Venice is highly regarded as one of Italy's most popular destinations for tourists, and the why's are obvious. Not only is it a city built fully on a canal system, but it's also one that's full of history and sights that are unique to the region's waterways. However, with such a great place comes great responsibility on the part of the traveler - and there are a surprising number of rules that come with a trip to Venice.

While none of these should ever put a traveler off, they are things to be aware of. When visiting Venice for the first time, don't be that person and avoid doing these things if at all possible.


Things To Avoid If You Don't Want To Break The Law

Part of Venice's survival as a city includes the conservation of its incredible waterways. Because of this, there are many rules that travelers might not be familiar with when visiting. The age-old saying applies here, especially: Just because someone sees another person doing it doesn't mean that they should be doing it, too. Tourists get busted season after season for doing things that wouldn't seem out of the ordinary but are common knowledge to the locals.

Never, Under Any Circumstances, Go Into The Water

There are a number of reasons as to why this is a bad idea but the number one is that, well, it's illegal. One would think that it's common sense to not swim in what's basically a public waterway (it's like swimming in a boat slip) but alas, tourists are always fined for doing just this. Additionally, it's not a good idea to put any body parts into the water for reason number two: it's quite disgusting. With so much boat traffic going by, any potential garbage that's leaked into the water, and the general fact that these waterways are centuries old, the water is far from bacteria-free. Avoid the urge, no matter how hot it gets on the sidewalks.

Don't Feed The Pigeons (Or Any Kind Of Birds)

Familiar with the Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds? Good, now imagine that but on the city streets of Venice, surrounded by water with no escape in sight. This is likely what will happen if someone attempts to feed the pigeons that frequent Venice's public square, and it's also against the law to do so. Not only will it lead to embarrassment for the newcomer but it'll also result in a hefty fine on top of that blazing-red embarrassment... and potentially a few painful pecks.

Don't Think About Eating In Piazza San Marco

It might seem tempting to take in the views of Venice's most historic architecture while enjoying a meal at Piazza San Marco but it's actually against the law. Regardless of the law-breaking that will be done, this square is often very crowded during the day, and engaging in a stagnant activity like eating would only frustrate locals trying to make their way through.

Related: Think Italian Food Can't Get Any Better? Try Italian Street Food

Things To Avoid That Aren't Illegal, Just Smart

In addition to all of the law-breaking things that should be avoided in Venice, there are some general, somewhat unspoken no-nos that visitors should be aware of. Some of these might be obvious while others are surprising, but they're good to know regardless.

August In Venice Is A No-Go

In short: It's hot, sticky, and humid as heck. Considering the fact that Venice is a city that's literally built on water, it shouldn't be all that surprising that its hottest summer month is unbearably damp and heavy. It might seem alluring to visit a top Italian destination in the summer, but consider some other months before attempting an air condition-less trip.

Tourists Don't Have The Right Of Way

The main mode of transportation is - not surprisingly - walking in Venice. This means that coupled with tourists, there are also many locals on the streets who actually know where they're going. Visitors should be careful to pay attention to the pedestrian signs which will tell them exactly which side of the walking lane to stay on. Lest one wants to be responsible for a human traffic jam, these rules are posted for a reason.

Don't Expect A Full Breakfast

In Venice, it's not likely one will find a full meal for breakfast because, really, who has time for that? In all seriousness, it's not something that's common in Italy, in general. For the most part, it's a quick espresso or cup of coffee and a croissant, and then it's everyone for themselves. Therefore, visitors should expect to assimilate into this cultural difference, especially if they come from a country where breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don't worry - there will be plenty of bigger meals for lunch and dinner to make up for the lack of calories.

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