation I would make is to
go to the lido - we did for a day and it was great - nice beach and quiet
compared to the hustle of venice. That turned out to be our favorite
Does anyone have recommendations for:
1. A good travel person who can help with Venice accomodations?
2. Advice for a week in Venice with my husband and 20-month old
We will be in Venice between April 28-May 5, after visiting
Israel, and we'd like to stay in an apartment. I will be 7
We would *so much* appreciate any wisdom, tips, advice for both
our weeklong stay and especially a good place to stay.
Thanks in advance!
Check out my favorite travel website: www.slowtrav.com There are several apartment
reviews for Venice posted by travelers. Be sure to also check out the message board part
of the site (www.slowtalk.com) and search under ''Venice.'' You'll find a lot of
information including restaurant recommendations (one of the regular contributors to the
site has published a fodd guidebook called ''Chow Venice'').
My main advice to you is try not to do too much. Venice can be tiring as you are forever
going up and down bridges. Even though most of them are small they almost all have
steps. My hubby and I were exhausted after lifting our son's stroller up and down all
day, although he was still too little to be in an umbrella stroller which would've been
easier. Anyway, enjoy! Marcy
We found an apartment for last June through this place: http://
It looks like they still don't advertise the apartment, so see if they still have it. If
so, it's wonderful. There are 2 bedrooms; it's on a canal and you can easily walk
everywhere. It's about 10 minutes from the Accademia and is about 180/night, if I
remember correctly. Enjoy!
We spent a wonderful week in an apartment in Venice with our daughter who was 2.9 at the
time. The water taxi from the airport was a great way to enter/exit the city. A light
jogging stroller for navigating the cobblestones and many bridges was useful, though for
your ages a backpack might work better. Some of the piazzas are kid magnets for the
locals...you can walk around and find them. There is a big shopping market in the
Cannaregio district - I went there several times even though we were staying near Piazza
My husband and I went on a trip to Italy and France for two months last summer with our
kids who were 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 at the time. We worked with a wonderful resource for the
Italian portion of our trip who I found over the internet. Her name is Amie
O'Shaughnessy and her website is http://www.ciaobambino.com/. She specializes in finding
places for families traveling to Italy. We did not visit Venice, but were in Rome and
Florence. We were very happy with the accomodations that Amie recommended in those
cities. My husband actually commented yesterday that of all of the places we stayed on
that trip, the apartment we had in Florence was the best. That was the one Amie found
for us. Hope this helps.
Hi, I will be lucky enough to spend 4 days in Venice with my best friend in
March (sans baby!), and I was wondering whether anyone had a recommendation
for a place to stay. We were hoping for something not too expensive (doesn't have
to be dirt cheap either) and somewhat special.
We stayed in Venice last year for a couple of days in June, as a
side trip from Austria. I found the place through a website
that lists bed and breakfasts http://www.vacanzeinfamiglia.it.
We were very happy with the location and accommodations as well
as the price. The owner does not speak English but somehow we
were able to communicate despite our lack of Italian. She was
quite charming and helpful and we really felt like we were
living in the community rather than as a tourist in a hotel. A
very nice cafe serving heavenly cappuccinos was right around the
corner as well as a trattoria that stayed open late in the
evening. A great place to eat after a day of sightseeing. The
URL for the B&B is http://www.canzianibedandbreakfast.com. You
get a better deal if you communicate with the owner rather than
the agency. Good luck, and hope you enjoy Venice as much as we
We are taking our 2.5 year old to Venice and are a little
nervous about the canals and wondering if there are any
playgrounds...any advice would be appreciated.
A friend of mine just came back from Venice. She mentioned A LOT
OF STAIRS on the sidewalks and paths. Backpack rather than
stroller may be worth a thought.
Venice is one of my favorite places on this planet and I keep
going back. That said, I find it completely unsuitable for
toddlers. No playgrounds, lots of stairs (going up and down
bridges) and 10,000 possibilities to fall into any of the
polluted canals around every other corner. You'll be running
after your little one every step along the way. If you want to
see and enjoy Venice for what it has to offer, either put your
infant in a front or back carrier or wait until your kids are
in their teens. I'm not saying it's impossible, but you are
going to miss out on serenity, long discovery walks, and a lot
of romantic moments. Venice is so full of wonder and magic day
and night that adults shouldn't miss the opportunity to feel
like children themselves. My two cents.
We have recently decided to throw our fate to the wind and make a
trip to Venice, Italy in the late fall this year. It will be
myself, my husband and our 1.5 year old son, possibly my parents
as well. I have traveled to Italy before, but my husband never
has. We are hoping for a low key, slow paced week long vacation.
Can anyone provide us with insights and tips for what to do while
there that will be stroller accessible? I've never traveled
abroad as a parent, let alone with an active toddler so this will
be an adventure for us all!
