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AVI 2006

Advanced Visual Interfaces

Venezia, Italy
May 23-26, 2006

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AVI 2006 & Venice

General Information about Venice | Travel Tips | Useful links

General Information about Venice

With its ancient city centre and its history spanning one thousand years, Venice is quite unique. Built on water, made up of island, bridges and canals, and closed to all car traffic, it is possibly the world’s greatest magnet to visitor. Ever since the body of St. Mark was smuggled out of Alexandria and entombed in the Basilica, the city has been host to a never-ending stream of admirers, famous, infamous, and otherwise. Venice has perpetually captured the imagination of poets and artist: among them, Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley addressed poems to the city. Much has been written about Venice, which has been used as a setting by many contemporary writers and directors.

Explore the city's great art and architecture. Venice would reward its guests with treasures even if they never go into a museum or a church. Take some time just to stroll and let yourself get lost in this gorgeous city.

How to Reach Venice City Centre

By plane

Venice Airport
Venice is served by the Marco Polo International Airport located at about 13 kms from the city (Piazzale Roma car terminal).

Important notice:
Some European low cost airlines operate flights to Venice-Treviso airport. The Treviso Airport is located at about 30 kms from Venice Piazzale Roma city terminal.

As you know, there is no road transport within Venice city centre. All road transport terminate at the Piazzale Roma city terminal. The Venice Marco Polo Airport is connected to Venice city centre by public transports:
ACTV bus no. 5 (orange bus) to Piazzale Roma city terminal leaves from the platforms outside the arrival hall. The drive takes approx. 25 minutes.
ATVO bus (blue bus) to Piazzale Roma city terminal leaves from the platforms outside the arrival hall. The drive takes approx. 20 minutes.
Alilaguna launch to Venice city centre (St. Mark's Square). The boats leave from the pier (darsena). Take the free shuttle bus just in front of the arrival hall to reach the pier. The launch ride takes approx. 1 hour 15 minutes.
Tickets can be bought in the arrival hall of the airport or directly on board.

Treviso Airport
The small Treviso San Giuseppe Airport is located at about 30 kms from Venice Piazzale Roma city terminal, to which it is connected by the ATVO Eurobus, leaving from the platform just outside the air terminal.
Bus schedule coincides with Ryanair arrivals and departures. The journey to Piazzale Roma takes approx. 1 hour 10 minutes.

From Piazzale Roma road terminal you can reach your destination in town by public transportation, the vaporetto (waterbus).
Details on the waterbus timetables at the ACTV Web site.

By train

Venice Santa Lucia Railway Station is linked to the major Italian and European cities.

Some trains do not reach the Santa Lucia station, stopping instead at the Mestre Station located on the mainland. From this station you find frequent trains (every 10 minutes) to Venezia Santa Lucia. The run takes 10 minutes.

From Venice Santa Lucia station you can reach your destination in town either by walking, or by waterbuses. All waterbus stops are located just outside the station.
Details on the waterbus timetables at the ACTV Web site.

By car

The car and bus terminal is Piazzale Roma. Arriving at Piazzale Roma you have to leave your car in one of the car parks running there, the largest ones being:

Autorimessa Comunale ASM Venezia
30135 Venezia (VE) Piazzale Roma 496
Phone +39 041 2727211

Garage S. Marco
30135 Venezia (VE) - Piazzale Roma 467/F
Phone +39 041 5232213

Otherwise, before entering Piazzale Roma, at the end of the long bridge connecting Venice to the mainland, you will find on your right a diversion to the Tronchetto Island, where is a large car park:

Venezia Tronchetto Parking
30125 Venezia (VE) - Isola Tronchetto
Tel. +39 041 5207555

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Travel Tips

Venice has a variable although rarely extreme climate. High humidity can be a discomfort in the hottest period (July, August). It can rain for prolonged periods, the rainy months being March, November and December. The major nuisance, however, is flooding, most likely in November and December. There is fine sunny weather throughout the year, especially in May, June, September and October, the best period to visit Venice, consequently these are the most expensive months.

