How to do Venice in 5 hours with your in-laws

Venice is absolutely unique, but you can get an accurate taste in about five hours. Here’s how:

Hour One in Venice

Wander around from the train station through the tiny streets and over beautiful bridges. DO NOT use a map on your phone to navigate! Don’t try to find anything specific. Just wander. Enjoy the sights and sounds and sun. Backtrack several times because I am really good at finding dead-ends.

Hour Two in Venice

Find some food. I’d love to recommend some amazing restaurants for you, but really you won’t be let down if you can get away from the main shopping streets (typically the path between Ponte di Rialto and Piazza San Marco), and find a menu that doesn’t have photos on it or a restaurant without a guy trying to lure you in. Heck, even if you let yourself be lured, you (probably) won’t be let down.

Hour Three in Venice

Meander over to Piazza San Marco. Listen to an audio guide (they’re free from the internet! We once again turned to Rick Steves after our success in Rome).

Hour Four in Venice

Get in line for the Basilica. Be told by the security guard that your husband can’t take his backpack in. Wait for him on the steps inside the basilica, assuming he is taking his backpack to the free lockers. After ten minutes, wonder where the heck he is and tell your in-laws you are going to look for him since he doesn’t have a working phone in Italy. Take seventeen steps outside and find him sitting alone on a step, very cold, since he assumed we had left him to fend for himself in the wilderness while we listened to another audio guide, having not actually heard that there were lockers. Tell him there are indeed FREE lockers, wait for him to put his backpack in a locker — for realz this time. Look at the basilica. Retrieve backpack twenty minutes later. (Hour four is optional.)

Hour Five in Venice

Decide you are all ready to head back to the Airbnb since we now have a solid idea of what Venice is and how it works and the beauty and the canals and the gondolas and blah blah blah, plus you are all rather tired of being cold and the sun is setting. Wander back through the alleys while the sun sets. Marvel at the fact that you have not only survived, but thoroughly enjoyed, three weeks with your husband and in-laws on a vacation.

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