I am currently in Ljubljana and I am heading back to Italy. I can't decide whether to stay in Venice for a couple or days before I head to back to Como or stop off in Lecco and see another city on the lake. I loved Como and staying in the old city so I am heading back there for a week to get some work done but I want to stop over somewhere on the way. I am travelling by train.
For sure, stay in Venice! Enjoy the magic of the city on water and don't miss out on a few aperitivos with Aperol Spritz! Definitely visit the nearby islands which are 15-20mins by boat from the historical center. You'll be amazed, guaranteed...after only 15mins on a boat you'll reach Murano Island, Burano and Torcello Island. Especially recommended are Burano with the amazing colors (each house painted in a different color) and Torcello - a paradise-like island from where Venice actually originated. There's a 2000 years-old cathedral still there, ancient sculptures and fabulous restaurants with huge gardens and terraces covered in white silk canopies. Screensaver material in real life!!! Public transportation doesn't go to Torcello (which is awesome, cause it is about the only non-crowded area around Venice!) So you'll need a private boat lift, to get there. To avoid the rip-offs, book via antlos.com to get a boat with skipper included in advance. You can get a gondola for a tour in the historical center online as well if you like! Beware, if you try to negotiate a boat ride live with the gondolieri, the price range can vary a lot ;) Enjoy, you will have a blast! :)
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I love Venice but not in August. It is usually very hot, crowded and the grand canal can be smelly! I think it's much nicer in Spring, Autumn or Winter. Have you visited Verona or Bergamo ?Verona has a very special atmosphere during opera season and Bergamo is beautiful anytime. Bergamo is a short drive or a 25 minute train trip from Lecco