What Not to Do in Venice
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Oh, Venice, Venice. So unique, and yet so overrun it can be difficult to grasp its fairy-tale charm. The historic center hosts more tourists than it has residents between April and October. It's not easy for us visitors: In return for fueling the local economy, we're barely tolerated and often poorly served by hoteliers and a tourist mis-information ethic that takes as its motto the Venetian expression tanto i ven lo stes (local dialect for "They'll turn up anyway"). Under no pressure to cater to faithful repeat customers, it's hardly surprising that the city's bar owners and restaurateurs charge inflated prices for indifferent fare. Yet if you approach the place in the right way—forewarned, informed, and ready to take that quiet alley off the main route just to see what's down there—you'll see the city at its magical best.
Published May 2011. Pictured: Palazzo Ca' d'Oro.