Venice, wow ... what a place!
Having seen many Cornetto adverts as a kid, and the city's regular appearance in blockbuster films, I had a preconceived idea of what Venice would be like. But I'm glad to say, it's all that it appears and so much more.
We stayed in the quaint Hotel Arlecchino on the western side of the city which was great. Away from the tourist masses, we enjoyed peace, local culture, friendly hospitality and some traditional nearby Italian eateries. So much better staying in a local run hotel than a global franchise for this type of trip.
The intricacy and varied colours of Venice's streets are its main attraction. Just walking around the city with a haphazard approach to map reading leads you to all sorts of nooks and crannies, all worthy of picture taking. This place is not just about the Grand Canal, the whole island is full of Venetian charm.
Summary highlights include exploring the streets by foot and by public Vaporetto transport: local Italian food at the Hosteria Veneziana: a daytrip to the glassblowing island of Murano: fine food and wines at the Ristorante Cantina Canaletto: and 50c gondola rides on the public Traghetti ... who needs to blow 100 euros!