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12 Reasons to Visit Venice

Having just returned from a research trip in Venice, our expert in all things Italian, Rudston Steward, has plenty to say about this watery wonder. He’s pared it all down to 12 key reasons why Venice should top your travel hit list.

1) A palatial past—Venetians don’t think of themselves as Italians, but as a regal breed all their own. The historical monuments and grand palaces that remain of the Venetian Republic are part of the reason this city is unlike anywhere else; it’s a world unto itself.

2) Frutti di mare vs. frutti di laguna—If you’re partial to meals from the deep, you’ve found your Mecca. Venice ensures that an array of weird and wonderful sea (or lagoon) creatures will always end up on your plate.

3) Winners get lost—The best experiences in Venice are the least scripted, and involve getting completely lost. Cannaregio and Castello are our preferred neighbourhoods for that; away from the tourist crush of St. Marks you can become fully disoriented—and that’s when you find the best spots.

4) This little shrimp went to market—The Rialto Fish Market is the first stop on every self-respecting Venetian foodie’s daily schedule. When in season, canocie (mantis shrimp) are the prime ingredients for lunch, dinner, or a kick ass stew.

5) Step into my gondola—Despite many gondoliers’ grumpy and moody appearance, once in the back canals the irresistible romance of the gondola experience will seduce you… and your significant other.

6) Caffeine fit for a Doge—It was Venetian merchants who first introduced coffee to the wealthy in Venice. The chief leader of the Venetian Republic (called the “Doge”) approved, so we recommend you try a cup.

7) Renaissance magic—Tucked away in the residential neighbourhoods of San Polo and Santa Croce are a wealth of Titians, Tintorettos, and other masterpieces, hiding in churches and just waiting for your discovery.

8) Andiamo vaporetto—These ferries are the Venetian equivalent of the local subway train, with a slightly better view along the way. They’re the cheapest way to get around by public transport.

9) Cicchetti—Spain has tapas, Venice has cicchetti: the perfect snack food to grab on the run, these small plates beat a Big Mac any day.

10) White knights—Who saves the end of a long day lost in Venice? The region’s obscure and delicious white wines. There’s more to life than chardonnay.

11) Brilliant Burano—When the hustle and bustle gets too much (and it always does eventually), cruise to this island in the lagoon, where you can escape the crowds and appreciate your watery surroundings once again.

12) All the world’s a Venetian stage—Think there’s no reason to visit Venice in the winter? Think again. Don your finest mask and take to the streets in February and March for Carnevale, a celebration of fantasy and fairy tales.

It’s a good thing Rudston adores Italy so much, because it’s also the country he calls home. If you’re looking for an Italian masterpiece of a vacation, get in touch with him to get the Alfa Romeo rolling.

Away from the tourist crush of St. Marks you can become fully disoriented—and that's when you find the best spots.

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