Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 11, 2011

You will, and should, get lost in Venice


The very best way to enjoy Venice is to just walk, without wanting to get anywhere in particular.
Obviously you should see the highlights, like the Rialto bridge and Piazza St Marco and its beautiful church filled with gold mosaics, but there are surprises at very turn in Venice, more than just about anywhere else. Getting lost can be a delight.
Having said that, it can be wretchedly difficult to find your way somewhere that you particularly want to get to, especially when there there is a transport strike. We have just been to Venice and on Monday there was a dreaded sciopero and none of the traghetti (ferries) were operating. Apart from a gondola or private water taxi there was no way to get around Venice except to walk.
We got lost many times on our way to where we wanted to be. Just as well we were in no hurry.
The next day the traghetti were back on and we decided to go to the islands of Burano and Torcello. We bought our tickets from the biglietteria and asked the attendant where we should catch the ferry. I would like to point out here that we bought our tickets and asked for information at the ferry office, not the post office or the gelateria.
We were told to go to St Marks Zaccaria stop. We did, there are several, all going in different directions. Each one sent us on to the next one. One attendant told us to look for stop number 12.
We finally arrived at the last stop only to be told that the ferry leaves from Fondamente Nove, which is on the other side of the island.
We got lost several times getting to Fondamente Nove and when we got there we found stop number 12. That particular attendant had been correct, she just neglected to tell us where stop 12 was. Burano and Torcello were delightful and I will show you photos of those beautiful islands later.

Here are some things we came across whilst getting lost.




































To get to Burano and the very lovely Torcello, take the number 12 at Fondamente Nove. Good luck!



  1. I love the photos and I love Venice. You are absolutely right in that part of the charm of Venice is getting lost. i got lost every day when was there and always found more amazing photo opportunities.

    • I would love to spend a month in Venice and just head off in a different direction every day.

  2. I am so ashamed that I haven’t made it to Venice or Verona yet-next June for certain. Thank you for these amazing pictures-can you suggest places to eat or stay? Seems to make sincce to stay the night if driving from Bagni?

    • We stayed at Hotel Firenze, which is 30 meters from St Marks. It is not expensive in the off season. I will do a post on the places we ate soon.

  3. Beautiful Venice, but don’t forget your boots!

  4. Some lovely, interesting photos here. I like your attention to details. Yes Venice is a wonderful city to visit as it is unique. The canals make it very atmospheric and all those reflections are a Gods-send to the photographer. I have recently been to Rome — another fascinating and enchanting city. It’s another great place to get lost in.

    • I love Rome too. The best thing about spending 6 months a year in Italy is that I get to revisit the places I love. There will be more on Venice.

  5. I don’t mind at all getting lost in Venice. Actually, you could say it is part of the fun. There are so many wonderful places to discover! Your photos are great, as usual.

    • Hi Maria, We went to Florian and Vedova, both were great. Thanks for the tips. It rained a bit in Venice, but it is still wonderful.

      • Glad to hear that you enjoyed those places. I am looking forward to seeing the photos and your comments.

  6. I love the shapes of the windows and doors. What stunning photos. Another place I need to visit.

    • Venice is wonderful. You need to see it at least once.

  7. That XXIIII-hour clock is fabulous. I want one!

    • There are many things in Venice that I would love.

  8. I have some very vivid memories of being very lost in Venice looking for a particular pasticceria and of course it was pouring rain but we were very determined and eventually found our way there! Gorgeous photos-there’s just so much to love about Italy…

    • Finding your way in Venice can be extremely frustrating, but the wonderful surprises along the way make it all worthwhile – even in the rain.

  9. It’s even worse at night, being lost in venice. glad it’s not just me who gets lost, I hope you had a good time in spite of it. Glorious photos as always. Beautiful light there. One time I was there in my teens and we got on a boat at sunset and ended up way out somewhere as the sun set crimson all around us, Murano or some such place, it took many boats to get back to our starting point. Beautiful magical place 🙂

    • We got lost at night, in the rain. We also got lost in daylight with the sun shining. I was in Venice a couple of years ago and there was a huge storm. It only lasted about 15 minutes and when it was over St Mark’s square was bathed in a golden light – gorgeous.

