When you go to Venice, if you have the choice, try to go in an off season. Fall or early Spring is best. If you go in the midst of the summer, Venice has a bit of a urine smell to it, that in some places can be pretty overwhelming. We went in February, and while it was cold, hot wine and cappuchinos and a couple shots of whiskey warmed us up. I went again in the summer, and it smelt, well, not good.
Dogana di Mare or Sea Customs Post
At the tip of Dorsoduro opposite St. Mark's Square, where the Grand Canal reaches its greatest width (231 feet) is the Customs house (Dogana di Mare). When we were there, this building was covered with scaffolding and the outside of the scaffolding was covered with a white material.
It used to be that cargo ships came first to the Punta della Dogana (Customs Point) to be inspected by customs officials. In the 14th century there was a tower on the point, but in the late 1600s this was replaced by a colonnaded building. It is presumably this building that is being repaired. The current building's tower sticks up above the white wrappings and is is crowned by two Atlases holding up a bronze globe. On top of the globe, the "Fortune" weathervane holds a shield to the wind.
I'm not sure from looking at it whether you can actually visit this site while it is under construction. One way to reach the Dogana di Mare is to take the No. 1 vaporetto to the Salute stop and walk along the promenade.
Or you can ride the gondola ferry from the nearby Campo del Traghetto to the Dorsoduro side of the canal. When you step off the traghetto, walk inland to the first corner, turn left, and continue two short blocks. In his Italian Hours essay on Venice, Henry James describes the Dogana di Mare:
"The charming architectural promontory of the Dogana stretches out the most graceful of arms, balancing in its hand the gilded globe on which revolves the delightful satirical figure of a little weathercock of a woman. This Fortune, this Navigation, or whatever she is called--she surely needs no name--catches the wind in the bit of drapery of which she has divested her rotary bronze loveliness. On the other side of the canal twinkles and glitters the long row of the happy palaces which are mainly expensive hotels. There is a little of everything everywhere, in the bright Venetian air, but to these houses belongs especially the appearance of sitting, across the water, at the receipt of custom, of watching in their hypocritical loveliness for the stranger and victim."
~ Rialto Bridge ~
Venice would not be the same without it's famous Rialto Bridge. A landmark that attracts thousands of tourists because of it's history and architecture. There is always a crowd on there, whether it be tourists or locals alike watching the activity on the Grand Canal from the bridge's balustrades, or just browsing amongst the souveniers. Antonio de Ponte won the commission to rebuild the bridge in stone in 1588.
Bargaining for prices
Most shopkeepers will be happy to adjust prices for you to give you the best deal. However you must be willing to pay in cash. If you plan on paying with credit the deal will probably not go through. It is very expensive for these merchants to accept credit cards so they will want to make it worth their while.
All the same, bargaining is available just have cash on hand and the stores away from the main squares have nicer stuff.
Black T-shirt rather than a white one
Local people say that a black shirt would prevent you from the pigeons' secrets. These birds tend to 'disturb' people dressed in white at the San Marco square. I myself was dressed in white to prevent myself from the heat! Our guide pointed me and said 'Beware from the pigeons!' She was dressed in black.