Virtuoso Life - November/December 2017 - 98
There's a reason why the world's most visited places are so popular, and Venice - the Queen of the Adriatic - is
no exception. Revered for its labyrinth of canals and ornate palazzi, the Italian city lately seems on the verge of being loved to death. Officials have tried to curb the congestion
by proposing a limit on the number of hotel rooms in the historic center and a fee to see
sites such as Saint Mark's Square. Many locals, fed up with the crowds, high prices, and
the dearth of industry outside of tourism, have left the island - taking Venice's cherished
customs and cultures with them.
Yet the authentic Venice is still there, if you know where to look. Hop a vaporetto from
the main island, ride 35 minutes northeast, and you'll find a place where traditions live on,
fish and produce markets open their doors to generations of neighbors each morning, and
friends gather over lasagne al forno and bottles of vino della casa at night.
Before there was Venice as we know it, there was this "native Venice," including three
distinct islands - Burano, Mazzorbo, and Torcello - in the heart of the Venetian Lagoon.
As Venice rose in prominence and popularity, their smaller size and quieter, working-class
lifestyle kept them virtually overlooked for many years.
Today, those who venture here find exceptional food, wine, and history away from the
main island's chaos. "It's a must for getting away from the crowds of Venice," says Chicagobased Virtuoso travel advisor Adamarie King. "Treat yourself to an island day: Take the
ferry or charter a boat and visit the islands, stopping for lunch and shopping in between."
V I RT U O S O L I F E