With its newest release of the Google Map for mobile devices, Google is not doing a great service to Venice sightseers. The new look of the map at its highest resolution has confusing graphics, which make it difficult to recognize where streets are and are not. In Venice, at night, in not-so-well-lit -though safe- streets confusing a canal for a tiny, narrow alley may result in getting an unwanted dive or ending up in a cul-de-sac. Here is an example of what you get to see in Venice on an Android device and Google Maps
Can you make it out where streets exactly are and are not? Can you easily spot which way to go through the maze? We can’t, maybe you’re better than us. Hopefully, Google will amend this sooner or later … in the meanwhile, a useful alternative, especially if you are in a hurry and need to get somewhere quickly, an all-Italian free map solution comes to help: TUTTOCITTA’ (web-based). It is also available as an app for smartphones, tablet computers etc.
You can download the free TuttoCitta’ Android app here.
The iPhone, iPad etc app is available here.
TuttoCitta’ has a long history, and has helped Italians find their ways across major and minor cities and towns for decades.
Here is how the same area as above looks in TuttoCitta’
As you can see, here you can easily make out streets, buildings, and canals. And TuttoCitta’ has a streetview-like layer of its own too! An additional useful feature of TuttoCitta’ map of Venice is that it also shows (some) street numbers. Venice has a very peculiar way of giving street numbers to its buildings… numeration of buildings is not based on the street in which the buildings are, but on the neighborhood. Venice is divided into six neighborhoods, the sestieri (pl.), each building in a sestiere (neighborhood) is given a number, which sometimes makes it hard to find where the building corresponding to a specific address actually is, because the numbers do not get back to count one as you move from street to street. Ask Venetian postmen, who have very detailed maps of the city to be able to deliver mail.