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Why You Should Get Lost in Venice, Italy

Getting lost would have to be one of the most frustrating thing to happen to a traveler. You are trying to get from one museum to another and you accidentally make a wrong turn. We’ve all been there.
But then there’s Venice.
The city made up of small islands, separated by canals and linked by bridges. The city where each narrow street takes you to another neighborhood more charming than the last. The city where you want to get lost.
Personally, I hate getting lost. I got lost on the way to Versailles, I got lost driving around Cozumel, I almost got lost this past weekend trying to find a “secret cave” in Banff National Park. But there’s something calming about making random turns in this floating city. Even when we hit a dead end, I didn’t feel stressed or anxious like I normally do. Lyndon wanted to find the library that was featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and while I found the location on Google Maps on my phone, my signal was spotty at best so we just started walking in that general direction. We made a couple wrong turns, but it only lead us to another picturesque square or a cute cafe and I was totally okay with that.

I don’t know about you, but I think Venice might be one of the most photogenic cities in the world. Sometimes I think Venice gets a bad rap. Yes it can get super crowded and the canals might give off a smell during the hotter months, but there’s no other city like Venice in the world.

We spent two full days in Venice. We were actually there for three nights, but we spent a day exploring Burano and Murano in the Venetian Lagoon (I highly recommend adding a day to your Venice itinerary just to visit these two islands). Day 1, we spent walking around looking for all the famous landmarks like the Rialto Bridge and Bridge of Sighs. Day 2, we spent just enjoying Venice.

We stayed fairly close to St. Mark’s Square but that didn’t stop us from walking all the way to the west coast of Dorsoduro to the east coast of Cannaregio (2 of the 6 historic subdivisions of Venice). On a map, walking from one side of the island to the other looks pretty far but actually it will only take you about 30 minutes. Granted, if you don’t get lost… but you totally want to, right?

So why should you get lost? For starter, it will take you away from the crowds. We were in Venice during shoulder season and there were still areas packed with people like St. Mark’s Square and around Rialto Bridge. You should definitely visit these areas, but know that there are others areas way less crowded and way more charming. Secondly, getting lost will let you see how the locals live. I don’t know how we got there but at one point, we winded up walking through this residential neighborhood. No gondola in sight. No souvenir shop. Just normal homes without a canal view with laundry hanging outside the windows. Sometimes I forget that people actually live in Venice.

So put down your map (do people still carry paper maps) or Google Maps I should say, and just start walking. Trust me, it’s the best way to experience this beautiful city!

What’s another city where you want to get lost in?   

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