Back streets / by Mario Mirabile

If you see a picture postcard view of a Venetian canal, it will almost certainly certainly be of the Grand Canal. That's as it should be, the Grand Canal has its charms and runs through the heart of Venice. It's busy, bustling and lined with major attractions. And with tourists. Tourists in hordes,  along with everything that goes along with them. Burger King, genuine Chinese made Venetian souvenirs, touts, pickpockets - the list goes on.

But wander only 50 metres or so from the Grand Canal and the true charm of Venice is revealed. There are locals wandering around seeing to their business, shops and cafes are smaller and less crowded, the coffee and food cheaper and better. The canals are not nearly so grand, but without the ceaseless churn of ferries, water taxis and gondolas, they appear more or less what they are. Local back streets.