Venice is one of my favorite places to visit while in Europe and maybe my all time favorite in Italy. There is something captivating about wandering around a city where all of the streets are canals and everything is done by boat. There are all the major tourist sections of the city or course, but the one thing everyone should really do while there, is just wander away from the crowds and walk up and down all the back streets you can find.
You will find streets that are so narrow, you can walk down them while touching the wall on both sides at the same time and almost feel lost in the towering building around you. It feels like you're wandering through some huge maze but if you have no where to be and are on vacation, you should take in the sights, sounds and smells around you. There is something so cool about wandering down those cramped side streets and hearing families in apartments about you, sitting down to dinner and hearing the laughter and conversation echoing around you. This is a part of Venice most visitors never experience because they just don't take the time to get lost in the city itself.
I grabbed my camera and went out late one night after most everyone had headed back to their hotels and were all tucked in for the night and wandered around to experience the city when things were quiet. It's so hard to describe how peaceful it was that night but I think this photo comes close to capturing that experience.
If you ever get the chance to visit Venice and have time to spend more than a day there, you need to make sure you get out of the touristy area and explore. You'll experience the city in a way most people miss and I think you'll fall in love with it that much more.