On any given day, tourists—20 million annually—outnumber Venice’s local population of 60,000. This has given Venice a rather unfair reputation as a tourist hub whose undeniable beauty and charm have been eviscerated by obnoxious tourist groups. Though you’re certain to bump into the fanny-packed hordes in the major piazze, museums, and monuments, Venice boasts plenty of labyrinthine side streets and narrow canals that tourists haven’t yet infiltrated. Head away from the crowds and you’ll discover Venice’s past preserved in dilapidated palazzi, syncretic architectural flourishes, and even signs written in the vanishing Venetian dialect. An incredible performance art and music scene, some of Italy’s best seafood, and busy docks just wait to be discovered. If you’re not afraid to step off the beaten path, you’ll come to appreciate a subtle Venetian magic that can’t be discovered on a gondola ride or captured in a postcard.