Venice is a fascinating place. Undoubtedly touristy, this water-threaded city's beauty lies mainly in the fact that it's pedestrian only. The complete absence of motor vehicles differentiates Venice markedly from any other European city I've visited; there's a quiet, sonorous quality that's absolutely striking as you explore the narrow side streets, secluded courtyards, and myriad of tiny bridges (some houses even have a structure specifically to get over the canal to the front door!). I found myself acutely aware of the echo of my footsteps on the cobblestones, an impression that's typically lost beneath the din of cars, trucks, and scooters.
Anna and I took the water taxi to Burano and Murano, two outlying islands that are only accessible by ferry, for a day. We spent most of our time on Burano, a fisherman's village known for its lace-making and textiles, eating seafood and playing among the brightly-painted houses that make us feel as though we'd wandered into a colorful illustration (or an Anthropologie catalog!).