For a brief introduction into my first night in Venice, please read this!
Aside from that (now humorous) adventure, I absolutely loved, loved, loved Venice! Others have complained about how dirty it is (I didn’t notice – I was too awestruck to even look at the floor) or unfriendly, although this was definitely not the case for me. I would go there again in a heartbeat!
“Made Italy, No China!” – I assume this vendor meant to thwart any claims that these masks were “made in china”!
Of course the Rialto Bridge (a cool bridge with shops on/near) is impossible to miss, and San Marco’s Place is an absolute must-see. You will find more than enough information on both of these locations in any guide book, and since they will do an exponentially better job than me, I will write about some of the more un-touristy things I did here.
One day-trip I can’t stress enough, is the trip to visit Murano and Burano Islands, which are islands/towns just a little boat taxi ride away from the main Island of Venice. I’ve detailed more about my trips to these two islands, here, but suffice it to say that if you’re looking for something a little more low-key, these are the places to go. If nothing else, you absolutely must try to get out to Murano for lunch – the seafood dishes are absolutely stunning (I have never had a better Frutti del Mare since).
Another sort of untouristy thing to do is to take the water taxi. I have talked to a surprising number of individuals who either only took it for short stretches, if at all. Outside of the fact that they are extremely convenient, they are also a great way to see the city from its best vantage point: the water. You should do this especially if you can’t afford a gondola ride (cheesy, but such a great way to make people jealous of your trip!).
As far as museums go, I would check out the Musei Civici Veneziani (the Venice City Museums) pass. This got me into Doge’s palace (in San Marco’s Place) and the Museum of 18th Century Art, both of which I would highly recommend.
Last, but certainly not least, you should gorge yourself on the Italian food. I still regret not eating my heart out, but I highly encourage you to (trust me, your diet is just not worth missing out on this opportunity!). Aside from the great seafood, the wine is just hands-down cheap and amazing (I always asked my servers for their (affordable) recommendations), and the desserts are a whole different ball-game. I could live on Italian ice for the rest of my life, and if given the choice, I might actually do that. A dessert I discovered (late one night, after too much wine) was the Tartufa (hopefully that’s spelled right!). Make it your mission to find this dessert, because it’s chocolaty goodness will make the search so worth it!