J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost”. What a perfect way to describe the time we spent in Venice, exploring the canals and alleyways and absorbing the sights and sounds of one of the worlds most beautiful cities.
Having 4 days in ‘the floating city’, allowed us to get wonderfully hopefully lost several times. While the time we got lost in the rain was not much fun, every other time was an adventure which allowed us to discover back alleyways only used by locals.
My top 6 things to do in Venice.
1. Wander down the alleyways making sure that you keep to the right so as not to annoy the locals who walk by incredibly quickly.
2. Drink a Spritz. Made from prosecco and a dash of aperol, this traditional Northeastern Italian drink, is slightly bitter and very refreshing.
3. Eat like a local. Local cafes such as the one we visited cook up large portions of risotto and pasta for the lunch time rush, so get in early to avoid disappointment and to sit back and enjoy soaking in the atmosphere of the locals milling around chatting. Enjoy a leisurely lunch as you will be offered several courses. We visited Osteria Ai Osti and it was fantastic.
4. Learn some basic Italian. So you can order your Spritz and ask for the bill. For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of visiting a different country is learning a few key phrases.
5. Take a gondola ride. Yes it will be expensive, but with places like Viator and so on, if you book ahead of time, you will be able to save a little bit of money and there is something quite magical about seeing Venice from the water.
6. Visit the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello to watch glass blowing, shop for lace and to view some of the Byzantine churches. Slight confession to make here, I didn’t get view the churches on Torcello as 1. it cost 5 euros to enter and 2. There was a delightful restaurant with al fresco seating along the way and we just had to sit down and have a spritz. I regret nothing.