I spent sometime getting extremely lost in the winding streets of Venice with the AREC 457 study abroad group in January 2017. I hope you enjoy some of my tips and recommendations:
I stayed with the rest of the class at the Don Orione Cultural Center, which believe it or not, is actually an old convent! While it's likely hard to stay here as an individual, it had a nice location in the southern part of Venice right on the water and was about a ten minute walk from San Marco Square. Since Venice airport is on the mainland, you'll have to take a boat to get to Venice; the Alilguna is a convenient option that will take you right from the airport to multiple points in Venice. The bonus of taking the Alilgauna, is you get a nice boat tour of the island on your way from the airport.
There are no roads in Venice, just winding paths and waterways! As Rick Steve's says, you should just wander around because you cannot get too lost, after all you are on an island. If you ever get tired of walking I recommend you take the Vaporettos, which is basically the public water transit service. The Line #1 Vaporetto takes you all along the Grand Canal and is itself a great way to explore the city on a nice calm boat ride.
Things to do in Venice
The Other Islands of Venice
Food in Venice, like most of Italy, is amazing! Here are some of the places I personally visited / had recommended to me:
I'd also recommend you check out what Rick Steve's has to say about Venice!
**Special shout out to Amber Egbert for all of her amazing travel recommendations for Venice and for all of the amazing students that made the trip so much fun!