What to do in Venice: off the beaten path travel guide
A trip away from the crowds
On the contrary to what is believed, Venice is not packed with tourists everywhere. It’s enough just moving away from the usual crowded routes and emerging yourself in the daily life of the Venetians. Losing yourself in the ghetto (sestriere Cannaregio), in the alleyways around Arsenale towards Via Garibaldi (one of the most popular and authentic neighbourhoods), or on Giudecca Island. The latter was once the vacation spot of the Venetian aristocrats before it became the place for various industrial headquarters, naval shipyards and prisons (now revamped) The main attraction is the Church of SS.Redentore that, in honour of the festival of the same name (3rd weekend of July), becomes united with Venice by a floating boardwalk. During the festival of the Redentore the Giudecca is amazing; the alleyways are lit up with lights and decorations. The Venetians lay tables and eat in the streets…a true village festival with an atmosphere like years ago.
Tour of the islands
Buyinga day transport pass you can visit a few of the islands of the lagoon like the beautiful Murano, Burano and Torcello. Departing from the New Fondamenta, at the rear of the island cemetery of San Michele (Ezra Pound, Igor Stravinsky and other important people are buried here), continuing along the towards Murano where you can assist in a glass blowing and solidifying process with an expert teacher and glass-maker and even create your own glass object. From Murano, you can continue onto Burano, the island of pastel colours, famous also for its lace and crochet. It’s enough to cross over a wooden bridge to find yourself on the sleepy island of Mazzorbo, a slightly bigger island with a few trattorias and green spaces to be able to relax and unwind on the grass. The last stop, the calm and almost uninhabited Torcello, where Hemingway lived. Seeing it now it is hard to imagine that in medieval times over 20 000 habitants occupied the island! Not to be missed is the Romanesque Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta: you can go up to the bell tower to admire the spectacular view of the island and the lagoon.