Re: We are going to Venice
Venice is a beautiful place and I have been many many times. My "tips" would be as follows:
Firstly, if you are fit and able to walk a few miles then I would ignore any temptation to jump on a vaporetto (river taxi) and go to St Marks Square. That's not the way to take in Venice.
There is another area which is a central hub of Venice transport called Piazzale Roma. From here you can get taxis, buses, vaporettos galore. But don't do that.
Use Piazzale Roma as your starting point to walk around Venice. You will never totally get lost because ALL the signs on the walls of Venice have arrows pointing to 2 places, St Marks and Piazzale Roma. So you can always find your way back.
From Piazzale Roma, first walk over the fairly new bridge across the canal and just keep walking. You will pass the train station on your left and then find yourself walking lovely streets of interesting shops and cafes. Take in the tempting patisserie shops, jewellers, clothes shops and so on. Just keep walking straight and in general just follow the crowd because they are all going one way - towards St Marks Square, but that's a long way off yet.
Before then you will find yourself on a wider stretch of concourse called Strada Nova and after that you will pop out at the beautiful Rialto Bridge, a place for great photos.
At Rialto Bridge you have a choice. You can stay on the side of the canal you are on and carry on walking towards St Marks or you can cross over the bridge. If you cross, you will find a lovely small market area full of stalls selling very good products including pretty women's scarves for example.
Because of the way Venice winds through little side streets constantly, you will inevitably walk far many more miles than if you were able to go in a straight line. I think we walked some 5 miles in total going from Piazzale Roma to St Marks and back again, but of course we have plenty of coffee stops and 1-2 hours for a superb lunch on the canal side along the way. Don't ever worry about getting lost, just follow the signs to St Marks which are everywhere. On the return leg just follow the signs to Pizzale Roma.
There are some great restaurants to be found in Venice. One of them is just past the train station and on the right hand side. It is easy to miss because from this side it's more or less just a door with a menu outside but you walk in and right through the interior and come out right on the canal side in the open fresh air and can have a lovely meal there watching the bustling canal traffic go by. You will know it is the right restaurant because right inside the doorway in an old vintage Italian ham slicing machine, all metal, painted red. If you note this restaurant when you first set of walking past the train station then you can come back to it later for lunch.
A couple of other things to note.
Wherever you go to eat, treat yourself to an Aperol Spritz. It is a favourite drink of the Italians and makes for a special occasion and is very tasty and refreshing. Aperol is a liquer made from oranges and with a deep burnt orange flavour. For an Aperol spritz you get a large wine glass with some Aperol, a little soda water and fully topped up with Prosecco. So it's basically a glass of fizz with a lovely burnt orange flavour and beautiful colour. Do treat yourself when in Venice (or any other part of Italy really!).
Another thing to know is that it is widely accepted that one should not eat fish in Venice due to the polluted waters. Whether or not this is still the case I am unsure, possibly some really decent restaurants would source their fish from further afield but how could you tell really?
So I would favour the meats (steaks, veal etc) and pastas and other delights.
St Marks Square itself in all honesty is a bit anti-climatic. You'll get your photos of the palace and the bell tower but there will be 1000s of tourists bumping and jostling and you'll need to keep a tight hold of your belongings as a result.
In wet weather St Marks can get totally flooded, a condition known as "Aqua Alta" in which case they install temporary wooden walkways and the outdoor restaurant waiters don wellington boots which always looks hilarious as they still where their penguin outfits anyway !
The very best way to see Venice is to take a cruise there as the ship will pass alongside St Marks Square and you will get a view like no other possible, towering over the beautiful roof tops. The early morning sail in to Venice is an absolutely magical experience often involving a light dewy mist through which the cathedral and bell towers suddenly emerge in all their glory. The downside is you will typically only get one day in Venice on a cruise, occasionally an overnight stay, but either way it's a short visit but hugely pleasurable nonetheless.
Enjoy your trip