Monday, October 12, 2009



My all time favorite travel writer, Stephen Birnbaum, would always include a chapter on "Directions" that would give you wonderful advice for exploring off the beaten path areas near famous travel destinations. This post title is an homage to him, but is not for the same purpose; it's meant to keep you moving from one point to another in Venice. It is also meant to create hope and inspire confidence in those travelers who will invariably get lost there. Although I would always encourage visitors to Venice to carry a guidebook with maps, you will never get truly lost in this city. After all, it is essentially an island, if you count all the little bridges connecting all the small islands one to another.

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Even with all the twists and turns, dead ends and narrow, almost foreboding, covered walkways; you are either going in one direction or the other from the top of the island to almost the bottom. Either way, you'll end up in Venice. Having the sun out and being able to determine which way is south can give the map impaired a slight sense of security, but only if they know the general layout to begin with.

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You have two choices, you may walk toward Piazzale Roma where the large car park and buses leaving for outlaying areas are, with the train station located nearby, or you can walk toward San Marco, the major tourist hub where you will find the cathedral and the grand Piazza San Marco. Regardless of your choice, you will find fascinating sights and even though you may end up walking in circles a few times, you will eventually find your destination. So look for the "Per San Marco" and "Per Piazzale Roma" signs on buildings. Street names will also be written on corner buildings for those people using maps.