Venice may be overcrowded, overpriced and sinking, but it remains so miraculously beautiful that on each visit, we are once again lost in astonishment and admiration. The city’s treasures are inexhaustible. And the crowds can often be mitigated by strolling a few hundred yards from St. Mark’s Square. Since Venice is surrounded by a vast lagoon, it is no surprise that seafood — including prawns, squid and clams — takes pride of place on the menus of its more distinguished restaurants. Keep in mind when ordering seafood that the price often refers to the cost per 100 grams, and don’t expect fresh fish on Monday, when the market is closed. To escape the crowds, consider a cycling excursion down the barrier islands of the lagoon — which are connected by bridges — to the pretty town of Chioggia. Return to Venice by ferry.

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