Day 1: Venice
The best way to get around Venice is by boat (this includes getting from Marco Polo Airport to the historic city center). Your best bet here is to prepurchase the Venezia Unica City Card, a customizable, all-in-one pass that you can use for public transportation and admission to Venice's most popular attractions. Our pass included airport transfer, 48 hours' use of the vaporetti (public water buses), and admission to the St. Mark's Square museums and the Teatro La Fenice.
We chose to keep our first day light so we would have time for a nap/jet-lag recovery. Because we arrived in the morning, it was too early to check in to our hotel, but they were more than happy to store our bags while we went exploring. We grabbed breakfast, then headed straight for Teatro La Fenice, one of Venice's famous opera houses. It has burned to the ground more than once, but each time it has been reconstructed to echo its original splendor. Take advantage of the free audio tour to learn the tragic history of this popular theater.