Three Secrets of Venice to Make You Feel Like a Local
Tap into the true spirit of Venice as you discover the authentic side of ‘The Floating City’ and become a proper Venetian! Want to get under the skin of Venice and uncover its remarkable secrets? Want to dodge the crowds and do what the locals do? Look no further with this guide to some of Venice’s truly offbeat attractions…
Venice by the Book
Good things come to those who explore, and Libreria Aqua Alta, a second-hand bookshop like no other by the waterfront on Calle Lunga, is wonderful proof of that. Stop by this out-of-the-way snoopers’ paradise and enjoy a peaceful hour or so browsing through the eclectic range of Italian and international books in the company of a few fellow bookworms. Out of respect for the sometimes damp surroundings and with a humorous nod to Venice’s traditions, the books are piled higgledy-piggledy in repurposed canoes and bins as well as the occasional gondola! Remarkably few people know of this quirky establishment, which is run by bonafide Venetian Luigi Frizzo (with a little help from his pet cat). And long may it stay that way!
Avoid the crush on perennial favourites Murano and Burano and instead head out to the lesser-known islands of Sant’Andrea and San Francesco del Deserto. Sant’Andrea has a slightly wild yet beautiful feel to it, with its main attraction being the ruins of a fort from the seventeenth century. The monastery on San Francesco del Deserto, which dates back to the Middle Ages, makes for an ideal retreat from the din of Venice thanks to the thousands of tall cypress trees which ring the island. Take time to explore the monastery in the company of one of the monks before relaxing in the beautiful gardens – you might not find a more perfect spot for a moment’s meditation.
If you thought dining in Venice was all about fighting for a table at a crowded tourist trap serving up dull margheritas and spaghetti Bolognese, then think again! Grab yourself a spot at Catina Do Mori, reputedly the oldest bar of its kind in the city, and treat yourself to a lunch that’s a cut above the average tourist fare. There are no tables here so you won’t be feeling left out in the cold away from the action. Instead mingle with the people of this wonderful city as you order sumptuous Venetian treats from the old wooden bar. Take your pick of the snacks, or cicchetti, on offer – don’t miss out on the local favourite bacala mantecato, a salt cod and extra virgin olive oil mousse – and pair it with a glass or two of the delicious locally produced sweet and fizzy red wine. Truly la dolce vita, Venetian style!
How To Get There
Getting to Venice is a breeze with Shuttle Direct, as a friendly Shuttle Direct Venice airport transfer will swiftly bring you to your destination. So there’s only one thing you really need to do once you’ve arrived at Venice airport: transfer your thoughts to the exciting and unique city break that awaits you.
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