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Julien M

Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,074

PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 8:59 am    Post subject: Arms and Armor in Venice         Reply with quote

Hi fellows,

I'm heading for Venice in a few days and I was wondering if any of you could recommend places to see regarding arms and armor (as you can see I'm already overwhelmed by the romantic imagery of the place Big Grin ). Unfortunately I can't make it to the Del Tin workshop in Maniago. It's less than 150km away but I will be short of time and I doubt my girl friend would be thrilled by such an expedition. Anyway, I suppose there must be plenty of schiavona to marvel at provided you know were to look. I plan to go to the Arsenal and to the doge Palace already, but any other suggestions would be welcome.

Many thanks,

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B. Fulton

Joined: 28 Dec 2004

Posts: 180

PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 5:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) is the best for armor actually in Venice that I've found, and I've been there about 20 times.

Some of the others may have a few pieces but the armory itself in the palace has the most in one place.

Del Tin's shop is rather small (the part you can see) and aside from his workroom, his entryway has about 100 swords all over it. Went there to handle a few prior to my wife ordering a rapier from him (we live in the area). It's an hour away by train or so, but you'd have to call him and arrange a visit first.

Venice tips:

Get the 12 hour vaporetto (Water bus) ticket from one of the vendor booths on the grand canal. It's the best way to get around. The shorter-time ones, you'll just need to get more of. The 12 will usually cover you for all day.
Signs are confusing. You can see a sign, literally, saying "Piazza San Marco" with arrows pointing in four directions. Technically, they are all correct.

Expect to spend 100 Euros, minimum, not counting museum tickets (another 20-30E) for dinner, tickets, and the usual touristy stuff.

If you really, really want a gondola ride, the area around the Piazza San Marco is horrendously overpriced because people don't know any better. Find a gondolier off a smaller side canal, and get the price down to around 70-80E if you can. If the place is deserted (say, winter on a Monday) even the San Marco herd of gondoliers will be desperate and far more reasonable (I had seven of them in a row chase me about 100 meters once trying to get me to ride their gondolas). Anytime approaching sunset the price goes up. Japanese tourist herd (I've seen five gondolas-full traveling in convoy before) keep them high-priced because they, and others, will pay well and don't care.

Use a traveler wallet hung shoulder-holster style under your armpit under a patterned button down shirt tucked in. Venice and pickpockets go hand in hand, crowds and tight spaces make it a great place for them. Gypsies beg everywhere, don't fall for it, and if they get aggressive and come up on you, especially with kids in tow tell them loudly and firmly NO! (And watch the kids....... the mom is the distraction, the kids are the pickpockets).

Africans selling purses sometimes get weird, just ignore them.

By Arsenal...... not sure if you're talking about the one inside the palace or a seperate one?

On the vaporetto, Line 1 and Line 82 get you to Piazza San Marco (where the Palace is), can't remember which one is the "fast" one but those two will get you there. Check the signs for how many stops.

If you don't want to hit the touristy restaurants, find one down a side street. The Basilica next to the Palace is worth seeing and free. Pay a couple Euros and go upstairs, it is also worth it.

The pigeon mob in the piazza never goes away, go ahead and feed them. They'll land in your hand if you hold it out long enough, and if you have food in it, five of them will all land in your hand at once trying to get it. Happy
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