After landing at Milan we rented a car and drove about three hours to the Hotel Tritone located in Mestre, a 30 minute bus ride outside of Venice. There’s many hotels in Venice proper but staying at one means you have to haul you luggage via water taxi or water bus…not something we wanted to do. We purchased a pass which gave us free access to the both the regular buses lines and the Venice water buses for a 24 hour period so we could hop on and off at our discretion. This worked very well and got us in and out of Venice with the least amount of stress.
Piazza San Marco & San Marco Campanile as seen from the back
I’d visited Venice about 30 years ago and found it much the same as I remembered it to be except some of the side canals may actually be cleaner now. We visited the famous Piazza San Marco early in the day before it became too crowded and then began exploring some of the smaller streets and allies looking for a non-tourist impression of Venice.
Back Street and Passages, Venice, Italy
If you venture away from the main canals, back through the narrow streets and alleyways you fine residences, shops and restaurants catering to the locals as much or more then the tourist. You find small hidden doorways, windows with laundry hanging out to dry and small balconies with chairs and potted plants enjoyed on evenings when the temperatures are cooler.
However, you are never far from the canals in Venice and they are constantly used to move both people and goods around the city…
…or far from the wonderful history and amazing architecture.
Santa Maria Formosa, Venice, Italy
So if you have the opportunity it’s certainly worth visiting Venice, but don’t be surprised if you feel you only need one visit. Perhaps in the off season it would be easier to enjoy without fighting the crowds. It’s not easy getting photos which don’t include a lot of people.