Every morning in Venice I would throw open the shutters of my hotel room to this lovely view ~ a little slice of heaven in my Venetian neighborhood of Dorsoduro. And since no trip to Italy would be complete without good food, good wine, and a little retail therapy, here are a few of my favorite places and things:
* Venetia Studium (a gorgeous shop filled with Fortuny-style scarves, purses, and home goods).
* Il Prato (a tiny wood-paneled store specializing in hand-printed papers, boxes, and frames), San Marco 2546.
* Lineadombra (for the best meal and best view in Venice, perfectly located on the Zattare), Dorsoduro 19.
* La Piscina (for an excellent meal in the house where John Ruskin stayed on his last trip to Venice ~ now a lovely little pensione called La Calcina), Dorsoduro 780.
* Teamo Wine Bar (for a plate of cheese and salami and a great bottle of wine), San Marco 3795 (rio terà de la mandola).
Oh, and I meant to mention yesterday that I couldn't have lived without my Blue Guide to Venice (geared toward the inquisitive traveler), and the City Secrets guide to Florence, Venice & the Towns of Italy (a source for all sorts of wonderful off-the-beaten-path kind of places).