Most tourists who visit Venice do so in a tour group and never get to experience what’s really there, hidden in those mysterious narrow alleyways.
Venice is a city made for walkers and it is difficult to get lost for long. Simply pick up a handy pocket-sized map at the railway station or at one of the numerous newspaper stands which dot the city, and off you go.
If the crowds become too much for you – season Venice often becomes a hot, jostling nightmare – then nip down a back alley and keep walking. And walking. Seems unbelievable I know, but it is truly easy to find areas of the city that are tourist free and quiet at all times of the year.
Walk through the narrow, labyrinthine streets and cross some of the hundreds of small, silent bridges that criss-cross the canals.
Near the Rialto Bridge and the eponymous markets, you will find lots of little streets that are unmarked on your map. These little alleyways are full of tiny bacari (wine bars) where you can pull in for a delicious cicchetti (tapas-like snacks) and an ombra (glass of the local wine).
Stop at a bar and have a coffee with the locals or buy a delicious pastry at one of the many pasticceria (pastry shops) which dot the city. And visit in winter when it’s shrouded in fog.
Hop on a vaporetto (water bus) and head to the island of Giudecca.
When visiting Venice, don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path. Dive down the nearest alleyway and enjoy!