I remember my first arrival in Venice. The boat was shaking and so were we. Although winters in Italy are usually a pleasant thing, La Serenissima (the most serene of all cities) is often piereced by cold currents which can cut to the bone.
I remeber everyone who had already been there had completely conflicting stories of what the city is like:
“Oh, it’s overrated. And the channels smell so bad”
“It is the best city in the world: never seen anything quite like the Carnival”
So which one was it? Well, for me it was love at first sight. It can be a bit claustrophobic if you get phased by large crowds but as soon as you take a random street in the opposite direction of Rialto and San Marco you will soon discover the real charm of the city. As an art history buff I don’t underestimate Venice’s most famous spots, but trust me: its real appeal is away from the crowds.
Grab a gelato and choose the smallest, emptiest street you can find. Getting lost in Venice is a travelling delight and trust me: sooner or later you will reach the central spots again.