Category Archives: Worth Noting

Venice WiFi makes Venice Connected, davvero.

mappavewifi.jpg If you’re a resident, it’s free; but as a traveler you can still book city-wide wireless access via, seven or more days in advance of your travel, for quite a reasonable fee.

Venice is extraordinarily proud of this avant-garde offering, which was inaugurated with appropriate fanfare last Friday, July 3. Although not available from every nook and calle, and it’s not designed to reach you inside your lodging, the coverage is  still quite extensive: you’ll be able to access the network “” from principal campi such as the Frari, Campo San Margherita, Santo Stefano and many more, along with popular areas such as the Rialto, certainly the Piazza San Marco, all along the Grand Canal from Piazzale Roma to the Punto della Dogana. There’s access along the Riva down to Sant’Elena; even Giudecca has coverage. If you find an area where you can’t hook up, you won’t have to go far to find one where you can.

Book in Advance

The wireless service is only available through, and may be booked seven or more days in advance of your arrival.

You’ll book your Wi-Fi service (along with any others your require) for the days you plan to be in the city. Your userID and password will be e-mailed to you three days prior to your pickup/arrival date. Once in Venice and in an area with wireless service, just attempt to access the network from your smartphone or notebook. The login screen that will pop up automatically, you’ll enter the userID and password that was e-mailed to you, and off you’ll go.

The fees for the wireless access service in Venice are:

  • €5 one day
  • €8 two days (48 hours)
  • €15 one week

All durations are from the date of your scheduled arrival/pickup, specified when you booked your service.


Should you lose or misplace any written record of your ID and password, you are requested notify Venice Connected immediately either by calling +39 041 2424, or writing

You may only book the Venice WiFi service through (up to seven days in advance).

VeniceConnected makes no guarantee of bandwidth, and there are other disclaimers on the information page, which you find here (although it seems to be in need of updating).

Click on the map above (supplied by the Comune) to check coverage…although it could be a bit more distinct.

Surf’s up in Venice as of July 3: WiFi for all

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It’s just a matter of days now before the main thoroughfares of Venice are truly connected.

At 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 3rd, a boat-load of Venetian officials, Italian journalists, bloggers, and chissà chi altra, will board vaporetto Line 1 to inaugurate WiFiDay: the day wireless access will being to be available along the principal calli, campi, fondamente, and the entire Canal Grande to anyone who has an enabled gadget and an access code. Holding fast to their enabled smartphones, iPhones, Blackberry Curves, Storms, and maybe even a notebook or two, the passengers and correspondents will be able to surf, Google-locate, Fring, Tweetie, Twitpic, blog, e-mail, and otherwise let Italy and all the world know that yes, Venice Virtually Rocks. At the end of the line there’ll be refreshments on the Lido, at the beach near Blue Moon. There will even be two other “official” vaps during the day, one for youth, and one for Seniors at 4 p.m. For locals, there’s even a WiFi treasure hunt that evening at 7 p.m. in Piazza San Marco.

I will not be on the press vap (nah…), but I already have my access code, so you can bet I’ll be on some vaporetto, during some part of the day to test my surfing ability along the Grand Canal and a few of the other vie principali…maybe even Giudecca, pensa te. There’s even significant coverage in Mestre. I’ll Tweetie something…just for the heck of it.

My access will be free, as it will be to all residents of the city (hey, we have to get some perks for putting up with Mask-and-Glass Overdose). But travelers will have access too, available for booking at least seven days in advance from

Buon Viaggio Virtuale!

For more information in Italian, see

Venice Wi-Fi Coverage…

Just received a communication from the press office about the conference held at the Palazzo Labia this morning, outlining just how this whole Wi-Fi thing is going to work. I couldn’t attend, but should be receiving subsequent releases with more details. In the meantime, here’s the map of the projected coverage. Looks like the Grand Canal, major thoroughfares and all principal campi including the Piazza.

I expect that visitors who want to connect will be able to request wireless through where they’ll receive a PNR that they’ll then enter when they attempt access. But I will wait for the next release which should Explain It All For Us.


Lots of questions remain, but…this could be quite a coup should they pull it off.

More to come!

Venice Connected: Museums Direct

Picture, in addition to offering signficant advance purchase discounts, just got a little more convenient according to yesterday’s press release. In addition to the PNR (reservation code) issued uponn purchase that’s good for issue of transit passes and public bathroom access, you now have the possibility of printing your own museum pass. This would enable you to head directly to the ticket taker, without having to stop at any Venice Connected point or have a separate ticket issued at the museum…bypassing lines entirely.

It doesn’t look like the instructions have been updated yet to reflect this new functionality, but perhaps they’ll come with the information received from your purchase.

In any case, I’m sure this is only the first of a continuing evolution of as a one-stop-shop for Venetian venue access. Every little bit helps…

Frari Sacristy: Bellini Rediscovered

Titian's AssumptionMost people who arrive in Venice and make the time to get beyond Piazza San Marco also know to visit the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the magnificent basilica in San Polo filled with works of some of the city’s most famous masters. The soaring altarpiece of Titian’s Assumption is certainly one of them; there’s even a non-Venetian John the Baptist by Donatello. The scholarly to the mildly curious will appreciate many of the fine opere found within the Frari‘s 13th century walls.

I hadn’t paid a personal visit in ages, but had the chance just the other evening when I attended a meeting of a 40xVenezia committee that organizes cultural excursions. Prior to the meeting, we were escorted on a partial but sumptuous tour of the basilica. Fra Nicola was gracious and informative, recounting how the Frari came to be, pointing out various works and the story behind them, even occasionally calling on one of the official guides that happened to be part of the group for a date or name that escaped him.

passaggiata_frari10.jpgBut once again, it was the Bellini in the Sacristy that got me. Again. Every time. I have been repeatedly over the years, and on each visit I never expect to be so…taken. And I always am. (That makes it a bit like the city itself, then.)

As Fra Nicola explained that evening, the Sacristy was originally the Pesaro family chapel. When these, the Frari’s most generous benefactors were in search of an artist to create a work for family member’s tomb and Titian wasn’t available, they had to “settle” for an aging master, Giovanni Bellini.

Poor them.

The result is a masterful, luminous, three-paneled Virgin and Child that takes my breath away each time I see it.

This painting’s presence is certainly no secret, but with the size of the basilica and the schedule some travelers attempt, it’s easy to abandon the Sacristy and thus the painting for the next “must see” on their list. Instead, if you can manage it, do spend a little time with Bellini’s Virgin. Even if you don’t find it as rewarding as I do, you won’t regret it. (If you do enjoy it, you may also want to visit a similar work of his in the church of San Zaccaria, and even the Bellini “family portrait” in the Querini Stampalia…).

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(To get the most of it and the rest of the Frari story, look into taking a private guide along with you, or find a small group tour – see Friends and Favorites in the sidebar for some recommendations. And don’t forget: The Frari is part of the Chorus, a wide variety of superbly maintained museum churches sprinkled throughout the city. €8 gets you a pass and a map to all of them, and is available at any of them).

One last note: these are photos taken with with permission but unfortunately only with cell phone, so obviously their quality is, um, marginal. However, please remember never to use a flash when taking any photo, and also to make sure that whereever you are, that photos are allowed. The longevity of the artwork thanks you!