  10. Yes but it was all so much fun & we did have a lot of laughs

  11. I’ve only been to Venice once, with my friend Charlotte, and only for a three day weekend. But it was one of my most memorable experiences and I still believe that Venice is the most beautiful, magical place in the world. And I agree, getting lost is the best way to discover a place!

    • I think Venice is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. I hope to go back again and again.

  12. I still haven’t been here, it’s my dream! Next time we are in Padova I will make it a point to go to Venice. I have to say, I skipped most of your photos as I like to keep the new place a mystery until I have seen it myself!

    • Venice is not far from Padova. You will love it.

  13. I’m itching to get back to Venice now! Lovely pics, I especially like the top one and the circular windows.

    • Venice needs to be visited lots of times, but not in summer. Despite the rain I think this time of the year is excellent. The crowds aren’t too bad and it is not yet too cold.

  14. Fabulous post…all photos wonderful but the first one; all that blue and black mystery with the not so mysterious Hard Rock Cafe to take you into this century. Perhaps you’ve seen that wonderful movie, which I adore and have seen several times, almost completely filmed in Venice…Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips) which gives off an exciting and picturesque vibe of the beloved place. The Florian, doesn’t a cappucino cost about the same as a hotel room if ordered outside??

    • The Hard Rock Cafe does seem a bit out of place. A Bellini at Florian costs €30. We didn’t order one. We had the cheapest thing on the menu.I did see Bread and Tulips, it was very good.

  15. I love, love, love Venice. My grandparents renewed their wedding vows in San Marco and my husband and I did the same on our 25th wedding anniversary. The last time I went to Venice I went with a girlfriend and took a vaporetto to every possible island. It was in the month of April and the weather happened to be perfect that year. Hopefully I will do it again in
    2012. Everyone needs some time in Venice!

    • I agree, everyone should see Venice at least once.

  16. Hi Debra and Liz,

    Great photos of your time in Venice. Glad you are seeing more places in Italy when here from Australia.


  17. I’ve been to Venice way back in August 1989, while on a Coniki tour around Europe. An amazing place.- almost like a dream or a fantasy theme park, yet it’s real !.

    We were all given maps, but many people on the tour (including me) ended up getting lost, soon after walking away from St Marks square !. But as you say, that’s all part of the fun, when exploring this incredible city.

    • I’m sure everyone gets lost in Venice. Maps are only a rough guide.

  18. Hi Deb love venice although never been there. i only have 3 days in rome on my home from london. I am going to florence for a day but it was just too far to get to venice. will be in rome from the 1/12. I have been following your posts and there are so many places i would like on my bucket list. enjoy the rest of your stay. we must catch up when you come back to brisvegas. 🙂

    • It is a pity you won’t see Venice, but you can’t do everything in 3 days.

  19. Venice is my favorite place on earth. Thanks for the trip back there with your photos. I have been lost many times there and have never regretted it. Sigh….gorgeous.

    • Getting lost is half the fun in Venice

  20. I’m a regular at Celia’s blog and noticed your comment, so popped over for a visit. Fancy seeing you post about Venice. I was there not quite two months ago for the first time ever and I expected to hate it. I almost didn’t go! I thought it would be cliche and way overestimated. Needless to say, I’m glad I went. Your vivid photos brought it all back to me. Feel free to read my experience if you like;
    Nice to meet you. Cheers Mariana.

    • Thank you for visiting, I hope you come back. How could you even think of hating Venice? I had a look at your Venice – very nice.

  21. How wonderful to have a trip to Venice. Your photos make it look every bit as beautiful as I have heard it is.

    • Venice is very beautiful, and these were just the back streets. Wait until you see the rest.

  22. I love Venice.. the mixture of kept and unkept buildings. The bland and the colourful.You captured the place beautifully in your photo’s. I love the way when you come off the train and exit from the station you are hit with a eyeful of wonder and mystery. Venice is defiantly the place were you dont know were to start your walking adventure and getting lost in it’s mazes of alleyways is all part of unique experience. When I was there I just got on a ferry and didnt care which way I went. My first day was sighting Venice by water from all angles. I even got off on the island that they have their cemetery…. how amazing that place was with its all walled sided fortress. Thank you for bring back so many memories. ARH Venice the place of dreams and adventure if anyone gets a chance do go… expect nothing and gain everything….!!

