Maps of Venice Historic City Centre and the Lagoon
You’ll certainly need a map to get around Venice when you’re there – the one given out free by the Venice Tourist Authority is very useful – but it’s also a good idea to get a feel of the various districts and the layout of the place before you go, or select a hotel. On the ground, Venice ‘s backstreets and bridges can be quite confusing, so it’s useful to have at least an approximate picture of the city’s groundplan (or canal plan!) in your mind as you make your way towards your desired destination. These may help:
The best satellite imaging of Venice, with zoom in to individual buildings capability, is the Google one we’ve got on our Venice map page. But here is another satellite picture of Venice and the lagoon that helps to give you a feel for the overall area: Satellite photo of Venice and Lagoon (104KB).
The Venice Connected has a new interactive map on their site, but it’s a bit slow to respond, here’s the English version: CdV Interactive Map. However, it has great content when you get there. Rather like Google Street View you can cruise along the canals etc. – give it a go!
Wheelchair etc Accessible Routes: This can be important in Venice. This page, Wheelchair Itineraries, is where you can get some info sheets on routes "without barriers" around various areas.
Here is a printable map (use "scale to fit" in your printing option, it goes quite well on an A4 using landscape printing): Map of Venice (540 KB 2042 x 1266 pixels)
They also have a bigger map of Venice that covers the central section in more detail:
Big Map of Venice
(2.2 MB 3143 x 2657 pixels)
Street and place names
Venice also has a unique system of names for the streets, roads and squares in the historic city centre. Here is a short glossary:
Bacino: "Basin", as in English, a wider canal area used for the “parking” of gondolas.
Borgoloco: probably former hotel sites.
Calle: road, street.
Campiello: small square or simply a wider part of a street.
Corte: like the English word "court", a small square or wider part of a street, usually with only one entrance.
Fondamenta: street running alongside a canal.
Lista: streets in the vicinity of the palace of a foreign ambassador.
Merceria: A famous street of shops. It has five sections: m.II Aprile, m.S.Salvador, m.S.Zulian and m.dell’Orologio; they run from Rialto to S.Marco.
Piscina: an open space or street formerly occupied by water, perhaps used for fishing or swimming.
Ramo: branch of a street.
Rio: small canal.
Rio terà: street formed by filling in or covering a canal. Very often the traces of the pre-existing canal can still be seen.
Riva: street that faces the lagoon or the Grand Canal.
Ruga: the first streets to be flanked with houses and shops on both sides.
Sacca: street with dead end.
Salizzada: the first streets to be paved.
Sottoportico (sotoportego): part of a street that passes underneath a building.What about you? What do you think?