Last summer also marked the very first time that I've set foot in Italy. I arrived in Venice on a flight straight from the very hectic travelling I've done with Emma in Paris and at that point, my feet were literally begging me to stop moving. Lucky for me and for my feet especially, Venice is a very relaxing city with lots to see and even more to eat! Unlike Paris, the weather was scorching hot and the sea was glistening in the sunlight. We, or rather I came to Venice armed with a very small knowledge of the Italian vocabulary (three to be exact; Prego, Scusi and Grazie -typical I know!), if you don't count the names of the various Italian food or pasta types hehe ;) .
I've always been a fan of Italian food and as soon as we got off from the Vaporetto (the water bus), me and Ems went straight to the first busy Italian restaurant that was really close to where our hotel was located. To be honest, me and Ems were truly disappointed with our first 'Italian' meal in Italy because it was completely tasteless and very expensive. In my opinion, these waterfront restaurants were only 'packed' with people who were very tired and hungry from all the travelling because they were conveniently located next to the main Vaporetto stop in San Zaccaria.
I think the best advice to give to anyone who is going to Venice is to literally 'get lost' within it. You can find so many little treasures on this island if you would just allow yourself a chance to explore, to indulge in your very own curiosity. If one were to venture deeper into the maze-like streets of Venice, one would surely find very exquisite Italian cuisine. The good restaurants or shall I say 'authentic' Italian restaurants are usually located far from the main tourist attractions. These little gems of Venice provide a great service, little to no wait time and very good food at minimal prices. If you're into Murano crafts and jewellery or Venetian Masks, you'll be amazed at the bargains that you can find yourselves in if you would just wander a little more into the narrowest of the Venetian streets.
One of the best places that I've visited in Venice which Im sure Emma would agree with is the Lido beach. We spent two full days there just soaking in the sun, swimming, sipping on Italian slushies and eating pizzas all right there on the beach. We rented our little paddle boat that comes with a slide on both days and had ourselves so much fun!