Venice is a maze… It’s a grown up maze. The streets vary in width, they dead end, they turn, they change names, they aren’t well marked, and all of them are surrounded by building several stories tall preventing you from seeing landmarks or other familiar sites that might help you get your bearings. It is the perfect recipe to get lost… and you will get lost.
Let me repeat that: you will get lost. You will get completely, wonderfully, wander around for hours and have to stop for a glass of wine lost.
Before you panic, my advice is to just roll with it. Getting lost is part of the experience. Enjoy it, and discover all of the new, magical things waiting just around the corner.
When we were in Venice, my husband and I laughed like kids again as we tried to figure out where the heck we were. Even with a map in hand, we were clueless. But it was fun. And it was beautiful.
We wandered around, made wrong turn after wrong turn, and would stumble upon a quaint piazza or plaza, or a beautiful church, which was free to enter (unlike many of the churches in other parts of Europe).
Getting lost in Venice is not only a right of passage that every traveler who has ever been there talks about, but it is how you will find the best little restaurant or meet the nicest people, or find yourself far away from the crowds centered around San Marco Square.