Venice has six sestieri: San Polo, Castello, Santa Croce, San Marco, Cannareggio and Dorsoduro. San Polo is my home. Past a little iron gate, you will find a piazza full of bricks scattered around the floor. Knowing that my key opens that gate, gives me little butterflies every time. Venice is foggy in the mornings, blissfully happy in the afternoons, orange and green in the evenings and phantasmagorical at nights. Having lived in this city for more than a month and still not being able to find a single adjective to describe it makes me think that I wont be of any good to you as a guide, but lets try this.
Start your morning buying a marrochino (expresso shot with chocolate) in one of thousands Italian cafeterias there are, you are going to need it. Take it to the nearest vaporetto stop you can find, and sit by the Gran Canal. Today I am not going to take you to the touristic Venice of Saint Marcs, I want you to meet the real Venice. Go to Campo San Polo where we will start our trip. This morning you have to visit I Frari, one of the most mysterious churches of Venice, and La scuola grande di San Rocco, where all the Tintorettos are. Finished? Now we are having a pizza and a gelato (you’ve earned it!). Let’s go to Pizza Al Volo in Campo Santa Margherita, but before we do take a pic inside San Pantaleone just outside the Campo. Pizza Al Volo is known for being the best student pizza on a night out, and is simply amazing. For dessert… Gelato! Choose your gelateria wisely, and base your choice on the colour of their pistachio flavour: if it’s green, you are more likely to make a mistake since gelaterias artisanales make pistachio ice-cream of greyish colours. Continue walking down towards the lagoon, and you will get to the Zattere. Get lost in its streets and little churches. By now it should be the afternoon and almost sunset time for Venice. Enjoy the views of Giudecca and walk down to the Accademia Bridge, watch the sunset from there. For dinner we are going to Cannareggio! Next to the Fondamente Nove, by the lagoon you will find loads of places full of cichettis (Italian tapas), fried fish and handsome Italian men. End your night going back home through San Marc’s, it’s empty now, and the stars in the facade match the ones of the Venetian sky.
If you’ve done your day right you should have already fallen in love with a stranger you met by the Ca’ Foscari, have a gelato stain on your white shirt, and not be able to walk from those Rialto steps. You could spend endless days in the Venetian canals getting lost down its sottopergos, but for now this will have to do.