Off the beaten path in Venice

Scala Contarini del Bovolo, S. Marco, 4301, 30124 Venezia, Italy

You want to get a great view of the city, but shutter at the thought of the crowds and lines you’ll find near the St Mark’s Campanile. What if I told you there was an alternative, if you are feeling a bit adventurous. I wish you the best of luck trying to find this place. We rambled around the maze, map in hand, and almost called it quits. Then miraculously, we found a little old lady in the silent alleyway. We told her about our quest and she led us directly to where we needed to go. When you see the tiny yellow sign, you are home free.

Scala_Contarini_del_Bovolo_veniceWe arrived at 10AM, opening time, and no one was there! I was woefully thinking we had just wasted our time, but just a few minutes past the employees rolled in and granted us admission. We walked up the spiral stairs and stopped to read bits of information along the way. You come here to see the beautiful architecture.

Scala_Contarini_del_BovoloYou come here to see the unique view.

Scala_Contarini_del_Bovolo_venice_2You come here to have all this with just a few others who want to get away from it all, too. Scala_Contarini_del_Bovolo_venice_3It was really nice chatting with the two other couples who we shared the view with, an endless sea of shingles

Libreria Acqua Alta, Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, 5176/B, 30122 Venezia, Italy

Libreria_Acqua_Alta_venice_1A canal side bookstore oozing with quirk, well worth a peruse even if you aren’t the literary type. There are so many books jutting out here and there. The space is prone to flooding, so you’ll notice a lot of books are housed in bathtubs and even gondolas! There are more than just books, too. You’ll find some neat artwork and little doo-dads.

Libreria_Acqua_Alta_venice_2Be sure to make it all the way to the back and climb the book staircase for a lovely little view.

Libreria_Acqua_Alta_veniceLa Bottega dei Mascareri, S. Polo, 80, 30125 Ponte di Rialto Venezia, Italy

La_Bottega_dei_Mascareri_veniceThere are a lot of little mask shops in Venice and you can find masks at almost any regular souvenir shop. I knew I wanted to bring one home to hang up on my wall, one made by a local. This is a family business sitting quietly at the foot of the Rialto Bridge. Amidst all the hustle bustle, it was serene inside the shop. Some of the exceptional masks have actually made it into Hollywood films.


Traghetto_gondola_veniceOne of the most famous visions of Venice is a gondola ride on the canal. It can also be one of the most expensive things to do! If you have your heart set on riding a gondola, but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg – try a ferry ride across the canal sitting between some locals. There are many locations throughout the city, be careful hopping on, and enjoy the quick ride!

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