How to dress
Since walking is both a necessity and a pleasure in Venice, be sure to pack comfortable shoes. The lightweight clothing suitable for summer should be supplemented by a sweater and an umbrella in spring and fall.

Getting around

Water buses (vaporetti) are the main mean of transportation. Line no. 1 stops at every landing stage along the Grand Canal, other lines run on different routes.
Gondolas The Grand Canal may be crossed at seven points by public gondola ferries. The privately-rented gondola, however, remains the most delightful way of admiring Venice, as it was built to be admired from the water.
Water taxis are readily available but very expensive, although the prices are regulated by tariffs.
Walking Venice is so small that nothing is beyond reasonable walking distance. The major hazard is losing one’s way, but this can become a pleasure and a chance to discover the hidden corners of Venice.

Venice is one of the safest towns in Europe: crime and urban violence are nearly unknown. It is, however, suggested to take care of personal objects, when strolling in crowded areas and on the public waterbuses, because of the pick-pocketing.
At night, Venice is romantic, but definitely not dangerous: you can fearless walk in any area, as there is no red-light district in town.

The visual splendour of the Venetian food market hold out a promise of excellent cuisine to be performed by the city’s restaurants. The hallmarks of the Venetian cuisine are the tasty dishes of fish: cuttlefish in their ink, fried squids, “baccalà mantecato” (stockfish whipped with olive oil), “sarde in saor” (marinated sardines with onion). Fish and shellfish are offered as starters or with pasta, or grilled, boiled or baked as a main course. Don’t miss to taste the “risotto”, the typically Italian way to cook the rice, filled with numberless ingredients, and the “tiramisu”, the renowned Venetian dessert.

If you happen to be strolling in Venice in the evening and your attention is drawn towards a warm welcoming lighted window, stop and take a look: if you see a long wooden table surrounded by happy and laughing faces, you have found one of the few still existing old “osterie”, where one can drink good wine and eat light savouries, which in Venice, from the early 19th century, have been known as “bàcari”.
“Bàcaro” is a typical expression of this strange city, the pleasure of meeting there, away from the house and the cares of the day, where the lonely can always meet someone prepared to chat to them and to share a drink. “Bàcaro” is a relaxing place to enjoy yourself, have a good gossip with a friend. Indeed an encouragement to those, always in a hurry, to stop and absorb the serenity of the atmosphere.

Shopping in Venice
Venice offers a dazzling concentration of shops with enticing window displays. You will find exclusive shops and the most celebrated Italian stylists’ boutiques in the St. Mark’s area. Calle dei Fabbri and the Mercerie are lined with lovely little shops all leading to where Venetians trade and city life have always been very active, the Rialto district. Once over the Rialto bridge, you'll see the huge open air market which is set up everyday with fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, flowers. Further on and to the right is the fish market: it is probably the most animated corner of Venice, worth to be seen for the numberless variety of fish displayed on the counters. Budget-priced shops can be found around Rialto area and on the Strada Nova leading to the railway station. Inevitably you will see a good deal of junk in Venice too, mountains of glass bric-a-brac and cheap souvenirs.

Best buys
Costume jewellery abounds in Venice at reasonable prices. Gold and silver pieces, including some marvellous filigree, are fairly expensive but show the stamp of Venetian craftsmanship. Some distinctive Venetian items: 18th century Carnival masks, gondolier slippers, normally made of velvet with rope soles, laces made by the women of Burano island. The Murano glassware you see today - and see it you will all over Venice - is not up to the old standards. But with patience, the discerning buyer can find a nice piece.

Shopping hours
Mon. 15:30-19:30, Tue. to Sat. 09:00-12:30, 15:30-19:30, Sun. closed. Usually, from May to September main shops are open during lunch-time and on Sundays, too.

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Useful links

Municipality of Venice

Hello Venezia

Tide forecast

"Marco Polo" Venice Airport

Treviso Airport

Trenitalia (Italian Railways Company)

Teatro "La Fenice"

"La Biennale"