How to make the most of Venice

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Since Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, its beauty has its price. However, you can enjoy everything it has to offer if you plan ahead and budget accordingly.

If you are staying more than a day in Venice, buy a vaporetto travelcard

Travelling across Venice can be a little bit of a rip-off – one vaporetto journey costs €7 – and it would be a shame to miss out on the scenery it has to offer (if you have trouble walking a lot).

If you are under 29 years old, you can buy a vaporetto travelcard valid for 72h,that costs  €28 . With the same travelcard you can also visit Murano, Burano and take a ride to Lido (where you can walk to the beach and see the Adriatic Sea).

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If you want to purchase the tickets in advance, you can do so here , where you can also download Waterbourne Routes map and book different activities.

Take a short trip to the other islands in the Venetian lagoon: Murano and Burano

Plan a self-guided day trip to Murano, the island famous for its glass making and Glass museum. Did you know that they don’t have any glass making teaching schools? The art of glass making has been passed down every generation from father to son! 

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The other lovely island in the Venetian lagoon to visit is Burano. The island is about 40 minutes from Venice by boat and it has a much more different atmosphere from Venice’s busy centre.

The Buranese have painted their houses in bright colours – they say the fishermen painted their houses in different colours to make it easier to recognise them when they would come back home. 

Your eyes will be pleasantly surprised with a wide spectrum of colours and coziness. Although the locals don’t speak very much English, they are welcoming and cheerful.

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Once you’ve returned to Venice, walk around  and take in everything the city has to offer. The architecture boasts a history filled with many secrets and stories ( The youngest building in Venice is 200 years old! Youngest, eh?) 

San Marco’s Square is overly priced. Consider dining somewhere else.

Because it is the main attraction point in Venice, the place is filled with tourists and the restaurants are making the most out of this. You can visit St. Mark’s Basilica and the Campanile Tower and then just wander around. On the small streets you can find plenty of restaurants with lower prices (or you can go for take-away snack on the canals).

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You don’t have to pay for everything in Venice!

There is so much you can see in Venice for free, you just have to arm yourself with comfortable shoes, a bottle of water and a lot of patience (to survive the crowds, of course).  You can walk down the Grand Canal, explore what Giudecca has to offer, visit Scala Contarini del Bovolo ( the so called Snail Staircase) or just admire the churches and their stories.

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Treat yourself to a gondola ride.

The gondola rides cost 80 euros during the day and 100 euros after 7 pm. They last for approximatively half an hour and the gondolier usually offers a splendid tale about Venice’s historical buildings and Casanova’s romances.  The gondola ride is intimate and romantic, but it can also be shared with up to six people, hence reducing the costs for you.

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There’s so much Venice has to offer and you can enjoy it  – either by day or by night. Have a spritz with the locals instead of an expensive Bellini and prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey.

Have you visited Venice?

Have you got any tips or tricks about visiting Venice?

Let me know in the comment section below!

Love,

Csilla x

 

 

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The magic behind the London Underground

Diving into history for a little bit, today is all about the London Underground: history, development, secret locations. As an Ambassador in London Universities International Partnership, I was given the brilliant opportunity to visit one of the closed – and secret to the public – tube stations, and, truth be told, the experience was breathtaking!

Going back at least a century and a half, the idea of creating underground transport in London was more than simply a dream, it was meant to tackle the problem of congestion in the main areas of the capital. Therefore, in the early 1830s a few plans of linking London to the railways came to life, but it was only in 1843 when the first underwater tunnel opened.  The first plans of creating bigger connections and better undeground transport took life in the early 1860s and towards the end of the 1800s, London’s facade was entirely revolutionised.

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1863: A contemporary lithograph of a steam locomotive on the Metropolitan line near Paddington StationPicture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The desire for extension was bigger and bigger every year and London had become in the late 1800s a city that took proud in its transportation system, mainly because of the low fares and due to the speed to which citizens could commute. For example a journey on the City and South London Railway (now part of the Northern Line), from Stockwell to the City, took just 18 minutes.

Tube Firsts

  • The journey of the first Tube train took place on 9 January 1863.
  • The first Tube line was built and financed by a private company, the Metropolitan Railway.
  • The Tube’s first escalator was installed at Earl’s Court in 1911, featuring a diagonal finish to the stairway, meaning the right  foot reached the top moments before the left.
  • In 1907 a spiral escalator opened at Holloway Road.

( The Independent)

"Underground"-branded Tube map from 1908 showing the newly opened tube lines in central London

“Underground”-branded Tube map from 1908 showing the newly opened tube lines in central London

The way the underground system in London has developped is impressive and it is one of the most effective in the entire world. Here’s a documentary about the history of the Tube and how it has become the greatest tool of London:

Now, as a LUIP Ambassador, I have to say that I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to visit one of the secret, closed off stations and have a short sight into history. Our guide, David Leboff, Principal Sponsor-Line Extensions has given us a beautiful tour of both the TFL House and the closed station. There are many rumors and books written about it, but none of them actually understand how mysterious it actually is. Filled with evidences of history, traces of events and bits and pieces of action, the station resembles of an old house with removed furniture. As you are walking in the tunnels, you can see how much it was put to use, to both transport and other secret missions and why it is vital that the general public doesn’t have acces to it.

I’d like to carry on the discussion about the station, but if I would disclose more graphic and geographical details about the it  how secret would it be?

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LUIP Ambassadors and Mentors at 55 Broadway, enjoying the view and the weather.

However, here’s some pictures I took, as a small taste of our experience! 20150124_145940

Fellow Ambassadors as we were explained further details on the line expansions

Fellow Ambassadors as we were explained further details on the line expansions

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Train Intervals at the Tfl House, as they were in the 1980s, and David Leboff explaining the signifiance of the panel

A little sneak-peak from the secret location: To the Train

A little sneak-peak from the secret location: To the Train

And right before I finish and say goodbye, another one to cover your curiosity, a classical:

Classic: WAY OUT

Classic: WAY OUT

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Always follow your dreams.