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Italy/Venice and out-islands

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Question
My husband and I are visitng Italy next Spring and will be in Venice for 4 nites in very early May. We have our hotel in the Castello area and will be ariving by train. Which of the out islands would you recommend for a day trip...we love history/culture/local food and are NOT much for shopping. We LOVE being on the water traveling on local transport. Any tips about Venice city walking tours??
THANK YOU!!!

Answer
Sounds like a wonderful trip!  The Castello area is one of the most authentic parts of Venice and you will find it fairly easy to access local transport and the outlying islands from there.  The islands of Burano and Torcello are both beautiful spots with fascinating history and less of a focus on shopping.  (Though all of Venice is certainly steeped in history!)  Burano has, in my opinion, some of the best seafood restaurants in Venice and the brightly colored houses are just beautiful.  From there, you can move easily to Torcello by boat and see the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta which has some amazing Byzantine mosaics among it's treasures.  

I'm sure that your hotel with suggest that you visit the island of Murano, where the glass furnaces are.  Murano is the epicenter of the oldest Venetian art and has a great glass museum as well as many opportunities to observe glass blowing in progress.  However, visiting Murano can feel very much like a shopping trip as there are just so many storefronts!  If your taste is to be more relaxed and observe life and history, I would start with Burano and Torcello, saving Murano for last.

For walking tours, especially if you're really interested in local culture and history, I suggest looking at the website www.knowingvenice.com and trying to book a few hours with Giuseppina Giudice.  Giuseppina is one of the most knowledgeable tour guides in Venice and can offer you a private tour tailored to your interests.

I hope this is helpful to you.  Enjoy your trip!

Marjorie  

Italy

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Marjorie Sterne

Expertise

I can answer many types of questions about travel in Venice Italy including questions on the topics of transportation, wireless communications, restaurants and/or shopping for food, bars and nightlife, shopping for locally produced souvenirs, where to acquire personal necessities, how to do laundry, the Lido di Venezia, excursions to the outlying islands, and how to rent apartments for short terms stays. Unfortunately I am unable to answer questions about hotels in Venice and I do not hold myself forth as an expert on the historical sites of the city. But I can, of course, recommend my personal favorite museums!

Experience

My first visit was in the summer of the year 2000, when I stumbled off a train at Santa Lucia Station with absolutely no idea of the wonders that awaited me outdoors. I have since been visiting Venice at least twice a year, usually spending at least three weeks at a stretch. Yes! I am one of those people who fell in love with the city at first site. In the winter of 2010 I authored and published the OG Venice Travel Guide which is a top ten guide to Venice on the iTunes App Store and is now also available through Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, the Google eBookstore and the Apple iBookstore. OG Venice Travel Guide focuses primarily on providing detailed practical information about life in Venice such as how to get around town, where to eat good food at a reasonable price, where to buy genuine locally produced goods and how to do normal things like wash clothing or buy outlet converters. Originally imagined as a guide primarily for students and long term visitors, OG Venice Travel Guide has proved popular with a much larger audience and has gained a reputation locally in Venice as the guide that introduces the "real Venice" to visitors.

Organizations
State of Wisconsin Bar Association American Bar Association

Publications
OG Venice Travel Guide Law & Entrepreneurship News

Education/Credentials
High School: Loomis Chaffee School College: Sarah Lawrence College Graduate School: University of Wisconsin Law School Abroad Studies: Institute for American Universities, Aix en Provence, France 1994; George Washington University at the Max Plank Institute, Munich, Germany 2004; Vanderbilt University in Venice, Venice, Italy 2004

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