This visit to Venice was my second. Because of this I didn’t have the compulsion to visit all the tourist spots. This freed us up to simply live like Venetians for a few days. Which is exactly what we did.
We bought pastries and coffee at a local pasticceria every morning. Strolled around the neighbourood. Went to the supermarket. We avoided any food sellers with photos of their food in the window, English menus and people pulling you in from the doorway.
My one and only tourism must-do was a leisurely 7 minutes walk away.
We got up early to visit Peggy Guggenheim’s collection and there were very few people there at opening. I found myself alone at times in a room – just me and art, and space. To look, to breathe, to absorb, to listen (to the audio guide) to think, and to simply be in the presence of.
This is bliss.
We had locals recommend restaurants that were divine in Thierry understated simplicity and fresh originality. We and took naps, watched a movie when it rained on our laptop and generally just relaxed. No stress, no crowds, no shoving or rudeness, no rushing to be anywhere.
This is luxury.
We passed the men in the tiny corner bacari drinking morning and night. We drank Apertivo in the early evening and snacked on cicchetti (Traditional fresh lagoon foods). By the time we left we knew our neighborhood well and the map had been retired after only a day.
On the last morning we grabbed a croissant from our local and ate it standing, watching people walking their dogs or heading to work. Some by foot, some by boat.
This is a holiday.