Lots of tourists decide to book hotels in the mainland, for example in Mestre, because hotels in Venice are usually more expensive. Well, I don’t agree with this choice because to reach Venice you will have to take a train, a bus, or taxi and so lost some precious hours of your holiday. Moreover Venice by night is a spectacle that you can not miss.
If you choose to stay in the mainland because you arrive by car of for any other reason, be sure to book an hotel that allows fast commuting to Venice. Mestre is the closest city (well, not a very nice city but it is just about 15 minutes from Venice).
If Venice hotels high prices are a problem, you may decide to book a room in a shared flat with airbnb (there are also some studios available). If share a flat is not for you, you should look for a B&B out of the most popular tourist areas. Venice is a small city and you can reach any place in a short time. In addition, by staying out of the beaten tracks you will enjoy the authentic Venetian atmosphere. Cannaregio is probably the best area to stay.
Keep in mind that prices change significantly between high and low season. A room that in low season costs 50€ per night, in high season will probably costs 200€.
Travel light. This advice may be a cliché but it is a good advice especially when you are travelling to Venice. Vaporetti are often crowded (and note that according to ACTV you are allowed to carry just one bag with a combined length, width, and depth of 150 cm -59 inches. If you go over the limit your suitcase could be charged a full adult fare.)
Now something about how we eat and drink. First of all we never drink coffee during lunch or dinner. Usually we drink it after lunch or dinner but never while eating. It’s ok to have a coffee together with croissant or some cookies for breakfast but while having lunch or dinner Italians drink water (or even better wine). We never have a cappuccino or a latte after lunch or after dinner. Cappuccino or latte for breakfast, water and wine while having lunch and dinner, coffee after them.
What in the US is commonly (and wrongly) called pepperoni, in Italy is called salame (salame –singular, not salami-plural). Peperoni (not pepperoni that means nothing) is the plural form for pepper. So if you ask for a pep(p)eroni pizza in Italy you are asking for a pizza with peppers.
One day an American friend asked for some Fettuccine Alfredo in a restaurant. The obvious answer was ‘chi?’ (who?). Alfredo in Italy is just a name and Fettuccine Alfredo means nothing.
If there’s a small fee named “coperto” on your bill, don’t be suspicious, It’s legitimate. It’s like a service charge and more the restaurant is expensive, more the coperto fee will cost. Usually there is no coperto in bacari and bars but the rule ‘if you sit down you’ll pay more’ is almost always valid.