Exploring Venice, Off the Beaten Track

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Exploring Venice
Enjoying a Venice sunset can be done from just about anywhere, so pick a quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle.

There’s a good reason why Venice is a dream destination for many of us: it is just breathtaking. Every corner you turn there’s another picture postcard view, every meal you enjoy feels like the best you’ve ever had. Unfortunately, being just so picturesque does have its downfalls too, and one of them is that it can feel like you’re doing the same things as everybody else. Sometimes you want to break away from the rest of the tourists and you start Exploring Venice yourself. Well, if you want to carve out your own Venice experience, these are some tips on the best parts of Venice that the hoards of tourists haven’t heard about yet.

The Casino di Venezia

It can’t be denied that Venice’s canals are where tourists flock to, but visiting Venice without visiting the canals would be practically impossible, the whole town revolves around them! If you want to see the best of the canals as they used to be then you should head to the Casino di Venezia. As well as being a staggeringly beautiful casino, and only accessible by water taxi, it’s also one of the oldest venues in Europe. Catch a water taxi to the casino and you’ll pass houses and shops lining the edges of the canal. The architecture around this area is particularly historic, and therefore particularly beautiful. Once you arrive at the casino you’ll be in for an experience like no other. Whilst many of us are used to boldly patterned carpets, strip lighting, and electronic slot machines decorating the average casino, the experience inside the Casino di Venezia is altogether different. The decor here is by no means understated, but it is certainly of its time. Think richly patterned wallpapers in traditional baroque prints, glossy gaming tables carved from hardwood, and a sleek and sophisticated bar stocked with everything to create your favorite cocktail. (anewcareer.org) Spending an hour or so enjoying the ambiance here is a taste of what Venice used to be like.

Visit the Cantina do Spade

Caption: If you’re visiting Cantina do Spade during courgette flower season then you’re in for a treat.

If you’re enjoying the ‘back in time’ feel of your trip so far, then you’re in luck. The oldest bar in Venice is the Cantina do Mori. The bar is undoubtedly worth visiting, the food is great, the service is friendly and the building itself has truly been plucked from the history books. However, it really is standing room only, even if you’re eating, because visiting this cantina is one of the most popular things to do in Venice. If you’d like to experience a bar with a similarly old-world vibe, but one that draws in fewer tourists, then you’ll need to head to Cantina do Spade. This tiny little osteria is also centuries old and is rumored to be one of the places that Casanova himself took his dates. Despite this amazing piece of history, this cantina is definitely quieter and offers some incredible food and wine to boot. The wine list isn’t hugely lengthy, but there’s a strong focus on regional wines. Similarly, the menu is short and ever-changing, to reflect whatever food looked best at the market that morning. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during courgette flower season, then try them stuffed with salt cod and fried; they are heavenly.

A Bridge Too Far?

When a city has as many canals as Venice, it makes sense that there are plenty of bridges to traverse them. There are more than four hundred bridges in the city and the vast majority of them are incredibly picturesque. Whilst the nicest way to view a lot of the bridges is from the water looking up, there is one bridge in particular that is best experienced from on top: the Ponte de Chiodo. This bridge is one of only two bridges in Venice that don’t have rails to stop you from falling in! You can find the bridge in the Cannaregio district and whilst architecturally it is fairly plain, it is more frightening than you might think to cross over it. The streets in this area leading up to the bridge are a little quieter, so instead of jostling to get a good photograph, you can spend plenty of time admiring the view.

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