1. Don’t walk across the Bridge of Sights
The little bridge known as “Bridge of Sights” (Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian) is one of the most famous places in Venice. During the day, any time, the bridge is really crowded. If you thought you could take a selfie or something like this, well, you're in the wrong place. But the funniest thing is another one. The original fame of the Bridge, where the name comes from, is situated near Doge Palace: in the 19th century, prisoners secluded there would walk INSIDE the bridge heading to St. Mark’s Square before their execution. Through its small windows, they had their last view of Venice, hence the “sights.” So, if you want to have the “authentic experience” (perhaps without dying), you should take a Doge Palace’s tour and visit the bridge from the inside.
2. Don’t go for a Gondola Ride
We know it: the Gondola is the symbol of Venice. Are we really going to talk you out of coming aboard this wonderful icon? No, but we are going to tell you the whole truth. If one thing characterizes the Gondola tours, it is the boredom in sharing the boat with strangers for a short time (20/30 minutes). Gondolas were the main way to move around in Venice in he past, but nowadays they are almost exclusively a tourist attraction. The everyday life of Venetians is still on the water, but on less "traditional" boats. So we recommend you to buy a 1 hour Grand Canal cruise for 30€ and other tours on “normal boats”: they are cheaper, longer and more complete.
But, if you want to have the Gondola experience at any cost you should book our save money solution.
3. Don’t stop in St. Mark Square for a coffee
If you want to feel the euphoria of ordering the most expensive cup of coffee in the world, you must have a seat in one of St. Mark Square's bars. You will have a wonderful view of the square and to win an article on you on "Il Gazzettino" because someone overpriced you to enough to sue them. It happens. Italian people know that, once a year, they will read about an American couple who paid 30€ for two espressos in San Marco Square. Apart from illegal overpricing , the “normal price” for an espresso at the table costs between 3€ and 10€. Well, so much for a shot of caffeine. If you are in St. Mark, drink your coffee standing at the counter. If you want to hang around, leave St. Mark surroundings and head for areas like Cannaregio district, where locals spend their time without investing their salary in daily caffeine.
4. Don’t drink Bellini and don’t eat Pizza.
There are two more things we have to warn you about. The first one is the famous cocktail called “Bellini,” invented in Venice by the owner of Harry’s bar at the beginning of 20th century. A lot of tourists stay in line at Harry’s Bar to give 16.50€ for a cocktail that is just a "shadow" of itself. If you want to drink the REAL happy hour cocktail preferred by locals, you should go for the spritz. The spritz (a mix of Prosecco wine and Aperol Soda) is common everywhere in Italy but is originated in Venice and, strange for the place, here is where it’s cheaper and better than every other region.
The second one is the pizza. All right, you are in Italy, and you want the pizza. We are not going to tell you that you MUST eat it in Naples, we are not SO uncompromising. But you should avoid eating pizza in Venice for a simple reason: there’s a law in Venice prohibiting wood-fired ovens because much of the town is made of wood and the risk of fire is too high. We suggest you forget your Italian pizza-dream at least for this city and switch to sea-food instead. You are by the sea, please eat spaghetti with clams.[IMG-145]
5. Don’t go out in the sunlight.
Finally, the golden rule: visit Venice by night not by day. You are not a vampire, and all the activities, tours, museums and churches are available only by day. But if you don’t have to do anything specific and just want to take a walk and admire the place, you should do it in the night-time. Venice is a small city with narrow streets and at any time of the year is full of tourists: walk around freely in the center during the day is impossible and all you will see is a crowd with parts of the city in the background. Under cover of darkness, Venice recovers its charm and takes back its spaces. This is the time to walk across the Bridge of Sights or appreciate the real vastity of St. Mark Square. So have a nice dinner and get ready to walk: Venice awaits you.