In general you should always try and stay clear of the most touristy places at least during the day. But don't let this keep you away from the Rialto bridge, Piazza San Marco, the Doge palace and the basilica. Do it early morning or do a late evening stroll after dinner on an empty Piazza San Marco. Our favorite areas - more or less cities of their own are; Castello, Canneregio, Dorsoduoro and Arsenale.
Being who we are - food and wine are very important to a little gettaway - here are a few of our prefered places to hang:
This is the place in Piazza San Marco to do the morning cappucino or one of the many aperitivi during the day. A classical cafe from 1750 - still run be the same family. Even though we are in San Marco, the place is packed with locals - because this place has maintained the tradition - "AL BANCO" - by the bar - esuring you won't get ripped off. Don't sit down - enjoy you drink like a true venetian -standing...
Piazza San Marco 133
Osteria Anice Stellato
This restaurant has been a sure winner on every visit to la Sirena - we have never walked out disappointed. Small local place on the most outer Fondamenta in Canneregio. Simple food and a very good wine list. Their Bigoli in salse and Fritto di Mare are a must try - we always go for the fish - even though their Fegato alla Veneziana is famous - fried liver, lots of onions and grilled polenta.
Fondamenta de la Sensa, Canneregio 3272
This place is more or less a hole in the wall - just big enough for a bar counter, plenty of vino and a great selection of cichetti - here served as small panini with different stuffings. The wines are great - even though the location is just behind the Rialto bridge - the piazza is almost empty besides the local enjoying their aperitivo. The first Spritz of any trip is always enjoyed here.....
Fondamenta Riva Olio, Rialto
We admit it - we have something for good bakery.....any shapes and sizes. This pastry shop is now in almost every area of Venice - but the quality is still top. The first cornetti and cappucino was served in 1924, the coffe is still good, but for us the main attraction is the Fritelle.....a little heaven of deep fried dough stuffed with raisins, orange and pine nuts....and then restuffed with either wipped cream, zabaglione or our favorite - crema di ricotta.. GO and TRY...
The wine bar above all wine bars in Venice - owned by the famous sommelier Mauro Lorenzon - always in vest and butterfly.....an image thing...hundreds of wine, no wine list and everything is served by the glass...JUST ask for a good recommendation. The last big hit in "vino abbandonato" - basically forgotten wine. Mauro travels in the wine producing areas around Venice, visiting small producers and looking deep into their cellars for a real treasure. last time we tasted a 8 year old Pignoletto, left to age with the grape skins for 2 years and then a further 6 years in cosed amforas - a true Orange wine...there are always some good simple dishes to go witht the vino..
Calle lunga Santa Maria della Formosa