Departures’ Travel Guide to Venice

Lazlo Kubinyi

Neighborhood Guides

San Marco
Santa Croce
San Polo

“What time does Venice close?” So bumbles the sadly mistaken tourist in an oft-repeated query. This island city, Venetians are quick to point out, is decidedly not a museum, nor is it an Italian Disneyland. It is, however, a place to get lost in. Locals will often, in fact, advise visitors to wander. Which is a lovely idea, too—that is, until you’ve passed the Peggy Guggenheim Collection six times in an hour, and you’re still not sure where the Accademia Bridge is. Yes, the city is complex and confusing, but there’s a method to the madness. Venice is divided into six sestieri, or neighborhoods, each with its own personality, its own pleasures. And so this highly curated handbook is peppered with guides from six insiders who’ve revealed the secrets of their favorite sestiere. Because many, if not most, of the 16 million travelers who come to Venice each year never get any farther than the welltraversed wonders of the Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco. But beyond those icons, and past the touristic shops and restaurants that surround them, there lies a different city altogether.