Every year more that 24 million tourists arrive in Venice. That isn’t a few. And if you don’t want to feel like your part of the masses, there are certainly some tricks to adopt to not seem like a tourist in Venice (apart from booking a nice apartment in Venice instead of an anonymous hotel) and enjoy the satisfying and memorable “slow” vacation.
What to wear
Comfortable shoes. In Venice you walk a lot and wearing high heels or Oxford leather shoes may hurt (unless your headed to an exclusive event). Avoid wearing bathing suits and flip flops: even though Venice is surrounded by water, you aren’t at the beach (for that you have to go to Lido). If it isn’t Carnival, avoid wearing masks, you’ll enjoy that more when you return in February.
How and Where to go
Not all ways to visit Venice are the same. First of all, remember the city’s dimensions; often the alleys are tight and to crowd them takes little: best to avoid crossing them in a disorderly manner or stopping in the middle of the passage way, Venetians will thank you. Avoid going to the most touristic zones like San Marco and Rialto in the central hours of the day, you’ll just be another number to add to the long waiting lines. The alternative choices would go to waste. Avoid taking the vaporetto when it isn’t necessary (distances are brief) so choose alternative routes: less people doesn’t mean “fewer marvels to discover.”
Eating and drinking
Choosing the right restaurant in Venice isn’t simple, but avoiding the worst ones is. If you prefer to mix in with the residents of the island, you just need to follow a couple things. As for an aperitif you can order a spritz (possibly bitter) but remember to never order it with your lunch or dinner. If you are in a bàcaro, don’t sit down to eat your cicchetti, but stay at the bar (it will be quicker to then move on to the next bàcaro). Certainly to avoid seeming like a tourist avoid Tagliatelle alla Bolognese or Lasagna, and choose some of the more savory Venetian traditional plates.
Learn the city’s language
By all means, English is always fine, but to learn a couple Italian words – specific ones – in the Venetian dialect will help insert you even more in the city’s spirit (in this blog you find a brief Venetian dictionary).