It is extremely easy to get lost in the back alleys of Venice. In fact many people embrace the idea of getting lost in Venice. That is until they realize they really are lost. Most people do not panic when they get lost, because Venice is really not that big. Eventually, and sometimes rather quickly you find your way out. However, there are times when it can be difficult to find your way back to your starting point. There are signs, very old signs, with arrows that one can find all along the way that point towards popular destinations in Venice. Those can be helpful. In the end, it’s fun to get lost in Venice, most of the time.
Get Lost In Venice In The Daylight
If your going to get lost in Venice, get lost in the daylight. If your like most travelers who visit Venice, you will be there in the summertime when there is a a great deal of daylight. It does not start to get dark until after 8:30 pm. So if your going to explore, you have many hours of daylight to do it. Do not explore at night. Its gets very dark in the alleys of Venice. Dark and creepy! There are so many deserted alleys in Venice that are filled with abandoned buildings. Those buildings are dark and lend no light to the walkways they surround. Many of the alleys have no street lights so you will find yourself in almost complete darkness, especially on a cloudy night. Whatever you do, do not go out at night exploring alone. There are many people who live in Venice and just like anywhere in this world, one must assume there is always a criminal element looking for the vulnerable.
Venice does not have the pickpocket problem that Rome has, but you still need to be careful. There are still pickpockets. Those pickpockets know when to strike. It’s usually when one is standing looking lost when they are the most vulnerable. It’s another reason to not venture out alone. One person looks at a map, while the other keeps watch of their surroundings.
It’s amazing how quickly one can get lost in Venice. One moment your in the middle of the insanely crowded St Mark’s Square and the next minute you’re wandering down a deserted Venice alley. In a matter of seconds you can go from being surrounded by hundreds of people to not seeing a single person in front or behind you. While that may sound like a stretch, just take a look at the pictures we shot below.
Speaking of photography, if you an amature or pro, getting lost In Venice will provide you with some of the greatest photographic opportunities on this planet. You don’t have to be a pro to capture incredible historic pictures. The architecture alone of those buildings you will stumble upon makes even the most amature photographer look like a pro by just clicking away. Inevitably, one is never alone for too long in the alleys of Venice. When you have an opportunity to take an amazing photo and capture the subject in isolation, do not hesitate. Eventually, another traveler exploring the alleys of Venice will pop into the picture. Below was a great shot, but in the distance as I was taking the picture a person wandered into the shot.
Finding Food While Lost In Venice
One of the biggest reasons for exploring the back alleys and corridors of deserted Venice are the gems you may find along the way. In this case we are talking about food. Most of the restaurants in Venice that cater to tourist are located along the waterways in the populated tourist areas like Piazza San Marco. They are all amazing restaurants, but they are designed to cater to large crowds and turn over tables as quickly as they can. When restaurants are designed to turn over tables quickly, they need to cut corners to accomplish that goal. Delivering the food quickly to tables is essential. So that means corners are cut in those kitchens. We are not saying they do not taste good, for the most part all the meals you receive are incredible in Venice. Nonetheless, it’s the places where locals eat that are the places to seek out in Venice.
During one of our excursions into the backstreets and alleys of Venice, we stumbled upon one of those gems of restaurants. It was a little cafe called Caffetteria Cicchetteria Ai Do Scaini. At the point that we found it we were starving and quite thirsty, so we had huge appetites. Caffetteria Cicchetteria Ai Do Scaini was a very small place with just a few tables situated outside under a tent. It was nice and shady and very comfortable.There was no one sitting anywhere at the cafe when we discovered the place. A waitress told us we could sit where we wanted to which made sense. The menu was posted on a folded sign right outside the cafe. The prices were very reasonable. Once I saw how cheap the prices were, I immediately realized that this was one of the small eateries where locals ate. It reminded me of a small restaurant I used to go to in the Bronx.
One of my goals in Italy was to have a great dish of Carbonara. I had already had one in St Mark’s Square the night before which I was not too thrilled with. I had always been told that the dish you must order in Italy is Carbonara. I decided I could not let the disappointing Carbonara I had in St Mark’s Square sour me on Venice Carbonara cuisine. Eventually I would order a plate of Carbonara in the cities of Italy I visited in the trip including Rome and Milan. Hands down, the best plate of Carbonara I had in Italy was served that day at that little cafe called Caffetteria Cicchetteria Ai Do Scaini. This was the exact type of meal I had been searching for in Venice. It was cooked at a local cafe. It’s the reason why getting Lost in Venice for the most part is a good thing for all those visit one of the most wonderful places on this planet.
Most people who travel to Venice arrive on the train and then head straight to their hotels. Usually they take the water taxis to their destinations. If your carrying a large amount of luggage you usually have no other choice but to use the water transportation. However if your travelling light, we highly recommend you cross the bridges on foot and walk to your hotels. It’s the adventure of finding your hotel that can be thrilling. You just got there, so your not in a rush. Enjoy every minute of Venice, every alley, every corridor, there is a surprise around every bend. You will get lost, you will run into dead ends, but so what? A great part of the joy of visiting Venice……… is to get Lost in Venice.