My photo tour of night-time Venice a couple of days ago was a hit. People seemed to really love it. I arrived home last night but before my Venice trip truly ends I’d like to take you on another photo tour, this time of Venice’s quiet places. People are often surprised that I like going to Venice so much and will say things like, Isn’t it smelly? Isn’t it noisy? Isn’t it crowded? Isn’t it very expensive? To some extent, all these things are true – or can be true – but visiting Venice, like most other cities, is about getting to know it and going off the main tourist routes.
I always stay at the lovely Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo in Santa Croce. This is such a tranquil area though surprisingly close to Rialto – only a five-minute walk to the Rialto market. If you leave the hotel and head further into Santa Croce rather than Rialto, you will find quieter areas full of locals rather than tourists, often gathering together to chat while children play, in campos; calli – alleyways – are full of craft shops where artists and craftspeople make glassware, ceramics, jewellery, rugs and other things. When I was in Venice in April last year – at almost exactly the same time – with Annie, we spent almost an entire day exploring the Santa Croce and San Polo area and finding only quiet and peace. It’s in these quieter areas that you will find bars and small restaurants – local osterias, pizzerias and trattorias – where you can eat good honest Italian food for a good price, rather than the inflated prices of not-so-good food near San Marco. And yes, occasionally it might be a bit smelly but actually rarely is and you’ll find Venice for the most part very clean; it’s rare to see rubbish lying around. So, if you go to Venice, head away from the crowds and you’ll find places like these in the following photos – enjoy!