Tipping: It isn’t necessary to tip waiters or taxi drivers, but you can leave a few euros if you are happy with the service. Many tour guides, on the other hand, expect gratuities. If you’re in doubt, ask the tour company.
Hotels: Accommodation is wildly variable in Venice, and much of it is overpriced, with cramped rooms and outdated facilities. Wifi is still regarded as an unnecessary luxury in many hotels. All this is inevitable, perhaps, in a city whose tourists are almost all transitory, one-time visitors. Why woo them over, when you’re unlikely to ever see them again? So do careful research before reserving. You are generally better off not staying a gelato’s throw from St. Mark’s Square.
Food: Tourists are often surprised by Italy’s substandard eateries, and there are countless such restaurants geared to Venice’s tourist hordes, most of whom fail to plan ahead and are caught short, hungry and searching for a quick bite. The solution is simple, economical and truly enjoyable. Pick a fine neighborhood food store off the well-trodden tourist path, then stock up on salamis, sardines, foccaccio bread, olives and artichokes, enough for a couple of days. Turn your hotel mini-bar into your personal refrigerator, and pack picnic lunches each day. It’ll cost a fraction of a restaurant meal, and while you uncork a bottle of wine in the sun, you can watch the other tourists try to flag down a waiter for a slice of cold pizza.