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Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Venice, Italy (and how to avoid them)

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Calatrava Bridge

ABOVE: Tourists prepare to haul their large suitcases over the Calatrava Bridge, which links Venice's Santa Lucia Railroad Station with the Piazzale Roma.

Mistake #7: Overpacking.

Tourist with too much luggageThe admonition to "travel light" may be a cliché, but it's advice worth heeding--especially when you're traveling to Venice, where private transportation is expensive, vaporetto water buses are often jam-packed, and walking usually requires hauling your suitcases over at least a few of the city's 400+ footbridges.

If you're in a tour group, your bags are likely to be delivered to your hotel by the Cooperativa Trasbagagli Venezia, which transports luggage in bulk for travel companies. But as as independent traveler, you'll need to fend for yourself.

Our advice:

  • Limit your baggage to one small upright suitcase of carry-on size, plus a lightweight backpack or tote.

  • Deposito Bagagli sign in Piazzale RomaIf Venice is just one of the cities on your trip and you insist on traveling around Italy or Europe with bulky luggage, take a small carry-on bag to your hotel in Venice and store your larger suitcase at the Piazzale Roma or Marco Polo Airport. (See our "Left Luggage" article for details.)

  • If you're traveling heavy and you can't afford a water taxi, be prepared for long lines at the vaporetto ticket booths by the railroad station and the Piazzale Roma. Also, you may  be required to buy tickets for your luggage: According to ACTV, Venice's transit agency, you're allowed one bag with a combined length, width, and depth of 150 cm or 59 inches. If you go over that limit, your suitcase can be charged a full adult vaporetto fare.

  • To witness other tourists struggling with their suitcases, watch our Venice Travel Blog video on The Perils of Overpacking.

Next page: Mistake #8: Buying useless souvenirs

Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Venice, Italy:
1. Hit-and-run visits
2. Staying in the wrong location
3. Commuting from the mainland
4. Following the crowd
5. Paying too much for transportation
6. Taking unnecessary tours
7. Overpacking
8. Buying useless souvenirs
9. Being careless with valuables
10. Annoying the locals
11. Not coming back