We spent a week in Venice in 2011 and, other than the crowds, we really enjoyed exploring its streets and waterways. It is an amazing city like no other, based primarily on water transportation for all services, and it does it all, it seems, so well. And it is so photogenic, with never-ending opportunities for photo ops.
This trip provided us just a couple of days on the way to Croatia and a day on the way back, which was just enough of a tease for us to leave saying we need to come back soon. We kept away from all major tourist landmarks such as the Rialto bridge or San Marco Plaza, at least during the day, as there so many people that’s you start feeling claustrophobic.
We were quite content to spend our time in other neighborhoods such as San Polo, Castelo, Dorsodouro and Cannareigio, which the crowds tend to avoid. There are just so many great restaurants down off-the-beaten-track narrow streets to enjoy, as well as wine bars and oceanside terraces. We especially enjoyed San Marco Plaza when the cruise ships and day-trippers had left, enjoying an Apero at Cafe Lavena while listening to the live band and people watching.
On our next trip we plan to visit some of the outer islands such as Murano, La Guidecca, and Lido.