Venice: if there is any city on earth more given over to tourism than this, then I have yet to encounter it. Despite its glorious past: historical, innovative and centre of world trading – its sole purpose now is the pursuit of the tourist euro, dollar, pound; whatever you got.
Its quite good at this too, every turn presents a new picture worthy vista of its crumbly present and glorious past, the whole city is very pretty, you could point and snap almost anywhere and get good pictures.
The problem with Venice is that the streets were not built for this century and the vast number of people that now use them – it can be quite terrifying to turn a corner and encounter 50+ tourists surging towards you like a vast amoeba; usually headed by an individual with bright pink umbrella – or some other identifying symbol… Such is the draw of the place that a lot of visitors are here just for the day; boats, trains and coaches having brought them unfeasibly large distances in some cases (eastern Europe). They need to see the main stuff, and whilst this is possible in a few hours, those hours can be quite hellish.
A more acceptable visit can be done in a couple of days, this will allow you to see not only the main stuff, but wander paths less trodden and soak up the atmosphere.
However long you are here, everyone should understand that they are in a sort of historical Disneyland. Despite this, many persist in the ultimate tourist illusion: finding somewhere that’s not touristy…
Peruse any advice or recommendation site and you will find it full of ‘secret tips’ passed on to their authors by ancient retainers and hotel porters etc… I’m sorry, but its mostly tosh, especially in a city like this one. There are no special local places here, they are only here at all because of tourists. So, to hell with hour long jaunts to secret trattorias in remote corners; as long as the price is OK and they don’t poison me I’m happy.
Regardless of the comments above, you will find some recommendations on the full Venice page here. (I reserve the right to be contrary…)