Business Hours -- Standard hours for shops are 9am to 12:30pm and 3 to 7:30pm Monday to Saturday. In winter, shops are closed on Monday morning, while in summer it's usually Saturday afternoon. Most grocers are closed on Wednesday afternoon year-round. In Venice, just about everything is closed on Sunday, though tourist shops in the tourist spots such as the San Marco area are permitted to stay open during high season. Restaurants are required to close at least 1 day a week, called il giorno di riposo, though the particular day varies from one trattoria to another. Many are open for Sunday lunch but close for Sunday dinner. Restaurants that specialize in fish and seafood also typically close Monday, when the fish market is closed. Restaurants will close for holidays, translated as chiuso per ferie, sometime in July or August, frequently over Christmas, and sometime in January before the Carnevale rush.

Consulates -- The nearest U.S. Consulate is in Milan at Via Principe Amedeo 2/10 (tel. 02-290-351). It's open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30 to 5:30pm. The U.K. Consulate in Venice is on the mainland in Mestre, at Piazzale Donatori di Sangue 2 (tel. 041-505-5990); it's open Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm. Like the U.S., Australia and New Zealand have consulates in Milan, about 3 hours away by train; all also maintain embassies in Rome. The Canadian Consulate closed its office in Milan in 2007; emergencies can be directed to the embassy in Rome (tel. 06-854-441).

Doctors & Hospitals -- The Ospedale Civile Santi Giovanni e Paolo (tel. 041/5294111), on Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, has English-speaking staff and provides emergency service (go to the emergency room, pronto soccorso) 24 hours a day (vaporetto: Ospedale).

Emergencies -- In Venice and throughout Italy, dial tel. 113 to reach the police. Some Italians will recommend that you forgo the police and try the military-trained Carabinieri (tel. 112). For an ambulance, phone tel. 523-0000. To report a fire, dial tel. 115, 041-520-0222, or 041-520-0223.

Internet Access -- Venice offers citywide Wi-Fi through the VeniceConnected ( network of 200 hotspots. Buy packages online (5€/24 hr., 15€/3 days, or 20€/7 days); access codes are then sent via e-mail.

Luggage Storage: Secure luggage storage facilities are available through Radical Storage, which acts as an agent for businesses prepared to look after your bags throughout the city.

Mail -- The most convenient post offices are: Venezia Centro at Calle de la Acque, San Marco (tel. 041/2404149; Mon–Fri 8:25pm–7:10pm and Sat 8:25am–12:35pm); Venezia 4 at Calle de l'Ascension 1241 (tel. 041/2446711), off the west side of Piazza San Marco (Tues–Fri 8:25am–1:35pm, Sat 8:25am–12:35pm); and Venezia 3 at Campo San Polo 2012 (tel. 041/5200315; same hours).

Pharmacies -- Venice’s pharmacies take turns staying open all night. To find out which one is on call in your area, ask at your hotel or check the rotational duty signs posted outside all pharmacies.

Police -- In an emergency, dial tel. 112 or 113.

Safety -- Be aware of petty crime like pickpocketing on the crowded vaporetti, particularly the tourist routes, where passengers are more intent on the passing scenery than on watching their bags. Venice’s often deserted back streets are virtually crime-free, though occasional tales of theft have circulated. Generally speaking, Venice is one of Italy’s safest cities.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.