Venice continues to draw so many tourists that local Venetians are understandably unhappy. Living in Venice presents huge challenges in this city which some say is drowning in its canals. Shopping, moving around the narrow streets on foot, accessing the train station or the doctor or even conducting a funeral. This is becoming increasingly difficult with the hoards of tourists descending upon Venice, especially from cruise ships, and is apparently driving many locals away from Venice.
So we had to decide would we revisit Venice after 25 years or not? We realised that we would be adding to those tourist statistics and we also realised we might find a different Venice but we thought “ yes” we would like to visit this astonishingly unusual city again.
We drove to Portugruaro from San Vito and caught the train to Venice. We spent about five hours there which was just about right for us for a taste of this city we had visited many times in the past.
Here are a five tips for making the most of Venice
- Respect the locals who live there. Don’t rush around in the narrow streets, respect the etiquette of churches and be prepared to pay for your privilege.
- Try to go to Venice early in the day, during mid week or outside of the popular summer months. This way you may avoid crowds.
- Make sure that you walk off the main pedestrian walk way from Santa Lucia Staion to Rialto and Plaza San Marco. Try walking through Canaregio – fewer people, cheaper food and drink and sometimes the best scenery.
- Check out the smaller churches in Venice because there will be fewer people and more space to enjoy the frescoes and beautiful art in every one of the 139 churches in Venice. The church of I Gesuiti in Canaregio is particularly beautiful.
- Don’t forget to take a boat ride to an island. Burano and Murano are both popular for lace and glass but my favourite is Torcello. Full of atmosphere it has the Locanda Cipriani where Ernest Hemingway wrote his novel “Across the river and into the trees”