Smoking tolerance level [1= very illegal 5=virtually legal]: 3.5

Legislation: According to the owner of a kiosk selling paraphenalia, “you can sell the stuff to smoke but not the *stuff* to smoke”.

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Cannabis has recently been seen in a more negative light than in previous years amongst Italian law enforcement.

Law Enforcement: Within the city, the police are more anti-drug than on the neighboring island of the lido.

Where to buy marijuana in Venice: When in Venice searching for smoke, it has been my experience that the best luck can be had on the lido, the city’s beach. The town has a more laid back, smoke a joint atmosphere than the nearby city. A vaporetto ride taking less than 10 minutes allows visitors to the city of Venice to reach lido quite easily. Walk along the main drag near the beach *stretching the length of the island*

Venice Marijuana Brands and prices: Moroccan hash ; 40 euro for roughly one half oz. of the black variety Blonde hash and skunk are available as well, but the locals seem to gravitate towards the black moroccan.

City tale

Home to one of Europe’s most well known Carnival celebrations, countless canals, romantic gondolas and fabulous seafood, Venice is both visually stunning and hard on the pocketbook. While public drinking -and drunkenness- are tolerated in Venice, especially during the no-hold-barred Carnival in February, the fairly conservative locals frown on pot or hash smoking.

Unlike more tolerant Rome, getting caught with bud in Venice will probably mean getting expelled from the country even though jail time is now only a remote possibility. Anything more than a personal stash (an ounce or so, no more can mean spending time in the slammer.

According to the Italian Ministry of Health, you can even lose your passport if caught with drugs. Just keep in mind levels of tolerance for smoking Maria (local slang for marijuana) varies widely throughout the country.

Whether there for the masked glamour, stunning glass art or just top-notch food and wine, always keep an eye on the budget, as Venice is one of the most expensive cities in Italy.

“Shit is expensive and you get crap. But people don’t care what you drink, how much of it you drink, when you drink it, or where you drink it,” said a traveller who gave his name as Axd.

Featured in films from James Bond to Indiana Jones, Venice is unique among European cities. Composed of countless tiny islands separated by salt-water canals and connected by tiny bridges, there is only one main highway linking the city to the mainland.

The heart of Venice is Piazzo San Marco (Saint Mark’s Plaza) with a stunning view of outlying islands, grand architecture, including the Basilica di San Marco. “This plaza was incredible. At one end were the Basilica of San Marco and the bell tower and all around it were four story-arched buildings. There were two small string orchestras on each side of the plaza and the whole area was lit up with white lights — absolutely amazing,” said Ben W. from Texas.

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The brave can face the hordes of pigeons that inhabit the plaza armed with small bags of birdseed, available from old ladies who man carts in the area.

“As soon as you start feeding them, pigeons surround you, land on you and in general envelop you faster than a pack of lawyers at the scene of a slip-and-fall accident,” said James K. from the United States.

The best way to get oriented in the twisting, turning canal-lined streets is to ride the vaporetti – the flat-bottomed boats that are the Venetian version of trams and busses. It’s possible to see most of the main canals, including the main Grand Canal, from the deck and it is far less expensive than the gondolas.

It isn’t as romantic as a ride in one of the traditional all-black boats, however.

“We all were cheesy American tourists and took a gondola ride. It was sunset, so it was so beautiful and very peaceful,” said 21-year-old Michele from Dartmouth College in the U.S., who was travelling with five friends. Regardless of how you get oriented, Venice is best seen by foot.

While hand painted signs pointing out Piazzo San Marco are everywhere, in recent years Italian jokers have added to the collection, confusing and misleading tourists. Maps, available at touristy stands everywhere, are a necessity in the confusing city, at least if you ever want to find your hotel again.

Shoppers should head to the Rialto Bridge, where mask makers, fruit sellers, Venetian glass, knock-off handbags and a stunning view fight for attention. Apply a close eye to what you buy. Make sure an artist signs your glass and double-check that freakish carnival mask to make sure plastic overlaid with plaster isn’t masquerading as paper mache. The vendors here are far more reliable than the cheap stands near San Marco. While fantastically expensive, handmade leather Carnival masks are by far the most beautiful for sale.

Wandering aimlessly around the city is a great way to find restaurants, wine shops and handcrafts tucked away into thousands of tiny nooks. If you get hungry or thirsty, just pick up a bottle of excellent Italian wine and enjoy.

“One of the great things about Europe is that there are no laws about having open alcohol containers in public. So one of the guys and I grabbed a 32 oz. Heineken and two bottles of wine each from a street vendor near the canal,” said Ben W.

And no trip to the city is complete without a seafood dinner.

Lining the Grand Canal are dozens of softly lit restaurants with outdoor seating and fresh scampi, squid risotto, stuffed crab and other ocean treats.

“We got a table by the canal. Ed had the mix grill with lobster, shellfish, and white fish. He said it was best seafood he had,” said Betty from Michigan, on vacation with her husband Ed.

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