    • Venice is special. It rained for the first couple of days we were there, but it didn’t matter, it handles wet very well. Then the sun came out and it just sparkles.

  23. We definitely got lost in Venice and loved every minute of it. How I miss it now. Your pictures are making my heart ache – in a good way.

    • Venice is the perfect city to get lost in. There really is a delight at every turn.

  24. This brings back memories of my time in Venice. Getting loss in Venice is definitely a must! I also loved seeing St Marc’s square flood ever so slightly at night. I want to go back there oneday during the flooding season so that I can wear my gumboots as I walk through the flooded city. Looks like you managed to do that on your trip 🙂

    • St Mark’s was flooded while we were there and we walked on planks. It was fun. There will be lots more on Venice. I took lots and lots of photos. I will spread the posts out, I don’t want to bore everyone rigid about lovely Venice.

  25. Whilst I am not much of a walker I agree that some cities are best seen by foot and Venice certainly looks to be one of them! 🙂

    • Most of Venice has to be seen on foot, there is no other way. You can only see so much from the canals, so walking it is.

  26. Don’t you just love getting lost and coming across amazing places. Only problem though if you want to go back and explore more, will you ever find it again!! Ha ha. Stunning photos Debra.

    • We didn’t do too badly finding places we wanted to return to, it was getting there in the first place that caused problems. I really want to go back with absolutely no agenda and just discover Venice’s gorgeous things at my leisure.

  27. I walked Venice for the first time when I was 17 years old and I fell in love with it. It has been a long, long time from that first sight -and actually too much from my last visit- but I love the Senerissima still.
    Thans for another nice bunch of photos and a lot of memories stirred.

    • Venice is special, you need to go back soon.

  28. Amazing photos. You really have captured the beauty and uniqueness of Venice! How did you learn to be such a great photographer? I am envious! It is definitely an art!

    • I just point and shoot. I think I am getting better as I go along.

  29. I reckon Venetians have a sense of humour in getting tourists like me lost amongst the canals. I wanted to pay an urgent visit to the Ladies and saw a sign in San Marco square pointing to that particular direction. But what happened was the direction led me over a series of canals, and through some tempting shops before I finally reached my destination and had to wait in a queue. Never mind the urgency! When I returned to San Marco square, I realised that the Ladies section was directly in front of me, but the sign pointed otherwise. I wonder if that was deliberate? Being surrounded by all that water doesn’t help one’s own waterworks. I think I’ll bring along a collapsible bucket next time.

    • This is why I put the first photo in the post. The arrows point in both directions for the same thing- most confusing. Fortunately we were not looking for toilets at any stage.

  30. It is amazing I actually have some of the same shots, but the lobsters and crabs are unique. If I had known you were going I would have given you our favourite bar and you could have gone to the loo there!

    • We must compare photos one day. I would love the name of your favourite bar for next time.

  31. I’ve gotten lost in Venice. Round and round we went trying to remember where on earth the restaurant was that we wanted to go to. Loved it. Such a beautiful, beautiful city.

    • It is indeed a beautiful city, I hope they find a way to stop it sinking.

  32. Venice is the most magical city I have visited, I always try to pop in if I am in Europe and never tire of this romantic and mystical city.
    I think I have the Venice spell !!!!!!!!
    I personally like to stay in Dorsoduro which is only 15 – 20 minute walk from Saint Marks Square a wonderful walk at night when the tourist have left.
    Im with you Debra I hope to go back again and again.

    • I love Venice more each time I go. I have stayed in several areas. The least interesting was near the station, but everywhere else has been good.

  33. Thanks a trillion for your wonderful collection of photos of Venice, as an ex long time resident of the city I know almost every nook and corner you posted… You really captured the magic of the city, thank you for the return “home”…. And yes, becoming lost in Venice is a wonderful must!

    • Lucky you being a long term resident of Venice!! I have taken hundreds of photos of Venice which will appear later.

  34. I love all the pictures of the Gondoliers! They are definitely part of the attraction to Venice. Your pictures are gorgeous, I loved the details and I completely agree – walking around with no where to go is the best way to fall in love with Venice!

    • Venice has to be the best place to wander with your eyes wide open in all directions.

  35. I got lost in Venice for 3 days…..

    • That could be fun.

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