If possible, visit during the...
If possible, visit during the festival. Regardless, you MUST GET OUT AND WALK!! Venice is extremely safe (there is no where to run!) and every little island has it's own unique story to tell. Try a meal at a hidden restaurant, a new fruit at a small store the size of a closet, examine the architecture of a handrail. The possibilities are absolutely endless! EVERYTHING!!!
Linger more at Piazza San Marco
St. Marks Square has been a movie scene where you can linger around and watch the world go by or waiting for your secret appointment at one of the many outdoor cafes.
Or you can try to identify all the famous tourist sites around the square, first the Grand Canal, Doge's Palace, St Mark's Basilica, St Mark's Clocktower, Procuratie Vecchie, Napoleonic Wing of the Procuraties, Procuratie Nuove, St Mark's Campanile and Logetta and Biblioteca Marciana.
Or just chill out after all that walking or riding the waves of the canals.
Ca' d'Oro is the most outstanding gem of Venetian Gothic architecture. Gothic arches embroider the facade of the noblest of the Venetian mansions, which the locals called House of Gold. It is named after the multicolored decorations on the marble, once covered with gilding.
Palazzo Dario – the Cursed Palace (I&V)
Palazzo Dario is a palace on the Grand Canal, in the Dorsoduro sestriere of Venice, between Santa Maria della Salute and Ca'Venier dei Leoni. It is one of the most beautiful and the most exotic palaces in Venice. It is often compared to Ca d'Oro and Chiesa dei Miracoli, for the good reason – it was designed by a follower of Pietro Lombardo, in the floral Venetian Gothic style. The facade is entirely encased with marble and decorated with the round incrustations in the right wing. A neo-Gothic balcony in the second floor was added in the 19th century. The high chimneys, among the few conserved examples in Venice, are of special note.
Palazzo Dario was erected in late 15th century for Giovanni Dario, the Secretary of the Venetian Senate, a rich merchant and a respected diplomat who served Venice well – he had even successfully negotiated a peace treaty in 1479 between Venice and Sultan Mehmet II. After the death of Giovanni Dario in 1494, the palace passed to his son in law Vincenzo Barbaro, who had married Dario's daughter Marietta in 1492 or 1493. It remained property of Barbaro family until the 19th century.
But the palace is not widely known for its beauty, the architectural achievements of its designer, for its history or the famous admirers (such as John Ruskin or Claude Monet) – Palazzo Dario is famous as a cursed palace!
Franz Babinger, the German historian, traces the first serious misfortune at the palace to Vincenzo Barbaro – he insulted a city official and was publicly disgraced and stripped of his office. He was later murdered; his wife, Dario's daughter, died of shame. Her tomb and that of her father, on a nearby island, were later used to store gunpowder and were blown up during an Austrian siege in 1849. Several of the later Palazzo Dario's occupants have come to a sticky end as well: the story says that the English scholar Rawdon Lubbock Brown committed suicide in the house after sinking a fortune into its renovation in the 19th century (which could hardly stand as he lived for 41 years after he had sold the palace); Kit Lambert, manager of The Who, was murdered soon after moving out; in 1979 Count Filippo Giordano delle Lanze had his brains smashed with a candlestick wielded by his lover; a Venetian businessman named Fabrizio Ferrari went bust and then his sister was murdered; and in 1993 the industrialist and yachtsman Raul Gardini, who had bought the house in 1985, was found dead in Milan, apparently having shot himself. There are several persons on the "list" whose names are forgotten, but not their poor fortune: an Armenian diamond merchant who is said to have gone spectacularly bankrupt, guest of French aristocrat, Comtesse de la Baume Pluviniel who reputedly died soon after staying at the palace…
This series of ghost stories "confirm" the imaginative superstition. With or without it – Palazzo Dario is very noticeable edifice even in the city as rich in them as Venice is. Just to add that the palace is the private property nowadays and it is not open to the public. Could it be bought for a song because of the curse? We are not sure, but there are such rumors.
Don't forget ...
Pack light, as you have to go on foot or take a bus/taxi before arriving in the hotel and it isn't always possible for the bus/taxi to stop in front of the hotel. Good walking shoes, you cannot do without them if you want to see a lot about Venice. Take a lot of films with you, you will need them!