I will never forget experiencing Venice for the first time. It feels like you are transported to another time – the art, music, food and pure romance in the air is like no other place. – Elizabeth Berkley
Getting lost in Venice is one of the most beautiful experiences ever. In an ideal world, this should be the number one suggestion in a perfect tourist guide. Because getting lost in Venice is magic.
You don’t believe us? Then close your eyes and follow us for a moment. Now open your eyes and take a look around. There are no roads, no cars, no traffic lights, no noises, no shopping malls, there are no advertising panels, no excessive lights. But most of all, there is no way to navigate. Well now you’ve really got lost, and all the classic landmarks are gone: even the names of the “calli,” the streets of Venice, are not exactly helpful and the house numbering, that’s an enigma even to Venetians themselves.
At this point the question arises, what to do? where to go? The answer is simple: walk aimlessly, look up and wander to admire the historic walls and look out below, too, to be careful where you step. Because Venice is a trap ready to make the worst jokes ever. In one second you end up in a canal or a rio. In one second you take a blind Calle or one that leads to the middle of an ancient mysterious courtyard, or to the other side of the Grand Canal. And be ready to marvel over a mask wrapped in a black cloak coming out of a corner: don’t have a bias against it, as it may just conceal a beautiful girl or a young gallant walking quietly in perfect anonymity.
All this is a nice game that could even end. Because over 3 million people visit Venice every year, so chances to remain isolated are really low. But there’s still a possibility if you use a smart little strategy. Before getting lost in the maze of calli and campielli, follow the tourists flow through the most classic routes, between San Marco and Rialto, along Calle Nuova, the Mercerie, the Fondamenta that line the Grand Canal, and then the churches, museums and palaces, and all the priceless artistic treasures and cultural heritage of this beautiful World Heritage city. As soon as you’re done with this, get away from it all and let chance lead you by the hand and show you the way to get lost, so that you can totally immerse yourself in the most intimate history of the Serenissima.
But keep in mind that Venice is magical, and therefore able to distinguish real from distracted tourists. So even in the whirlwind of St. Mark’s Square or sitting at a table at Harry’s Bar in a busy spring afternoon, it will allow you to find a space of inner silence. That silence that makes you watch Venice with the respect and love that all the most beautiful cities in the world deserve.