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We arrived in Venice with high expectations for this magical city. The first day we were there was grey and dreary and we failed to understand the charm of the city. It was October and Venice was still quite full of tourists. We wondered what it must be like in the height of summer with many more tourists, more heat and the stench it would cause from the canals.

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The next day was clear and crisp. We began to discover the back alleys and fantastic food of Venice. We all loved the cicchetti  – a specialty of Venice. Cicchetti are little slices of bread with various delicacies on top including salt cod – our favorite!

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We could easily get a plate full of cichetti and two glasses of superb house wine for 20 Euros. We happily bar hopped around the alleys sampling all they had to offer. Some of the bars were so small it was standing room only outside in the alley.

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Rather than being an inconvenience, this only added to the atmosphere. We all loved it.

We had great adventures during the day including a ride around Venice on a Vaporetto (water taxi).

However, we were most enchanted by Venice at night.

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Of course, that is when we did a lot of our family bar hopping. We also got lost every night on the way home at the same spot. It was a bit like Night on Earth and the funny thing was that there were also always other tourist wandering around the square, looking at their phones, obviously as lost as we were!

We also had the great pleasure of taking a gondola ride just as the sun was setting. It was truly delightful and worth the hefty fee. Our Gondolier, Massimo managed to ferry his gondola within inches of the stone walls, while telling us the history of Venice, singing a few bars of opera songs and making mobile phone calls at the same time. He was the perfect tour guide for such an iconic Italian setting!

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