We just spent a week with our 2.75 year old twin girls in Venice
and it was fantastic; in fact, one of the best places in Italy.
Though I was always afraid of the girls falling into the canals,
they never even came close!
We were staying with friends, so, the cost was not too bad, but
whenever we ate out, the cost was outrageous. It felt as if it
was nearly double what we pay here for comparable value.
The canal boats were easy to manuever a double stroller. The
tickets on the boats are expensiive, so, I would recommend getting
a week pass right away, otherwise, it could be 20 dollars per
It was very easy for us to just stroll around at our own paces,
window shop, etc. It was really fun!
Italy will be a wonderful trip for your family, but if you are
using a stroller, you may want to reconsider what part of Italy
you have chosen. Venice is a series of very small islands, so
there are many bridges, steps, etc., but you cannot drive
there. This may be an advantage for you - as you will not have
to be wary of fast cars or crazy vespa drivers. However, if
you want to cut down on walking for you (or possibly for your
parents) you might reconsider and go to Florence or Rome, where
there are many kid-friendly parks & places to walk as well as
Because I don't know you at all, I sort of hate writing this
email, but I felt someone should warn you about Venice in late
fall. I have been twice to Venice in November-the first time
for all of 20 minutes, the second time for 3 days. The first
visit was a true disaster-when we arrived at 6pm via car (we
drove to the airport from the Bologna region that day) the
canals had all overflowed and San Marco square, where our water
taxi dropped us off, was completely underwater-by many feet.
We ''walked the plank'' (they have them on the standby in major
squares throughout Venice during the rainy season)only to see
that our hotel, down one of the side streets, was now fronted by
what appeared to be a rushing river! Literally, we would have
waded, with luggage, in water up to our hips to get to the front
door. I wouldn't have minded doing this once, but I was
concerned that once we got inside-how were we going to get out
and about? We viewed the situation, conferred, turned around
and caught the next train to Florence for an extended stay there.
The second time we went (I think it was three years ago-the
first trip was probably in the late 80's)it was again mid-
November (it's one of my favorite times to travel-just me, my
friend, and the locals). Although it sprinkled while we were
there, and there were high tides where the water was lapping
over the edges of the canal, we could at least navigate the
streets on foot. I recall walking the planks one morning in one
of the squares, but that was the worst of it.
With a 2 year old myself, I personally cannot fathom how I would
fare trying to maneuver him in those situations.
It can also be a bit chilly in Northern Italy that time of year,
in addition to the rains. Of course, probably no colder than
here. I can definitely recommend, however, Florence/Tuscany
region, Rome and Southern Italy for late fall. As I said, what
is fabulous about it is the significant drop in tourists-you
actually have a real opportunity to meet locals and have an
authentic experience (not to mention much less costly in off-
season). On one of my earlier trips to Italy in November, I
swear it was David (yes-THAT David) and I all alone one morning
for fully 45 minutes. I noticed, though, on our last trip there
3 years ago there were many more Americans traveling-it would be
interesting to know if world events have again changed this.
In any case, I hope you enjoy your time there-I have been many
times to Italy, and other than the Bay Area it is indeed my
favorite place in the whole world!
Lover of all Italian
Good for you for taking the tot and heading to Europe. You will
find that Europeans (unlike many Americans) actually like
children and will do there best to help you out rather than
simply glare at you. Venice can be very fun -- a bit touristy
if you want it to be. Like all of Europe, however, Venice is
not the most stroller friendly town (they have not had to worry
about the Americans with disabilities act). I would think about
bringing a back carrier with you to cruise the town OR I would
think about bringing a good jogging stroller that can take steps
Just a side note to let you know that you may want to forget the
stroller while in Venice -- there are tons and tons of stairs,
everywhere. We took our infant there and had to ditch the
stroller after the first day because it was a HUGE pain in the
neck carrying it up and down the bridges between canals. I
strongly suggest that you transport your son around in a
backpack. There are many large, beautiful squares where you can
let him down to run around. Have a great time!!!
Hi, yes Venice is beautifull, and better in the Fall, after all
the crowds are gone, please don't go in the summer, you will be
dissapointed. A stroller is a no,no in Venice, because there are
many,many bridges you have to cross, over all the canals, and it
is a hassle! If your tot can handle a back pack, ok, but he can
be too big for that. I would go anyway, but keep in mind that you
will have to carry your baby, when tired. I went there many times
with my daughter at many ages, and the only time we brought a
stroller was a very small one and we took it out only when we
went out to dinner and she would go to sleep in it. We picked
restaurants that were close to our pensione. Good luck! Venice
lover with two.
this page was last updated: Aug 15, 2010
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network