Things I did (and didn’t) do
- Get hopelessly lost. Put the map away and just get hopelessly lost amongst the twisting canals and alleys. With any luck you’ll get away from the large streams of tourists and see the real side of Venice. And with bad luck (like I had on two separate occasions), you’ll end up at the doorsteps of the Venice Prison (at which point you may reopen your map).
- I didn’t ride a gondola, and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. For something like 100 euros you can ride a gondola around Venice, which I guess would be great for about 2 pictures. But the alleys and bridges walk right along and over the canals, so I assure you, you can get the full Venice experience without the overpriced gondola.
- Avoid getting hit by a pigeon in Piazza San Marco, the gorgeous main plaza.
- Venice is very walkable. Actually it’s only walkable. There are no cars on the islands that make up Venice.
- The main train station (Santa Lucia) drops you right in the heart of Venice.
Things to note
- Venice is definitely a go-to. However, it’s better as a day trip than as a multi-day visit. It’s gorgeous, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen, and it’s way do-able in one day.
- You’ll see Venice spelled “Venezia”, the Italian translation.