THE PEAK of the summer season in Venice gets on everyone’s nerves, whether you’re a visitor or a local. Plenty of travelers want to explore the unique and charming city of canals at least once in their lifetime, and no one can blame them for that!
This year, however, there have been several reports of tourists peeing on the streets, youngsters taking a dip in the canal, and a tourist jumping from the Rialto Bridge landing in the middle of a water taxi.
Therefore, before discovering the secrets of this extraordinary city please bear in mind that…
1. Venice is not Disneyland.
“At what time does Venice close?”
Venice is still and will hopefully remain a real, inhabited city — not a theme park.
2. The canals are not for swimming.
Or would you fancy a dip in the same water where 55 000 Venetians and tourists poo? I thought so. Besides your health you’d also be risking your life with all the boats passing by.
3. Flooding (acqua alta) only occurs a couple of times a year.
And when it does, there are wellies sold everywhere, so you don’t need to worry about getting your toes wet!
4. The canals smell only during the low tide.
And it probably smells bad for two seconds while you’re walking. So unless you’re extremely sensitive to smells, it’s absolutely fine to visit Venice at any time of the year.
5. You can perfectly visit Venice on a budget.
Wobble outside St. Mark’s Square and see the prices drop like a brick! Or do you think 2.50 euros for a glass of prosecco or a Spritz is expensive?
6. “Fancy” hotels and restaurants are not worth it in Venice.
Venice was originally a laid-back fisherman or “lagoon dwellers” spot and all the glitz and glam has been man-made afterwards. If you want something fancy out of your Italian trip, it’s better to head to Milan or Rome.
7. Staying in rental holiday apartments forces local people to move away.
This is the sad truth — more and more Venetians have to escape to the mainland due to rising living costs.
8. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes with you.
With over 100 little islands and more than 400 bridges, you’re going to be walking a lot.
9. Please walk on the right side.
These days approximately 60 000 people visit the historical center every day. This is why it’s a darn brilliant idea to keep to the right when wandering along the most crowded narrow calle.
10. Try the local Venetian food.
The best food deal is cicchetti, savoury bar snacks ranging from fried, mozzarella-filled rice balls to bread with baccalà mantecato, accomppanied with a glass of local prosecco.
11. St. Mark’s Square is the most magical after midnight.
If you wish to visit the famous Piazza San Marco, wait until midnight, then grab a slice of takeaway pizza or a delicious porchetta sandwich and sit back to admire the silence of the historical square under the stars. Now this is why we travel.