When my friend told me that he was planning a surprise party for his graduation in Venice, I didn’t expect he would rent a boat for a weekend of never-ending fun all around the laguna and the canals.

After the graduation ceremony, a rapid walk in the labyrinth of streets and a generous lunch in a very homely bar, we rushed on a couple of ferries loaded with food and drinks – more drinks than food – wondering where we were directed.

First through the canals and then in the open laguna until we reached the little isle of Burano, with its tiny multicoloured houses, where our boat was waiting for us. Partying at the sunset was only the beginning of the 24h-long party in Venice.

Put 15 people on a 8-people boat, add drinks and excitement, and you’ll have this special event. Not a real cultural holiday, but still appealing.

I saw the touristic city from a different perspective, the one of students: five of our group have been studying in Venice for years at the well-known IUAV University of Architecture, coming from other big cities like Florence and Bolzano, and told us some stories of their period there.

Very cheap houses to share in the centre of the city, bars at every corner, very few criminality, clean streets and wonderful setting. Plus, no cars, no police and no alcohol tests, which, translated, means a lot of fun. If there weren’t fog and high water in winter, it could be the perfect city for students.

The point is, if you want to visit Venice, don’t follow the classic touristic tour, but rent a boat and randomly sail to some unconventional places in this fascinating setting.

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