If you're visiting Venice, chances are it's not for the football. La Serenissima is the most romantic city in the world but its football team inspires very few superlatives. After being relegated from Serie B in 2004, Venezia AC went bust and a new club, FBC Unione Venezia, lies in the regionalised fourth division. Luckily, there are a few other things to do in Venice.
If you're trying to impress someone, a gondola ride is a must, but don't ruin it by singing "Just One Cornetto". It's neither funny nor original. Trying to get around the sights of Venice is a fool's errand. It's better to get lost and bump into its myriad churches and palaces by chance.
Or take a copy of Jan Morris's classic book Venice, find an authentic Venetian restaurant in the Dorsoduro neighbourhood and soak up the atmospheric tales of the former maritime republic. The best time to avoid the 25 million annual visitors is December and January, Christmas and New Year aside, although even in high season you can find tranquility just a 10-minute walk from Piazza San Marco.
CITY GUIDE: ARRIVAL
There are two main airports, Treviso and Marco Polo. From Treviso there are regular buses and train connections to the centre of Venice, Marco Polo provides a bus link.
The Venice Pavilion, in the Palazzina del Santi. Tel: 041 529 8711; www.turismovenezia.it
The speediest way of getting around is on foot, but Venice boasts a comprehensive system of water-based transport. Details: www.actv.it
WHERE TO EAT
Casin dei Nobili, c/Calle Lombardo 2765 Dorsoduro. Serves excellent and generous pizzas.
La Zucca, c/Ponte del Megio 1762 San Polo. Meat and curries.
Devil's Forest, c/Calle Stagneri San Marco
Margaret Du Champ, c/Campo S. Margherita 3019 Dorsoduro
Cafe Noir, c/Crosera San Pantalon 3805 San Polo
The San Marco area – 4,000 square metres of gold mosaics, swanky shops and plush hotels. Fabulous!
Explore Venice with our interactive map. Click the club badge for a club guide.
For regular updates on the crazy world of Italian football, see our blog Serie Aaaaargh!
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