Venice, Italy: You Irresistible Tourist Trap, You

With upwards of 60,000 visitors a day, tourists typically outnumber locals in this stunning, sunken Italian city. The beauty of it can be mesmerizing, with canals winding through it's heart and bridges arching over each one as if created by a Hollywood set designer. If I could offer one piece of advice for visiting this city, it's to sleep over. Spend the night and get to know Venice when it's quiet. Walk around the labyrinthian passages at night. Eat at restaurants filled with Venetians. Sit at St. Mark's Square and enjoy the relative solitude after most of the tourists have left.
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We almost didn’t take the gondola ride. We both hemmed and hawed about it. After watching tourists with selfie sticks being boated around Venice for days, it stoked my rebel instinct to do the opposite of what everyone else was doing. As we’re getting ready to leave for Florence...

First, let’s get it straight. It’s spelled BOTH ways. Piedmont is how most English speakers say it; Piemonte is how the Italians pronounce it. And me. I like to say Piemonte! with an upward lilt (and an exclamation point) at the end because it makes me feel authentic and perhaps like I might live there one day....

Seamus met two charming, well-dressed guys on the steps of the Duomo with credentials around their necks. Before the afternoon was over we were out €40, two hours of our lives, and being threatened with the mafia. Climbing the Duomo was really the only thing on my list of things to do in Florence, because of course,...

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About the Author

Hi. I’m Juliana Dever and according to science I have some sort of "exploration" gene. Embracing this compulsion, I spend a lot of time hurtling around the planet in metal tubes experiencing other cultures and writing humorous essays about it. Enjoy.

9 Comments

  1. Marie @ To Europe And Beyond / August 9, 2015 at 12:31 pm /Reply

    Gorgeous photo set!

    • Juliana Dever / August 9, 2015 at 12:35 pm /Reply

      Thanks Marie! Though Venice makes it so easy. It really is a stunning city, especially in the evening when it’s less crowded.

  2. Sofie M. / August 11, 2015 at 11:56 am /Reply

    Beautiful pictures as always! Went to Venice this summer and it was amazing – so beautiful but so hot! Especially for a danish girl like me cause I’m not used to the heat at all 😉

  3. Lori Wynn / August 11, 2015 at 4:56 pm /Reply

    I fell in love with Venice when I visited there last fall. I agree with you, Juliana, about staying over in Venice. My 3 girlfriends and I spent 3 nights there before getting on a Mediterrean cruise. We stayed in a quaint apartment that sat on one of the smaller canals and it was perfect. It was quite and we ate amazing food at neighborhood restaurants just feet from our place in either direction. I will be hard pressed to find pizza that good here in the USA. I would love to go back. I ate a lot but walked it all off at the same time.

    • Juliana Dever / August 12, 2015 at 10:16 pm /Reply

      It’s funny how Venice can be such a different city at night, isn’t it? But for me I felt like that is when I really got to know it. And wow, I really did love the food. I hope you get to go back!

  4. Megan / September 16, 2015 at 6:28 pm /Reply

    I adore your pictures! They take me back to when I visited Venice with a couple of my friends last spring, and I completely agree–there is something magical about the city at night. Some of our favorite moments were sitting alongside a canal and eating delicious pizza while watching the sun go down, taking the water taxi just to watch the sunset over the water, and staying out late just wandering around St. Mark’s Square and the rest of the city. There’s something truly enchanting about how Venice speaks in the quiet of the night!

  5. Leigh / September 26, 2015 at 8:14 am /Reply

    Great photos – I’ve heard such mixed reviews of Venice – I’m sure I’ll get there someday, but maybe in the “off” season?

    • Juliana Dever / September 28, 2015 at 9:28 am /Reply

      I think the mixed reviews are deserved, simply because one’s experience is definitely colored by the time of year and the people you are with or around! You have to go at least once, but I absolutely recommend going in an off season so Venice can shine on its own without being overcrowded.

  6. Edna / October 6, 2015 at 1:58 am /Reply

    I LOVE Venice, I think partly because I’ve never gone in summer — I go every year for Carnevale with a huge group of friends (possibly the one time being around tourists might make it more fun. Those masks!) and occasionally in the fall. Our first trip we became friends with a Venetian deli owner, and now we pretty much go just to visit him and stuff our faces with the best hams and cheese in Italy! If you’re ever back, you have to check it out: Lorenzo Gastronomia just off San Marco’s 🙂

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