So I'm sure there's tons of guide books out there on Venice and how amazing and beautiful and unique it is.?Well for once pretty much all the good things one could say about a place are true.?But perhaps a lesser known gem of a stay in Venice is the island of Giudecca. ?br/>
It's across the Giudecca canal from most of the large tourist destinations, so it's a little out of the way, but that's part of what makes it so special. Being right across from everything means it has the best view of all of those sites, especially at night.?And being out of the way means it still has a local feel to it, for the most part.?Yes it has the famous Hotel Cipriani (the classic place for the 1960s celebrity set), a youth Hostel and the new Molino Stucky Hilton in an old flour factory,?all on its shores, but that's pretty much it.?The rest of the island is quiet and local.
Even if you don't stay on the island, its worth the trip there by a water taxi (AKA the vaperetto) or the free boat shuttle the Hilton runs (trust?me, they don't ask for proof you are staying at their hotel).?During the day you can witness a quiet slice of real Venetian life with local markets and shops, but the real magic on this island is at night.?At night the city across the canal lights up and the sleepy little island comes alive with a sort of mystical life.?There's several excellent little restaurants along the canal, which are all cheaper than the tourist traps across the way.
One we ate at twice, cause the staff of this family-owned place was so nice to us and the food was so good.?Another we only had a chance to eat at once.?It was a little further down the island and the food was pretty amazing.?We even made a friend of a local cat who sat in the empty third chair at our table and watched us eat. Perhaps he wanted my seafood lasagna, and the best tiramisu I've ever had, or perhaps he was just enjoying the view
Now if you don't get a chance to stay at the Hilton Molino Stucky like we did (we found a great deal on a travel site, I do recommend stopping by the hotel for a drink at their skybar.?It's at the top of the?8th or 9th floor of this incredible old factory building, and has the most unbelievable view of the city, since other nearby buildings aren't anywhere near as tall.?Enjoy a campari and soda or a spritz and you'll feel right at home as you watch the ships enter the harbor.