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This article is written by my friend Kim, it's an account of her recent trip to Venice, very useful if you are thinking of planning a trip there. The train journey sounds painless and a bit of an adventure, especially if you are not keen on flying.
Billy and I went to Venice for a short break in May half term. Decided not to fly and went by train. Eurostar to Paris took about 2.5hrs, upgraded to first class (definitely worth it) then overnight on sleeper to Venice this part of the journey took 13hrs. Great experience, better then flying. Stayed in a good hotel near the Rialto Bridge which was central and convenient for everything. The weather was great, a bit of rain the first day but hot after that. Also no cars, it was wonderful, no music blaring, no horns etc. There is a great lively fish market there which is worth going to. Felt it was a must to go on a gondala, expensive but has to be done. Cost between 80-100 Euros, eek, but there is not much room for negotiation, you should get between 30-40 mins but keep an eye on your watch. You can walk just about everywhere (well signposted) although it is worth going on the vaporetti (water bus) for the experience. We didn't find any problems with queuing, we tended to go to galleries at lunchtime and they were quiet. Apparently 80% of tourists only go for the day and they all head for Piazza San Marco. There is so much to see that a day trip is just a waste. We did a lot of walking but this meant we found lots places that we may well have missed. If you like modern art then you should not miss the Peggy Guggenheim collection. Not our cup of tea, I like a painting to look like something I recognise! Still enjoyed it though, to see so many originals in such a beautiful setting. It is worth going up the Campanile in Piazza San Marco as you get a great view (there's a lift, so no climbing lots of steps). Another place in this area to visit is the Palazzo Ducale (Doges's Palace) which is really interesting and you get to cross the Bridge of Sighs. Venice is expensive but you can find little eating places off the beaten track that are reasonable. I could write reams as there was so much to see. We arrived on Sunday morning and left on Thursday evening and found this was just about right to fit everything in. Make sure you tell your bank you're abroad, unlike us, so when we ran out of money the hole in the wall wouldn't give us any cash! Oh well the credit card company did well out of us.